The wounded healer and his apprentice

Chiron, the wounded healer, and his apprentice Achilles, are coming up as strong archetypes for many healers and helpers at the moment. This is an opportunity to heal your deepest wounds and weaknesses as a healer/helper…

The wounded healer’s drive to heal often comes from their wounded self. This is the part of us that heals others in order to heal ourselves. We see ourselves in others and by rescuing/healing others, we hope to heal ourselves.

If you’ve ever had a moment when you’ve wondered why you are able to heal and help others, but not yourself, this is your chiron-wound. The chiron wound blesses us with a healer’s wisdom and insight that only empathy can give us, but it can also make us abandon ourselves in our God-like quest to be everyone else’s hero.

The chiron-achilles wound can be blind spot, a wound you can’t see or understand, even though it may be obvious to others, some of whom may exploit this wound. For many, this wound results in martyrdom and self-neglect. For others, it involves active self-harm. Some call this wound “the healer’s shadow.”

When you stop hating, neglecting, or ‘not-seeing/hearing’ some part of yourself that is crying out to be loved, you finally pass the healer/helper/hero’s ultimate test: rescuing yourself with self-love, self-care, self-healing, and the acceptance of love and support from others, with healthy boundaries and self-respect. In other words, you walk your talk.

If you are a wounded healer, will you still want to heal others after you’ve healed yourself? You might completely reinvent yourself and take on a new identity, purpose in life, or job description. But if you do continue as a healer/helper, you can be fairly guaranteed your approach will be very different because the drive to help and heal no longer comes from your wound, your inner pain, or your martyred, heroic sense of responsibility and invincibility.

Are you a wounded healer? What if the desire to help and heal came from a place of joy, light, fullness, completeness, stillness, self-love and peace within yourself? What might be possible for you then?


This week on my Facebook page we are exploring “Self-Care’ and I thought that I would write the next instalment as a blog rather than a post, seeing as I’ve been neglecting this site due to book writing.

So far we have been concentrating on the self-care skill of centring. Todays theme is grounding. Grounding is quite similar to centring. They both involve slowing down and being more present in your body and the moment. Both skills are excellent remedies for anxiety, hyperactivity and stress.

Centring has a circular, spherical feeling to it. We might find the centre of our being and draw our energy back into this centre from all directions. Or we might tap into our centre and radiate peace and calm outwards from it, in all directions. If you could ‘see’ your centre, it might look like a ball of light.

Grounding is more about the flow of energy (or the relationship) between our spirit and our body, and our body and the earth. It’s the anchoring of the ‘above’ into the ‘below’ and the nourishment that flows between the two. Here are some interesting ways of looking at grounding:

When you are grounded, your spirit is properly and fully anchored into your body, and present with this physical experience. Which is, after all, what you came here to do! When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, having this physical experience, in this body and this life. When we are grounded we are fully engaged with the juiciness of having a physical body, a physical experience. Sex becomes great fun, so does food and all of the other sensory delights that come with being embodied.

Another way of thinking about grounding is to think of it as your physical body’s connection with its larger body, the earth. Our physical body and the earth are both made out of the same ‘stuff’. During healing work, one of the things I check is a clients ‘grounding lines’. These are the energy lines in the aura that connect our body to the earth. The can run directly from the base chakra at the bottom of our spine into the earth, or via our legs and feet into the earth. Sometimes these energy lines are blocked, frayed, tangled, congested or even missing altogether! My job as the healer is to repair this connection with the earth and teach the client new skills so the pattern doesn’t recreate itself.

We all have ungrounded moments or go through ungrounded phases from time to time. When I’m ungrounded, it’s usually because I’m rushing and trying to do too much at once, or because I haven’t had enough sleep, or because I’ve had too much caffeine or refined sugar.

How can you tell when you are ungrounded?

