Who Is Dr. Steven Teagarden?
About the author blurbs are typically written in the third person, implying they were penned by someone else. But since most authors write these blurbs themselves, I’ll tell you a bit about myself in first-person voice. I’ll also describe how Emergence Care came to be, which will give you a sense of what this work is about. We’ll also explore the meaning of healing, which is a transformational process quite apart from what the world imagines it to be.
My family moved from the Chicago area to Kansas in early 1974. Kansas was a great place to grow up, and ample outdoor adventures awaited in those wide open spaces. After an eventful childhood, I entered the corporate world at age 20, and spent five years doing payroll for about 200 companies at a firm in Kansas City. While that was a great experience, it ultimately wasn’t for me, and I longed to devote my days to something personally fulfilling that enriched the lives of others.
My passion back then was philosophy, and I strongly considered getting a Ph.D. in the subject. I fancied landing a teaching position at an out-of-the-way college and leading a quiet, simple life. Fortune, however, had other plans, and just before Thanksgiving in 1990, my back locked up, and I was in intense pain that wouldn’t go away.
Pain has a bad reputation, but its capacity to open your mind to new perspectives is unrivaled. For example, I knew nothing about chiropractic, and was frankly under the impression that chiropractors were second-rate doctors. However, after a day hunched over in pain, I consented to have a coworker drive me to their chiropractor’s office, hoping it would lessen my discomfort.
Even though I was skeptical about chiropractic, I was surprised by how much better I felt. The low back pain dissipated, and my neck and shoulders loosened up, too. And while those were welcome changes, what really got my attention was that I felt more relaxed and less stressed—which was no small feat at the time. I was so impressed that after receiving care for just two weeks, I resigned from my position as head of the payroll department, and began making preparations to attend chiropractic college.
As I walked away from my budding corporate career, I quickly became interested in natural healing, exercise and diet. I moved to South Carolina and spent the next several years attending Sherman College of Chiropractic. I graduated in December 1995, and opened a practice in Prescott, Arizona, in early 1997. Prescott is a lovely mountain town in Northern Arizona, and I fell in love with its small-town charm, relaxed vibe, and the rugged pine-covered mountains that spread out for miles around it.
When you open a practice, you realize why it’s called practice: you’re practicing. Practicing, however, isn’t just about honing your craft; it’s about being prepared for something far beyond sharpening your skillset. Although I’m a chiropractor, I opened my doors in 1997 utilizing light-touch methods that were very effective, but quite different from what one might expect at a chiropractor’s office.
I was still becoming comfortable with providing unconventional services, and I initially hoped that people would get on my tables and discern something positive. I sometimes found myself wondering why I didn’t choose to be a dentist, surgeon, veterinarian, or something less “out there.” In time, however, I realized that following the road less traveled may be saner than those that are more well-trodden.
This realization deepened considerably when the memory of a near-death experience that occurred when I was hit by a car in 1974 suddenly returned to my awareness. The body was severely injured, and I was in a coma for several days. In the interim, I was absorbed into a wholly different dimension. This dimension's boundless peace, love and tranquility is beyond anything that can be described or understood from a human perspective. The memory of this experience returned as I provided and received healing work early on in my career and has never left.
After practicing for a number of years, it occurred to me while providing sessions one Saturday afternoon that my biggest impediment was believing that providing healing work meant preparing and perfecting myself to be an instrument through which healing could occur. The realization struck me that there was nothing to strive for and no need to become perfect, because something far beyond me was determined to enter this dimension and heal others…and my job was to get out of its way.
This is mentioned because, just as I went through years of coming to grips with the reality that I could facilitate healing work that benefitted people’s lives, many of us have to learn that we can heal and move through the difficulties in our lives without years of strife and struggle. Healing may seem like a puzzling process shrouded in mystery, but it’s as easy and natural as breathing.
This insight occurred in 2003. During this time, I’d begun interacting with the energy field surrounding the body, in addition to applying light touches to the spine. It took a few years, but I gradually developed an intuitive sense of how to work with the energy field to assist patients in experiencing lasting shifts that benefitted their body, mind and spirit—sometimes in inexplicable and profound ways.
Somewhere in 2004 and 2005, I occasionally entered a trancelike state while providing sessions. This became more common over the next several years, and between 2008-2010, I was moderately absorbed in this state with increasing frequency while giving sessions. As I spent more time in this state, it struck me that the state itself is what facilitates healing, not how I interacted with patients’ spines or energy fields. To the extent that I disappeared, this healing energy emerged, and when it did, healing occurred in and of itself.
How Did Emergence Care Come To Be?
