How do you heal?

happyLately I have been reflecting on what can bring a feeling of healing to a human. How can we go from a place of pain or brokenness to a feeling of wholeness, completeness, or in-the-moment-ness? How do we move from a place of feeling lost, confused, weak, or disenchanted to a feeling of a heart brimming with gratitude? If they say life is a journey and not a destination than certainly we have all moved from a place of despair to joy, back to despair within this human body temple. This morning I read this mind-blowing quote about the Universe:

β€œThe reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.”
― Lao Tzu

WOW. Double WOW. We are beings that transform. We grow from tiny sponge-brained babies, full of joy and sorrow, soaking in everything, to full grown adults who never stop aging, or growing for that matter. The universe within each one of us (as Carl Sagan aptly writes about, that “we are a way for the Universe to know itself”), is our experience of this life. It has its seasons, it has its shadows and light, frost and warmth, chaos and stillness. So how do we create within us a garden that emits a sacred fragrance, or full blooms glistening in the sunlight? I can only share for now what has worked for me and has seemed to work for others I know as well. This list is just the beginning, a tiny collection of stones in the infinite basket of life’s wisdom.
naturemore naturemagic1. Nature

When I spent time in the natural world, something lifts within me and also expands. My senses become aware to all the tiny buzzing songs and sounds, the way the light flickers on leaves and just how vast the Creator is. His/her creativity is never-ending and it makes my problems feel small. The Earth untouched contains within it the most beautiful music and this so rightly reflected in all this facets of expression. Walking, sitting, spending time with a loved one or simply going it alone… nature has answers for you. No matter what place in the world you live, this is still true. Going on a long walk and getting that blood flowing is so good for the nervous system and heart. In Japan they have a phrase called shin-rin yoku or forest-bathing. It is currently one of my favorite pairing of words. It means to visit the forest for relaxation or one’s well-being. There is nothing quite like clearing one’s mind on a hike in the serenity and mystery of nature. more lightlight2. Light/Meditation

I believe that what we focus on grows… so if we take time to focus on the light in our world and inside our world as well, the light will grow within us. The breath is our force of life… it is giving life to us. I happen to feel this is a unbelievably amazing phenomenon! Focusing on the breath and light within is being grateful for life itself. When we begin to realize how interconnected we are all, that the concept of oneness is actually alive and real, and that we are beings of light (or literally stardust, as an astrophysicist will explain to you), we can uplift our world into the infinite possibilities that await us. Feeling thankful in one’s heart is an ultimate magic maker… it makes you feel good. So perhaps if you are feeling in pain, start by making a list of what you are grateful for. This helps me immensely. And remember you are a child of the Universe, made of pure light and of the stars.

create3. Creativity

This is a subject I happen to feel very comfortable writing about. πŸ™‚ I feel we are all artists, or creative beings, whether its in how we dress, cook, wash dishes, garden, and so forth. Expressing oneself through a creative means is healing.. trust me. I have seen not only art save lives but transform them into a place where they finally feel they belong. It is a timeless space, a space just for you… to express the utter uniqueness of YOU. Amazing. No two hands and hearts are alike, so what they produce will not be exactly alike either. The power of paint and color is palpable. There have been many times I have sat down in my studio, feeling heavy about something, and thusly poured it out through me and onto the page. It is a release. Try it… or try it with me. It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.

rest4. Rest

This one is a biggie. I happen to be one of those people whom if I don’t receive enough sleep or down-time my mind gets cranky real quick. We need time to reset… ample rest. Every doctor or mental-health specialist will tell you this. It is imperative. For me sleep is a time I get to restore and come alive again to a new day. I get to let go and let my breath do the work to unwind. Our souls need the darkness and we crave that quietude and stillness. Make time for your sleep, or even cat or mediation naps. Its amazing what 15 minutes can do for you. Take time to reset your being and the world will look different to you when you awake.

This list is just the beginning with more to come later.

What are some of the ways you heal or feel more peaceful within?

11 thoughts on “How do you heal?

  1. How perfect this post fits in my life right now. Thank you for it. #1 and #2 are my favorite and I love that forest bathing phrase. I know I need to make more time for that, I always say I wish I had more time, but truth is I find myself feeling guilty for leaving my family behind when I need that time to myself to unwind so I often use that as an excuse not to.
    How do I heal? A question I definitely need to start asking myself and finding answers to. You have given me great direction. Thank you.

  2. i love love love the “how do you heal” question and the practice of forest bathing πŸ™‚ that will be one of my dreams to do as much as i can πŸ™‚

  3. Alena, … your insight is so refreshing. Thank you. As I shared in your AYOP group I am grieving the unexpected loss of my father. Reading your blog is reminding me of what action I should be taking to take better care of myself. I know spending time in nature is always grounding for me. And when I am creating (which I have not been doing much of) I lose track of time and feel more at peace. My journaling has been sporadic and difficult ~ I used to list 5 things I am grateful for at the end of each day, may be time to revisit that practice and yoga may help too. Thank you once again for sharing your insight on healing ~ look forward to hearing more.

    1. * Just wanted to add a very important part of my healing and feeling more peaceful include my wonderful family ~ my loving husband (and best friend), my amazing loyal dog (my son :), and my sweet entertaining cat (my other son) their unconditional love fills my heart with hope.

  4. hi Alena

    I love you post. Dwelling in the forest most certainly brings me healing, as does creativity. You do such a good job of spelling out how these things work for you. I’m very inspired by your post.

    Cheers

    Amy

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