Quest for Understanding Part 1 By Jan Engels-Smith

On a Quest for Understanding

My story is everybody’s story. My journey is remarkable as a spiritual journey always is, but it is available to all people. I consider myself to be an average American with average problems, but with a divine connection to Spirit. I love Spirit and I love life. I believe that one has everything to do with the other, but my life has not always been this way for me. I suffered a great deal in my youth as is the case for many individuals and have spent most of my adult life healing from things that happened to me as a child. I became intrigued with the concept of healing in the process of my own healing. I studied life from the perspective of science, psychology, indigenous cultures, and spirituality.

I have been a licensed therapist since 1984 and during much of that time; I worked as a shamanic healer. I have a full and fascinating practice, which has opened many doors of awareness for me. Healing, woundedness, growth, and the enfoldment of the soul intrigue me and propel me on a journey of exploration and discovery. What is life all about? Why do people become so wounded? How do they heal? Why does it take so long for some to heal? Why aren’t people happy? Why do so many focus on what happened in the past instead of what is happening in the present? What is the place of spirituality in all of this?

There are numerous books on psychology that give technical explanations to these questions; however, they left me unsatisfied. My mind understood the concepts, but my soul needed more. The biggest void in psychology seems to be in understanding the nature of the soul—the spiritual connection to healing. Just as there is more to life than what meets the eye, there is more to healing than what traditional psychology explains or what the intellect understands.

It is through my own exploration of self that I came into contact with Spirit and the wonder of the spiritual realm. Through numerous alternative therapies, I experienced a profound healing of mind, body, and soul. I have had incredible spiritual experiences and now plainly see that Spirit has provided me with these experiences so I could better understand my purpose in life.

While working as both a licensed professional counselor and a shamanic healer, I have found that many people are eager to learn and they want to heal. The continual cycle of unhappiness takes its toll moving people to look for a better way. They are tired of the pain and victimization and they are interested in having more power in their lives. We have a society crying out for change and for spiritual connection. As we move into the new millennium, our culture reflects a climate of more openness to spiritual topics. Spiritual growth has never been easy, but we are in a good position for this growth now.

Awareness is evolving in numerous ways. I see emerging connections between old belief systems and new ideas. Bridges now exist between traditional psychology and ancient healing ceremonies we see parallels between the new sciences and the teachings of indigenous cultures. Old beliefs, previously rejected by science as primitive and flawed, are now reflected in the new sciences.