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How To Heal The Impossible –Exclusive Interview With Rahim Nanos

Rahim Nanos is a spiritual visionary with roots deeply embedded in ancient spiritual lineages. Originally a student of psychology, Rahim's experience of chronic childhood abuse caught up with him in forms of anxiety and depression that prevented the further pursuit of his studies. He began seeking other modalities of healing through authentic spiritual lineages and quickly healed through them. During his healing journey, he noticed disparities within both the psychological and the new age framework of healing that felt counterintuitive to the true core of healing work. From there, he dedicated his life's work to bringing holistic modalities of healing into people's lives as an alternative to reliance on broken or incomplete systems.


Image photo of Rahim Paul Nanos

Rahim Nanos, The Modern Spiritualist


How did you begin your practice? Tell us about your background and how you got your start.

 

It certainly didn’t start as vocational work. I was initiated into a Sufi Order based in North America in my late teens. I was fresh out of high school and moved to Los Angeles from Kansas City.

 

I was looking for community in areas of my interest, which was music and spirituality. I found someone who would become a brother of mine in the Sufi Order. He was hosting a monthly group that incorporated an open discussion about mysticism followed by dinner and a jam session. It seemed to combine everything I was looking for in a community, so I started attending. I fell in love with the vibe, and eventually, he introduced me to his teacher, who initiated me.

 

Even then, I was only moving towards a vague pulling on my heartstrings, and I didn’t know where it was going to take me. I just knew that whatever my future held, I wanted to be around those people.

 

I spent several years in the Sufi Order simply being fed on the spiritual levels of my being. I was a mess. I had severe depression and anxiety, but I was what we’d call, “high functioning,” so nobody knew how bad I was. I was able to fake it, work a job well, and keep up appearances even though I was deeply suffering.

 

The Sufi community was holding me in this deep love that enabled me to keep functioning at that level without taking my own life simply because I was so depressed. The meditation practices that I was given through the Sufi Order felt fantastic. They would make my day run smoother and take off some of the surface tension that would keep me from being able to function.

 

While I was meditating, I had these really high-frequency experiences. I would have epiphany after epiphany about the nature of reality, my nature, and my role in the Universe. Those realizations would be ecstatic and euphoric, but then I’d come down from those experiences, back into my traumatized body that was suffering, and my life was still a mess.

 

Eventually, I started getting frustrated. I could feel myself evolving on the spiritual and mental levels of my being. On those levels, I was changing. But physically and emotionally, there was no change. Over time, it just became a greater disparity between my spiritual self and the facts of my material life.


Soon after, I discovered my teacher and shamanic practitioner, Christina Pratt, with the Last Mask Center. Christina places a high emphasis on embodiment practices, and I discovered that was the missing piece for me.

 

After just a month of doing a simple grounding practice every day, my life started to change. My anxiety started to lessen, and my mind started to gain greater clarity than I had experienced in a long time.

 

From there, I decided to fully commit to Christina’s lineage, and that’s when my life completely changed. I didn’t realize I wanted to do spiritual work vocationally until I got my first healing from Christina. It was a soul retrieval, which is a remedy for soul loss. Soul loss is a now almost ubiquitous form of spiritual wounding, wherein a small fraction of your soul splits off from your body due to trauma.

 

It does this to protect the rest of the whole so that the human being can still function from whatever trauma they experienced. Soul loss is only a temporary fix, however, because we also lose the gifts and functionality of whatever part of our soul we lost.

 

For me, I had actually lost my emotions. So, when I got those back, I started seeing life in color again. I felt alive because I could feel. That was the moment that I realized I wanted to devote my life to this work.

 

If 13 years of severe depression and anxiety could be resolved overnight after one soul retrieval, then I wanted other people to know about it. I wanted people to know about soul retrieval, shamanic healing in general, and its effectiveness. I wanted people to take it seriously, and I wanted to take my spiritual practices as far as possible while helping others just like it helped me. It’s a deep, resonant truth for me that the only way I can pay back the deep gratitude I experienced from getting my life back is to devote myself to ensuring that others find out about this path and get the opportunity to heal through it as well.

 

What inspires you the most about your work?

 

What doesn’t inspire me about this work? When I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to be an artist, and that’s why I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18.

 

In American culture, you get swept up in your role as if it’s who you are. So, success in music was an ego stroke. But rejection or perceived failure (or simply the perceived failure of “not making it yet.”) was a destruction of your identity. It was a dysfunctional culture for me to be in.

 

I was losing myself, and the tragedy was that I was losing myself doing what I loved the most, which was the music. What I learned through my healing journey was that my relationship with my inner artist was something that needed repair. Through repair, I learned that doing art was a way for me to process my own emotions. I had a certain artistic impulse to create that would turn on me and actually harm me if I stopped creating.

