Healing is an alchemical practice of transformation. We dream of what we want to create without being attached to it while simultaneously making space for our current situation and being willing to release that which stands in the way.
If we’re particularly intrepid and devoted, we might choose to surrender entirely to our soul’s plan and simply follow the breadcrumbs.
The plan is essentially the same, no matter if I’m working on a knee injury, an auto-immune condition, wonky hormones, anxiety, accessing inner strength and guidance, spiritual awakening, or cultivating peace, joy, and prosperity. (I know this because I AM working on all these things!)
It’s rarely (if ever!) a linear path where 2+2=4. It’s more like M.C. Escher’s “Relativity”.
I have developed a basic recipe that captures the complexity of this equation. (Yes, a recipe for an equation, because that’s how un-logical healing is!)
Compassion+intention+non-attachment+nourishment-energetic drains/blockages=optimal wellness.
Each of these elements varies from moment to moment and person to person.
Optimal wellness for me is built on the foundation of my lineage, history, constitution, beliefs, circumstances and resources. Yours will likely be very different from mine.
If we break it down into segments, it can be easier to approach. These segments aren’t actually separate stages of the journey as everything is intertwined, but it can be helpful to look at it this way for easier understanding.
Compassion. The basic art of being kind to ourselves, no matter what. Easier said than done!
Intention. What is the destination of this healing journey? It might take some time and effort to sort through the “shoulds” of what society, family, religion, school, and the advertising industry have led you to believe are the necessary accomplishments of a successful human.
Non-attachment. Allow yourself to want what you want without clinging to it. Goals tend to change slightly (or entirely!) as you begin to move towards them. Often we gain insight and wisdom along the way, perhaps acceptance or forgiveness, and maybe a good dash of humor or humility that changes our perspective. This is why it’s important to hold the vision loosely and allow it to unfold organically.
Nourishment. I’m not talking about eating delicious home cooked meals, although that could certainly be a factor. I’m talking about spiritual nourishment.
For me this can look like sitting by the creek, reading a good book on the porch, lingering in bed when I don’t have to get up right away, laughing with my niece and nephews, meditating, or a playful hour with colored markers. The common factor here is that none of these activities can be labeled as “productive” or “profitable” outside of my healing journey and require a devoted mindset to carving out the time to make them happen.
Prioritize the journey. This means I need to keep my intention in mind when making decisions and say no to things that would derail me. There are a thousand reasons to deviate from the plan, but very few of them are as important as the healing journey itself. It helps to remind myself frequently about the original desire, or to put it another way, why I’m on this path in the first place.
Navigate the obstacles. They will present themselves without any effort on your part- all you need to do is make a plan to move towards your preferred destination and see what emerges. I call them the “yeah, buts”. Yeah, I want that, but… xyz. They often expose limiting beliefs about scarcity and unworthiness.
They will be tasks, relationships and thoughts that drain your energy and block your progress. AND they are another form of breadcrumbs, showing you what needs your compassionate attention.
Some of these things might be easy to release. Many of them will require some introspection and TLC as they are actually wounds coming to the surface for healing. If we push them away or try to skip over them, we miss an opportunity to alchemize coagulated emotions or integrate fragmented parts of ourselves.
All of this requires not only the willingness to stay put and face the seeming obstacles attached to our desires and abilities to nourish ourselves, but also the skill to interrupt survival and coping mechanisms. This is where nervous system regulation comes in handy. It’s the key that makes the other steps manageable. It’s practically impossible to do any of the above work if your mind is screaming “DANGER! EVACUATE! DANGER!” at top volume.
I made this video outlining some very simple steps to turn off those alarms when they aren’t needed. Let’s face it, most of the time we aren’t in mortal danger. Yet biology stimulates this overblown response and it’s crucial to have a plan for dealing with it.
By far, the easiest way I know (and believe me, I’ve spent 30 years looking for the easiest, simplest, most effective solution to my own struggle with chronic pain and anxiety) to support us on our healing journeys is Reiki. That’s why I’m offering a Reiki 1, Healing for Yourself and Your Loved Ones class that begins May 4. If you’re interested in the way of self-empowerment in order to maximize your wellbeing and connect with your inner strength and wisdom, I’d be delighted to have you aboard.