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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Who Do You Go To For Help?

Recently an acquaintance wanted to know who I would recommend if they were seeking help. After I named a couple of our peers the person asked her real question, “Who do you go to?”  My choices are so personal I can’t imagine that anyone I know would find my favorite advisors useful for them. Nor are my choices  licensed counselors or mental health specialists. But the people I sought out all have influenced my life in ways for which I am deeply grateful. I’ll mention a few.

Just before returning to graduate school later in life, I felt the need to find a fresh view of purpose unlike what I saw displayed around me in mass media or among acquaintances. I worked at a center that sponsored workshops representing under-appreciated alternative approaches coming from both our culture and other cultures. The most influential of these were Gestalt Therapy and meditation. The former showed me how to recognize and work with our unconscious processes; and the latter taught me, how to sit quietly with myself so that a higher nature could percolate into awareness.

Reading Edgar Cayce, the psychic father of Western holistic medicine, offered unexpected information. I received a different understanding of Christianity than the one I had known from previous negative experiences. Cayce’s work also taught me practical exercises that could be put into practice immediately for changing my attitudes. This is an enduring influence.

Sherborne House, Bennett's educational experiment.

Sherborne House, Bennett’s educational experiment.

In 1971, I chose to study with philosopher/physicist John G. Bennett who established a ten-month residential program where he intended to teach 100 students how to live in a way that goes against the worst traits of human nature, such as laziness, greed, and jealousy—traits that kept even the best of human endeavors from succeeding. His plan was to combine the inner work that we are used to thinking happens only in monasteries with the ability to do things that we connect with activism–the difference being that instead of trying to change others through the establishment of laws or strong organizations, his students would be learning how to change themselves. The tools he gave us would make us able to act on our values and not be pulled into the lethargy of everyday politics or the greed of personal or institutional power. My book, Sunny Side Up, is the story of his educational experiment.

Next I’ll mention my homeopathic M.D. Instead of drugs with many side effects, he uses the energized remedies of homeopathy that take into account all symptoms, including mental, emotional, and spiritual ones. Even the most sympathetic conventional physician does not have knowledge about this different paradigm of medicine that intentionally works with the subtle energies of emotions and mental states. I’ve had the security of growing old with this doctor and knowing there has always been helpful support for whatever stressful state I might experience.

The last person I’ll mention is Berry Morgan, a writer I met years ago who had been published regularly in The New Yorker during a period of twenty years. I met her after she’d entered a nursing home. Berry’s sly humor and confrontational style, although intimidating, attracted me. As I continued to visit her, we developed a partnership, agreeing that I would scribe the memoirs she wished to give to her family in exchange for help with my writing. I had told her about my true short stories that mysteriously got worse every time I tried to improve them. Never having studied writing or literature in college I was an unspoiled student she delighted in taking under her wings.

We often giggled so much that we wondered aloud about having so much fun in such dire circumstances. Despite the frivolity, what Berry did was to allow me to explore my spiritual experiences that people close to me and even I had treated with skepticism. I never knew for sure what she believed. Instead, her self-defined boundaries demonstrated her intent to help me tell the stories as accurately and interestingly as possible. When she was done with me, I owned them.

PRACTICE. Who do you go to for help? Why do you choose that particular person? Do they understand what you’re aiming for even though they aren’t in the same profession or religion? Do they have a wiser view that’s different from your own? Or have you sought a person whose approval you’re seeking but who doesn’t understand your goals?

CONTACT. Sometimes it’s difficult to explore new territory. If you are feeling the need to think about new hobbies, work, friends or attitudes, consider a free twenty-minute phone or one-week email consultation to clarify the next step of your vision.

If you’re curious about Berry and I, I recommend buying the digital version of The Transparent Feather that is on sale now for $3.99 at Smashwords. Or, if you prefer the feel of paper, consider the book version sold on Amazon.