By Grace and By Work

“Why can’t I read the alethiometer anymore?” asked Lyra.
“You read it by grace,” said the angel Xaphania, “and you can regain it by work.”
“How long will that take?”
“A lifetime, but your reading will be even better then. After a lifetime of thought and effort, it will come from conscious understanding.”
  ~  The Amber Spyglass, final book of The Golden Compass trilogy.


He looked at me, amused at first, then with impatience.
“What you experienced on that ridge was a gift, a breakthrough, a look at a new way. Now you must learn to get that experience by yourself, a little at a time.”
  ~  The Celestine Prophecy.

The Perfection of Innocence

In January, I had a bit of a spiritual breakdown. I was confused and disillusioned. What had previously happened so easily was now so hard. Where was the magic? Where had it gone?

When I first started my spiritual and healing journey, miracles happened all around me. Everything was new and amazing, with new things to learn and discover every single day. It was a heady, exhilarating, fascinating time. It was like being in love with life itself.

Things happened. I healed one client’s heel spur with one session. I helped a man recover from PTSD in one session. Angels and guides showed themselves to me as I pushed myself further and further past my comfort zone. Spirit was coming to me in all different ways and times to help and guide. The world was beautiful and magical.

And then one day, I realized it had all stopped. The angels were there, but I couldn’t see them as clearly, or hear their voices as strongly. If spirit was there, it was sitting quietly in the corner, not participating. If healing was happening, I didn’t notice it. What was once easy, free and mine, was no longer.

I began to long for those early days, when I didn’t know any better. I had no concept of what I was doing, therefore I had no concept of limiting it either. It was pure instinct, pure innocence, pure power. I wanted that back, but where was it? It felt like it was gone, and gone for good.

I sunk deeper and deeper into my black hole. Had I just imagined it? Was I no longer special? Was it finite? Did BodyTalk work at all? Had I been fed a line and fell for it? Magic was dead.

Thankfully, I realized that no matter where I found myself, there is a reason for being there. I needed to look deep to find that reason. I dug myself out of that pit by doing several things:

  1. I didn’t rely on someone else to help me. This does not mean that I’m an island, but recognized that I, like you, am whole. Everything I needed already existed within me.
  2. I healed myself first. I worked on myself before I helped anyone else. Yes, I still had many, many clients during this time, but I took the effort to put myself first. How few of us do that on a daily basis?
  3. I read whatever I felt I needed to read. One of those books was The Celestine Prophesy, which I found by chance at the library book sale for $1.

Slowly, I realized that the little coincidences in life are the real magic. I allowed myself to see those coincidences again, to revel in them, to be delighted every single time they happened. The more I rejoiced in them, the more they came to me.

I also realized that the connection to spirit and angels and the universe was always there. In my funk, of choosing to not see the good around me, I accidentally blocked this connection. It was me, not them. They are always there, patiently waiting for me to allow them in. And with that allowance, I regained my love of healing. And what didn’t seem to work before now flowed so freely, so smoothly. So wonderfully in fact, that it just might rival the ‘first’ time.

Going through that experience was very hard, and deeply disturbing. It was the deep, dark tea time of the soul. I hated being there, and what was worse, I really didn’t know why I had been sent there. I was so excited to start 2014 and to take advantage of this amazing transformational year, yet there I was, black to the core in disillusionment.

The Power of Beginners
As the quotes in the beginning of this post suggest, the beginner holds a certain power, innocence and ability that is almost intoxicating. You’ve all seen a beginner nail it, and perhaps felt a bit of wistful envy. For some unknown reason, this grace period ends.

The reason for this finally became clear to me. In February, I was at a BodyTalk meeting that brought together practitioners from all across Western Canada, where I was re-acquainted with Sherry Gilbert. I met Sherry two years earlier as we were in the same course. She was a seasoned BodyTalk practitioner, and was training to be a BodyTalk Instructor, while I was taking my first healing course ever.

As we chatted, Sherry reminded me of the session I did on her two years ago during that course. That session fundamentally changed her life and her health. I too remembered that session, and how powerful it was, I was amazed at how a rank newbie like me could possibly have such an effect on a solid veteran like Sherry.

Sherry, now a full-fledged instructor, uses that story to inspire her new students. She says that the beginner holds a certain unlimited power. They have no idea of what is possible, therefore they have no idea of what isn’t possible.

Somewhere along the way, I took on belief systems of what was and was not possible. I contaminated my own endless belief that anything was possible. In fact, I had painted myself into such a corner that I felt nothing was possible. From this place of limited possibilities, my reality reflected back limited choices.

Speaking to Sherry was the last piece of the puzzle. I rededicated myself to my healing. I worked hard on my studies, re-reading manuals, and learned complementary skills like Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP). Most importantly though, I started believing again. Believing that anything is indeed possible.

And that’s all I ask of you. Believe in yourself, in your inherent ability to do whatever you want. Everything is possible.

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Posted in Belief System, My Journey
4 comments on “By Grace and By Work
  1. Wow that’s one of your best posts ever. So sincere and powerful. You are such a good writer. I can’t believe that you just tossed this out, it is so polished. A must read for anyone who is learning! Loved it!

    • alisendopf says:

      Thank you Mike,
      Yes, this sat in my drafts folder for some time. The actual event was so big, used up so much time, and needed so many pieces to fit it all together, I really wasn’t sure I could encapsulate it in one article. In the end I just decided to finish it and put it out there.

  2. Clarissa says:

    Great insight Alisen! Thank you for sharing your journey and the incredible lessons that you’ve received and reminding others how to put their self care first, and to rekindle everyday magic and to believe again!!

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