When we start to get off track- may we all stop, breathe, and reflect a little when we read this quote!
Since I am only recently boosting my online presence, this post is an attempt to further explain my approach to the work I do as a ‘professional of the healing arts’. I didn’t make up that phrase, the U.S government actually uses it as the official title when you reach your top licensure status as a physician, clinical social worker, professional counselor, or marriage and family therapist: LPHA (Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts). I love the term and, for me, it exists as a reminder of the complex artistry of health in a modern world that unfortunately, all too often, treats health and the human body and spirit as a consumer item on the production line.
The reality is most of us DO want to get better, be better, perform better, feel better. Thank God for Google – how to do it is just a click away! Search engines are getting better all the time! We get on this treadmill of performance and production and information, and then somewhere along the way…we lose track of ourselves.
I find a paradox at play here. A beautiful, complicated, messy paradox that lies at the heart of being human: At a fundamental level, we are good enough, loved, celebrated, enjoyed…an enduring sense of peace, joy and connection comes not from doing anything but from accepting and appreciating what already is.
A multi-dimensional being needs support and encouragement to maintain and nourish this beautiful self. There is no magic pill – your daily practices, rhythms, thoughts, and habits contain the power to either drain you or set you free.
You might be aware of some of the fascinating research coming out every day on how our systems are interconnected and what this means for medicine, health, and quality of life. If you like, you can check out my resources page for more information.
I started my own practice so I could freely work and grow as an artist of the healing arts. In my opinion, it’s a big word, and a great responsibility to call yourself a clinical practitioner of anything. When we work with someone on their health, in whatever capacity, we enter into a vulnerable space with each other. Above and beyond my own particular training, I believe the true work is to reconnect clients to their whole self: Body. Mind. Spirit.
Each one of our dimensions has a role to play, a gift to share, and inherent wisdom to yield…if we could ever slow down enough to listen. The following are ways this concept might show up in my work with you:
As a dancer, equestrian, outdoorswoman and athlete, I believe strongly in the importance of your relationship to your body. Your comfort in your own skin, exercise, nutrition, your sexuality, even the way you breathe- as you are willing to go there, I believe it can all serve as compost for growth. In my practice, I use a variety of somatic (body) therapy techniques and practices. I also collaborate with other holistic health practitioners.
Thoughts, feelings, beliefs and emotions are in a perpetual dance with each other. Thoughts and beliefs lead to emotions; your feelings and emotions influence your thoughts. When you put a more positive spin on your negative self-talk, your emotions also shift. When you honor your feelings and tune into them, the voice of anger or fear quiets down. Making a habit of cultivating awareness and flexibility to shift from moment to moment can bring immediate results. Practiced regularly, mindfulness can drastically change your overall mental state. Delving deeper to heal and shift long-standing patterns that have all been created in your mind can change how you relate to others and show up in the world.
Our egos, our souls, our energy, our emotions – our spirits are our site of integration. Spirit is simply a dimension of our humanity, whether you consider yourself spiritual-but-not-religious, follow a traditional religious path, or identify as an atheist.
Either we will express each of these dimensions of ourselves in a healthy, integrated, conscious way or they’ll come out sideways – scattered, dis-integrated, knee-jerk, unconscious: like living our lives on autopilot. Some of my work with clients is to normalize aspects of themselves that they see as weird; or are embarrassed to admit to others – or even to them-self. This is not woo-woo work. It’s not airy-fairy stuff. It’s real, concrete, and important.
I personally identify and most readily speak the language of the Christian, mystic tradition, but I work with people of all faith traditions as well as those who profess to have no faith tradition, or no interest in “spirituality.” What I care most about is what you experience, how you understand that experience, and what impact that experience has on the way you live your daily life.