Well the summer clinicals have finished, we have wrapped all the herbs for the patients to use over the break, and we have broken up for the summer holiday.
As usual, I have mixed feelings – I love to stop, but I also love to teach and already look forward to starting again in September for another year. Last year I worked more or less through August, so this year I am taking the whole of August off and intend to travel a bit, walk a lot, sing a lot, and have a proper summer holiday so that new things can emerge. This is really the work of late summer – digesting what has been done, letting go of what is no longer needed, and creating space for what is to come.
During this whole year that I have been blogging about herbs, I have also been developing my work in sound healing. This development is very exciting to me since it has had a profound effect on my own development, and at the same time, I find I can help people much more directly to heal themselves.
This is a major shift that has taken place and is still taking place in my work. It started really when I studied breathwork and sounding for trauma release with Stephen Monne and Geke Dijkstra in the Netherlands. I did these things for myself really, and found that with these techniques I could heal myself, opening what’s closed, releasing what’s held, and revealing what’s hidden, as Shi Jing of the British Daoist Association would say.
Then I found out about Chloe Goodchild and her work, the Naked Voice. I was lucky enough to find an online course with her during lockdown in 2021, then we finally met in person as a group in May of 2022. This was an incredibly formative experience, and began to illuminate to me how to bring the different parts of myself together – specifically the music and the healing – into a coherent whole, and to shift the emphasis of my healing work onto teaching about self healing.
It seems so important at this time on earth, that we all take responsibility for ourselves on all levels. There is so much fear being bandied about, and it is tempting to listen to those who say ‘just do as I say and I’ll keep you safe.’ This is not my preference. I like to question what anyone tells me to do, and to make my own decisions. This to me is far safer, and far more satisfying, and I refuse to live in fear. To me, this has much to do with embracing life, and living this life I have, in the brightest possible multicolour. To do that I have to engage with people, events, things – just to engage really. Not to hold back. Not to hold anything back. This is impossible if we let fear rule us.
So about this shift.
For many years now – over 30 really – I have been working with healing individuals, helping to boost their energy so that they can make themselves well. I use hands-on healing, acupuncture, sound, and of course Chinese herbs, and I do my best to help people to take responsibility and to make lifestyle choices that will support their health. However, with this new sounding and breathwork that I am doing, I find that there is still more I can do to encourage self-responsibility, and to help people to do the healing work themselves. These tools of sound and breathwork are things that people can do for themselves.
Because I am taking personal responsibility for my own health, during this summer holiday and beyond, and using for myself the tools that I suggest to others, there is a resonance, and indeed a consonance, between what I do, how I live, and what I suggest to others, and I find that this helps people to see that it is not only possible but desirable to take responsibility and to walk forward with courage and relaxation.
I love this work and hope to carry on developing and learning for many more years.