My father is visiting and one of the great benefits is that he fixes things for me. He has glued the bench, hammered the loose shingle, and applied WD-40 to the sticky lock. I get a little thrill out of things being fixed up. It is so satisfying when a problem is solved.

I love other fixes too. Antibiotics can save a lot of lives. Righteous supreme court decisions can make big changes. But usually the “fix” is not very simple or clear.

I work with a lot of people who are facing incredibly complex problems. Some have advanced cancer. Some are trying to protect fresh water. There is no magic pill for either of these problems.

A friend with cancer recently shared with me research suggesting that only 20% of healing lies in conventional treatment. Dr. Wayne Jonas has been researching how 80% of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes.

While I think it is a little funny that someone can declare percentages like this, they resonate as true to me. When I was healing from cancer, what I consider the “real” healing happened in community and through spiritual practice. The conventional medical treatments were in support of this whole-self healing.

Finding Hope in the 80%

Jonas’ recognition of the 80% of healing outside of conventional treatment is where I find hope. Sometimes our medical options have low success rates but if that’s only a small piece of the puzzle maybe that doesn’t matter as much.

Politically might the same idea be true? Our present converging global crises need political solutions. But policy is perhaps only 20% of the collective healing that is required. What if the other 80% of the solution lies in our connections – the mind-body connection, our connections to each other, to the earth and to the Divine? What if our solutions lie in supporting the earth’s natural processes?

I find politics incredibly painful right now. I call the Governor and show up at some meetings. But generally I focus on building the connections and maybe that’s where 80% of our social transformation happens. Only when more people have a strong relationship with water will our water policy change. Only when more people have a relationship with people on the margins will homelessness change. We need to be connected to our personal stories, our ancestral stories, and our community stories.

The best part is that it is always in our power to do something to bring us into connection. How do you connect with yourself, with others, or with the earth? Where do you want to connect more?

With love,

emily

Group Practices

Drop in any week to Healing Waters Qigong, a Spring Forest Qigong practice group, or to the Wisdom Dances dance practice, based in Laura Shannon’s research on traditional dances as tools for healing and transformation.

A Tender Space for Transformation

It can be so frustrating to feel that the healing or creation you seek eludes you. This is why I help people address the root energetic and spiritual nature of their challenges through qigong healing.

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