A few months' ago, I started going to a reputable, orthodox, 'kosher' faith healer in my village, who has some very 'serious' rabbis on her client list. I went, because I'd been feeling lousy for the best part of a year, and I'd had enough of trying to guess what was causing it all.
Conventional medicine wasn't an option for me, because every time I've tried to go that route in the past, Hashem has closed it down pretty fast and given me a clear message that it wasn't the way to go, at least for me.
So meeting the reputable, orthodox, 'kosher' faith healer was a real G-d-send. The first time I went, she told me I had stomach parasites, and put me on a strict no-sugar diet for a month.
At the end of that period of time, I felt better than I had done for ages - but I still wasn't 100%. In the meantime, my life kind of went very crazy, as I've written about elsewhere, and I hit a period of extreme emotional stress.
Thank G-d, I kept my daily conversation going with the A-lmighty, and it really carried me through the worse patches in as 'smooth' a way as I could have asked for. But the minor health issues persisted, so I decided to go back to the faith healer and ask her what was going on.
A couple of months' ago, she told me the problem was an imbalance with my gall-bladder. I got instructions to drink a lot of chamomile, fennel and aniseed tea, I had a few needles stuck in the relevant acupuncture points, and that was that.
I've been a student of Rebbe Nachman for long enough to know that everything 'physical' is rooted in the spiritual, and the more you start to look for those links, the more G-d shows them to you.
So I came home, and looked up 'gallbladder' in the English translation of a book based on Rebbe Nachman's teachings, called 'Anatomy of the Soul'. Anatomy of the Soul goes through most of the body's organs and systems, and explains how they are linked to spiritual and emotional phenomenon.
I nearly fell off my chair when I read the passage for gallbladder: it was talking about people not being willing to admit their mistakes and frailties, and how a bit of bitterness is required for people to recognise their faults, and then start the healing process that leads to true 'balance' and inner peace.
It was exactly what I was dealing with, at that point a couple of months ago.
I drank the tea, I pondered on the necessary bitterness that's required for healing, and tried to make more effort to catch and apologise for my own mistakes, and hey presto, within a week, I felt much better.
But still not 100%.
I had a follow-up appointment booked for a month later, and this time, when I told the faith healer what was going on, she told me my spleen was out of balance. Again, I had a few needles stuck in the appropriate places, I got given some vile, bitter stuff to drink, and I came home.
It took me a couple of days to go back to my 'Anatomy of the Soul', as I had a lot of massive 'personal issues' that were happening, and I forgot all about it - until Shabbat.
On Shabbat, my husband and I were sitting down for the third Shabbat meal, when I remembered I had to look up 'spleen' in Rebbe Nachman's book.
Again, I nearly fell off my chair.
It was talking about how the spleen is considered to be the spiritual seat of depression. And I quote: "[The spleen's] energy is focused on the impurities found in the body, and it wages a constant battle to weed out excesses from the system…The spleen has traditionally been associated with melancholy….the spleen, working on a steady basis with superfluous matter, has a very 'depressing' job indeed."
It talked about a lot of other things too, including the erev rav (mixed multitude) and obsessions with earning money at the cost of living a more 'spiritual' life - and I couldn't believe how spot-on it was, once again.
Since I've been back from London, I've had to work overtime to try and filter out a lot of excessively materialistic, phoney, and 'perfect plastic life' ideas that started spilling out all over the place after that trip.
My spiritual spleen was exhausted from having to deal with all the Western nonsense, and 'Esav' ideas that have been bubbling up non-stop in various parts of my life, from 'how to earn a living' to 'how to be a good person'.
It needed some urgent recharging, which is why my physical spleen was also feeling the strain. I booked myself in for a couple of six hour 'recuperation' sessions, one at the Kotel, and the second one by the Baba Sali's grave, in Netivot.
It was strange to be doing six hours without a particular 'goal' in mind. I wasn't trying to force G-d to give me good parnassa (income); or persuade Him to sort out a particular problem. This time round, I just went for a chat, to recharge my spiritual batteries.
There were no bells and whistles. There were no Eureka! moments. Both occasions were pretty uneventful - but I'm feeling much happier, and I know that on the inside, a lot of healing happened.
I also felt so grateful that G-d gave, and has been continuing to give Me, such clear advice about what is really going on. I was telling someone about my 'spiritual spleen' issues, and they told me that 'if you're on a high enough spiritual level, then that stuff works…' the implication being that if you're a 'normal' person it doesn't.
Dear reader, I'm as normal as they come (relatively speaking). I don't learn Torah with angelic beings; I don't fast from Shabbat to Shabbat; I don't even do a lot of the most basic mitzvahs very well. My only claim to fame is that I try to talk to G-d, and I believe what my rabbis tell me.
Recently, I was reading something that said that hester panim, the time when G-d hid His face from us, is over. Today, G-d is really not being subtle. If you want to see G-d arranging every tiny detail in your life, you only have to open your eyes, open your mind, and when you get stuck for a clue, open a relevant Breslev book, and read all about it.