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Interview with Deborah King

Author of "Be Your Own Shaman: Heal Yourself and Others with 21st Century Energy Medicine"

by Hay House


1. Let’s start with the most obvious questions: What is a shaman? And why should I want to be one?

I use the word shaman to mean “a healer”—someone who expands his or her consciousness and conducts healing energy to help themselves and/or others resolve whatever is ailing them. It could be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Shamans come from any background, but they’ve all done the hard inner work to heal themselves; they’ve cleared away blocked and stagnant energy, released past traumas, connected with guides in the spiritual realms, and listened deep within so that they are aligned with the universal energy field.

The term shaman can also be defined as a person who acts as an intermediary between the human world and spirit worlds, between the natural and supernatural. They know that everything in our universe is connected. We are all one. And it is in this infinite place of Oneness that healing originates and occurs. Our goal, then, for those of us who want to heal—whether we want to heal ourselves or to be able to heal others, is to reside in this space. Every one of us is a natural-born self-healer. We all have these abilities, even if we haven’t used them. Our task is to learn how to access and use the components of energy medicine, which is why I wrote this book.

2. What exactly is energy medicine?

Energy Medicine is a dynamic process that merges two very powerful things: energy and medicine. Even though we can’t usually see it, energy is all around us, existing in a variety of frequencies and wavelengths: cosmic radiation, x-rays, radio waves, infrared waves. But there’s also a more subtle form of energy that permeates the entire universe and comprises everything within it, including you and me. This force is intelligent, alive, and the source of all life. In this infinite field, which penetrates all space, anything is possible. It flows from one object to another, and connects something to everything else. We call this field of all possibilities the universal energy field, or simply the unified field. So energy medicine is the employment of this inexhaustible field as a factor to treat disease—that’s what medicine means. In this application, energy is the medicine.

3. What is the human energy field?

Also called the aura, the human energy field surrounds the entire body in what look like levels. These levels interpenetrate the body as well as each other, extending outward several feet or more beyond the skin. In most systems of thought, there are seven main levels, as well as numerous minor ones and even more above the head. Each ascending level of the field is higher in frequency and vibration than the one below it.

Your body arises directly out of your energy field, so any distortion or imbalance in your field will sooner or later negatively impact you physically. Those who are intuitive can sense an illness in someone’s energy field long before it shows up in his or her body. Likewise, if you make a correction in the field, a corresponding change will manifest in the body. This is why healing the field—restructuring it, rebalancing it, and charging it—is so important. Ailments or diseases can often be avoided by making the necessary “adjustments” in the energy field before it manifests. These adjustments are central to the work of energy medicine.

4. I’ve heard the term “wounded healer.” What does that mean?

If you read my first book, Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You, or heard me speak in person or on my weekly Hay House Radio show, you may already know that I survived a pretty horrendous childhood, filled with sexual and emotional abuse. My mother despised and resented me, and my father molested me from the time I was a toddler until the age of 12, and raped me at age 9. Our local parish priest, to whom my father confessed, also sexually abused me at the same age. These types of traumas put my young nervous system on such high alert that I instinctively developed the ability to go into a heightened state of awareness in an effort to stay safe. I could see, hear, feel, and know beyond what we think of as “ordinary.” Thus began my training as a “wounded healer.” I also spent a lot of time praying and connecting to the holy beings of my religious tradition. My spiritual experiences, combined with the trauma of my abuse and the expanded states I went into when I spent time in nature, taught me how to enter into a heightened state—the same level of consciousness that is required to attract, conduct, and transmit universal energy for healing.

You’ll often find that it’s the obstacles and traumas and disciplines of your life that are the necessary foundation for your development as a “wounded healer.” The list of possible experiences, qualities, and skills you already possess to help you in this field is endless.