 

So, through healing, the purpose of making art was to make art. It was for engaging in the process of creativity itself. That creativity then became something I was able to use in every situation, because my identity as ‘Rahim’ was separate from, and much larger than, a role as limiting as “musician,” “performer,” or “artist.”

 

I started drawing bigger inspiration from being able to help people realize the same. No matter what your aspirations or your “role” is, this particular work enables you to create a big enough sense of self that even your dream for your life could greatly expand or change. It becomes more holistic and fulfilling.

 

I do what I do because I’m in love with this work. In doing this work, I fall in love with myself, humanity, the earth, and the cosmos, over and over again, in so many different ways, on so many different levels.

 

The actual embodied felt-sense experience of that love is indescribably powerful. It’s so resonant that it inspires itself. This work is regenerative in that way. It makes every other aspect of my life better as a result because I’m a better me than I was yesterday.

 

Were there any surprises along the way that led to where you are now?

 

Honestly, the main surprise was how good it’s all been. I think a lot of people fear healing because they sense two things about the prospect. For one, you have to feel all the wounding you’ve been avoiding. And for two, they fear change.

 

I think that sometimes people choose to stay in the suffering that’s familiar to them over the healing that is an unknown entity to them. For me, it was heal or die. The intensity of my suffering was exhausting me to the bones, and I didn’t think I was going to last if I didn’t change. So, I didn’t feel that I had anything to lose, and I jumped all-in to my healing journey.

 

Yes, difficult stuff comes up. But I didn’t realize how much more cathartic it would be to feel these feelings knowing I was held by the teachers and healers who loved me. It allowed me to access an inner strength that could accept those feelings, and through acceptance, change them. Most importantly, they were feelings I was already feeling all the time: fear, shame, guilt, depression, etc. The only difference was that in a healing capacity, those feelings had names and messages, and their suffering had an expiration date.

 

You can get so used to your own suffering over years and years that it starts to feel normal. You start to believe, “This is what life is. It’s just extreme suffering.” Through healing, I felt ecstasy, euphoria, compassion, peace, passion, inspiration, the whole gambit of positive emotions. And then eventually, they didn’t go away. Feelings of joy and peace eventually became a new normal. And I cannot describe how infinitely grateful I am to have gotten to “a new normal” through these teachings.

 

What services do you offer?

 

I will always take tarot and astrology clients if asked. The tarot and astrology readings are on a per-session basis.

 

My manifestation program is my main focus, and it’s currently an 8-week one-on-one coaching program. It’s one-on-one because it’s uniquely catered to each person. I love teaching that program. I’ve also discovered that for many people, the manifestation program is skipping a step, which is the embodiment step.

 

It’s very difficult to figure out what you truly desire, much less how to make it a reality, if you’re not grounded. And by grounded, I mean connected to the earth, in the present moment, and living in your body.

 

This is why I spent the last two years in a teacher-training program with Christina.

 

If you visit the Last Mask Center website, you’ll see all of Christina’s online classes listed. That includes Energy Body Mastery and Energy Body Clearing. Both of those courses are taught online through Last Mask Center, and additionally from various teacher trainees that are in the course with me.

 

I will complete my teacher training this year and begin offering Energy Body Mastery and Energy Body Clearing online as well. Those will be in an online classroom space with other classmates.

 

The first class, Energy Body Mastery, gives people the embodiment skills that they need to start centering their lives in sync with their bodies and the earth. Energy Body Clearing is the second class. It addresses inner child wounding, how to reconcile and heal your inner child, and how to integrate the energy of that inner child into the wholeness of who you are. This enables you to use the inner child’s gifts and wisdom to inform your life from a place of wholeness, rather than past wounding.

 

By the time people complete Energy Body Clearing, they have a better idea of who they truly are and what they truly want. Before Energy Body Clearing (or any other effective modality similar to it) it’s really hard to actually discern where you are and what you want because your trauma is doing all of the talking for you.

 

The manifestation program is best suited for people who have taken the above two classes first because you have the embodiment skills, the emotional maturity, and the self-clarity necessary to truly make the manifestation protocol effective.


What are your classes like and what do they cover? What can someone expect from signing up?

 

My manifestation program is ongoing and you can sign up at any time.

 

Energy Body Mastery is an 8-week course that will run on and off throughout the year. It is a group class that will be online using Zoom. Energy Body Clearing is the second course in the Energy Body Series, and EBM is its prerequisite. So, you must take EBM if you want to take EBC. EBC is also 8 weeks and will run on and off throughout the year.

 

My class structure is similar for all classes. Each week covers new material. We meet once a week for an hour and a half. Classes include a discussion, an in-class guided meditation, and a Q&A. Energy Body Mastery also includes some basic qigong forms, which is a martial art similar to tai chi. Each class recommends about 30 minutes of homework outside of class per day and has written course material.

