~ The Art of Healing ~

While I am thankful to be cancer free, this post is being posted in solidarity with my family, friends and youth who are suffering from cancer and who need encouragement as well as those we know who are in the arts and who have suffered from or are suffering from terminal illness.This post is also in honor of my grandmother Mary Francis Grenchus - who died from Leukemia. For all of you - know that you are loved, not just by a Divine Creator, but by all of your family, friends, and those who care. Okay, Here we go ~

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~ One of the most beautiful things about the human body is that it has the ability to heal in general and to heal itself in particular. When we as individuals go through hurt, pain, or trauma, sometimes it may take our body a lot to heal - and sometimes we may not ever fully recover. Our emotional, physical, and spiritual states all need moments of healing.

In my own journey, I have had to heal in all of these areas at different times of my life. Because of this, and because of all those I know who are suffering from something, I am offering these words and tips to help navigate you towards deeper healing.

  1. Switch your diet to a whole foods diet. Try to eat as many whole foods as you can in a day. Also try to eat each of the food groups and keep them in balance.

  2. Although most people recommend cutting out “processed foods,” it is questionable as to how many processed foods to cut out and really is dependent on what the rest of your diet looks like. In my case, I know I have to have a certain amount of processed foods or my body does not have enough energy to do all that it needs to do in a day. In some moments in the past, and even now, there are certain processed foods that help my system to “jumpstart” if my system finds it cannot function exactly the way it needs to. For ex. Cheese, Ice Cream, and Chocolate (within moderation), as well as certain Meats - give me the energy I need to have my body maintain the body weight it needs to maintain and to function the way it needs to function. You do want to decrease “junk food” intake, but make sure you are getting enough fats and oils in your body or you will create other issues.

  3. Focus your thoughts on positive thoughts and images. When you refocus your thoughts on positive thoughts and energy, you know you can overcome whatever things you are facing. This also empowers you and creates a space for your faith to grow, and to see your dreams, goals, and hopes come to fruition. By removing negative thinking and thought patterns you begin to channel healthy energy through your body, which will begin to heal parts of you that are ill. Positive thoughts and affirmations opens you up to the healing process and knowing that hope is real and available to you.

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4. Remind yourself that are valued and loved. No matter what you are going through, remind yourself that you are valued and loved. You have a Supreme Creator, who created you out of love and for love. No matter what you are suffering at this time, know that Supreme Creator is beside you, wanting what is best for you, and going to do what is necessary to bring the goodness to you.

5. Journal your thoughts and let them go. Whatever negative thoughts or feelings you have, journal about them, and begin to let them go as you journal about them. Tell yourself: I am letting this go - or I am letting this thought go. This does not mean that you necessarily have to eliminate whatever is causing the negative thought to happen. For example if you are upset about your child for lieing to you about their test grade. You are just letting the negative thought or feeling go. After letting the negative thought or feeling go, ask for solutions to enter in.

6. Meditate. No matter what faith life you have, or do not have, you can meditate. Every religion has a form of meditation that accompanies it, and those who do not have a faith have also found meditation very helpful. In my case, I engage in Christian meditation. The benefits I have experienced from meditation have been moving into a deeper state of peace and kindness, as well as the ability to let go of any pent up or unreleased frustration or anger (common feelings everyone has at different times). Since my body internalizes negative feelings, meditation helps me to release those negative feelings and open the pathway to clear, pure, neutral feelings, which then opens me up to positive feelings. It also helps me to accept what negative feelings I have and address why I have them or begin to create solutions for them.

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7. Surround yourself with the things you like. If you like reading architectural magazines, or going to see a drag race or playing baseball, give yourself some time to do the things you love. This will help you to begin to see the good again, and will help re-stabilize the things inside of you that have become “upset” or "out of balance.”

8. Pray - include God/Supreme Goodness in your way of existing and to relieve some of the burden of you feeling like you need to do everything on your own or alone. In my case, I pray and also go to mass - surround yourself with some form of community to help you through. If loved ones are reaching out to you, and you have the energy for them, say yes to them and spending time together. If not, then gently explain why you cannot at this time.

9. Ask others for help when you need it. You do not want to run yourself so low that you can no longer function. Ask for help when you need it, and if you cannot find help, or if no one will help, begin to eliminate those things that may be causing you illness.

10. Remember that sometimes less is more, so that your body can heal, and your immune system can come back to a normal state of being. Simplify. This will help you to refocus on what you do have vs. what you are lacking. With that being said, BEGIN TO ENGAGE IN SOME FORM OF ARTS THERAPY: MUSIC THERAPY, ARTS THERAPY, AND/OR DANCE THERAPY in order to not only release whatever needs to be released, but to begin to experience the benefits the arts and therapy play together in fostering healing, growth, development, and love. Begin to create. If you are not able to create, then begin to see the arts as a form of therapy, and go to functions in relation to the arts, or include the arts in the space that surrounds you.

11. If you have a terminal illness or if you are going through a surgery etc., know that what is most important is your mental, emotional, and spiritual state. These are what are most important. As you allow yourself to experience what is true for you- as well as to rest in knowing that you are deeply loved and cared about, you will not only be able to accept the things you cannot change, but also, foster ways of healing, and different types of healing.

12. Be kind to you. Be gentle and kind to you, and establish boundaries around you if you find that other people cannot be kind and gentle towards you. Do not feel guilty if you cannot do everything that everyone else wants you to do or expects you to do. Accept yourself for who you are, and know that you are growing in the way you are meant to be growing, in a healthy way. Reaffirm yourself by reminding yourself, “I am growing in health and well-being.” Begin begin to take the steps to continue to make that a reality. Begin to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself and celebrate your milestones in relation. Example: if you decide to train for a marathon, celebrate running the marathon once you complete it, etc.

Know of our prayers for you! Sending healing your way!!

Mary Grenchus