Healing is an Embodied Communal Act

The last two years have brought us one collective challenge after another – a pandemic that continues to plague us in waves, political and civic unrest driven by extremist ideologies, random and senseless gun violence, and catastrophic weather events that make the global climate emergency a present-day reality.

These realities expose how ideologies of supremacy, exploitation, and domination (patriarchy and white supremacy in particular) have permeated our socio-political systems and failed humanity. The way of dominance, oppression and exploitation of lives and natural resources are killing us, literally and figuratively.

If you are tired of being “resilient,” the art of bouncing back from disasters, you are not alone. Self-care has become a multi-billion-dollar industry capitalizing on our exhaustion. None of this is sustainable, and it’s calling us to a collective awakening to the needs of our communities and our planet. We must accelerate a transformation in consciousness—one that honors the principle of interdependence—to save ourselves.

In the words of bell hooks, groundbreaking feminist critic, poet, and intellectual who died last year, “the most basic activism we can have in our lives is to live consciously in a nation living in fantasies. Living consciously is living with a core of healthy self-esteem. You will face reality; you will not delude yourself.”

When we share our unique gifts, we create ripples of resilience that collectively become a tsunami of healing and radical transformation

There is no room for spiritual bypassing or selective apathy. This is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. We must face reality and not delude ourselves, but we must do so in a way that doesn’t render us hopeless and helpless. We must be able to tap into our courage, self-confidence, willingness, determination, as well as kindness, fierce love, and wisdom-tempered compassion. We need the power of Durga, Sophia, Freyja, Oshun, Hathor, Aphrodite and all the goddesses of various traditions to accomplish this task.

This momentous responsibility also requires moving beyond a philosophy self-care, where the burden is on the individual, and into “communities of care” where healing happens through mutual aid and support. Love must be the prevailing force that heals the growing cruelty, savagery and brutality expressed in current society.

In Hook’s 1999 classic All About Love she wrote “rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.” Whether these communities are spiritual, professional, therapeutic, or mutual aid societies, find one that suits your needs.

In that spirit, my professional endeavors going forward will focus on creating “communities of care.” While I will continue to offer individual healing sessions and resiliency coaching, my goal is to establish theme-focused communities where we are all equal seekers and there are no hierarchies. I may teach what I have practiced and learned over the last three decades, but my intention is to honor the creative intelligence and wisdom inherent in each person as it wants to express itself in the holding space of a safe container.

Let’s teach and support each other, honoring our interdependence. Let’s heal in communion with one another. Our inner brilliance is what will change the world outside of us. In the embrace of community, each of us –through our unique gifts – can create ripples of resilience that collectively can become a tsunami of healing and radical transformation. Connection comes first.

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