 

What would your advice be to people who may want to start working with you?

 

You get out of this work what you put in. I know it’s a cliche, but in this case, it matters because this work is truly self-driven. If you work with me, you are being held by a much bigger community of people. These are people who are actively seeking to heal in community and bring what they learned to their other communities.

 

If you want to pursue that greater community through me, you’re free to do so as much as you want. If you simply want to work with me as a coach for my practices and protocols, you can do that.

 

I will not demand an exorbitant amount of money to sell you something that sounds like it’s going to solve all your problems. That is one of the biggest issues I see in spiritual healing work. Charlatans extract and prey on people who need help. They promise they’re going to fix it for you. They can’t.

 

Healing is an inside job. Yes, we need community. Yes, we need teachers. Yes, we need our helping spirits. And, you are the only one responsible for yourself. You are the only one making choices. You are the only one with your hand on your free will switch.

 

If I give you a meditation, it’s up to you to practice it. And if you don’t practice it consistently, it will not work, and your life will not change. My teachings are highly effective if you do your work. Responsibility and accountability to yourself are not sexy words, but they’re the principles and actions that bring you sexy results.


Do you have any advice for people seeking alternative health services in general?

 

Do your research and look around. Listen to the advice of many people, and take none of their advice without forming your own opinion.

 

Don’t stick to one modality. I have several shamanic healers, a therapist, a psychiatrist, a doctor, a massage therapist, several spiritual teachers, and several martial arts teachers. (Yes, teachers and healers have their own teachers and healers. Be very suspicious of the ones who don’t.)

 

A big part of the success in my own healing work has been having support from good teachers and healers in modalities that include physical health, emotional health, mental health, and spiritual health.

 

My teacher Christina once said, “You need a Swiss army tool,” and one reason for that is to avoid being in an echo chamber. My therapist has her perspective, my doctor has hers, and my spiritual teachers have theirs depending on their uniqueness as people and their lineage. Those perspectives differ from each other. This is what enables me to find and hold my own perspective and make my own choices as it pertains to my own care.

 

One pitfall is an alternative healing service that talks a big game it can’t back up while you lose a bunch of money in the process. The other more serious red flag is cult-like behavior. One way to avoid getting into a situation like that is by avoiding a healing modality or spiritual practice that forbids you from seeking other beliefs, other modalities, or other communities. Cult-like spirituality thrives on isolation and control. Avoid signs of this like the plague!

 

Who is your business for? Who is your ideal client?

 

It’s for people who have worked hard to improve their mental health and still keep hitting a wall. I might be a good option to explore if you have tried various modalities and still haven’t seen much of an improvement.

 

One of the things that I like most about my work is that it flows very well with other modalities, including different spiritual belief systems and traditional therapy. You can do this work with any other modality you have. It can help support you in your therapy session, EMDR session, doctor visit, acupuncture appointment, etc. For me at first, this work was supplemental to my therapy. Eventually, this work became central and therapy was my supplemental support for this work. It flows like that.

 

What common pitfalls do you see in the healing industry?


One thing that I find problematic in some therapeutic circles (not all) is a coddling of trigger responses. I’m only speaking from my modality, so if you have a different definition of “trigger,” that is okay.

 

My definition of “trigger” in this instance, is when you go into a “fight, flight, or freeze” response that is an overreaction to a situation. Essentially, if you’re not in any actual danger, but your body takes over and you go into “fight, flight, or freeze.” That’s a trauma response.

 

In humans, it essentially looks like hypoarousal (shutting down), hyperarousal (ramping up), or cycling in the head (thinking about an event in your head, over and over again, long after the event occurred).

 

In the classes I teach, trigger responses are healable. They require a certain method of being with the trigger in order for that trigger to know it’s safe. In some mental health circles, I see a lot of talk that lends itself to blaming the other person or the world for your triggers and coddling your triggers as if you’ll have them forever. That’s detrimental to a person’s very real ability (we’re talking neuroplasticity) to heal and recover if we take responsibility for our own bodies and the trigger responses that occur within them.

 

What common pitfalls do you see happening to people on their healing journey?

 

For one, they start to feel better, and then the instant they feel bad again, they decide it’s not working and they stop.

 

The remedy to that is understanding that your very normal human emotions are not the problem. Sometimes life feels good, and sometimes it doesn’t. Same thing on your healing journey. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it doesn’t. The magic of the healing journey is being able to change your relationship with your emotions so that eventually you trust your emotions again, they trust you, and emotions become what they’re supposed to be: clear signals that communicate to you what you care about and what you should be paying attention to. At this point, emotions stop being perceived as good emotions versus bad emotions. They become an ever-flowing and essential part of your nature.

 

The other thing I notice is that when people’s lives do start to change, they become so fearful of not knowing what’s on the other side of that change that they pull away and go back to their old patterns.

