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Director's Reflections — Making My Own Medicine
by Jan Adrian, MSW
The Healing Power of Laughter was exactly what many of us needed to help us deal with the shock of the recent election results. Healing Journeys co-sponsored a free evening (with the Institute for Health and Healing) on Thursday, November 10th, at the Sutter Cancer Center in Sacramento.
We included music, Laughter Yoga, and a presentation by Terri Tate, oral cancer survivor and author of A Crooked Smile, her newly released humorous and poignant memoir. Over 200 people attended, exercised our laugh muscles, and were inspired by Terri's story and humor. You can watch a 4-minute video of the event in the News section, below.
This event was so inspirational that Terri and I are talking about how to take it on the road. Every cancer center in the country could support and benefit their patients by offering such an evening. We need your help to make this idea a reality. If you are associated with a cancer center, or any group that might want to sponsor such an event, please let me know who to contact to make arrangements.
Of course such a project will require some funding, so that is another way you can help. As you are making your year-end gifts, please remember Healing Journeys, knowing you will be helping many people touched by cancer, or other life-altering conditions, to move from surviving to thriving. All donations are tax-deductible (see link in the News section).
Our last retreat for 2016, Joy in Our Hearts: Unlocking the Heart of Healing, happened at Westerbeke Ranch on November 6 to 8, with Karen Drucker and Bridget Hughes. There were 28 of us that spent the three days before the election in a beautiful place without the craziness of TV or radio. We ate delicious organic meals, experienced the power of music and laughter, and learned some simple, yet profound, strategies for thriving.
One of the tools we learned was a Feeling Mantra, described in Bridget's book, Unlocking the Heart of Healing. She writes, "I think of the practice of using the imagination to find a feeling memory as akin to a meditation, or a mantra, only it is a feeling meditation . . . a Feeling Mantra uses a feeling tone or mood tone in the heart used repetitively for transformative change."
"Feeling follows imagery, and wooing the right feelings through imagery liberates the Inner Molecules of Medicine in our bodies." If we relive (in our minds) an event over and over that upsets us, our bodies respond as if it is happening again; the body doesn't know the difference.
Our bodies know how to make our own medicine, so if we relive an event that creates a feeling such as gratitude, compassion, or joy, our bodies will create healing biochemicals (Molecules of Medicine). Bridget writes, "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."
One of the ways we created feelings of gratitude and peace in the retreat was by singing chants with Karen Drucker. I left the retreat with the commitment to start my days by listening to, and singing, chants that create the biochemistry in my body that supports healing. Karen's CDs are a great resource for feelings of gratitude, compassion, and kindness.
It was a profound healing experience that I hope more of you will be able to enjoy in the future. Again, we need your help! Your donations can offer scholarships to make this kind of event affordable for those who are financially challenged.
This season of Thanksgiving is a great time to practice feeling mantras as we remember all we are grateful for. Wishing you powerful healing biochemistry as your imagination fills your body with gratitude.
As always, I welcome your comments; to reply please click here.
In the Spirit of Healing,
Jan Adrian, MSW
Founder and Executive Director
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- A year-end tax-deductible gift to Healing Journeys will help many people touched by cancer, or other life-altering conditions, to move from surviving to thriving. Because of your past support, over 25,000 have benefited during the past 22 years. They join us in thanking you.
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- You can watch the 4-minute recap of The Healing Power of Laughter here.
- Here is how you can access the books and CDs Jan mentioned above. They make great holiday presents!
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