Ungroundedness expresses itself in a variety of ways:

*Being rushed, speedy and making mistakes. When we are ungrounded in this way, our thoughts, speech and actions are very fast. City people can sometimes seem a bit like this to country people and young people can seem like this to older people. For me, when I’m like this, I’m trying to think, do and/or say five different things at once. I might leap about from one thing to the next without finishing things or making any steady progress. This kind of ungroundedness can lead to burn-out and a frazzled nervous system! If you are suffering from this kind of ungroundedness, it’s important to ‘earth’ all that excess energy into the earth. Imagine the energy running through your nervous system is like lightening or electricity and there is too much of it: it’s important to let the excess charge release itself via our base chakra (or legs and feet) into the earth. As you go about your day, discipline yourself to think, speak and move a little slower. Do less. Say less. Think Less (or think one thing at a time!) Finish what you start before moving onto the next thing.

*Feeling vague, floaty, dreamy. Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning it takes me a while to fully ‘come to’… which is exactly the same kind of disorientated, vague, foggy feeling you can get when you aren’t properly in your body (i.e. ungrounded). This is also the kind of thing that can happen to people after a healing, because it takes a while to come out of the altered/relaxed state back to a normal waking state. People who are prone to this kind of ungroundedness have energy fields that are over-developed in the upper chakras (crown and brow) but underdeveloped in the base chakra. They might be very spiritual and sensitive, but they have trouble being fully present in the physical body and the physical world. To remedy this pattern, you might imagine stepping into an elevator in your mind and lowering back down into your body, or you could visualise tree roots stretching down from your base chakra or through your feet and into the earth and then imagine your root drinking earthy, stabilising energy back up into your body.

*Not wanting to be here. If I hear a client saying “I hope this is my last lifetime” or “I wish I was somewhere/someone else”, I know they are having trouble with their grounding. When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, what or whereever ‘here’ is…. or at the very least, we accept the reality we are in and getting on with making the best of what we have! ‘Not wanting to be here’ can manifest as chronic discontent, or or it might simply be a tendency to get caught up in your head rather than staying anchored into the present moment via your physical senses. To remedy this pattern, practise being fully present during a daily mundane activity, like walking or watering the garden. Use your physical sense to keep you anchored into your environment and your now-moment.

*Being unrealistic, romantic, etc can be an extension of the last two patterns. When we are ungrounded in this way seem a bit lost and unmoored, floating about amongst dreams and ideas that don’t have much substance in ‘the real world’. This might be because the idea was unrealistic in the first place, or as so often happens when we are ungrounded, the idea is simply ahead of its time and the world isn’t ready for it yet. Another challenge we can can face when ungrounded is that we can’t ground our ideas into reality because we love the idea of something more than the practical work needed to make it real.

Can you relate to any of these pattern? There are many more ways ungroundedness can express itself, but these are some of the main ones. Here are some recent examples I was working with in clinic:

Client 1

This client had damaged and missing ‘grounding lines’. I repaired the damage and regenerate the missing lines. Then, with some counselling, I found out that she felt disconnected with her family of origin and still hadn’t put down roots in her life: she didn’t know where she fits and who she was. She hadn’t found the people, the place or the work that would nourish her, so I taught her some mindfulness healing skills to rewire these old wounds so she can create a new truth, a new experience. I asked her to practise a new mood/truth/belief and to start looking for tangible evidence in her life on a daily basis, that this new belief could be (or become) true for her.

Client 2

This client was having trouble with anxiety and panic attacks. He is prone to what I call ‘hioking up’ where all the muscles clench and drawn upwards, rather than relaxing and letting go. He had a lot of tension in his solar plexus area (upper abdomen) and shoulders. His thoughts would very quickly spin out of control, creating “what if” dramas that weren’t real, and he drinks too much coffee. I asked this client to start substituting some of his coffees for chamomile teas and I taught him how to consciously relax. The relaxation process is a grounding process: when our muscles relax, our energy drops downwards. I combined the relaxation with creative visualisation to help with the ‘downwards’ movement of energy: he imagines a waterfall running down over him, washing away the stressful thoughts and feelings.




Kathleen O’Keeffe

Kathleen O’Keeffe is an Intuitive Energy Healer and Health Coach. This interview is one in a series of interviews Om is conducting with practitioners she has mentored. 


