So you’re on the path—the path to well-being, inner peace, healing and love. It’s about time you learn about dealing with a healing crisis.

For most of us on the spiritual path, we’ve had a major life event that knocked us on our asses. For me, it was facing death. Twice.

Now, we all don’t need a rock bottom to seek answers, but most of us have faced our share of adversity and the tools we had at those times didn’t work. And we feel it. We feel it in our minds, we feel it in our bodies and in our souls—and it hurts.

It sucks. It’s like a thorn in our side or a rock in our shoe.

We just don’t feel “right” or like ourselves anymore. We’re aware that this new experience has shifted us drastically. We may not be at the point where we can see it is here to teach us, but we’d like to get through, over, under, around, to the side, uh, can I just be better already and forget it ever happened?

No. Not if we want to truly heal. We must go through it. And more importantly, we must feel it. Feeling leads to healing. Filling the void with stuff won’t work. I’ve tried it. Dulling the pain with drugs won’t work either. I’ve tried that too. Short term, they may soothe but long term, these habits can be detrimental. Instead we must get quiet. Quiet enough to hear. And still enough to listen. That’s healing. That’s lasting peace. That’s true happiness and joy to be alive. That’s when appreciation for the adversity comes. After we heal. After we feel. After we go through the darkness and live in the light. We embrace the part of us that’s on this journey. We let it be.

Shift happens when we stop fighting reality so much. There is so much power in practicing acceptance of what is.

So when adversity comes into our lives, what do we do? How do we heal? If you’re like me, Western medicine has failed you at some point and you are seeking holistic alternatives. We’ve heard good things about alternatives, even if our Western doctors discount it. We do our research. We find this other world of healing naturally: Meditation. Mindfulness. Therapeutic yoga. Nutrition. Reiki. Aromatherapy. Sound healing. Acupuncture. Craniosacral work. Massage. TAPS. EMDR therapy. And then we begin. We begin our unique journey to heal and hope to dissolve the misery. To stop the torment once and for all. We know it’s possible. Other people do it. Why can’t I?

And for a while, we develop a momentum of feeling better. We know healing takes time, but also begin to trust the alternative modalities. We can breathe again. We’re more grounded. There’s less pain. There’s hope of brighter days. There’s space for our experience and we find ourselves in the right place at the right time and things shift. Ever so slightly, but they shift. We forget even the memory of the pain.

And then, crash. We feel worse. Fatigue sets in. The light of hope gets dimmer. Symptoms of pain or melancholy arise.

What happened?!

A healing crisis could be to blame. A detox reaction. Die off. The Herxheimer reaction. Whatever you want to call it. But that’s what happened. We are smack dab in the middle of healing. We’ve awakened what’s ready to move and man is it moving.

Symptoms of a healing crisis include but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue or malaise
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin irritations such as rashes or acne outbreaks
  • Aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability or anger
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Hot/cold flashes

Keep in mind, these symptoms could occur AFTER using holistic alternatives to healing, especially change in diet. Sometimes, these symptoms feel worse than what we were working through.

The good news? Yes, there is a bright side: It will pass! Let the body rest. Take a nap. Hydrate frequently with filtered water or lemon water to flush the kidneys and liver. Say “no” and take care of yourself at these times. Honor your healing and surrender to what is. And before you know it, it’s gone. It’s done. Then once it’s gone, it’s gone. We’ve healed a little bit more. Another layer peeled off, just like an onion. Because that’s how we heal. Layer by layer. Gradual shift by gradual shift. That’s why healing isn’t linear. Because we can’t choose which layer heals. We can’t choose what heals when. We aren’t in control. But we can choose how we heal. And we can choose how hard we push or how much we allow. Pushing too hard will slow down healing. Resisting what is will slow it as well.

After almost a decade of doing this work, I’ve experienced both as well as being in the flow of healing. Relaxing into what is has always served me well. Each gnarly healing crisis is worth it. This work is liberating and going through our shit is powerful, healing and permanent.

Once we heal, we heal.

It’s out of the body. It’s out of the mind. We are free. And we are so much better than before. Then we have the space for others. We love ourselves harder. We love others harder. Life becomes love. And joy. And truth. And rare. And precious. And we realize we only have this one life to explore and love. Everything unfolding before us becomes a miracle. Including us.

And then we go through another healing crisis. Another lesson. Another healing. Layer by layer. Gradual shift by gradual shift.

Keep faith, loves—this is true healing. You will get through. Stay connected. Ask for help. Stick with your practices. Trust. Surrender. Let it be. Transform and leave that shit that doesn’t serve you behind.

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