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The Centre of All Things

I started a book called Environmental Arts Therapy and the Tree of Life (Ian Siddons Heginworth). It is a beautiful treatise on following the cycles of seasons and life as part of therapeutic growth and healing. The ideas are satisfying; a call to what is already known within. He writes:


"We go into therapy because our pain summons us to seek the truth. The therapist holds the role of elder, of pathfinder, until we are ready to own it as our own....Where might this elder lead us? ...The pathfinder takes us into still and quiet places. The pathfinder knows that feeling is a wild animal and will hide if you chase it. But if we sit in silence and wait and trust, then it may just cross our path. So the elder wants us to stop, to give ourselves time to feel, and will go to great ends to make that happen." (Heiginworth, 2009, p.18-19)


I am struck by the idea that we must meet ourselves within our experiences, our feelings, and our stories in order to heal. So often the work of healing is interrupted by running away from ourselves through distraction, substance use, overworking, and busy-ness. Yet, we cannot escape ourselves. What could it mean to stop abandoning our pain and welcome all the parts home? What could it mean to become acquainted with the parts that have long been cast aside? What could it mean to grieve for all the losses experienced? What are your truths?


Healing requires rest. Stillness. It is not found in achievement (is there any achievement that would allow you to feel good enough?), nor in busily pushing through (distraction delays). True healing requires a quietness that often is at odds with our modern society. It flows from the still center within us. So how do we find stillness when we are bombarded with bids for our attention and lists of things to do?



Day ends, I am left

With me, rooted always

In what is holy within





Nature knows the way. How the activity of summer sighs into the decay of autumn, releasing into the dark cocoon of winter. Nature operates in cycles, as do we.

  • Start to notice your cycles: Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Plan your schedule in a way that honours your cycles of energy, mood, and productivity.

  • Plan for rest. Yes, I said it, put that in your calendar and resist the urge to fill every waking moment with "doing".

  • Notice when you are overscheduling yourself and adjust when you can to create more breathing room. Signs you might be overexerting yourself are: Feeling chronically exhausted, feeling resentful of others or the activities you are doing, changes in your health, you are unable to fit in self-care activities.

  • Spend time in nature as often as possible. Even 20 minutes a day is restorative and can help the body and mind unwind. Nature is inherently healing.

  • Make room for feeling. Allow feelings to pass through you. Cry if you need to.

  • Acknowledge your truths, even if they are painful. Write out your story including positives and negatives.

  • Allow yourself to grieve for all the losses you have experienced. In all of our rebirths, there is also a shedding of the old. Loss is inevitable and a part of life. Grieving for what we let go of, what we shed, and what might have been taken from us can help us move into the next part of the journey. It reacquaints us with our own cycles.






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