CHANGING A PARADIGM:
The Return of Respect & Gratitude In Spirituality


By Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani
August 4, 2000
No part of this article may be copied or reproduced
without my written permission.



Regardless of the massive evolution of consciousness, a worldwide phenomenon (which is really a paradigm), regarding how one values the important work metaphysicians and spiritualists, artists do, persists. Specifically, I am referring to the belief system and interaction regarding the expression of value between a metaphysician and those who come to us for assistance, guidance, healing. Why is it that so few metaphysicians remain in some form of poverty, never quite having enough? Why does the romantic "starving artist syndrome" still appeal to some? Why are the spiritual professions still not taken very seriously? Why don't more spiritual projects receive the funding they should, or as one would expect? Heck, they sound so good and can help so many. Look at that person - how come they get to have it all and I don't? And...they become abandoned only to have the investor fund some other project or go to another for guidance or healing. We already have more than an over-abundance of these kinds of stories.

Today, my "essence" ("Higher Self") discussed this issue with me in the process of sharing a message with another, and provided me with a missing link needed in order to finally shift this particular paradigm. [The term metaphysician used in this article is inclusive of all healing and creative arts.]

Let's start with the basic premise of the understanding of energy, which today is fairly common knowledge that energy exists and we give a direction and a meaning. In some way, some time, some form, we will get back what we put out. Let's also include our belief system because accordingly how and what we believe about ourselves and the universe determines what we put out, how it is put out, and how it is reflected back to ourselves. The universe will support our strongest beliefs about ourselves.

Although it is slightly improving, the collective conscious and unconscious of this planet still resides in the belief that in order to be spiritual one must be a martyr. Why? Look at religion, for one thing. It is filled with martyrs who sacrifice, suffer, must never have abundance to prove their worthiness to people or God/dess. And the more they suffer, the holier they are, and if they are "lucky" they are rewarded for their martyrhood with sainthood. It is a very old belief in the western world which says that even though God/dess is love, to show one's love for God/ess means personal suffering. Isn't that more than a little bit twisted?

It also means that spiritual healing or guidance must be free or nearly free, and if the metaphysician dares to ask for a fee that must mean they are incompetent, a phony, or purely materialistic and therefore can't be trusted. This belief perpetuates the poverty and martyr mindset, the lack of respect and trust in people and in spiritual processes. This also creates a conflicted lifestyle for metaphysicians who have not yet grasped the problem. Sure, some will say they know that money is energy and spiritual in itself, but they are still missing something. It is a constant struggle: how do I help others, or get a project off the ground, maintain a "living," get what I need, and at the same time be honest about myself and trust myself as a metaphysician?

How many metaphysicians do you know who say, "I never charge for spiritual treatments. I don't think it's right to charge for it..." Let me see if I understand this correctly: It is alright that we deprive ourselves so that we can repeatedly work on others for free? Or, that charging people somehow diminishes what we do for them? Is that what healing is all about? What is this sad, self-righteous act all about? What is spiritual, elegant, or romantic about this? How could we then be surprised when we can't pay the rent, buy food, go out and have fun, or have treatment when we need it? Do we think that person we just worked on for free doesn't charge for their services in some way? Get real - they do, unless they're just like us. We all need to pay our bills, buy food, clothing, and more. I'm not advocating ripping off people. Nor do I knock donating a portion, or all, of our work without charging others - as long as we are not suffering by doing so. There is always an exchange of energy taking place, whether it be physical or non-physical. But, are we aware of what it is, what is the intention, and how it effects us and others? This also goes for the metaphysician who over-charges clients, or those who create an unhealthy co-dependency with a client. Let's talk about gaining some perspective and balance here.

It's time to change the old paradigm from victim and martyr to true healer and master of one's self. This can't be done on any scale until it is changed it from within ourselves, because energy attracts like energy and what we put out we will get back. Furthermore, we'd be living a lie in great separation from our true nature, and expect others to keep this facade going.

What is the misunderstanding and the block that is experienced in the metaphysician who has difficulty receiving tangible thanks and exchange? It comes from a few things: The first being martyrhood and victimhood - sometimes very ancient habits. The second having to do with self-value, deservability. The third comes from one's understanding and implementation of "gratitude," which means heartfelt, authentic thanks and appreciation for what is received, and comes from the word "grateful," which comes from being filled with greatness.

