Being of Service: A Healer’s Game Plan

I’ve been blessed to study, search and seek in the healing arts for over twenty years now. With each passing year, I feel evermore lucky to have discovered my path and purpose at a relatively young age and spend the majority of life within and alongside a community of healers…. I owe so much to Esalen, my early teachers and the guides around me who loved and supported my — at the time — pretty weird interests. Like many in the healing arts, my practice has healed me from my own childhood traumas and over time has deepened an inner resiliency and resolve that has seen me through life’s disappointments, heartaches and betrayals. A daily practice — with all its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits — is what I rely upon most to weather life’s ups & downs, the strength to hold the tough conversations, and the ability to stay true to my heart in a very noisy world.

To my friends and colleagues in the Healing Arts… the Yoga Teachers, Massage Therapists, Meditation Guides, Studio Owners, Counselors, Therapists, Caregivers and more: We’re in the dawning of a time when our work, our art and our contribution are vital to our collective future. Every day we are waking up to the fires and floods of our earthly and inner worlds, and can no longer hide, dismiss or delay the deep healing that is called for right now. It’s all-encompassing and undeniable — and it’s going to take all of us, together, to shift the paradigm and evolve.

Creating a Safe Space + Sanctuary: Ask anyone in the healing arts, and they will agree…. healing can only happen once your soul feels safe for that healing to occur. Healing cannot be commanded, rushed or controlled. Rarely is it convenient, well-timed or predictable. In fact, deep healing typically happens when your spirit is finally in a comfortable place to feel, express and be; it’s rarely easy, never pretty and oftentimes when you’re in the thick of it you’ll wonder what on earth is happening to you. Only in hindsight will you see the wisdom of experience, learn the body’s way of knowing and reach the deep well of compassion that exists within us all. As healers, the very first thing we must do is create a true, authentic and safe foundation for people to simply rest their hearts, minds and spirits.

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Valuing Our Work: The work of a healer is to assist the transformation, blossoming, positive growth and flourishing of an individual, community and society. It’s kind of important, no? Vital. As healers we must begin to appreciate our work and service in how we present, value and honor ourselves and each other. For generations past we have aspired to and held up the lawyers, the bankers and those professions that move and leverage other people’s ideas and creations. Focused on achieving and amassing, wealth and self, these professions do little to cultivate empathy, instill meaning or create beauty in the world. So why do those professions command respect and deserve greater value?? Simply because they have demanded it.

It’s vital that moving forward we as healers begin to reshape how we value our work, price, prioritize and present what we offer. How much would you pay for a happier, more joyful and meaningful life? Let’s stop nickel and diming ourselves with sliding scales, outdated “by donation” payment models and treating our healing sanctuaries like a 24-Hour Fitness. Treat your time and contribution with the honor and respect it deserves, and by doing so we help shift what society values and attaches meaning to in life.

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Don’t Teach, Model: At our Soulstice studios, we have never seen our community more in need of care and healing. Anxiety, depression, hopelessness and despair is epidemic. Approaching our professions with the intention of saving people from their pain will only lead to burn-out. Healers need to Show, not Save. We do this by being brave enough to live differently. Being happy with what we have. Enjoying the freedom that comes with having less stuff. Spending our resources on experiences over acquisitions. Valuing rest, spaciousness and stillness. Being willing to call out unethical behavior and stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. Modeling kindness, sharing and curiosity to learn one another’s stories.

We’re on this planet to achieve and contribute, but we’re also here to enjoy, laugh and experience the ease, humor and beauty of being human. As Healers we need to show — not teach — balance, priorities and a new way of being in our world.

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Lose the Guru: As people grow more desperate for a path out of their pain, it is our job to help remind people that every individual already has everything they need within themselves to heal. Our role is to be a catalyst, a spark, a means, a sanctuary, an inspiration to empower people to heal themselves. To pretend or imagine “our way” is the only route or method to healing is doing society a disservice and more of the same limited, ego-centered thinking that got us here in the first place. There is not just one type of Yoga that’s ‘better than’ or Massage Therapist that is ‘most effective.’ We’re all in this together!

We believe everyone’s path is unique, and therefore everyone will have their own very personal experience of healing. Each has their own method, place and timing and none of us truly know what’s best for another person. This is why we will always champion diversity, difference and exploration at our studios, trusting that people can and will grow through making their healing a priority, accessible and available to their daily life. Whether through bodywork, yoga practice, breathwork, meditation, dance, music, mantra, art, qigong or more, we give ourselves the best opportunity for growth when we’re open to a diversity of experience. Healers, we have so much more to gain when we support, respect and learn from each other and come from a place of interdependence and sharing.

As with all healing, once the smoke clears and land beneath us settles, we’ll understand why it was so necessary to live through this incredibly challenging moment in our collective story…. Grateful for our amazing healing community who wake up every day and work toward a more beautiful, giving and kind world. We see you ~ and we thank you.