Screenshot 2015-07-20 17.22.40Can you give me an update on what you have been doing professionally?

I’m still doing my energy healing work. So that is a 90min session using your beautiful cards, Om, along with crystals and hands on healing. My crystals and my feather wand help me hold space for healing, into which spirit guides can enter. My friend Shayote made my feather wand using white-bellied sea-eagle feathers. The sea-eagle is my main spirit guide.

A lot of my healing work is based on the healing mentoring you gave me, where we learned to feel into the aura intuitively, using colour and nature energies to rebalance. I also incorporate Reiki and another healing modality I am trained in called Simply Healed.

Simply Healed is also a stand-alone modality I offer as an hour-long session. This is a modality that lends itself really well to distant work, over the phone or via Skype.

For someone who doesn’t understand what Simply Healed is, is there a way to explain it in simple terms?

It’s an energy healing modality that uses muscle testing and an integration of the energy. It’s been compared a little to kinesiology where the practitioner muscle tests to find a block and then does an integration to clear the energy, but it’s a lot simpler. Simply Healed is all about going straight to the core issue and clearing it. It’s my go-to modality for distant healing.

Have you got a favourite crystal you have been connecting with at the moment?

I actually had a client yesterday give me two crystals! One is a slice of agate, my favourite crystal. And I have a feeling this agate might be my favourite ever. It’s grey and white and looks almost ‘watery’, almost like the ocean when it’s cloudy, the water isn’t so blue and there’s a lot of white-wash. It’s amazing!

Is the agate a crystal ‘first love’ for you? One of the first crystals you fell in love with when you were initially discovering crystals?


Yes, it is a first love for me. The first crystal I bought and wore as a pendant for years was a Blue Lace Agate. I think its also kind of a Gemini thing; it’s my birth-crystal. Agates are just so cool with their range of colours and patterns and layers. They are my go to grounding crystal.

Screenshot 2015-07-20 17.23.05 

I’ve heard you are going to be moving soon?

Yes! I’ll be moving to Kuranda in North Queensland at the end of this year (2015). I’ll continue doing all the healing work that I’ve been doing. My clients here will still be able to work with me via Skype or phone and I’m looking forward to meeting new clients in Kuranda.

Is there anything you particularly love specialising in?

I really love the Distant Healing work over Skype. I love the trust from the client and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful distant healing is with out being in the same room as your client.

I have a few modalities under my belt, and whilst I don’t really feel like I specialise is a particular one but more have them in my tool kit to draw upon depending on what the client needs most.

Do you have a vision for your professional future?

I’ve nearly finished a health-coaching course with IIN on-line, which has really taught me a lot about active listening and meeting people where they are at. Health coaching is all about helping people realise what their real goals are and then keeping them accountable as they work towards that. It’s a bit of a program; you work with people for 6 months.

I see myself evolving into having health coaching as part of my practice, alongside my energy healing work. I don’t know what the end result will be, because I’m constantly evolving.

I’ve been working on pushing myself out of my comfort zones in order to grow, especially when it comes to public speaking, which tends to scare me! It’s definitely getting easier with practice.

My biggest passion is self-care. Teaching people to love and care for themselves. If you give yourself time by giving to yourself, and you stop worrying about lack and focus on gratitude, life gets easier. People have this perception that spiritual practices are really hard, but I’ve actually found that it’s not that hard, complicated or time-consuming. Nor does it need to be. We can keep it simple.

Kathleen’s contact details are:


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Healing Business Interview with Om

photo-36With all these glorious interviews I’ve been doing for other practitioners, it’s lovely to find the Universe pulling strings and arranging a surprise for me in return! This is an interview Tammy Hatherill did with me earlier this year. It’s mostly about the art of running a successful healing business (without burning out!):

The Super Hero

I had had a lovely morning talking with my daughter and she has inspired some blogs. Here’s the first one, before I forget everything she told me!

“I don’t understand. You get these people who go vegan, but they haven’t done their research and they aren’t eating properly, and they get sick, and then instead of fixing up their diet, they just decide veganism is bad for them and they stop altogether. Where’s the sense in that?

