© Lightening Magazine 2016
Imagine that someone walks into a restaurant and when asked what they want, they answer “I don’t know”. When asked what they like, they answer “I don’t know”.
This happens in my practice more often than not. Over half of my clients, when asked why they came to see me, say “I don’t know. I know there should be more in my life but I cannot access it.” When I ask what makes them happy or what they want to do, inevitably the answer is often times “I don’t know.”
I feel like so many people these days are disconnected. They don’t know themselves, they don’t know their heart or their soul. They only know their thoughts- a frantic collection of media, family and societal driven wants and insecurities. Perhaps this is why the world is in the state that it is, because so many of us aren’t connected with our inner selves and therefore the world is fragmented, not whole. We are so full of expectations, obligations, projections and programming that we literally “don’t know” what we even want in life.
This is where I help people. I am trained as an energy worker in various modalities, as an intuitive and as a counselor. When people show up in my office all of these skills are used in an effort to bring about some peace, some healing, some shift. My work is ever-changing, deepening, expanding.
The healing modalities can be murky waters in terms of training and practitioners. Pretty much anyone can call themselves an Intuitive or Energy Healer and indeed, how do you train or measure these things anyway? I have always been drawn to rituals and mysticism and, after working in the corporate world for years, this led me to research various worldly religions and spiritual traditions in an effort to find peace and happiness in my own life.
My first healing course was in Reiki, including master level training. I went on to complete a 4-year program called Helix, which has foundational pillars of psychology, spiritual disciplines and energy work/metaphysics, and I was ordained as a minister of the Helix Healing Ministry. The program gave me a strong psychological & spiritual knowledge base, along with years of experiential work as a psycho-spiritual counselor. While continuing my corporate work, I started seeing clients for healing work in 2005 in New York City. In 2009 I stepped out of the corporate world and put my focus on my healing practice.
Since moving to Ubud, Bali in 2012, I have opened to even stronger energy and a deeper connection to my “Higher Self” and with the Divine. My counselling background taught me how to hold space, so clients feel safe enough to explore some of the most intimate and vulnerable places in their life during our sessions. This space allows for their potential healing.
I am in an interesting position, in which I am able to observe what seem to be collective trends in healing, because of where I work. I am based in the largest yoga and healing center in Ubud, Bali, a town known around the world for being a spiritual mecca for seekers, young and old. Tracking the collective healing by various regions in the world has been fascinating.
I have been in Ubud for almost 5 years, offering energy work and intuitive guidance. With my work I bring people back to the heart, to their inner wisdom, to their bodies. I try to deflect any projections they have around me being able to heal/save them and lead them into understanding that they hold the power themselves. People come to me and I do everything I can to find that space in them and lead them there. This might happen through talking and inquiry, it might happen through working energetically on the table.
I can guide clients back to hearing their Truth, but they have to do the work themselves. I’m not a magician and I don’t have any magic cures, but I do have Presence. And in Presence I hold a certain frequency or vibration, which is then offered to the person in front of me as a meeting point. I work energetically, either hands-on or off. I reflect back to them the perfection that I see in front of me. I hold a vibration of Love which surrounds and envelopes the client, inviting them to soften and expand. This is where shifts can happen.
I currently see people for one-on-one sessions and lead meditation classes out of The Yoga Barn in Ubud. I also offer intuitive sessions, supervision for those working in the healing realm, and an 8-week mentoring program all via Skype for my international clients.
In August I am leading a 6-day workshop for women entitled POWER WEALTH WISDOM and I am so excited about this! Women gathering in community to SPEAK about their lives, LISTEN to others share their journeys, and RISE up to responsibility. I have gathered an amazing group of women to share with us how they bring their evolution as Powerful, Wealthy and Wise women into their professions, relationships, family and daily lives. After each talk we will work with the subjects at hand and find ways to incorporate changes into our lives that support our evolutionary path.
Of course, I am still doing my own work too! I believe it is really important to maintain personal growth, whether you are an energy worker or someone who just wants to be happy in their regular life. I am always open to new ideas and I am curious about what others know that I don’t. I will check out anything that allows me to feel expanded, free, and plugged into the Universe. When I began my spiritual quest I wanted to learn everything so I took lots of classes and read a ton of books. All of that information has helped me build a foundation in which I step off from. I feel the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, and yet I believe more and more that I can actually find all that I need to know within- with patience and persistence and continual ego check points.
