‘Healing’ is a word that’s taken on a life of its own in recent times. Used by several industries in different contexts, I feel it’s important for each of us to ask what certain words mean to us. After all, language is always evolving.
To me, healing refers to welcoming back parts of ourselves we’ve turned our backs on (even the parts of ourselves we don’t want to admit exist in the first place). I don’t believe any of us are broken or need fixing. From my own lived experience, I know certain circumstances and challenges have the power to see us facing things we never could have imagined.
In 2022, my own healing journey took on a life of its own. Each little jigsaw puzzle piece I discovered unearthed another jigsaw piece to explore. I’ve always been an avid learner and these 20 quotes have kept me in good stead throughout my journey.
“Healing is a daily event. You can’t ‘go somewhere’ to be healed; you must go inward to be healed. This means a daily commitment to doing the work.” – Dr Nicole LePera (aka the Holistic Psychologist)
It’s fitting to begin this list with Dr LePera because her book, How to do the Work, was my entry point into the concept of holistic healing. When we’re unable to find concrete answers to explain our lived experience through more mainstream channels, it’s only natural to seek answers elsewhere. In my experience, Dr LePera’s quote rings true. Healing is a lifestyle and a series of small actions taken daily that help to reconnect us with the wisdom of our bodies.
“My great passion is to redefine what success looks like, and turn it from something that’s focused entirely on money, to happiness and feeling ‘light’ inside.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
You may feel that it’s odd to see a quote from Gary V appearing in a post about healing but hear me out. We receive so many messages from society focussed on the things that in the end, don’t matter all that much. Times are tough and of course, having a certain amount of money to survive comfortably is important. Beyond that though, the extra zeroes in my bank account aren’t likely to change my life on a day-to-day basis. I’m human and I want all the things – annual holidays, a nice house, money to splash… but not at the cost of my happiness and sanity. Before committing to anything new, I consider if it’s going to light me up or weigh me down.
“Oftentimes, these ‘personality traits’ that we think we have and have always had… are simply trauma responses of a single or series of events that happened to us that we haven’t been able to move through, feel and deal with over time.” – Ryan Hassan
This is a big one. In 2022, I studied and became a certified Embodied Processing Practitioner. Embodied processing is a body-based approach to working with trauma created by trauma therapists, Ryan Hassan and Matt Nettleton. Here is my affiliate link if you are interested in learning more and studying embodied processing.
Throughout this process, I realised that so many labels I identified with (being an introvert for example), were actually the result of things that had happened in my past. Taking the course was a real game-changer for me personally because I began to connect the dots in terms of my own struggles and challenge myself throughout the process. As I worked on growing capacity in terms of my nervous system, I was able to experience life more fully. This is a practice I’ll be working on for the rest of my life and although the increased awareness is difficult at times, it’s so worth it.
“Anything about ourselves that we repress, we will be forced to experience again and again.” – Matt Nettleton
As much as I’d love to tell you this isn’t true, in my experience, it is. Have you ever noticed that whatever you run away from has a way of showing up repeatedly in your life? I have. The great tragedy is the more things we run away from, the smaller our lives become over time. Repressing isn’t the answer. It’s far more productive to work on building our capacity so that we can touch our triggers from a place of safety.
“If you don’t program yourself, life will program you.” – Les Brown
I am a big Les Brown fan. I can hear his voice in my head sometimes, shouting, “You’ve got to be HUNGRY!” One of my biggest fears is being a passive participant in my life and waking up one day to realise that nothing surrounding me is what I wanted for myself.
“Sometimes, you have to go wrong in order to learn how to go right. And it’s all ok. It’s part of the adventure.” – Carrie Green
I’m an expert at this. This year (2023), will be my eighth year in business. I’ve pivoted so many times I’ve lost count (true story). However, each one of those twists and turns has led me to where I am today, certain that the business I’m building now is what lights up my soul and what the world needs in this moment. I’m done with chasing the overnight success. I’m pursuing the work that truly matters to me.
“Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything. And that’s the only time everything will be okay.” – Michael Singer
It took me a long time to identify I was experiencing anxiety at certain points in my life. For me, it wasn’t anxiety because it was my way of being. My anxiety is driven by ‘what ifs’ and my constant desire to troubleshoot everything in my life. Which is of course pointless when you consider how many things in life are completely outside of my control. As I mature, I’m understanding how detrimental constantly being switched on is.
