You Are Your Own Healer


 

It’s been a mercurial spring for us here in the mountains. Sunlit days of short sleeves in January and snow whirling alongside the blossoms of late March. The weather, like our own healing paths, seems to be always moving in a spiral. Within the steady progression of the seasons, there is always a non-linear circling back. A revisiting of the same winter barrens, a sudden and all-too familiar freeze in our growth, before learning once more how to keep on blooming.

In the past I’ve tended to be pretty harsh on myself when the same tired issues or blocks (the ones I thought I had left behind for good) reared their heads yet again. Even among the proof of all my inner hillsides teaming with blossoms, the sudden snow of self-doubt seemed to blot out every evidence of newness and growth.

But the more time I spend with the living world the more I realize that such spirals and seesaws, two steps forward and one back, is just the way the world likes to dance with itself. That no matter how many chills come in before the final thaw, spring will always arrive. The crocuses will pick up their heads again after the snow. The cherry blossoms will put out new blooms. The life of things will go on, because we all have access to one singular stream of medicine that will never abandon us— our own inner healer.

Each of us was born with the ability to heal ourselves. It is as innate to our being as tree sap and the audacity of a daffodil patch.

When I first began working with plants I felt like I had found a wonderland of redemption. Elders who could heal me from all my wounds. But as I learned more about plant constituents, consciousness, and how these medicines actually work inside our bodies and spirits, I realized: plants don’t heal us. They awaken within us the ability to heal ourselves. Whether that is through supporting our own bodies natural processes of elimination and rejuvenation or through the ineffable ability to shift our hearts and minds.

Most days I think this ability to help us remember who we really are is the greatest gift from the plant realm. And that when we realize that we can truly be our own healers, we can invite in an unstoppable spring of rebirth.

Some mornings, the hard ones, I sit by the creek for a long while, singing a tuneless melody and simply asking for help:

May I be cleansed of doubt. May I let go of worry. May I release the shades of anxiety so I can see the bright canvas of my life in the vividness of gratitude that it deserves.

And the creek speaks to me, not to give me new thoughts, but to help me change my own mind. To help me learn how to breathe and heal myself through remembering that I can choose to be whole again.

 

In early spring we ache to be cleansed. To be awoken again to the wonder at the center of all things. To heal.

And the secret that the birds sing as they flit from thicket to tree. The knowing that the creek murmurs as it touches the mossbraids of green. The promise that the daffodils hold, surviving the cold, is that all the healing in the world is meant to be a mirror, showing you just how powerful of a healer you truly are.

And once we realize this— that we hold the same thimble vessel of magic that lives in the crab apple blooms and the liquid pour of a wood thrush singing in an early green wood—support will rush in like a spring-thawed stream.

For me, learning how to trust my intuition, my inner knowing, has become integral to this process of self-healing. Like the wisdom of the earthworm, sensing just where to dig. My connection with the natural world has helped me to come home to my own inner guide.

Next week I’ll be offering a free online class called Opening your Earth Intuition to help you make these deep and lasting connections. If you want to make sure you are on the list go ahead and hop over here to sign up.

Until then, check out my new video guide to two of my favorite allies to embrace self-healing (below) or this post from the archives to explore three creative spring cleanses for gentle self-renewal.


7 Comments

  • I had no idea that you seek to be cleansed when spring rolls around. It is important to remember that doing some research can help you find the best way to keep your mind and body healthy. A friend of mine was talking about how he needed to do some kind of past life healing so I wanted to look into it.

  • i agree with so much of this ~~~ the cyclical nature of healing : the shifting seasons : the looping back to revisit old ‘stuff’. yet? i sense that perhaps i see the connection with plants & plant allies differently. i enter into a relationship with a plant ~~~ its physical properties, vibrational, energetic ~~~ & if i am open, the plant affects me. that is not ‘me healing myself’ : that is a ‘joint alliance causing a beneficial change’. or that is how i view it.

    i worry that seeing the plants as somehow just reminders that ‘we are essentially healing ourselves’ is very a/ anthropomorphic, b/ reductive, c/ somehow a disrespect to the innate ‘Otherness’ of each plant or indeed mineral / elemental / animal spirit on earth.

    one might argue its all semantics ~~~ except we know that language is power & can be dangerous as such. when i think of my indigenous teachers, i think of how egalitarian their view is of human / plant / animal / mineral worlds : none being superior : all interacting : all affecting & relating to each other.

    ultimately, what is healing? ‘you are your own healer’ cannot, of course, guarantee everyone will recover from all illnesses. healing might be more subtle : might be about acceptance : might be about spiritual wholeness &, in fact, accepting death & moving on into a new realm.

    i love so much of your work… but something really niggled all weekend after i read this, so i’m just responding with my own ideas. but we are, of course, all different & truly must be. <3

    • Hi there J — thanks for your comment! I don’t disagree with you and I’m glad you spoke your heart here. We all need to hear different messages at different times, even though the truth is one big golden vibrant whole that encompasses all. For me, in the depths of dealing with chronic pain and illness, I needed this message deeply. This piece is absolutely not meant as a way to downplay the healing magic and Personhood of the plant kingdom. If you follow my work than you know that I count the plants as my most cherished teachers, guides, and angels. What this piece *is* however is a call for people to reclaim their power. So often in this culture we are trained (consciously or subconsciously) to give our power away to a perceived authority who “knows” better. Whether that is a doctor, a priest, a guru etc. I have also seen this subconscious deferment happen in the herbal world. Worship of a given plant without realizing that, within all worship, is a call to love ourselves. What is missing, and what is most often needed in order to heal (and yes, healing can look like many things. Including acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and even death) is us recognizing that we had the power within us all along. That all healing spins out from us remembering the truth of who we are (a brilliant being who is part of that greater, egalitarian whole, where our worthiness is entirely untarnished and there is truly there is no “other” at all). For all the talk of the rise of narcissism in our culture, I find over and over again in my practice this is the message people most often need to hear. That they are worthy, they are enough, and beyond that… that they are powerful. And that true healing (whatever that might end up looking like for you) begins with learning how to love, trust and value our own selves.

      All great teachers know that their true role is to inspire the student to realize that they held the grain of wisdom, of goodness, of magic, inside of themselves all along. The plants are great teachers. I aspire to learn just a corner of what they so naturally teach and embody.

      Language is truly a powerful tool. One I am learning how to wield in a way that is both pointed, succinct, accessible… and numinous enough to embrace the whole. I hope my reply to you here has illuminated a bit more of where I am, in truth, coming from.

  • Thankyou so much for this. It came at such an appropriate moment for me. All winter I have worked with a health issue and overwhelming anxiety and so many times I seem to take two steps forward and one back. Fear then grips me and I lose all faith and belief in my own healing power and I find myself floundering around in panic, frustration and hopelessness. But you are so right, it always comes to pass and you move through it, once again drawing on your own strength and power. ‘Acceptance and faith’ – the words that I chant to myself in the darkest moments. Once again – thankyou xxx

    • I am right there with you Mimi. The dance of it all can just so often feel like falling backwards. I will be tucking those words “acceptance and faith” into my own back pocket as well. Much love to you in this coming of springtime

  • I love all of it! Spring blessings – These reminders, the upcoming class, the cleanses, your video – I so appreciate all that you share! Namaste!

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