I have been thinking about the seven medicines approach to healing that was created by Susun Weed. I utilize this a lot in my work. The first step is to choose the healing challenge that you wish to work with. I encourage my students and apprentices to be specific about what the challenge is, to not name it as a diagnosis or disease but you describe it as what is happening.
There is a reason to get a diagnosis. It can be helpful to have the label so that you can work with others to discern what the best road to healing is.
The diagnosis can bog you down. The diagnosis is not the challenge. The disease does not exist in and of itself.
When you can move beyond the diagnosis, you can begin to heal.
Here is an example. Someone is saying that they are suffering from depression. That in itself evokes a very heavy image. I can see how someone finally admitting that they are depressed can be very helpful. And yet, what is this person experiencing? Are they sad? Are they angry? Are they afraid?
Are they withdrawn? Are they silent?
To name the challenge that is depression is to say something like this, for example.
I am sad and angry all the time
I am so anxious that I cannot do anything
I am angry and lash out at people often with my words
Once you can say what the actual challenge is….then you can begin to heal.
And once you name the challenge, then you can name your intention for healing.
Here are some examples:
I am sad and angry all the time—My intention is to accept myself as I am.
I am so anxious that I cannot do anything—My intention is to be calm and peaceful and to do what is mine to do.
You will discover from this simple exercise that you may feel better. Being as honest as we can about where we are, and looking at where we would like to be in a good place to start. You may also feel overwhelmed about being so honest about what you are experiencing. It helps to have someone to share this with individually or in a group.
Once you have named your challenge and your intention for healing, you can move on to Serenity Medicine. This is to acknowledge the challenge and to know that it is and will be taken care of.
The next medicines after this are Story Medicine, Energy Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine.
The Seven Medicines Approach is offered in the Wise Woman Tradition. It is about wholeness. And the Seven Medicines approach allows you to find your beauty as you heal.
May your challenges guide you deeper and make you stronger.
May it be in Beauty.