Lately I have been sitting with the question:
How do we support healers – people who are committed to helping others regain their health?
This question has been on my mind for several reasons.
1. I have witnessed and experienced burnout in myself and in others and I know how important it is to have a place to recover from this over-saturation of emotions. No matter how good your boundaries are. No matter how much you love what you do. You still need time for yourself.
The antidote? Commit to a regularly occurring practice which restores your energy and rejuvenates your spirit. This practice may vary from day to day (I personally like to mix it up). What is necessary is you prioritize yourself. It is dangerous to think you can ignore your own needs.
I once went to a massage therapist who fell asleep during the session. Literally fell asleep while giving me a massage. Didn’t matter how much I liked her as a person: I didn’t go back. I want to receive from someone who cares as much about herself as she does for her clients. While not all signs of poor self-care are that obvious, clients do pick up on who is a healthy healer. Taking care of yourself affects not just your personal health but also your financial health.
2. I have witnessed healers ignore their shadow – that place where they feel incompetent, frightened or ugly – and that scares me. Ignoring, suppressing and denying that part of ourselves is dangerous. It affects our ability to see ourselves and others clearly. Denying our shadow does not allow us to show up wholly or authentically.
The antidote? Find a therapist or a professional group where you can confidentially do your shadow work. We all have a shadow. No need to get stuck in shame because you have one. Shadow is a natural by-product of growing up in a culture and/or family that has a narrow definition of what is acceptable, successful and valuable. Carl Jung wrote about shadow extensively and Joseph Campbell recognized the vanquishing of the shadow as part of the Hero’s Journey.
As someone who has done and will continue to shed light on my shadow, I cannot begin to describe how invaluable this work is. Every time I choose to look for and address the underlying need of my shadow I find so many riches. Finding the buried treasure which lies in the shadows is so rewarding that I wish it for all my fellow humans.
Because I am such a big believer in this work, my team and I are offering several opportunities for folks to explore their own shadow. One such opportunity is for healers specifically and will begin in September. If you would like to know more information about this opportunity, please send me an email. I will keep your inquiry private.
Our world needs healthy, happy healers. The services healers provide are so important to the health and well-being of our community. Let’s commit to doing our own healing work so we can continue to show up for others, but more importantly, show up for ourselves.