Healing. What is it, and how can we bring more of it into our lives? Healing is a process…. a process of achieving balance and transcending suffering.
My experience as a nurse and energy worker has shown me there are as many ways of bringing healing into your life as there are stars in the sky.
In this post, I’ll share a powerful, integrative, prayerful meditation for healing. But first, let’s take a closer look at the concept of healing. (If you’d like to skip the details and go straight to the meditation, scroll to the “Try this…” section.)
What is healing?
I learned a truly life-enhancing concept during Reiki training years ago: “All healing is self-healing.” After that, much of what I learned in nursing school supported another closely related concept: “Healing comes from within.”
In the holistic way of thinking, healing is all about restoring balance: The balance among your body’s structures and systems, plus your mental, emotional, and spiritual processes and energies. The human body is hardwired to balance itself automatically. In other words, balance is the body’s default state. Biologists refer to this default state of balance as homeostasis. Some even refer to it as homeodynamics because the actual state of balance is constantly in flux.Balance is the body's natural default state.Click To Tweet
Healing supports the body’s natural tendency to seek balance. This is why statements like “all healing is self-healing,” and “healing comes from within” ring true.
I realize that’s a lot to take in… but wait, there’s more.
Although healing is the ideal focus of nursing and medicine, these time-honored professions don’t have an official, operational definition of the term, “healing.” In 2005, an operational definition of healing was proposed: “transcendence of suffering.” Although this definition has not yet become part of mainstream healthcare education, I resonated with the idea of transcending suffering the first time I heard it. It makes perfect sense because suffering creeps into our experience through the cracks of imbalance. The absence of suffering is the ultimate end result of any process that restores balance to your body’s systems and energies.
So… here’s how I choose to think of healing:
Healing is a deeply personal, internally driven, process of achieving balance to transcend suffering.
Your experiences of achieving balance and transcending suffering comprise your healing journey.
In many ways, healing, like happiness, is all about the journey: It’s less about getting there, and more about being present for the experiences you have along the way. In other words, when you’re achieving balance and transcending suffering … you can live well with whatever health condition you may have.When you're achieving balance and transcending suffering, you're healing. And that means you can live well with what you have.Click To Tweet
Healing is NOT curing.
Healing is NOT the same as curing. Where healing is all about balance and transcendence, curing tends to be more about eliminating or vanquishing a foe. This matters, because healing energy tends to be additive and aligned with abundance and receiving. Curative energy is often thought of as eliminative and aligned more with scarcity than giving. It’s not always the case, of course, but the point is that healing and curing can be very different energetic experiences.
In medical history, true cures, while possible, are actually quite rare. Antibiotics are one example. But curing became the goal when science became integrated into medical practice in the early 20th Century. At that time, physicians began focusing on diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease and moved away from their traditional, cultural, role of “healing the sick.” Today, medical treatments are referred to as “curative measures” and are part of your plan of care as a patient under medical treatment.
Healing and curing are allies for wellness.Healing and curing are allies for wellness.Click To Tweet
Admitting that curing is different from healing can be confusing, and at times controversial, because modern medicine is far more comfortable discussing curing than healing. Accepting the idea of healing requires somewhat of a paradigm shift– a shift into a holistic way of thinking.
And even though healing and curing are different, they are not incompatible or in any way mutually exclusive. I like to think of healing and curing as allies for wellness.
As allies for wellness, healing and curing work together. Healing does not replace curing, nor does curing replace healing. Healing works alongside, and supports modern medicine’s coveted curative measures. And healing provides hope, dignity, and solace in the event that a cure is not possible.
Cultivate a healing mindset.
Healing is possible when you’re open to it. Remain open to healing by cultivating a healing mindset. You can do this by shifting the way you process your emotions and manage the input you receive through your senses.Remain open to healing by cultivating a healing mindset.Click To Tweet
A good place to start is to review how you’re managing your emotions. Allowing yourself to experience the full range of human emotion is one of the healthiest things you can do. It’s natural for your emotional state to vary over time. When you allow the full range of emotions into your experience of living, you come to appreciate the intense emotions on either end of the spectrum, and you begin to have a healthier respect for them. You also realized through experience that no one single emotion state is preferable.
