I have always believed that healing is an inside job, and have been excited by any teachings and experiences that might increase and refine my ability to accomplish it. There are two women who have had a profound impact on my ability to feel that healing energy: Karen Drucker and Bridget Hughes.

I have written about Karen Drucker’s music before and shared some examples that have affected how I feel. Her recent CD, Joy in Our Hearts, takes me to joy on a daily basis.

You may have heard me talk about the 3 V’s before – Verbalize, Visualize, and Vitalize. To verbalize is to use affirmations – positive statements that express what we want to experience. To visualize is to imagine something happening exactly as we desire it, or re-living an event that happened in the past. The purpose of both the verbalizing and the visualizing is to generate the emotion – to vitalize. So we can change our emotions by our thoughts and our imagery.

We often use the 3 V’s to create emotions we don’t want to feel. We relive events from our past that left us angry or sad. Or we worry about a potential event in the future and imagine the worst happening. We feel the emotion as if it is happening right now. What if we could use this same strategy to create healing instead of dis-ease?

Bridget Hughes talks about this in her book, Unlocking the Heart of Healing. Much research has demonstrated that our feelings affect our immune system and the bio-chemicals our bodies produce. In one study, subjects were shown to have increases in immunity after experiencing feelings of compassion, and decreases in immunity from feelings of anger. By thinking and visualizing, we can use our mind to “actually change the levels and quantities of substances our body is already making: our Inner Molecules of Medicine.”

In her book, Bridget says, “Actively practicing a particular feeling that changes biochemistry and unlocks a new possibility for health through inner alchemy is one of the most valuable practices we can take on.”

Since I learn best by immersing myself in a practice, we are offering a retreat with Bridget and Karen at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, CA, on November 6 to 8. I have a goal of making medicine-generating feelings my habitual daydreams, and spending time each day focusing on words, images, and music that make me feel good. Instead of dwelling on my worries, concerns, likes and dislikes, I want to dwell on my celebrations, loves, generosities, gratitudes, and kindnesses. My imagination may be my most powerful asset. It’s up to me to use it to heighten my healing ability.

I know this retreat will give me a huge boost toward being able to actually do this. In addition to the content of the retreat, we will also experience the natural beauty of Westerbeke, and delicious organic meals. When I’m attending a retreat at Westerbeke and the first assignment is to state why I am there, I usually say I’m there for the food.

If you can’t join us, you can still get some of the tools we will be exploring. I recommend listening to Karen Drucker’s CD, Joy in Our Hearts, and/or reading Bridget Hughes’ book, Unlocking the Heart of Healing.

As always, I welcome your comments; to reply please click here.

In the Spirit of Healing,

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Jan Adrian, MSW
Founder and Executive Director