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© Lightening Magazine 2016
It pains me to say this, but there are quite a few people these days who have a negative opinion of hip hop, and I think they’re justified. When you look at some of the ways it is represented in the mainstream media, it makes sense. Radio stations are flooded with uninspired songs touting shallow pursuits like designer clothes and emotionless sex. Rap icons glorify violence and drug dealing. And major hip hop blogs spend more time covering twitter beef and groupie fights than the music itself. But that’s not what hip hop is supposed to be about, and it’s certainly not what it was when it started. Most people think that “hip hop” refers only to the music, but in reality, when the term was coined it encompassed five pillars; rapping, DJing, B-Boying, Graffiti and arguably most importantly, Knowledge of Self. Regardless of which of the first four pillars you engaged in, it was always a path to the 5th pillar. Today I’m going to talk about using my favorite of these pillars, rapping, to increase my knowledge of self, as well as heal some of my past wounds in the process.
For those of you who have listened to my music or seen me perform, you may remember me best for my comedic songs. They tend to be the ones that people enjoy the most. But if you’ve dug a little deeper you will probably find that I can get quite introspective with my lyrics. In fact, even with my comedic songs I will often do this. I like combining levity with seriousness because it makes inner work fun. I want the pursuit of personal growth to be enjoyable, and I can’t think of a more joyous way to do that than to rap about losing my pants while taking a long, hard look at what’s underneath. The surface that is, not my pants.
“Then I found my pleats just in time for a hot date with,
this girl I met at the class with all of the sadists,
I was gonna put on my best mask so she would be fascinated
but then I realised that I would only find true love if I showed up truly naked”
Many times in my life I’ve put on a mask to impress someone, whether that be a friend, a teacher, an employer, or a prospective lover. And after writing a four minute song of comedic punchlines about misplacing my corduroys (which are making a comeback soon I swear to you), I somehow stumbled upon this nugget of wisdom. This is often the progression of events when I write. No matter what the subject is, I will almost inevitably circle back to uncovering something about myself. Or at the very least reminding myself of a lesson that I may have forgotten.
I lived in Ubud for 3 years and I experimented with my fair share of healing modalities, for lack of a better word. Some of them were very powerful. Some of them were downright dangerous. The realization that I kept coming back to, over and over again, was that the most potent healer in the world, is always yourself. I believe that there are many great healers that can help, and many amazing tools to improve your own capacity for healing, but regardless of who or what you engage in, responsibility for self is always the key. And there is no chance of responsibility for self without knowledge of self.
Which brings me back to hip hop. There are few things in the world that I find more ecstatic than finishing an awesome verse and rapping it all the way through for the first time. And then performing that song live for the first time and getting an enthusiastic crowd reaction. So with the idea that all hip hop pursuits are meant to funnelled into an increased knowledge of self constantly in my mind, I can heal myself while I do what I love. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to heal myself. So let me give you an example of when I recently had a major epiphany while writing a song. The track is about this sensation I’ve experienced lately where my mental perspective and emotional state spin around so fast that I can’t tell what is true and what is ego, and all I can do is just sit back and watch. I knew I was going to write about this when I started but I had no idea where it would go. But when I’m focused and in the zone, my words tend to go where I need them to. They took me to a girl I had recently developed feelings for. One minute I was in love with her, the next I thought my desire stemmed from my ego fearing the loss of her. I realised that this whole spinning sensation had blossomed from my ambivalent feelings for her, and that it was seeping into the rest of my life. So I explored this by writing about it, and by the end of the verse, out popped the epiphany. It was something that had been holding me back for a long time and I never even realised it.
I discovered that I had a deep rooted belief that I could only achieve my goals if I was alone, and so I was preventing myself from pursuing romantic relationships and unconsciously using this excuse to justify it. This realisation cleared up my thoughts and emotions, the spinning sensation subsided, and I was able to feel clearly what I truly wanted. So I went for it. And though I didn’t get it, I’m much better off for trying. I’m pretty much always better off for trying, and I couldn’t even begin to count how many incredible things making hip hop has influenced me to try.
Jonny Freesh is a 3rd culture kid originally from Canada, last seen in Indonesia and now found frequenting hip hop nights in Melbourne. He brings a truly original brand of hip hop to the table that he likes to call “explosively quirky”, and is known best for his visually jaw-dropping music videos. When he’s not rapping about losing his pants or his beard, you’ll probably catch him ranting about how crowdfunding platforms like Patreon are the future of the music industry.
© Lightening Magazine 2016