The Path of the Healer “You may think of yourself as a doctor, nurse, health professional- and yet in many traditional societies, you would be called a medicine person, a shaman. You would be called a shaman because you have the privilege to steward the Mysteries of illness and death which is an initiation to coming home again to a deeper sense of self and well-being.” Angeles Arrien, PhD
Increasing our deep sense self and well being allows us to offer our authentic caring healing presence to others during illness and death. This may sound simple, but really, how do we do this?
How do we be with someone who is experiencing grief, isolation, fear, anger, or pain during their journey through death, illness loss? How do we let go of fixing, helping, changing, and "doing" something, anything, when we don't know what to do?
Here are 4 ways to increase your healing presence with others:
- Focus on yourself first and Ask: What am I feeling? Discover what you yourself are feeling in the moment and find a way to be with your feelings first. Perhaps you are scared because you don't know what to say or do. This is normal. Rest for a moment with your own sense of uncertainty. Find the place inside where even with this uncertainty or others feelings, your intent is to be with your own feelings and support and be there for the other.
- Practice "Self-Care Breathing": Inhale deeply into your abdomen as if you are creating"space on the in-breath". On the exhale send out "loving kindness, healing, peace" through your heart.
- Practice "Matching the Breath" to ease pain or discomfort: Notice where your friend's breath resides and it's rhythm. Is it high up in the chest or throat? Is it in the diaphragm or abdomen? Is it choppy, slow, fast, labored? Once you have discovered the location and pace of their breath begin to match it and breath with their pace. Do this for a bit and notice if they begin to relax, perhaps slowing down your breath or deepening your breath lower in your body to increase relaxation.
- Practice "Speaking Silently Through the Heart": Listen to the sounds, story of this person and observe what is happening with your whole being. Instead of trying to say something wise or use lots of words, speak to the person silently--send wishes for their healing through your heart to theirs. Send blessings that are for their highest good, blessing beyond what you could ever know will serve them on this difficult journey. Send out all goodness to them as a silent prayer or wish from your heart to their heart.