The Center for Human Integration (CHI) was located in North East Philadelphia, on a few acres of wooded land belonging to The Medical Mission Sisters. Wilde life lived in safety and freedom on this oassys of peace and hope God placed in the mist of the fast-paced life which taught us from infancy that doing, not being, was all that mattered.
I turned into the long, winding driveway which dead-ended at the Center which also housed the Chapel, while most of the nuns lived in small, spotless and simple houses on the grounds of the Mission, to the right of the Center. Medical Mission Sisters was a group of Catholic Sisters whose members had a medical background. Their work, healing the poor and hopeless, those forgotten by our fast-paced culture around the world, was known and respected in the communities of faith. What was most extraordinary, was the acceptance of a variety of healing methods which was taught and practiced at the Center.
The Center was managed by Sister Mary and Sister Sheila. Life-long friends, strenghtened by their faith in God and the belief in the integration of mind, body and spirit, they complemented each other in their work. over the years, they lead thousands on their way to discovering the power of their minds, the possibilities of their bodies to heal in an environment of love and faith in the mist of goodness which still existed in our world, if we only sought hard enough, if we only trusted.
I started my training in the Healing Arts at the Center and the more I learned, the more I wanted to know. The foot reflexology, the BASIC massage, reiki, aromatherapy, cranyo-sacral therapy, and even a certification in hypnotherapy, to name a few of the many wonders I had had the privilege of learning at the Center. What made the learning complete, were the people I met there, who, like me, believed in the power of the human mind, the unseen but powerful energy we all possessed naturally but which we had been taught to ignore, suppress and deny.
Many years have passed since the trainings, but the friendship with Susan overcame obstacles and distance. It reaffirmed that when a friendship is real, it lasts in spite of inconveniences and it grows stronger with time.
After the basic training, as part of the requirement to graduate as a certified massage therapist, I had to perform a number of documented massage treatments. I grabbed whoever dared to be touched by my eager to heal but inexperienced hands. Most of the people on whom I practiced, became paying clients. Amazing, I thought. I didn’t have to beg anyone, no one was insulting me or dying in my living room! People started to tell me there was a heat in my hands which was more than soothing, and soon the words “healing hands” were used when others described my work. I wasn’t advertising my new business, people were calling me, friends told friends and I was treating whole families. I had more requests than I could handle. It was a miracle!
It was the best of times, a time when I felt I was earning my living doing something which was truly helping others and which I loved. It felt good to not be rejected, to not being told “no, thank you.”
Soon after I graduated, I was hired in an MD’s office. Most of my clients suffered pain following accidents and after five years of working in that office and having performed over 2500 treatments, it was time for me to move on.
In 2000 I took a leap of faith and rented a small office in Wyncote, PA. I owned my business! What a dream. Work didn’t seem like work. Hours flew by and between taking care of my daughters, now in school, and working long, but rewarding hours, my life seemed to have reached a peaceful balance, at last. I had found my niche!
Beside, it really helped that I was again bringing money into our household and Kevin seemed relieved the burden of supporting the family was now off his shoulders.
One morning, he left for the office to only return at Noon.
“What happened? Why are you home so early,” I asked and I already knew the answer, but didn’t want to know it, my shoulders weren’t strong enough to bear the entire weight of a household.
“I quit,” He said. “I am going in business for myself!”
Every morning he went in the office on the third floor of our house, turned on the computer and worked! What was he working on, I never knew but two years went by and every month he told me a “deal” was going to close soon but while my hands continued to heal ailing bodies and soothe hurting minds, the promised deals didn’t close and there weren’t enough hours in the day for me to make enough money to support the entire household.
When I was done working, late at night, I ran cold water on my “healing” hands wishing and praying the water would heal me… I even tried hugging a pine tree and visualizing all the hurting energies leaving my body, being absorbed by the roots of the tree and dispersed into our loving Earth… I inhaled calming lavender and visualized my hands cooling off and becoming healthy again. By whole body ached, but there was no one to touch me as I touched others!
The healer needed healing but the healing was nowhere to be found. I was worried and those damn deals wouldn’t close! I was lonely and angry…my mind was betraying me, I was loosing faith and I knew sooner or later my emotional pain was going to manifest in my body…it was only a matter of time!