While the news keeps blaring messages of triumph about the American economy, few people actually feel as hopeful and solid in their career and financial lives as our televisions would like us to believe we should. Memories of the job losses, business closures, and foreclosed homes from the economic fallout a decade ago are still fresh. As anyone who was impacted can tell you, when economies fail, people hurt. Our work lives, on which so many other factors in our lives depend, impact every single piece of who we are and what we are able to achieve in life. The professional is personal. However much we’re supposed to separate and silo our meanings, personalities, and life activities, in reality, each link wraps around another, much like a fishing net or suit of armor.
When the net is cut and the rush of water and debris rushes through, when the armor is broken and vulnerable skin is exposed, we rush to mend the net and repair the armor. We have to focus on the practicalities when it comes to having a roof over our head and food on the table, that’s only natural, and it’s admirable as well. But in an era of decreasing job stability, increasing economic disparity, rising costs of living, healthcare chaos, and largely stagnant wages, every practical thing on earth may not feel like it’s enough. And it may not address the inner turmoil we continue to feel around work-related losses and changes that continue to echo with feelings of failure, doubt, fear, and desire for better times.
Enter practitioners like Annette Kahmann, who specialize in emotional healing and building empowering mind-body relationships from a unique cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Annette holds multiple Masters degrees, trained as a career counselor, and has also cultivated an intuitive gift common to other times and places, but that is rare to our own. This unusual combination provides insight from knowledge new and old, conscious and subconscious, practical and emotional, to lower the barriers to building well-being and open horizons for those with career-related pain. We’d probably refer to it as a combination of modern psychology and traditional energy work.
“Energy work” may sound trendy or esoteric, but was actually a common way to manage and treat a variety of illnesses, mental and physical, prior to the advent of many of the surgical technologies and pharmaceutical prescriptions we rely on today. From China to India to Aboriginal Australia, looking at the physical, emotional, and social relationships of a patient in a larger life context factored into treatment recommendations. Examining energy flow and blocks through the body provided another window into possibilities to enhance the healing process. In case that sounds “out there”, think of how we now use acupuncture to assist those going through chemotherapy or suffering from chronic pain. What used to be considered a placebo or fringe phenomenon now occupies a complementary role in many medical settings.
So it is for the realm of psychology. Mind-body combinations, from meditation to EFT, are proving to be not only popular, but extremely effective in increasing people’s peace of mind and progress in workplace settings. Many business and executive coaches use variations of mind-body principles to improve job performance. Participants frequently report healing from past traumas, gaining self-awareness, and changing longstanding negative behavioral problems as some of the top benefits they’ve experienced. In an era of long hours, high stress, and multiple career changes that demand not only lifelong learning, but lifelong calculated risk-taking and reinvention, one of the major benefits of career-focused mind-body work is building a strong foundation to continually, successfully address the repeated challenges of the modern American work life.
The process of how someone accesses and works with energy is often unclear to people new to considering the technique. That’s why it’s often best undertaken with someone who has been on both sides of the therapeutic equation, who has the standard psychology training to engage with participants in a way that adheres to professional guidelines, as well as the training in culturally- and historically- based energy techniques. The combination of verbal discussion and energy work helps to communicate with people on many levels, engaging the mind and body in the healing process. The verbal and intellectual side of the practice is easier for those familiar with talk therapy and self-help, while the energetic, non-verbal component is presented in a relaxing way, after questions have been answered and a general picture of the issue or desire at hand has been clarified.
Annette describes working with energy the way a seamstress would work with fabric. To her, it’s tangible, visible material that can be shaped and guided. During the nonverbal portion of the healing sessions, she can see and feel the energy as it releases. The energy-- whether of thought, feeling, or physical circulation-- moves, allowing room for new observations and new feelings. Often participants will get a series of visual images or body sensations during the session. For many, it’s a relief not to have to talk for a while, yet still connect to a process of addressing their frustrations. While the images or physical body responses might not make logical sense at first, participants jot down their reactions and digest them with Annette, who brings perspective to the abstract information the session presented. Sometimes larger themes reveal themselves, subconscious issues crystalize into accessible information, or specific areas crop up as needing attention.
The ability to work remotely with clients makes Annette’s method much easier for busy people with limited abilities to spend extra time commuting to yet another office. Clients can be in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own homes, with complete privacy. Not every energy healer brings a variety of career counseling tools into the mix, so it’s a unique opportunity to approach work from a holistic mind-body perspective and process what past paths have meant and what future directions might be an option from a pragmatic as well as psychological and behavioral standpoint, with a little bit of intuitive magic from the ancients thrown into the mix.
This fundamentally cross-cultural nature of Annette’s training also allows her to work with people from many backgrounds, respecting the context of each individual’s situation. Not everyone will have the same perspective or goals or be seeking the same definitions of success, so her international experiences working with people from all walks of life foster a connection of lived realities in a larger world that steps outside of a fixed viewpoint or pre-set program. The program is progress, and the progress is you.