By the way, stuffing your emotions down leads to suffering. So if you want to heal fully and completely, from within, you’ll need to allow the full range of human emotions into your experience.
Another thing you can do is learn to honor your senses as your body’s messengers. Your senses help you interact with the world around you and help you achieve and maintain balance (homeostasis). I like to think of my senses as “homeostasis in action.” When you tune in and respond to what your body’s telling you, your actions are aligned and balanced. This is the result of a healing mindset.If you want to heal, allow the full range of emotions into your experience, and honor your senses as messengers.Click To Tweet
Some thoughts on creativity and healing
Healing is creative and creativity can be healing. This reciprocity is well known to energy healers, who recognize that balancing and aligning the second chakra energy center can be particularly valuable for overall healing.
But you don’t need to address the chakras directly, or engage in “energy work” specifically, to benefit from knowing more about the connection between healing and creativity.
Healing is inherently creative
Holistic healing is, in essence, a creative act. How so? Maybe you need to create a new life for yourself in order to live well with a new diagnosis or a longstanding chronic condition. This goal can be achieved by creating new habits and creating a new image or identity for yourself that is not driven by a diagnosis. You may also wish to create an environment of self-care, nurture, and wellness for yourself.Healing is an inherently creative act.Click To Tweet
Remember, healing comes from within. Transcending suffering is inherently creative and requires you to think differently about your situation.
Creative acts can be healing.
Creativity is also a coping mechanism that helps us heal. Hobbies and creative activities can help elevate our thoughts and moods, and align our bodies with the positive energies that support healing.
And of course, creative acts can help distract you and give you something else to think about other than your health condition.
Integrate creativity into prayerful meditations with visualization.
Creativity itself is a vehicle for transcendence, just like healing. That means integrating creativity into your prayerful meditations and other types of healing sessions can be a powerful way to amplify your healing experience.
You can include creativity in your prayerful meditations, by integrating creative meditation techniques. Visualization, for example, is an ideal method to incorporate into your prayerful meditations for healing, because it is a creative exercise in and of itself. So the act of performing the prayerful meditation is a creative act all by itself.
Here is an example of visualization. This works especially well for mitigating physical pain. Imagine your pain as a color. See the color flowing from and surrounding the painful area. Give the colored area a shape. Make the shape a little smaller, and a little smaller. Make the colored shape as small as you can — until you can’t get it any smaller. Now bury it. Return it to the earth where it can disintegrate and disappear. Repeat as necessary.
Remember that when you are practicing a prayerful meditation for healing that includes visualization, breathwork, and affirmations, you are engaging in an inherently creative activity.
Prayers, meditations, and healing
Sometimes, our basic prayers for healing have a tendency to take on the tone of begging or bargaining with a higher power. Unfortunately, this sets up a disempowered state which does not support true healing. Disempowered states cannot support healing because they represent incompatible energy: Healing happens when vibrations are raised, balanced, and aligned.
If you’re in need of healing for yourself, or if you’d like to support healing for someone you love, you may desire a certain outcome. But true healing –any process that balances your body and helps you transcend suffering– is not limited to a particular outcome.True healing is not limited to a particular outcome.Click To Tweet
The beauty of healing lies in the process of achieving balance. The balance itself is dynamic, and therefore part of the process. The ultimate “outcome” of healing, if you must strive for one, is transcending suffering. In essence, then, transcending suffering involves transcending the desire for a concrete outcome. That’s because suffering is often perpetuated by desiring an outcome that cannot be achieved.
Although healing comes from within, you may wish to align with an outside source to raise your energy. This can be achieved quickly by making an appeal to a higher power. Then, align, or entrain with that higher energy. This will boost and balance the body’s baseline energy state and backfill any deficit, lack, or inability.Prayerful meditation is a useful tool for putting healing into action.Click To Tweet
Prayerful meditation is a useful tool for putting healing into action because it requires you to take positive action to do your part. By requesting a boost in your own strength, you acquire a cascade of benefits in the process. This is how transcendence is achieved.
It’s your turn…
Here is a prayerful meditation for healing. It’s structured as an appeal to a higher power for alignment with healing energy and has been carefully worded to support your body’s efforts to return to its natural state of balance while also aligning the mind and spirit with an elevated state of consciousness consistent with transcendence.
