Healing Arts Report

Practices for an Evolving Life

They Don't Tell You How

“You need to love yourself more.” “You shouldn’t feel that way.” “Always put other people first. Don’t be selfish.” The one thing that is missing from all this good advice is telling you HOW to do it. We introduce you to practical tools using your own character traits to support you in creating practical answers to those questions. Read more here.

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Two memoirs tell about times of extreme personal growth in the author’s life. Sunny Side Up is a window into the early 70s when certain young adults were searching for a way to head off society’s path bent on materialism. The Transparent Feather tells of a dying author passing the torch of writing to her new friend cum student.

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You can love yourself and other people as well. At Healing Arts Report we explore fulfilling personal development that at the same time serves to create the shift to a peaceful new world paradigm.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―C.G. Jung

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Art Of The Story — Part I, Free Hugs

How can a story be so much richer a way to learn than through lectures and grades? Unlike stories that have a single correct answer or moral to them, more compelling stories are akin to the little known literary form called teaching stories.

Teaching stories are a tradition from the Middle East and Afghanistan introduced to the West by the late teacher and prolific collector of these stories, Idries Shah. As psychologist Robert Ornstein describes them, they are designed in a way that can develop higher thinking skills and perceptions.

Ornstein recaps one of those well-known stories that is also familiar to us as a joke. Mulla Nasrudin is looking for his lost house key on the street when a passerby sees him and offers to help the Mulla search.

After a fruitless hunt, he asks Nasrudin exactly where he lost it. The Mulla says he lost it in his house. “Then, why are we looking here?” asks the man. “Because,” Nasrudin says, “there is more light here.”

In one sentence, Ornstein brings a deeper level to the story. “I am looking for my key – which I really know is in my own house – in places where I know the key is not but where there is more light.”

I tried to think of just one situation where I could apply this analogy.

Imagine being overweight, knowing I generally eat too much and don’t eat healthful food, but I love the taste. I decide to go to a doctor, a person whom I believe to be enlightened in this subject. When I meet him, I see he is grossly overweight himself. Yet he provides me with a diet he says I should follow.

The diet lists all the things I already know about good food and how much to eat. In seeing this doctor, I’ve gone to the light and yet I’m no closer to finding a solution. This particular expert of health knowledge displays that he doesn’t have the information I need despite his being considered an authority by our society.

It’s important to know more about what I’m really looking for.

Take the same situation. I hear there is a doctor who addresses the emotional causes of overeating which I suspect is relevant to my real issue. I already have basic knowledge about the quality and quantity of food, but this time I am seeking a knowledgeable person who can enlighten me about aspects I don’t understand and which are affecting my ability carry out and benefit from a changed diet.

Questions Ornstein suggests asking oneself about Mulla Nasrudin’s lost key story are:

What are you looking for? Where are you looking for it? Are you looking in a place where there’s a lot of light? Contemplate this question: What is your key? What ideas come up? Say, “I have lost my key.” How does that question make you feel? What does it mean to you? Where does it take you? Then say, “My key is in my own house.” Where does that take you and how does it make you feel?

Ornstein’s summary below immediately brings several new ideas to mind:

“I am looking for my key — which I really know is in my own house — in places where I know the key is not but where there is more light.”


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Image by Chicquero.com green

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Image by DangerMouthDesign













Each cartoon above tells a story using a single image and two words. The contrast of the image with the words causes us to think.  But the message is the same and there’s only one meaning in the cartoons. The Free Hugs Campaign video below offers the same reward, free hugs, yet the message seems to be different.

Taking cartoons and video into account, we need to consider our perceptions of each situation. What are the factors regarding safety, fun, or danger? How does one decide whether to accept or refuse the offer?

This popular video offers the same item as the other two pictures shown here. What are my perceptions about each situation? What are the factors of safety or danger? How do I decide whether to take or shun an offer?

Music for this popular video promoting the FreeHugsCampaign.org is “All the Same” by the Sick Puppies.


This is what Juan Mann, the guy holding the sign, had to say about the beginning of his day, “And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.”

PRACTICE: Use discernment. Take time to obtain understanding of apparent contradictions or subtleties that might otherwise be ignored. “Listen” for feelings or what might more accurately be described as sensations in your body that might affect your choices. Check out your interpretation of what the sensations mean if you can. You’ll come to understand them better. Sometimes it just requires asking a question of the person whose behavior you’re reacting to.

Contact: Have you had a run of bad decisions causing chaos in your life? We can explore with tenderness what motivates your choices while discovering inside yourself better solutions to advance your hopes and dreams.