First, and foremost, a real metaphysician cannot be a martyr or victim. If we are, we are being a hypocrite. Being a martyr or victim keeps us in fear, self-pity, anger, powerlessness, separation, guilt, and we inflict control, manipulation and punishment upon others, as well as ourselves. We always feel we are being taken advantage of - and that means there is little trust, intimacy, love, power, integrity or joy, and absolutely no self-responsibility. In other words, not acknowledging one's inner greatness. By being a martyr or a victim, we have a low self-image and do not value ourselves or feel we deserve a good life, or a life without suffering. We'd only value what we lack, fear or doubt, and allow our negative ego's agenda to run our lives.

How can anybody go to a metaphysician who is like that? If we don't truly trust and believe in ourselves, why should anybody else trust, value and believe us? If we don't, it would mean we prefer to believe that in order to be spiritual means we have to suffer, and THAT energy of martyrdom gets passed on to those with whom we interact. What healing could take place under these circumstances? The same applies to projects, businesses, products, and so forth. If we have a hidden agenda to sabotage ourselves, we will never get ahead and will keep creating situations which keep us mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally in poverty.

Gratitude is an energy which can flow freely and richly, or be clogged up. Why is it important to keep the flow of gratitude open? Because only when we acknowledge what we receive and show gratitude for it, can we keep on receiving it. The more we receive and share and keep that flow open, the more we will be able to receive, and so on. Gratitude can be expressed physically or non-physically, but since we combine both the physical and non-physical, I feel that since we work in both these realms, it is a wonderful thing if we can show it, respond to it, in both ways. It is a powerful expression when done verbally or through a symbol, such as money.

Since olden times, and it continues today, medicine people in indigenous cultures have received payment from those they treat. Payment takes the form of tobacco, a blanket, food, money, supplies, sage or whatever the person can afford, or what was agreed upon with the medicine person in advance for treatment. This shows respect and appreciation to the medicine person for their expertise and time. The medicine person knows they're great at what they do, and in treatment that greatness is shared. This is exactly the same as the westerner who goes to any professional; be it a counselor, doctor, dentist, therapist, chiropractor, accountant, teacher, artist, or what have you.

Metaphysicians who refuse to accept some form of payment, including bartering, from a client DENY not only themselves from gratitude and abundance, but their client's right to express appreciation and thanks and keep the positive flow of energy moving! They deny the Source and the entire process of healing and abundance. This kind of denial is a form of control and manipulation because what the healer is saying to the client is akin to, "I don't value myself so please don't challenge or change my little agenda because it would go against all that I believe, but instead play along with my agenda. And, by the way, I don't respect you, either, so I will martyr you." This is even IF you could attract any clientele with your agenda being so powerful, and yes there are some people who still do this. But, you see how the reflection works both ways? It is ALWAYS both ways.

People who wish to have treatment with a metaphysician want help and they expect that we, as a professional, are responsible and know what we're doing. The only way we metaphysicians can help a client is by being as clear a professional as we can be, freed of those little negative dramas.

CLIENTS: When a client goes to a spiritual counselor or therapist it is with the intention of receiving professional services, is it not? They should expect to pay the metaphysician for the services they are receiving and agree upon the fee in advance so all feel they are fairly treated. There is not one rule for one part of society and another for the spiritual. We must get that ridiculous notion right out of our heads. Either we all start valuing ourselves and what we do, or we don't. Either a client values why they go to a professional for help - FOR THE PROFESSIONAL'S KNOWLEDGE, COMPASSION AND ABILITIES - or they don't.

METAPHYSICIANS: And if they don't, why even go there? Do we need to martyr ourselves that much? Don't we feel we deserve more than that? If we doubt ourselves that much, why are we in the healing and artistic professions? Maybe we should get out of it and do something else, because in that condition we could be doing more harm than good.

We, as metaphysicians, must be clear about ourselves and what we want, guilt free. It is primarily up to the metaphysician to set the standards because most clients have been living with the old system, which martyrs US. They're used to it and expect it from us. When we change, they will change, and so will the entire belief system and paradigm regarding spirituality. By refusing to allow the old martyr and victim to control us, and by having courage and responsibility, and attaining, accepting, appreciating our own greatness, our masterhood, believing honestly in ourselves, will we shift our reality to what we really want it to be and be an example of it for others so they can know that they can also attain it. Then great healing IS possible and occurs. Then all will have abundance, this time, in a positive way. And so mote it be for the good of all, with real love, joy.


Copyright 2000, and 2002, Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani


BACK TO LUMINARIES