While the timeline of some of these events is a bit fuzzy, I recall that on a Monday morning in the spring of 2011, I went to the office and didn’t do anything besides enter into this trancelike state while standing near each patient as they lie on tables. Even though I had a full schedule, I told patients that instead of doing the same things I’d always done, I wasn’t going to touch their spine or interact with their energy field. Rather, I would give place to the healing energy of this powerful state and allow it to guide and direct sessions. The feedback was positive in all respects, and from that day on, my focus while facilitating sessions has been to enter deeply into this trancelike state and allow its healing energy to shine forth.
I can’t remember if it occurred that day or shortly thereafter, but an unseen presence took hold of my wrists and began moving my hands through patients’ energy fields while they lay on tables. A voice spoke silently in my mind and guided the process, quietly saying things like, “Place this hand here and that hand there. Feel the energy in these places. Feel how these are the same and these are different. Move this hand here and this hand there. Feel that. Stay there. Fade away. Stop thinking. Dissolve. Don’t do anything. Stay. Lighten and lighten and lighten. Let go.”
The presence guided my hands and quietly spoke to me at times for a few months, and then said, “The lessons are over. Continue to do what you’ve been shown. You’ll be guided as necessary.” For years prior to these lessons, I’d felt areas within the energy field and on the spine that were charged, tense, open, peaceful, and all states in between. It’s important to mention that the presence wasn’t instructing me to work with these areas with a specific intent. It wasn’t showing me how to clear blockages, infuse healing energy, or to shift and change anything at all. Its only agenda was to show me how to allow it to enter this dimension and heal others through me. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
To make that possible, it taught me to trust that it would direct my hands where they would be most helpful. Sometimes they would be in the energy field inches from the physical body, sometimes they would be by my sides, and sometimes my arms would be outstretched above a client. Far more significantly, however, the presence instructed my mind where to be to allow it to work through me. It did this by encouraging me to disappear, dissolve, expand, lighten up and fade away while facilitating sessions. This was key, and was of far greater significance than where my hands were and what they were doing.
As I followed the guidance of this presence and did my best to dissolve and disappear, something unexpected and altogether unfamiliar began to occur: the whole room would vanish in a nanosecond. Everything would vanish. I would vanish. There was no “me” to be aware of the room, the patient, myself or anything. In each case, I and the world would return a moment later, but it was as though eons had passed in that instant. Sometimes it was so confusing to return that it took several seconds to realize where and who I was.
These disappearances often coincided with a burst of energy that exploded in my third eye at the speed of light and radiated in all directions. When this occurred, I sometimes fell on the floor or the patient. Fortunately, my office at the time was a converted dance studio with a sprung floor. This cushioned the fall, and no one was injured. With a lot of practice and asking for guidance, I could gradually enter and remain in this state without falling over or disappearing.
When the presence was showing me how to do this work, I scarcely spoke about feeling unseen hands on my wrists or hearing a voice that was teaching me how to let it function through me. This was deeply personal, and my focus was to follow its guidance, not to develop a healing art and bring it to the world. But as I began blipping out of this dimension while working and the sessions became increasingly powerful, it was apparent that something different was taking place, and people took note.
Clients and others asked if I would teach them what I was “doing.” A groundswell of interest developed, and the first class was held in September 2011. I learned a million things and unlearned a million more during that initial two-week immersion class. Perhaps the most important (and beautiful) thing I learned was that anyone with the honest desire to enter into this trancelike state who wholeheartedly surrenders to it can become a conduit of powerful healing. It’s not a matter of karma or spiritual gifts, but of genuine willingness to momentarily transcend the personality (commonly referred to as ego) and allow Spirit to lead.
During the initial two-week class, this work was named Emergence Care, and entering into this healing state of mind was dubbed presence. To reiterate, this healing state (presence) is available to everyone equally. No one has more or less access to it, and anyone can enter it at any time. The only thing that interferes with it is one’s personality. It’s not necessary to abolish the ego to enter this state. If that were the case, we’d all be up a creek. It is, however, paramount to let it lead the way and not imagine it needs our help. It doesn’t. Love needs no help to heal, simply no interference.
When the first Emergence Care classes were held in 2011, I ran busy practices in Prescott and Sedona, AZ. As word spread about Emergence Care, classes formed in various places around the country, and I closed both of my practices in 2014 to focus on teaching Emergence Care. Just one year later, however, my fiancée was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Her health deteriorated quickly, and I was her primary caretaker until she passed away in 2018.
What is Healing?
Loving something deeply doesn’t guarantee that it will remain in your life. This was true of Nicole, Emergence Care and other aspects of life that shifted dramatically during that time. The point of life isn’t to get what you think you want, but to love everything that comes your way—especially life’s most difficult experiences. It’s easy to focus on what’s being lost, but whether we’re aware of it or not, everything that happens, without exception, is a gift. It may be a while before we can accept this, and until we do, we will believe that life should have unfolded differently. So long as we persist in believing we know what should happen, suffering will be our companion. Suffering isn’t due to events, but how they’re interpreted.
