Healing comes from the same root as the word "whole": as we heal, we bring back more and more parts of ourselves into our conscious awareness and our lives. Rather than forcing ourselves to inhabit our bodies in mind in the restrictive ways that may have helped us survive in the past, we inhabit the entirety of who we are; where there are wounds, we pay loving attention and help them heal, or become whole again.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are key tools in the project of healing, or cultivating wholeness: they help us welcome with unconditional love the entirety of our experience - past, present and future, pleasant and unpleasant, good and bad. They also help us reconnect with our bodies and cultivate physical wholeness as well, encouraging us to be present with our moment-to-moment embodied experience.
Healing is therefore not about symptom alleviation; the work of healing is hard work and does not feel good at first because we're forced to confront what's unpleasant. What's more, success in healing is not measured by the eradication of symptoms, but by the shift in the terrain that produced them. As we heal, we stop running away from the parts of us we dislike or feel too overwhelming; we finally start listening to the nudges our bodies and minds give us, calling us to pay attention; we learn from our challenges and allow ourselves to include them fully in our compassionate attention and make them fully ours. In other words, we become new people, and are then free to work on our physical or emotional symptoms from a place of wisdom, presence and freedom - rather than one of resistance and reactivity.
The work of healing begins with embodiment, which is what we will explore on November 6th, during the one-day online retreat titled "Re-Inhabiting Our Bodies". Making peace with our bodies and delivering unconditional love to them is a fundamental step in beginning a journey of healing and personal growth. Sign up here - I look forward to practicing with you!