Podcast Episode 12: On Healing and Healers
In this episode of The Steward Project, let's talk about Healing and Healers.
Let me start by saying I believe in healing and I believe there are Healers in the world. I often lead workshops and offer presentations on trauma and healing from trauma. The healing process requires reverence and space to truly work...but what happens when everyone is promising to "heal" us with a 60 minute yoga class or a sound healing or a reiki session? What about people who claim to be Healers? Don't get me wrong. These practices (yoga, meditation, sound healing, reiki, etc) are very real and can help us along in our healing process. These practices can help open us up to new possibilities and allow us to make big changes toward healing. And there are real, indigenous Healers in the world. But if someone is telling you they have THE thing that is going to heal you or that they are a Healer...run the other way!
As a yoga teacher and social worker, I recognize that I am not a healer...I am a space-holder for those on their healing journey. It is my job to share these practices, to hold space for them to investigate their own healing, but the work has to be done by the person on their journey. I believe we are all healers, but it bothers me to see yogis suggesting that they are healers and advertise this healing for a price that is not accessible to most. It's also a lie to suggest that one person can provide one thing that will heal you. Healing doesn't work like that. Healing works when we practice our own deep, courageous self-care and hold space for those who are on their own journey.
But too often, I see unhappy, vulnerable people seeking real healing only to be sold something rather than actually given a healing practice. I also see many folks offering "healing" in the yoga space with no mental health background and little reverence for the healing process. This is dangerous, as vulnerable people seeking relieve from suffering will likely be drawn to these practices and will have something opened for them. This can cause triggering of past trauma and trauma responses without a safe container for them to experience their process. So in essence some of these "healing" sessions have had the opposite effect and may cause more trauma than intended.
A few things I highlight in this episode are simple reminders about healing and healers:
Healing from trauma is possible and takes time. It requires safe spaces to experience what can be a messy process.
The goal of a healing journey is to untangle what about how we behave today is a response to the trauma we experienced and seek ways to unpack that response and figure out how it's impacted our lives.
We are able to harm each other through our interactions (most trauma happens in interpersonal relationships) AND we are able to HEAL each other through those same interactions (safe, healthy relationships flood our systems with oxytocin, the bonding chemical).
"We can damage each other's health by repeatedly activating the stress response, but we also have the power to heal ourselves and others biologically..." Dr. Burke Harris.
Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation, Sound Healing, Reiki, etc. are deep, courageous practices that can be part of our healing by allowing us to open and investigate what healing might look like for us.
Healing includes investigating what we are carrying that may not be ours to carry...(See Podcast Episode 6: Caring vs. Carrying)
What has been your experience with healing, with healers, or with these practices? What has worked for you? What hasn't worked for you? What does healing mean to you and what does it look like?
Resources from this episode:
Thank you so much for listening to this episode and THANK YOU for subscribing to The Steward Project podcast! Until next time...