 

The remedy to this is changing our relationship to fear. Fear always comes with uncertainty. Uncertainty always comes with change. Sometimes, fear signals us to present moment danger. But sometimes, fear is a signal to us that an unknown is near, and we tend to feel fearful even in positive unknowns. In this context, fear isn’t something we ignore, reject, or heed. It’s something we walk with. And walking with fear and the unknown is a spiritual warriorship lesson. There’s no going over it or around it. You have to go through it.


How do you solve these common pitfalls?

 

Ultimately, these practices work because of the way they are held. They’re held by a community of people who work with a larger community of helping spirits in a way that emphasizes shamanic principles such as living in harmony with the flow of life, harming no one for your own benefit, and your right to personal sovereignty.

 

These practices work because we all deeply love each other in this community, and we’re committed to the same vision of improving life on Earth for all beings who live here. It starts with each individual coming into wholeness and wellness within themselves. These teachings work because I have teachers and peers who are constantly reflecting my process back to me so that I am constantly learning and making sure that I am staying aligned with our principles in my teachings. That is exactly why these practices are so deeply effective. That is why this modality succeeds while many fail.

 

What changes would you like to see in the world as a result of this work?

 

For people to be able to take life back into their hands again. I believe (because I choose to believe) that everybody is here for a reason and everybody is gifted at something.

 

Trauma changes the brain, changes our beliefs, and changes our behavior. There is so much untapped genius out there. There are so many smart, capable, skilled people with high potential who can’t get themselves off of the ground because their trauma prevents them, or the systems in place that are supposed to protect them either harm them or neglect them.

 

I always saw myself as someone with high potential. But I spent so many years being paralyzed. And I was able to break all of those patterns and joyfully meet that potential. If I can do it, I know that others can do it.

 

What changes would you like to see in your field of work?

 

Culturally, I’d like healing to stop being seen as this weird thing that’s over off to the side, or equated with sickness (as if healing is only for the sick).

 

In mental health circles, I’d like healing to stop being seen as an impossible task. In some therapeutic circles, it’s common rhetoric that there’s no cure for your mental health disorder. There are only meds and coping skills. And I don’t think that’s true. There are many modalities for true healing, and you can heal far more than what feels possible when you’re suffering.


Healing could be seen as something that builds community, fun, joy, adventure, excitement, creativity, and everything else in life that we love. Healing doesn’t have to exist versus sickness. Healing could just be seen as a dedication to wellness that creates a regenerative flow for life when we engage with it. Healing can be seen as a dedication to wholeness and growth that becomes more of a life process than a destination.

 

To do that, we’d need to incorporate healing methods that are effective in all our systems: individuals, friends, families, schools, and other communities. We would have to upgrade our outrageously dysfunctional American hospital systems and implement policy changes to create healthier environments in our political systems.

 

I’d like to see healing become a part of our systemic life process in a way that is regenerative for life, rather than dependent on all of these broken systems that are created out of broken policies that do far more extractive harm than good.

 

To do that, the entire consciousness around healing, what it even is, and its true value in society would have to change. Author Malcolm Gladwell has a book called The Tipping Point, which talks about how something explodes and becomes a trend once a certain number of individuals start doing it. It exponentiates into the culture. As individuals, and in our smaller healing communities, if we keep growing, expanding, and learning from each other, eventually we’ll reach a tipping point. That is when this very different method of engaging healing becomes greater in number. That’s when we might see societal change for the better, and move towards healing our cultural systems.

 

What’s your message for any future clients out there that will benefit from working with you?

 

I think a major thing that prevents people from chasing after their dreams is that fear presents itself on both sides. There’s fear of not achieving what you set out to do and being crushed.

There’s also fear of what happens when you do succeed. What happens then? It’s also an unknown.

 

Your dreams are possible. What you desire for your life is possible. Feeling well, healthy, and fulfilled is possible. But not without discomfort.

 

We were all children once. We know what growing pains feel like. Growing pains don’t go away. You will face the same range of human emotion on your healing journey as you would if you rejected it. The difference is how you walk with those emotions.

 

It’s not about simply feeling better. It’s about cultivating meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. And those are all things that will continue to grow and change as you grow and change. It’s not something you just achieve once and you’re done. It’s a life process of showing up and being present with yourself every single day. It’s a different way of living and viewing life. It comes from being in love with the work itself, being in love with the present moment, and being in love with your range of emotions, your transformations, your life story, and what comes up for you as you heal.

 

It’s love that drives the work, and it’s love that results from the work. It’s not a destination. It’s a living process that can support you and walk alongside you as you walk through life. It’s a process that can nudge you towards the most fulfilling trails on that path, which creates a palpable potential to steer your life toward things that may have felt impossible before. If you engage what it truly offers, then its perceived limitations are entirely up to you.


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