The Art Of True Healing
So much has been written and discussed lately about healing and the mind. The two are, of course, intricately connected, and understanding about the mind-body connection has now merged into the common culture. Most people are at least aware of it in some way, through some book or magazine article or TV or radio show. Israel Regardie wrote brilliantly on the subject over seventy years ago, and he wrote about the mind-body connection in a way that no one else has written before or since.
The Art of True Healing
Getting another person to change isn't the point of forgiveness. It's about focusing on what you can control in the here and now. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to have in your life.
A Policy of Caring is an official non-profit organization that aims to bring harmony in people utilizing the healing and transformative energy of Yoga, Exercise, Meditation, Nutrition, Reiki, and discovering creative outlets such as writing and art. True Freedom Recovery Yoga is the yoga arm of A Policy of Caring, Inc. We facilitate healing and train groups and individuals on the art of being alive in this busy and changing world.
There are system practices that try to improve compliance. Social workers now arrange services to help needy patients manage their difficult circumstances. Quality improvement committees meet daily to address pitfalls in care. Yet, despite our best intentions, we know that there are many things we cannot do as individual clinicians. Noncompliance will not be eliminated. Mental illnesses will likely remain untreated. Poverty, ignorance, and social injustice breed so much of the disease we treat . However, beyond our social differences is the way of compassion. Compassion is a deep response to the suffering of another. It is the art of healing. It relates to the core of the person who suffers, understanding the need for care and the sources of vulnerability. It is beyond an empathetic response, attempting to understand or know the suffering experienced by another. True compassion, true healing, can help address mutual vulnerabilities and restore damaged relationships.
This collection aspires to provide an 'African-centered' perspective on the issues of social justice as both ends and means of healing and reconciliation, the nature of conflict, judicial accountability, and truth commissions. It draws upon the work of activists, policy-makers, and academics to explore how shattered lives and societies can be rebuilt.
Wole Soyinka's chapter argues that reparations are critically important and calls for any analysis of the past to be cognizant of the continued relevance of memory of the slave trade for Africa. The first part on social justice and the nature of conflict in particular take the Biafran War as its point of departure. For the editors, it serves as a useful precursor to exploring current efforts at healing and reconciliation in Africa. The record of reconciliation after Biafra is a mixed one. Ifi Amadiume, for example, argues that Nigerian political problems of the 1990s can be traced to the persistent public silence about the Biafran War. Akachi Ezeigbo examines the role of art, literature in particular, in providing healing. Axel Harnet-Sievers and Sydney Emezue examine the psychological benefits of myth-making as a survival strategy. Others focus more on broader lessons. Abdullahi An-Na'im and Svetlana Peshkova argue that realizing social justice, let alone conceiving of it, can vary tremendously depending on the context. Meaning can vary by country, culture, gender, or class, for example. They caution that, while social movements are frequently a strong force for realizing reconciliation, they can also contribute to the conflict.
Studies have shown that such qualities affect healing. That's true for both physician and patient. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, who designed "The Healer's Art," wrote: "Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul" ("Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal").
We stand on the principle that true healing comes from God. Our students stand on biblical truth in all of their studies and grow in their knowledge of the Word of God. We offer a program that equips students to be instruments for the Lord, guiding people to biblical solutions to life's problems.
Hispanic American Historical Review 83.1 (2003) 210-211 // --> [Access article in PDF] Healing Cultures: Art and Religion As Curative Practices in the Caribbean and Its Diaspora. Edited by Margarite Fernández Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001. Photographs. Illustrations. Notes. xxi, 236 pp. Cloth, $45.00. In Healing Cultures, the editors have collected a set of articles that address the interplay between the acts, discussion, and language of healing in syncretic Afro-Caribbean cultures, and the art those cultures have produced. "Culture" here means primarily religions, which the editors regard as "powerful repositories of inner strength and cultural affirmation" (p. xvii). Seeking to show "the beneficial aspects" of Afro-Caribbean syncretism "from within the communities in question" (p. xix), they have primarily chosen authors who speak from a direct, personal perspective. Mario A. Nuñez Molina argues, in his essay on healing and espiritismo in the Puerto Rican diaspora, that the experiential approach helps the researcher achieve overlooked insights and in "collecting, analyzing, and understanding data in a way that is more consonant with the culture being studied" (p. 123). This is a common methodological theme for many of the book's diverse contributors, who include psychologists, anthropologists, writers, and film critics. Certainly, this is true of Ester Rebecca Shapiro Rok's highly personal account of the uses of Santería ritual for psychological healing in the exile community, an essay that emphasizes cultural mixture and dislocation, or Opal Palmer Adisa's examination of her own work along with that Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, and Edna Brodber as examples of works of literature that heal black amnesia. Adisa argues that healing is possible only through confrontation with the brutal pain of the past. The need to turn the pain of Afro-Caribbeans' history of slavery, exile, and domination into healing is another major theme of the collection. Ernesto R. Acevedo-Muñoz finds, as a unifying idea in Caribbean film, an interpretation of the Caribbean experience as a misstep or historical aberration. Healing in films like Heile Gerima's Sanfoka (1993), a story of Jamaican plantation slavery, comes as a result of the exorcism of the trauma of slavery through death and resurrection in the true home of Africa. In these films, magic, words, and stories serve to fix a broken Caribbean. The healing power of words and stories is a thread that runs through several other essays, including Fernández Olmos'sopening essay, "La botánic cultural: Ars Medica, Ars [End Page 210] Poetica" (pp. 1-15), which looks at how artistic and literary depictions of a culture's healing practices, in turn, provide healing for that culture. Karen Castelluci Cox examines healing in the novels of Julia Alvarez, where the words and stories of Vodou mysticism serve to heal the spiritual emptiness of Dominican-American women caught on the border of cultures.
To do our job well, to care for patients well, we need time to think, to reflect, and to connect. When time is filled with busy-ness, there is no time to reflect on our experience and to connect with our meaning and purpose. Many of you spoke of the importance of purpose to healing and well-being.
Many of you raised the importance of paying attention, of paying focused attention, whether to a patient, a student, a trainee, or a colleague. Many of you noted the gift of attention as key to the healing experience, and many of you expressed frustration that the clinical experience was now structured as obstructive to focused attention. Whether the technology or the constant interruptions or just the sheer number of the demands, all make paying attention, being present, more difficult.
Some of you talked with enthusiasm about workarounds that you've created. We often talked about our struggle to set up alternate practice structures that preserve and treasure the opportunity for being present in the healing experience.
As physicians, we have experience both with the power of the art of medicine and with the power of the science of medicine. Both are critical to patient care. Truth may be the sort of thing that is double-edged. Disparate things can be true and call upon us to keep equipoise between what may appear to be not only incongruent but also opposite. Truth is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage and strength to acknowledge the different corners where truth lives.
The true cost of this tragedy will be felt by so many people around the world that it is hard to comprehend the scale of the impact at this juncture. We are full of admiration and gratitude for those essential workers who are continuing to take the necessary risks to ensure all of our safety and that society can function.
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