Many times when I am working with a client it becomes very clear that they have some event in their past that needs to be healed in order to have their body-mind-spirit return to wholeness. I have many people that come to me having done therapy for years surrounding the topic. Others have taken antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals for years only to find that they are still depressed and anxious and it still stems from the same traumatic event. Most of the time I end up recommending some traditional medicine that involves a ceremony. These include soul retrieval, cord cuttings, inipi (sweat lodges), and hanbleycha (vision quest). Ceremony works because it connects the psyche to the outside world and marks ending for an event and signals a new beginning. Talk therapy mostly runs talk and memory centers on the left side of the brain. Healing must involve both hemispheres of the brain and the heart.
Some of my clients work very hard to heal; recovering their mind and spirit only to find that the body dies. It always does. My body will, no matter how many "good" and "right" things I do to it. It is designed to break down to give space for new life to occur. Celebrate birth and death, humanity has amazing creativity with its ceremonies on birth and death. Death is not a loss in and of itself. Only stupid deaths are. Michael Brown, Travon Martin, Eric Garner are stupid deaths. Our country must heal its issues with race, and not just the disproportionate jailing and police killing of black men. It must face its history of slavery and its role in the current economy. It must face its genocidal roots with Native Americans, and our obtuse immigration policy with Latinos. We must face our over glorification of extreme wealth and our production of immense poverty through our legal, political, and banking systems. We must reconnect our souls to the timeless ebbs and flows of nature.
I think we need to begin to talk about these issues as much as we talk about Beyonce. This dialogue must happen beyond social media posts and media spin. How do I feel about these events? How can I do my part to heal the greater collective? This is just the beginning. To truly heal as a nation, planet, we must have a large scale ceremony to express and honor these events of the past and to put them to bed. Traditionally these ceremonies are organized and orchestrated by the leader. Mr. Obama where are you? Do not wait for the federal government or any body outside yourself. Choose to heal your past and your ancestor's past- start within yourself. Use both hemispheres of your brain and heart. Seek out indigenous ceremonies if you don't know where to begin. The time is now to take action.