10 Ways You Can Heal The World (Without Changing Your Life)
When people think of “healers,” they tend to think of doctors, nurses, acupuncturists, and energy workers. Many don’t realize that you can be a healer, regardless of your profession.
In Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, Martha Beck calls such healers “wayfinders,” and describes a set of characteristics that distinguish us.
Most of us feel:
- A sense of mission involving a major transformation in human experience
- A strong sense that whatever that mission is, it’s getting closer in time
- A compulsion to master certain skills in preparation for this half-understood personal mission
- High levels of empathy
- An urgent desire to lessen the suffering for humans, animals, and plants
- A loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, despite being generally social
Other common characteristics among such healers include:
- High levels of creativity
- An intense love of animals
- A difficult, often abusive or traumatic early life
- An intense connection to the natural world
- Resistance to religion accompanied by a strong sense of the spiritual
- High levels of emotional sensitivity accompanied by a predilection for anxiety, addiction, or eating disorders
- A sense of connection with particular cultures, languages, or geographic regions
- A brain-centered disability like dyslexia, retardation, or autism
- A gregarious personality contrasting with the need for periods of solitude, a persistent or recurring physical illness
- A tendency to dream about healing others
Martha calls such healers “the Team,” and if you've read this far, you're probably one of us. But what is this Team supposed to do? If you’re one of us, what’s next?
Let me invite you to tap into your inner healer so you can heal the world in your own unique way.
1. Withhold judgment.
We live in a world full of people who are constantly comparing each other and deeming everyone either “better” or “worse,” “right” or “wrong.” When we choose to withhold judgment and meet someone where they are, we heal one another.
2. Practice compassion.
When you withhold judgment, something in the heart opens, and all of a sudden, we can experience everyone from an open heart. This superpower opens within us the capacity to feel compassion for even those who harm us. Instead of judging the person who abused you as a child, you can see that they too were abused, and you can love the child they were when they got hurt like you did.
Radical compassion opens when we realize that we never know someone’s whole back story. When we meet someone from the heart, we discover that the heart is capable of all kinds of forgiveness and unconditional love, even for strangers.
3. Be present.
Most of us are surrounded by people who are thinking about what happened yesterday or what they’ll do later in the day. When you locate yourself in the present moment, you open a portal that heals others.
4. Make eye contact.
Most people never feel truly seen. They walk around the grocery store, order their coffee from Starbucks, go to work, and come home, all while feeling invisible. Try meeting people with a loving gaze. Soften your eyes. See beneath the masks people wear. Witness their soul. Others will feel it. Some won’t be able to receive this, but others will. If they’re ready to be seen, a simple look can heal.
5. Practice random acts of kindness.
Many people are so busy looking to be loved that they fail to look for where they can give love. Seek out avenues to express your love, even to strangers. Give money to street musicians. Pick up someone’s tab at dinner. Pay a stranger’s toll. Buy someone a cup of tea. Sharing your abundance with others makes them feel worthy, and because too many people feel worthless, such generosity heals.
6. Offer hope.
Too many people feel helpless and hopeless in their unhappy lives. But as a healer of the world, you can be a beacon of hope. Don’t perpetuate the cultural pessimism. Shift your perception. See possibility within others. Mirror back to them what you see. When you transfuse someone with hope, you heal them.
7. Gift others with healing touch.
We live in a culture that is so frightened of touch that we don’t even let our teachers hug their kindergarteners any more, and we are suffering because of this touch deficiency. Be a rebel. Touch someone who needs to be touched. Put your hand on hers. Hold him in your arms. Put your hand over her heart when it’s hurting. You can heal with your touch when it’s offered safely, with appropriate boundaries, and with love.
8. Entrain others.
The world is full of chaos, but our souls all yearn for inner stillness. Find this stillness within yourself (it’s always there) and practice silently inviting others to meet you there. Draw them into your stillness with your intention. Try it at the family dinner table. Practice it at a party. Drop down to the still point inside yourself, soften your gaze, quiet your voice, slow down the pace at which you speak (if you speak at all.) Energetically call in stillness. See if others meet you there. When they do, you help heal them.
9. Listen generously.
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD teaches medical students and physicians to “listen generously” because most of us are so busy judging or figuring out what advice we’re going to give that we aren’t even listening to one another. When you listen generously to someone, without judgment or advice, when you are simply looking to witness what is true for another human being, you honor the truth within them, and this helps them heal.
10. Awaken your consciousness.
When you make the shift from an ego-driven life to a soul-driven one, you raise your own vibration, and this elevates the vibration of the whole planet. Commit to your own personal and spiritual growth. Be willing to illuminate your old patterns and blind spots. Own your stuff. Listen to the voice of your Inner Pilot Light. Abide by that voice of your soul. Let it lead your life. When you do, you heal the world.
An Invitation For Healers
We can all participate in healing the world, regardless of what you do for work. But for those who are trained in the healing professions, we want to support you in developing your capacity to heal the world. The Whole Health Medicine Institute, which I founded, is now expanding beyond training physicians to include nurses, midwives, health coaches, alternative medicine practitioners, and other health care providers.
The program launches with a live event with me, Martha Beck, and Rachel Naomi Remen and also includes guest teachers Bernie Siegel, Larry Dossey, and Bruce Lipton.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, you can heal the world from within your own industry. Whether you felt called to work in health care, education, politics, or corporate America, you can be a healer within your industry by awakening consciousness from within. Do your part. Spread love and tolerance. Let your soul take the lead. And don’t be surprised if you witness miracles.
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine." Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.