It’s like being a super hero and burning out because you are saving too many people and doing it all night when you should be sleeping. So you go to the doctor and you ask him for advice and he says ‘Oh you should stop being a super hero, it’s bad for you’.

If you really loved helping and saving people, you wouldn’t accept a lame kind of response like that. You’d think ‘This doctor is useless. If he was a decent doctor, he’d say ‘Let me help you organise your time and energy better, and set some limits on how much work you do and when, so that you can keep doing what you love’.”

I love my daughter’s analogy because it fits in so beautifully with the messages I have been giving my community, my clients and myself, regarding the art of giving, caring and achieving without burning out.

Just yesterday I was explaining to one of my clients why it’s okay to take the time to look after herself, and to accept help from others.

“I am capable of seeing 6-8 clients a day, but I don’t. I might make lots of money seeing that many people but is that what really matters? I could sustain that load for a few months, but I would eventually would burn out and have a health crash. Then I wouldn’t be able to see anyone at all and it might take months to recover.  In the meantime, I would have no energy for friendship and family, and no time to do what I love.”

I knew my client, as a practitioner herself, was completely fixated on being in service to others, so I had to come at it from another angle. It’s the same thing I have to do with mothers; quite often they won’t engage in healing themselves for their own sake, but if I remind them that their unresolved issues are creating unhealthy behaviours they are role-modelling for their children, they are suddenly all ears; they won’t engage in self-care for themselves, but they will do it for their children. Practitioners in the helping industry are much the same; they won’t engage in self-care for themselves but they will do it for their clients.

“By seeing less clients and looking after myself well, I can consistently provide a very high quality of service. In order to be at my best for my clients, I need to look after myself. I need to make sure I get enough sleep and rest, that I eat well and that I don’t abuse myself with addictions and self-destructive behaviour. If I don’t look after myself I am being unprofessional.”

Finally I saw a little glimmer of something register in her eyes. She heard me.

In this past week, I have had to have similar conversations with clients who are highly ambitious and reaching for goals that demand continuous striving. Many of them are surrounded by sales industry hype, encouraging them to push harder, reach further, stay up later… and then when they inevitably crash in a heap, they feel as though they have failed. We have to set boundaries and listen to our body. The best chance of success in any long-term endeavour comes from self-assessing, knowing your limits and pacing yourself.

If you have career goals but you get sick, or you fail to meet a set deadline, or you lose money in a venture…does that mean you will always fail, you don’t have what it takes and you should just give up? No. Just take a breath. Have a rest and reassess. I sincerely believe that a good business person has the capacity to take lemons and turn them into lemonade. If you hit a roadblock, sit back for a moment and consider your options. Be creative and innovative. Be daring and wise.

If helping others really matters to you, learn how to do it without burning out. Believe me, I know how it can feel after a nasty crash: you wonder if you are insane. Should you just walk away altogether because you aren’t cut out for it? No. Don’t turn your back on who you are, just find more sane and well-managed ways to do it.

If a vegan diet isn’t working for you, educate yourself, adjust the diet, be kinder to yourself and perhaps back off a little until you find your feet but don’t run away and give up altogether if it really matters to you.

All of these situations are learning opportunities. Burn-out is a learning opportunity. Do it often enough while paying attention to the causes and you will learn how to avoid it altogether. And avoiding it is wise, because it can turn you off your your dreams and values altogether. Burn out exhausts our capacity to care and strive, so it should be handled with extreme care. If possible, always take a break when suffering from burn out, because decisions made during this time will be coloured by cynicism and a lack of caring. It’s only after you have recharged your batteries that you will be able to really trust what your heart is telling you once more.

The secret to doing what you love long term: pace yourself and care for yourself along the way. You don’t have to be a machine pumping out achievement and/or service to others on a non-stop basis. You don’t have to conquer the world in a day, save everyone or be perfect. Real accomplishments take time and involve set backs and mistakes. Go slowly and cherish the journey. Keep your batteries charged and you won’t burn out.