5. What do past lives have to do with healing?

Exploring our past lives can give us a source of information that is occasionally helpful in solving the mystery of where certain pains, diseases, or other dysfunctions stem from. Past lives refer to reincarnation, which means “to be made flesh again” or “transmigration of the soul.” There are certain levels of the human energy field that allow us easier access to a person’s past lives. I will put myself on one of those levels whenever I can’t find the source for someone’s problems in this life. One note of caution: the only way you can change your karma is to change yourself in this lifetime.

6. Why do you say it’s important to examine our beliefs in order to heal?

Over 90 percent of the beliefs we currently hold we took on as kids from our parents or caregivers, school, and culture. These views run the greater part of our lives and determine if we’re going to be happy or unhappy, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, and broad-minded or narrow-minded on different topics. If we stop to think about this for a moment, it’s positively frightening. Questioning your beliefs frees you from all kinds of limitations in life, including fear, and living according to what’s right for someone else but not for you. Ask yourself: “Where did this belief come from?” and “Does it still work for me, or is it limiting in any way?” If an idea no longer fits or is hampering you, ask yourself what might suit you better at this time. Trust me, you can change your beliefs.

Check your beliefs about religion, yours and others, politics, social values, race, gender, class differences, money, relationships, weight, food, and anything else that might limit you from becoming all that you are meant to be. Part of your task in life is to reach beyond the bounds of your conditioning. You can’t do this if you don’t question your unconscious beliefs. If you want to learn to work with others, you’ll need to be able to accept their beliefs and treat them with the same respect you would your own. A person with a lot of fixed beliefs is acting from fear. When you clear out your old worn-out beliefs, you are now ready to see what’s been hidden under all of the chaos—the gifts of spirit that are your allies on the path to becoming your own shaman.

7. I’ve always been fascinated with clairvoyance. Who wouldn’t want to be able to see beyond this realm? How can I do that?

The sixth chakra, your “third eye,” is the center for visual, intuitive, and psychic perceptions—the ability to see beyond the limitations of time and space. Through this chakra, we can transcend our personal identity and gain entry to the unified field, where we can get guidance from beyond. We can receive telepathic communications; information regarding the future (which is called precognition); information about remote locations (remote viewing); and visuals of images, scenes, and colors (clairvoyance).

You want to try it? Take a moment to imagine your car. Picture its shape, its color, its dings, what’s on the passenger seat, and what’s on the floor. Even though it’s parked out on the street or in the garage, notice that you don’t have any trouble seeing it in your mind. That means you have the ability to remember visually. Clairvoyance requires the same skill. You already have the basic equipment; it’s just a matter of getting it to work in a more refined way. The most important step is to simply relax and let it happen. Let impressions come your way without caring what channel they’re on. When your clairvoyance starts to work, you will find that the images often flash by so quickly that you can barely take them in; often, especially at first, they are just flickerings of color.

I have to give you a warning here. You need to be careful not to give your power away to someone just because he or she impresses you with certain special abilities. The psychic world is full of people who use their gifts to make themselves look bigger and better so they can take your power away. Don’t buy into that and become disempowered. Your own intuitions are the most valid ones.

8. Why do you consider journaling to be a tool for healing?

To my surprise, one of the simplest tools I found in my search for healing from cancer when I was in my mid-twenties turned out to be one of the most powerful. Writing in a personal journal was a good way to access and release the truth about the traumas of my childhood. It let me process that old toxic energy that was stored inside me which had wreaked such havoc on my life. Giving expression to it ultimately led me to becoming cancer and addiction free, and to letting go of all the other lies I had been living.

We all have truths buried inside. Too often in childhood we are taught that feelings are bad and shouldn’t be felt, let alone expressed. Stuffing down our emotions is the cultural norm. Yet in order to have a fulfilling life, complete with a healthy body and relationships, we have to own our emotions. We need to experience them fully and then let them go.

There aren’t many rules to follow to gain the most healing out of journaling: Do it daily. It doesn’t matter if you use pencil and paper or keyboard and computer. What matters is that you’re honest. Don’t hold anything back. And don’t edit, spell-check, or judge your writing. You’re not being graded. Keep your journal safe. To be uninhibited in your journal writing, you need to know that others won’t get their hands on it. Share only if you want to. Be committed to the truth. Daily journal writing will be a major step toward becoming your own shaman.

