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When I first heard about Per, he sounded like an archetypal compulsive liar, full of the tallest of tales that would put to shame Frank Abagnale Jr. In a town like Ubud, you have to have your bullshit detector on.
Then I met him, and the doubts were gone. This man, the youngest of ten from Tibetan and Indonesian descent, has gone from being entrepreneur of the year in the Netherlands to a sought-after healer in Indonesia, via a winding route of meetings with world leaders and time in psychic schools. He’s involved in a movement called Deep Democracy and his mission is to bring peace to South-East Asia, most significantly Tibet. He’s a man brimming with compassion rather than lies.
I met with Per on a day that began with deep frustration. Ubud was grating upon me and I was floundering in a murky sea of disjointed and complex information. I was ready to pack it in – to say hi-ho to all the work thus far and return to the familiar. I was in a strop to say the least.
At breakfast, things improved. I met with a friend who I was helping with a website. She’s an expert in Ayurveda and re-inspired me to try Pancha Karma, a detox that I was keen to give a go, but was concerned about the money. She told me how to get the cost down, and by lunchtime I was booked for the following week with a price I could afford. This meant a lot to me as, beyond the basic premise of my “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” experiment, I am attempting to heal some long-held health issues and Ayurveda is the therapy that has spoke to me the most.
I was pleased to be back on track with Pancha Karma, but my frustrations with Ubud still festered – so much so that I nearly cancelled my meeting with Per. I was reluctant to add more information to an already overflowing mix, and potentially crash my lifted mood.
As it turned out, he managed to do the opposite. Meeting Per was like sun on a cloudy day, or bumping into a friend you wish you saw more often. I found his presence calming and his stories interesting. Before the treatment even began, I was a little happier.
What goes around, comes around
I’m currently reading The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama. This encounter was a living example of the positive effects of compassion – a topic that the book explores in detail. Kindness begets happiness begets kindness and onward the cycle continues.
It was perhaps Per’s attitude and words more than his healing that helped me that day, or maybe the two can’t be separated. We talked for some time about my life, his life, and what I was looking for from a healing. I said I wasn’t sure. I was lost and looking for answers. I didn’t know if I was deeply wounded or totally fine, but I did know I was anxious and struggling to simply be. I wanted to be in the moment instead of panicking about the past and the possible. He giggled as I talked, making my cloud lighter with his smiles.
The healing itself was around an hour. I lay down while he moved his hands above my body, mostly around my head. I could feel the warmth from his hands, and fell into a deep state of relaxation as we worked, the clouds parting further.
Once done, I sat back up and found myself feeling lighter, bubbly you could say. Per laughed and said I looked different. I did feel different, but why? What had happened?
Time to come back down
His explanation was simple. He told me I lived in my head – in my rational mind, and I needed to feel from my heart, from my belly of intuition. It was as though stories from the past had blocked the way, and needed to be filed to the sides to clear a path. His energy work created that path. Unlike some healers who will claim to eliminate pain, Per instead says he helps the person to move it. It’s not something that can be erased. In fact, it’s useful and should be filed for future use, as warning signals or reference for compassion. Being a bookworm, I liked that idea of consciousness as a library.
But it was his advice that really touched me.
He said he could tell I had been through a lot, but that I had also done a lot of work to get through that – good work, and enough work that I was done. It was time to move on, to arrive in the world and be.
These were the words I needed to hear.
A new story
For the past few months, the multitude of options and advice has made me start to think the past may always haunt me. I know that self-development is a never-ending task and I’m okay with that, but going over the same things repeatedly starts to cement a tale that’s not always helpful, or a tale that holds you back.
For Per to acknowledge the past, but encourage me to move forward was the remedy I needed. I believe in facing one’s past rather than running from it, but over the last few years, through therapies and contemplation, I think I’ve faced mine enough. The questions that lay unanswered can stay that way. The truths I have are enough.
It’s now time to arrive in the present.