As I learn more about this process of healing, there are a few themes that I am beginning to see repeated back to me. I talked a bit about cycles last week and it has been my experience that the healing process (or journey) really follows this same pattern of cycles. One theme that I revisit over and over again is simplicity.
Simplicity in the Healing Process
I have been gently reminded many times that some of the simplest of healing practices bring about the most change when committed to over a period of time. I love the metaphor of a compass here because it illustrates this point well. Imagine you are hiking through the woods of northern Michigan and you are following the compass due north. Now, you decide to change the compass just a few degrees and begin heading slightly northwest. Although this may not feel like a big, drastic change, over time you will continue on to move further and further away from your original starting point at due north.
Simplicity has a way of quieting the mind and creating space.
Our minds are designed to think, to analyze, to solve problems, to ask questions. Even a simple word, such as “thinking” can draw awareness to the mind and relax the mental gaze around thoughts. When it comes to healing, especially naturally, I have always been drawn to try out new things.
The mental story often looks something like this: “Ooo a new herb (flower essence, food, exercise) that I learned about! Maybe this will be the thing that fixes all my problems!” :-) Can you relate?? What I am constantly reminded of is the tried and true practices that do work for me. Not everything has been my cup of tea, so to speak. As a matter of fact, I find that the more “healing practices” I try to stuff into my day and life, the greater my own mental anxiety is. By returning to things that I have found to help me embrace the present moment I often shift out of the anxiety around “fixing”.
Perhaps some of those practices (when approached with a “ms. fix-it” attitude) are actually becoming distractions from the real work that I need to do. The part where I learn to love all places within myself. The slowing down and embracing simplicity and routine.
I invite you to try keeping it simple. Choose something. Perhaps you have a morning routine that involves 5 awesome healing activities. Try doing 1 or 2 of those a bit more slowly. Maybe you like to cook elaborate dinners with 50 ingredients. Try cooking with 5 instead. Really soak in the experience and pay attention to how your body (and mind) feel.
There is an interesting paradox with simplicity. The more focus that is placed on one thing, the more depth of understanding arises. For example, look at the photo of Queen Anne’s Lace in this post. Just the one flower has so much complexity and nuance when looked at closely.