This prayerful meditation contains multiple affirmations and statements of personal power. I’ve added prompts for integrating your favorite visualization and meditative breathwork techniques. Feel free to modify this concept to suit your needs and preferences. My own preferred term for a higher power is God, but any term you’re comfortable with can be used. As with any of my prayerful meditations, you are invited to substitute your own words as needed.
A Prayerful Meditation for Healing
by Lane Therrell
Assume your preferred posture for meditation. If you don’t have a preferred meditation posture, try sitting comfortably with your back supported and your feet flat on the floor. Keep a copy of the words you’d like to use during your session easily visible.
Open the session in your preferred manner. If you have a specific visualization, sound, or process you like to use to mark the beginning of a session. Otherwise, simply begin by speaking the following words.
Please align my body, mind, and spirit with your perfect peace and the harmony of unconditional love. Please shine the full power of your divine light upon me so that I may heal. I receive your gifts with gratitude and grace.
Pause here, and engage your preferred style of meditative breathwork. If you don’t have a preferred style of breathwork, try inhaling to the full capacity of your lungs, hold your breath for several seconds, and then exhale fully until your lungs are empty. Hold your breath another few seconds before inhaling again to start the next breath cycle.
Notice how your breathwork affects your body. Continue the breathwork for as many cycles as feels right to you in the moment. When you feel ready, proceed to the next step.
Read the following affirmations to yourself or repeat them aloud. Consider performing a full inhale-exhale cycle in between each statement. Or, read each item in succession. Repeat any item in the list as necessary.
- I accept responsibility for my health and wellness.
- I receive and acknowledge my body’s messages.
- My body’s systems operate in perfect balance.
- My senses are attuned to peace.
- I see myself whole.
- I hear myself in harmony with the joy of all creation.
- I feel the warm embrace of unconditional love.
- I taste the sweetness of life.
- I breathe in the energy of existence.
- I breathe out all that does not serve me for my greatest good
Visualize being surrounded by unconditional love.
- I allow the full range of emotions to flow through me.
- My emotions are expressed appropriately.
- I am clear about my feelings at all times.
- I delight in the world.
- I play like a child.
Visuzalize a neutral inner space for receiving and processing emotions.
- I am creative.
- My creativity flows easily.
- I am in the flow.
- I am the flow
Visualize creative flow.
- I care for myself with love and honor.
- I take pleasure in my relationships with others.
- I give and receive generously.
- I enjoy life, living, and the world around me.
- I enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
- I relate to others in a healthy way.
Visualize yourself in a positive, loving, healthy relationship.
- I am loved.
- I am loving.
- My feminine and masculine energies are balanced.
- I am whole.
- I am complete.
- I am secure.
- I am strong.
- My body moves with ease and grace.
- My body rests comfortably.
- My mind is at peace.
- My soul is safe.
Pause here, and re-engage with your breathwork and/or visualizations as needed. If you feel drawn to repeat all or any of the individual statements or any particular sections, please do so now. Allow other images, words, and sensations to enter your awareness.
Repeat the entire process if needed. When you feel ready to do so, bring the prayerful meditation to a close with the following words:
I give thanks. And so it is. Amen.
Inhale and exhale deeply. Engage further with your breathwork as desired to return to the present moment.
Conclude your prayerful meditation session in a manner appropriate for your practice. You may wish to write down any insights that came to you during the experience.
Some of the statements noted in bullet points above are familiar and recognizable as stand-alone affirmations. Affirmations are not dependent on any appeal to a higher power. When used correctly, affirmations can be a powerful mindset-shifting tool.
Because they can operate independently from spiritual practices, affirmations can provide a source of structure and comfort on their own. I find that bringing prayer and meditation together is helpful to me personally, and to many of my clients. But if prayerful meditation doesn’t work for you, I encourage you to explore other healing techniques. As a holistic health coach, I’m happy to help you with that.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
What words might you prefer to use in a prayerful meditation for healing? How might you change the words you found in the example in this post to suit your own needs? What meditative postures, tools, or techniques might you integrate to create your own prayerful meditation for healing?
Here is an audio recording of A Prayerful Meditation for Healing above. It runs 2:07.