9. A really fascinating part of your book is called Psychic Warfare. What is it, and how can we protect ourselves?

The dark side is nothing to be afraid of, just something to know how to handle. With the tips I’ll give you in a minute, you’ll find that it’s not that difficult to clear. The dark side is simply a collection of negative feelings that haven’t yet been brought to consciousness and processed. When someone is coming from a place of negative energy, it attracts the dark forces from beyond just like a magnet pulls iron filings to it. You can become connected to that force, or, in extreme cases, be possessed by it.

Psychic attack happens when another person has formed an intention, consciously or not, to hurt you, and his or her negative energy has entered your own field and body. It can be as simple as picking up a little negative energy from someone who’s in a bad mood, but it can go all the way up to full-blown demonic possession (which is one of the hardest things I work with as a healer). If you’ve had long-term problems that you haven’t been able to track to their source, such as relationship issues or financial troubles or nagging health problems, these may be the result of psychic attacks from much earlier in life, occasionally even from a former lifetime.

Here are some simple guidelines for protecting yourself in any encounter you have:

Form an intention every day to be protected by your guides. Connect with those who advise you, and ask them to cover your back.

If you’re in a situation where you suspect someone may be sending negative energy your way, don’t face that person head-on; stand or sit at a 90-degree angle to protect yourself from a direct hit of energy, whether intentional or not.

Every time you have an unpleasant encounter, spend a few quiet minutes alone. Ninety percent of the time, you’ll immediately know if you got slimed or not. If you picked up some negative energy, take a clearing bath that night with one pound each of sea salt and baking soda. It cleanses and charges your field, and you’ll feel totally refreshed the next day.

You also can purify yourself and your room, even an entire house, by burning Epsom salts. Put one cup of Epsom salts in a ceramic or glass container, pour a teaspoon of 150-proof alcohol over it and light. Holding the handle with an oven mitt, shake the container, move it up and down in front of your body and around the room. Go from the floor to head height in every corner, getting the glass windows, the paintings, and behind the furniture.

10. Initiations sound wonderful! Tell me about them.

Life on Earth is all about evolution, specifically the evolution of consciousness. We are given this particular lifetime so that we may experience relationships and thus have the opportunities we need to master the particular life lessons our souls are here to learn. Our consciousness is a part of that vast force field that we call the unified field, Source, or Spirit. Our ultimate goal is to reach ever-higher levels of consciousness that bring us closer and closer to manifesting that God-force within. We call the experience that expands our awareness and brings us closer to Source an initiation. An initiation means that our consciousness has been expanded to some degree.

Initiations have been a part of every religion and in every culture. But even an initiatory experience of the One is only a momentary glimpse of a reality that is infinite. This is why a near-death experience is an initiation—it gives you more love for yourself and everyone you meet, and a clearer sense of your true purpose. Each initiation opens and clears the chakras. That’s not to say that your problems, the ones you are handling with such grace and acceptance that brought you the initiation in the first place, will go away. If Spirit thinks you need something to keep you humble, your difficulties won’t magically disappear. But once you’ve been initiated, even though you may wake up the next day with the same issues, nothing will look or feel the same ever again.

11. Is healing the same thing as curing?

As shamans and healers, we make a distinction between a cure—physical recovery and elimination of a disease condition—and a healing, which can occur on spiritual and emotional levels and may not involve a correlating physical resolution. Ideally, both will take place. For a period of time, it was convenient for me to excuse my own failures to effect a cure based on the idea that a client had decided at a soul level not to accept help. But some part of me remained unconvinced. After working on many tens of thousands of people, I’ve come to believe that it is not common for someone who is seeking to be cured of a physical condition to be at the point where his or her soul has said, “Time’s up—I need to leave.” So I’ve swung back to my original training: I believe that it’s the healer’s job to make it happen.


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