The sage teacher, Byron Katie, stated, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do.” It takes a very open mind to trust this and adopt it as a guiding light in your life. Similarly, Rumi wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance flowers give when they are crushed.” Jesus’ life is another poignant example of this perennial wisdom. He was ridiculed and crucified, but nonetheless beseeched forgiveness and judged no one. Two thousand years later, his simple wisdom is seldom heeded, even by many who profess to follow him.
If it feels like you’ve been crushed in life, find some way to be grateful. If life’s events don’t seem like gifts that are happening for your enlightenment, genuinely ask yourself if holding onto such beliefs is making you (or anyone else) a happier and healthier person. This takes a very open mind, and it may take time, too.
The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door will open. ~Rumi
How do you experience genuine gratitude for what you wish never occurred? Forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t mean tallying up all the bad things people have done to you, attempting to overlook them and imagining that you’re better because you’re taking pity on those of lesser stature. That’s not what Jesus taught, even while being crucified. If he taught unalloyed forgiveness amid his death, certainly we can follow his lead in what are typically much less trying circumstances.
To forgive is to accept things exactly as they are without the slightest desire to create an alternate reality in our minds wherein things should have turned out differently. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of believing that we’re victims of the world, but the fact is that everyone who comes to earth does so willingly. It’s true that some people appear to be victims and others victimizers, but each of us chooses the experiences that will assist us in breaking free of the mental boxes of our own making. Everything happens for you, not to you. We see the bars of the prisons we’ve created, but we don’t see that what holds them in place is our inability to accept and forgive things as they are.
Life becomes much easier to navigate when we forgo the notion that we’re in control of what happens. It can be a stretch to wrap your head around, but everything that happens is predestined. We believe we have free will, but we can’t stop the sun from rising any more than we can stop loved ones from dying or people from doing what we wish they wouldn’t. Forgiveness is trusting that there’s a plan at work that’s well beyond what can be fathomed, and knowing that it’s working for the betterment of all with equal measure.
The human mind is far too limited to understand the universe, God, and certainly itself. Suffering stems from believing we know what’s best, and genuine healing occurs when we merge with a Will far greater than what our limited awareness can conceive and trust it. Healing is typically reduced to not having symptoms or problems, but this perspective is incredibly limited. Equating healing with only experiencing what we want is not only unrealistic, it ensures that we’ll be victims of an uncaring world, which is hardly a healing mindset.
Healing isn’t acceptance through gritted teeth, but loving everything equally, without exceptions. Healing doesn’t set conditions, doesn’t blame, hate or withhold love from anyone. Quite the opposite, healing extends blessings unto everyone and everything with equal measure, especially those we’re convinced have “wronged” us. Healing is love, and love knows everyone is God—even the people we’re still blaming. The ego justifies retribution for the past, which is a recipe for suffering, pain, loneliness, confusion, despair, projection and feeling unsafe in the world. Healing leads to quietude and deep, lasting peace that passeth all understanding.
None of this makes sense to a mind that’s reacting to its stories of a painful past. The past can’t be changed, but it can be healed when it’s seen in a wholly different light. How can we heal when we stand convinced that our present discontent is rooted in past tragedies? The real tragedy is that when we believe we’ve been victimized by past events, we become the very thing that interferes with our healing.
Fortunately, if we’re the only thing holding us back, we can set ourselves free. How? Not by railing against the past, not by blaming circumstances for our present issues, but by genuinely falling in love with everything in life with equal measure. Love heals everything that yields to it, but it cannot enter where it’s resisted. How is resistance traded in for love? Forgiveness.
This is far easier than you might imagine when the healing energy of presence flows through you regularly. None of this makes sense to the egoic mind, which resists forgiveness. The point isn’t to go into denial and act like the world doesn’t affect us, but to open to a broader perspective than the one that’s causing us to suffer. If your story causes you suffering and pain and precludes you from forgiving, it will eventually be your undoing.
If you’re going through difficult times, know that you can heal. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. What is our light? It’s the healing love that flows into and through everyone with equal measure. This healing love is desperate to shine forth in your awareness and show you the magnificence of your Self.
Emergence Care is different. It’s only purpose is to allow this healing love to enter your awareness and heal your life. This love doesn’t flow into or enter your awareness. It’s already there. This I promise you. There is no place where love isn’t, including you. It’s what you are. It’s there, and Emergence Care can help you become aware of and deepen your connection with it. What is healing? It’s the process of becoming aware that you, everyone and everything is pure Spirit. When nothing can shake your peace, you’re healed.