How to Heal
If you want to heal, from anything-- ANYTHING-- you have to peel it back before you layer it on. It's so easy for folks to say, myself included, I just need to exercise, I just need to eat more fruit, I just need to take this drug, this vitamin, this herb. I just need to go to this counselor, this doctor, this reflexologist.
Even when time seems or is undoubtedly, short. First, breathe-- and take a look at what you can do without. When (if) you see the doctor, healer, or therapist, you will have thoughtful, reflective, and deepening perspectives into yourself. You will be more able to resist status quo in terms of treatment (many of which lead to deepening malaise) and you will be able to make connections between seemingly unrelated ailments or stresses.
Most therapists, doctors, and healers do not practice integrative therapy. They do not have a connective knowledge of the way systems of the body and mind work together in delicate and intricate ways. They do not necessarily acknowledge the play of stressors, hormones, diet, toxins, disease, bacteria (especially good ones!) or how they impact each other in myriad and mysterious ways. It may be too much for you to know as well. However, making fundamental changes in your diet, your stress levels, and your awareness will show you how things are related. Ask yourself this:
What are you eating? Eat as if you lived 150 years ago. Eat nothing packaged, treated, processed or altered. Avoid most oils, avoid Pacific fish, and avoid all sugar. Consider eating local. Make organic a priority.
What are you drinking? To a body that is struggling, deficient, diseased or stressed, alcohol and caffeine only add to this. Especially avoid these if combating anything with symptoms of stressed adrenals including any gut ailments, Lyme disease, candida, thyroid problems, fatigue, depression or anxiety. Never drink anything with coloring, with unnatural sweeteners (like corn syrup or aspartame), and get your water tested. Avoid chlorine and fluoride.
How busy is your life? Find ways to deeply relax. Sleep more. Make changes to slow things down. Focus your energies on what truly matters and release everything else.
What is making you sad, mad, or stressed? If the people around you are making you feel drained, if they make you anxious or insecure, if they don't value, inspire, support, and encourage-- surround yourself with different people. Toxins come in all forms-- including energetic. Emotions have real energetic markers. Emotions are inevitable in the evolving human, but they must be balanced and tempered-- feelings of contentment, joy, and satisfaction must outweigh the feelings of sadness, anger, and stress.
Who are you? This is where I am always hung up. It is the question that should drive us, our lives, until the end. Even then, unless we are a totally evolved radiant being, I am guessing we'll still be working on this one. Here we determine our moral compass, our truest relationships with others and ourselves, our responsibility to this planet and its inhabitants, and the results of our actions. When we take responsibility for the "mess" we are in, whether that is health or relationships-- or whether we are looking further outward toward the state of civil rights, our environment, or our society-- we must ask, where are we implicated in this? Unless we are doing something to make things better, then we are making things worse. Period. Growth isn't stagnant by its very nature, and stagnation is decay. Sometimes bad things happen. We will grieve over this. This is how we heal. But to wear this "bad thing" and let it take over who we are is irresponsible. Everything is a stepping stone, we only need to take that first step. Start small, grow organically.
How did you get here? Tracing backwards our steps to an injury, to a mistake, to a tragedy, to a wrong turn on a path, to an outdated world view, to a stressor-- this can help us in peeling back layers. Sometimes our current problems are nothing but a whole bunch of unresolved little problems or a series of overlooked messages from our bodies or our world. We are good, as a species, at looking back and seeing more clearly. Use that knack we have have for hindsight vision.
Healing occurs in layers, and like all growth-- for that is what healing truly is and is leading to-- it can sometimes take years to peel it apart and grow (in a inward metamorphosis kind of way). In my healing process, I take turns looking at the layers in my personal or emotional life (relationships, what is energizing or draining, healing old hurts, reflections), my outward life (work, social), and my physical life (diet, exercise, location). It has definitely taken years and I expect it to continue. There is always more to learn about oneself. At times, often maybe, we don't even realize that we are peeling back the layers. These layers have become a part of us-- our story-- as a friend of mine says. It can be a long time of dancing to one step forward and two steps back.
With dedication to ourselves and to the greater good, we will eventually find the prize of health and self-knowledge. Healing ourselves is healing our planet. Our planet very much needs us to start looking within. When we stop poisoning ourselves--with poor nutrition, with toxins, with negative experiences and emotions-- we stop putting that out in our environment as well. Anything and everything we do, to heal, is an act of rebellion against the dominant world view of take and destroy, and anything and everything we do, to heal, will help strengthen our planet. This, I believe, is our moral imperative. With the side benefit of feeling better, happier, and more fulfilled.