“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” – Brené Brown
Yes. Who we are transcends everything – what we know, what we have, what we will have and so on. If my head hits the pillow at night and I genuinely know I’ve been the best person I can for the day, I’m happy.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey
Life can be messy. If you live long enough, you’re going to go through something. Divorce, illness, financial strife… there is quite the menu of possibilities. I also find life is cyclical, oscillating between challenging and peaceful times. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve learned more from painful experiences than joyous ones. Whenever something has really ground my life to a halt, I’ve always been able to identify the lessons and leave everything else where it belongs in the past.
“What you think of (or who you think of) as being the problem – never is. If it seems too obvious, then it is too obvious. Look more deeply.” – Elizabeth Peru
Oof, how true is this? What we label the ‘problem’ is always a clue to something else. I’ve been following Elizabeth Peru for several years now and although I can appreciate her work may be a little too woo-woo for some, I value her guidance. I can’t help but think we are all one and that there must be something bigger than what we know at play.
“There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.” – Mel Robbins
What I enjoy most about Mel Robbins is that she’s direct. If we cannot see our own worth, why would anyone else? There’s always going to be someone (or several people) who doesn’t value us or just doesn’t like us for no reason (it happens). Too often we underestimate the skills that come easy to us.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
These days, I try to replace the word ‘failure’ with ‘lesson’. For me, ‘failure’ feels like a full stop. I was a sucker for The Last Dance documentary and found it be a fascinating insight into someone who’s at the top of their game.
“Clarity comes from action not thought.” – Marie Forleo
It can be annoying but sometimes, we have to do something before we can see that it’s not right for us. We can think we like something but until we’re in the doing, we can’t really know what that experience is like.
“Yes, everyone can heal. But not everyone will.” – Irene Lyon
I’m a huge fan of Irene Lyon’s work and teachings about the nervous system. She offers so much practical and no nonsense advice. I’ve seen this statement play out – everyone can heal but not everyone will for a variety of different reasons. When we define trauma as something that happens inside us and not the event itself (in line with Dr Gabor Maté’s definition), we can see that every human has trauma on a spectrum. Trauma is inevitably part of the human experience.
“As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.” – Maya Angelou
I agree that when we heal, we should make an attempt to help others. I don’t feel as though we can heal someone else. What I love about writing for healing and embodied processing is that I may act as a guide or a facilitator, but the person is doing the actual work. And that’s the truth of it all. We can know all of the theory but it’s on us to do the work.
“Sadness and melancholy are not things you need to fix, cure, or transcend. They are arising at this moment not to be healed, but to be held.” – Matt Licata
Matt Licata is a psychotherapist whose work I follow on a daily basis. His writing has a way of speaking to my soul. To me, this quote says that often, the answer is to simply feel. It’s ok to feel sad at times. Humans label emotions as negative but are they really? In reality, they are simply part of the human experience.
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss
Anatomy of the Spirit is one of my favourite books of all time. I could have picked several Caroline Myss quotes to highlight here but this one speaks to my recent realisation of just how much the mind does not shut up. The chatter is always there, especially during hard times. I’ve been trying to train myself to return to the wisdom of the body and feel into what’s happening for me physically in the moment.
“If a healing tool doesn’t work, the tool is the problem, not you… You get to choose what tools go in your recovery tool box.” – Janae Elisabeth (aka Trauma Geek)
I love the Trauma Geek’s work and value her extensive research. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote. Writing has been a lifeline for me along my journey, but it won’t resonate with everyone. And that is the same for several other healing modalities I engage in. What matters is that we don’t give up and continue searching for what works for us.
“Storytelling is an obvious healing modality when you understand how you can’t separate people’s lives and biology from their histories.” – Dr Gabor Maté
I’ve just finished Dr Maté’s The Myth of Normal. It’s just under 18 hours on Audible so it’s quite the commitment. I’ve followed Dr Maté’s body of work for several years. There’s a lot to digest in The Myth of Normal but what I especially love is the acknowledgement of writing as a healing tool. If you are interested in trauma, illness and healing, don’t be put off by how long of a read this book is. It’s worth it.
“We heal on our own timeline.” – Sarah Cannata
I had to throw in a quote of my own. We’re all walking in our own shoes and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Stay in your lane and feel into what’s right for you. There is a lot of noise and distraction in the healing space – listen to your intuition (or gut feeling, if you prefer). I believe in the power of embodied writing, which you can learn more about here.
I always enjoy hearing how you are implementing the tools and techniques I teach. Reach out anytime, and I’ll respond asap.