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Cultivating the Heart of the Healer

This was the name of a workshop hosted this weekend in open space format. It was offered by my new friend Skye Lachute. Amidst a group of primarily naturopathic doctoral students at Bastyr University, invited by my friend and colleague Christy Lee-Engel. I love this kind of question. For its depth. And because I relate to it as one hosting groups of people in varied settings. In the end, I feel it is about health, wholeness, wellness, consciousness, and resonance.

I learned several things as I participated in this group. A few of those key points are below. Worth some consideration for those of us leading groups of all kinds.

* Until the healer can heal self, healing can’t be offered to others. I don’t fully agree with this one, but like what is underneath it. This was a theme that came up often with this group. Kindness to self. Tending to self. I have found I appreciate a bit more freedom in this when I think of it as commitment to practice of being well with self. Less perfection. Less waiting for that ultimate day that really doesn’t exist. More gentleness to be in practice with self and others.

* Your medicine is for others. This is actually a reflection back to working on a few projects with Navajo leaders and community members in health related professions. I felt very moved then, in 2008 and 2009, to be thanked by the elders for bringing our medicine. The medicine was our teachings. Our presence. Our facilitation. It is flattering and powerful for me to think of it this way. And in some way grounding to carry the narrative of offering it to others.

* Once deep it is hard to go shallow, just as it was initially to go from shallow to deep the first times. These were expressions about purpose. About living true to ones inner voice and impulse. About self-authoring. It is also a statement of compassion for the many levels of learning in self and others.

* “No gardener ever built a rose.” This was offered by a participant, Seth, that I appreciated. It was offered in the context of distinguishing and discerning what one can do, and give energy to, and what one can’t do, and choose not to give energy too. I also love that this is a principle deeply embedded in the naturopathic discipline. The principle of treatment is to restore the natural capability in one’s body. Western, allopathic medicine tends toward fixes through pills and linear thinking. At Bastyr the thinking is more holistic and systemic.

Thank you new friends and colleagues at Bastyr.

A few photos from the event are here.

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