I’ve been thinking about healing — its nature and function; its relationship to our lives and the life of our world; how it unfolds; what its purpose is, and more. Here are some thoughts that emerged from my brief, initial exploration –in no particular order.

Healing is not the same as transformation. Healing may include transformation, but transformation requires power and energy that may not always be available to you when you’re in the midst of a healing journey. Healing often precedes transformation.

You do not have to be perfectly healed before you can create. Creative process and art-making are healing activities when undertaken with no agenda other than your own creative delight in making your art.

Healing is tidal, and undulant. It requires spacious attention and nuanced responses to the organic movement and flow of your energies. It is also a process as well as an activity, which means that it will look different at different times, and is neither linear nor predictable in nature.

Sometimes, healing requires retreat and turning inward. Other times, healing calls for engagement with the world around you, knowing that you are part of its ecology and your healing is contingent upon the healing of your world.

Joy is a profoundly buoyant healing force. Joy dissolves pain, and heals with the blazing gentleness of a hearth-fire.

Healing always involves marrying the universal with the particular.

Healing is a quality of your incarnate soul, so it’s within you as a seed, or potential. It’s always available to you.

Healing has its own rhythm, pace, and timing. Honour it, and it will restore you to your innate wholeness.

Healing requires conditions that are unique to you, and to your healing process. These are specific, and change at different stages of your life. Pay attention to the conditions that best support and promote your own healing, and create those conditions for yourself. Trust yourself. Trust your own discernment. Surround yourself with people, places, and conditions that promote your healing, no matter how odd or illogical some of these might seem.

Healing begins at the subtle energy level, and moves through your various energy bodies before making its way through your physical body. Each layer of this process requires different kinds of support.

Just because a healing modality is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the most effective method for you, or for what ails you. Herbal infusions and homeopathic remedies, for example, are powerful — and can cause as many problems as they solve, when used inappropriately. Listen to your body. It has an immense store of knowledge and wisdom, as well as its own healing energy. It will tell you whether or not something is right for you. It will also tell you when it’s time to change to a different healing modality, and when your current healing cycle has come to a close.

You do not need smudge sticks, crystals, rainbows, unicorns, gurus, mantras, or healing circles in order to heal. You also do not need to take medicine that causes a “healing crisis” — the kind where you feel awful for prolonged stretches of time, but you tell yourself it’s because the medicine is working.

Healing happens on an elemental level. It restores harmonious relationships between the elements in your body, and in the interface between you and the world in which we live.

Healing is both personal and ecological. You can’t heal from anxiety, for example, without also healing a society that violates your sovereignty, and severs you from your soul and your sources of power and nourishment.

Healing has its own purposes. Sometimes healing looks like renewal into a more vibrant life. Sometimes, healing looks like a peaceful, conscious death. One is not better or more morally righteous than the other.

What else do you know about healing?