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Healing: The Inside Job

Yesterday, I went on an all-day Yoga/Meditation Retreat with a dear friend of mine. It was hosted at Alchemy in Princeton by a lovely person, Beth Filla, who teaches yoga, counsels, sings, plays a harmonium, and is just an all-around cool lady.

It was an amazing and thought-provoking day, as we did two hours of Jivamukti yoga, a nice long savasana, journaling, philosophical discussion, yin yoga (restorative), silent meditation, and finished with some rousing Kirtan music. Oh yes, we did take a break and had a delicious vegetarian lunch catered by Properly Fueled of Bordentown. The pickled vegetables were outstanding.

So, why am I telling you this? I wasn’t really sure when I started writing today, but I think it has to do with thoughts I had about “healing”. I kept returning to this or a variation of it as I journaled yesterday, noting that much of how we operate in this world is to either move away from pain or move towards pleasure.

As we move through our days, are we enhancing our pleasure or just avoiding pain? Are we even conscious of our actions, or are they just reactions? Oftentimes, this is what some people do in response to what is “eating them”. They gorge on “bad food” which makes them feel better. Huh?

As a wellness coach who has worked with many people who identify as emotional eaters, I recognize this pattern and help an individual see it too. We do this through journaling, which I find a useful technique to help an individual make long-lasting internally-driven behavioral change.

During our discussion, one of the participants there let us know that a white supremacist group was intending to march in Princeton that day, and he was monitoring what might be going on in Palmer Square, while we were chillin’ over at Alchemy. Disturbing that there are so many hate-filled people out there, who are making such an effort to embrace pain.

And, of course, I couldn’t help but think of our little planet, spinning around in turmoil, needing us to help restore and rebuild her, before its too late.

Getting back to healing, though, I think that what I was experiencing yesterday was a confluence of all the things I enjoy – such as good food, great company, calming practices and music – as a remedial modality for myself to take notice of and adhere to this year. We can all get off track, coaches included.

So, I made a promise to myself yesterday to do what I can to move towards pleasure in 2019, in a conscious and deliberate way. And to expand my definition of healing beyond myself, beyond my clients and into the community in a more meaningful and expansive way. Stay tuned.

Healing is simply attempting to do more of those things that bring joy and fewer of those things that bring pain.

O. Carl Simonton

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