Like most forms of change and growth, it’s a process that requires a longer-term perspective. Annette, like many healers with multiple forms of training and years of experience at her practice, doesn’t promise miracle cures or quick-fix solutions. Instead, a spirit of curiosity and exploration guides the process of self-empowerment in a career context. That journey allows people to access new pathways of what they can do for themselves at emotional, behavioral, and logistical levels of their lives. Because recurring career problems, coupled with an ever-shifting employment landscape, can create a sense of permanent loss, chronic instability, or a self-belief in fundamental incompetence, the deeper wounds often require healing before the conscious actions become a new and better pattern.
What career patterns would you like to change? What job losses do you need some perspective on? Is there another field of work calling to you or a work-life balance you’d like to achieve? Are the ways you’ve been addressing this not working for you? Have you been too afraid to speak about this area of your life with someone because of guilt or shame? Then you’re in the right place. The energy of work flows through our lives in many ways; Annette is here to help you understand and harness your best work energy.
article contributed by Amy DeCew, a freelance copywriter for coaches and firms specializing in career and business-related performance improvement
“How dare you,” said my friend, “make my cat so healthy again that he is climbing trees and jumping the fence?” When I had seen Teddy about two months earlier, the once big cat was just a shadow of himself, not looking like a tree climber or fence jumper at all. Within a very short period of time he had shed at least half of his once formidable weight to the point of being underweight and looked listless and depressed. My friend was clueless about what to do for poor Teddy, as there were no medical reasons that could be detected for his symptoms. Fortunately I happened to stop by my friend’s house, and as I started to work with Teddy it turned out that he had been very scared by some people who had worked in the home for repairs. From being traumatized and scared it was a downward journey. My friend was totally unaware of what had caused Teddy to become so skinny and depleted of his usual energy, and she finally attributed it to his age.
Teddy is not the only animal who has ended up with physical symptoms due to emotional distress. Once a woman called me because her cat was displaying a lump on her head, about the size of a peanut. When I worked with the cat and asked what was causing the lump, the cat showed me pictures of something having been rearranged in the home. Upon probing the cat’s care providers, after a lot of probing, it turned out that they had covered the spot where she used to do “her business” with other objects – after the people took care of the issue and restored the cat’s familiar place of relief, the lump disappeared within a very few days.
There are many other animals whose physical – and emotional – well-being is going downhill because of trauma, fear or emotional distress. Telltale signs can be a lack of appetite, hiding, being less playful, problem behavior, limping, whining, or not wanting to be touched. The animal’s distress can be caused by a change in the household, such as someone moving in or out, a change in routine, recent or upcoming moving, stress and tension in the home, even rearranging things in the house. Animals that have been abandoned, abused or changed owners generally carry a heavy emotional burden. Oftentimes pets take on the emotional issues of the people in the house, such as stress and fear, but also illness. All of these issues can be addressed and relieved through energy healing, such as Healing Touch for Animals.
According to Dr. Jerry Tennant, a prominent physician and researcher, all physical ailments occur because of blocked energy, which in turn can be traced back to “stuck emotions.” Healing Touch for Animals (HTA/KHM) is probably the most well known method of energy healing that is specifically geared towards animals. The method was developed by Carol Komitor, a Healing Touch (for people) practitioner and veterinarian technician. As a holistic healing method, it addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of animal welfare. Its aim is to release blocked energy – this is accomplished through detecting irregularities in the energy flow and directing focused energy to problem areas. Healing Touch for Animals can be applied to all animal species, from cats and dogs to horses and fish and wildlife.
Since animals do not communicate through spoken words, often they resort to displaying physical symptoms in an effort to attract their caregivers’ attention – it is their way of asking for someone to step in who can translate their concerns into a language that the caregivers understand. A trained HTA/KHM practitioner is able to tune into an animal’s message; communicating with animals is a part of the energetic exchange that takes place during a healing session. Whether a physical ailment is an animal’s way of communicating an emotional concern or not, all physical ailments are caused or accompanied by blocked energy. Once a healthy energy flow has been reestablished, healing can be created or sped up. So while it may be a good idea to consult a veterinarian to check your animal for physical problems, it is also important to look into energy imbalances and the emotional implications of the problems of your furry, feathery, scaly or bald companions.
Annette Kahmann has performed energy healing, both for animals and people, for over twenty years. Her healing work started with some basic instructions from friends, and after hearing a voice tell her that she could make others feel better through her healing powers, she started her healing practice in earnest. Later she studied Healing Touch for Animals/Komitor Healing Method with Carol Komitor and animal communication with Gretchen Staab to complement her intuitive work. You can reach Annette on her "Contact" page here at www.thehigherway.com