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What is Healing?

I ask, because someone asked me recently.

This season I've had the privilege of working with a few groups of young adults in gardens. It's wonderful.

Last week, an apprentice at Alemany Farm asked me a bewildering question - they asked, What is healing?

(Paraphrasing) "When you were teaching us about herbalism, you said that it's a modality for healing. When we look at western medicine, we never hear them talk bout healing, we talk about "treating." So what is healing?"

Full Stop. If anyone here wants to take a shot at answering this questions succinctly, I welcome you to reply to this email with your definition.

To mean, healing as a process. One that often takes time, although some healing happens in a transformative instant (I'm thinking of a revelation we have in talk therapy or the energetic cleaning of a limpia).

I also believe that healing is a restorative process after harm has been done. Sometimes this harm is caused by our families of origin. Sometimes it is the dominant culture. Often it is systems of oppression that run through all of it.

Harm can be perpetrated, accidental, an instant, a series of instances, a pattern, a behavior. In the end, harm does not serve us and when we are able to see that and let go of what has caused us harm, then we start the path to healing.

Plants, time, talking, moving, dreaming, dancing, praying, playing, and many other things can help us make movement on this path.

I could go on, and certainly there are so many ways to heal. I'm sure this short digital post has not touched on all the ways we get harmed or healed. But perhaps these words have inspired you in some way to start further down this path, in a small way.

From my heart to yours, blessings on your healing path.

Did you enjoy this article and want to learn more? Are you curious about how local herbalism can support you leading a more embodied and authentic life? Consider joining my newsletter.


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