As some of you may remember, I started out in the wellness business as an esthetician running an organic spa room (before it was cool to do such things!) in the Harmony House Wellness Center. I learned a lot about managing a business, and received a potent initiation into the healing arts.
I also learned that dermatologists and estheticians had a saying that “peeling is healing.”
The saying is meant to indicate that after certain procedures that involve applying mechanical or chemical exfoliation or light-based treatments, the skin will start to peel to indicate you are healing. The old peels away and new layers of skin are revealed, the whole process triggering regeneration in the deeper dermal layers of the skin.
This concept of peeling as healing has taken on broader meaning as my practice has evolved over the years, and applies to much more than skin.
My personal definition of the words “healing” and “healer” is based on the peeling concept. Some people assume healing means “fixing that which is broken”, or “making well someone who is sick.” I have a different view, one that is shared by a number of other practitioners that I know personally and professionally.
My definition of healing is “peeling away layers of illusion, delusion, old imprints, and old ways of being to reveal more and more of the authentic, perfect self.”
At our most fundamental level, we are whole, perfect and complete.
A healer is one who facilitates the personal exfoliation process, where one can slip off a way of being that no longer serves, like peeling away layers of an onion.
However, unlike an onion, which gets smaller as it is peeled, we expand, like a snake shedding a too-tight skin as it grows. Each time we lovingly peel away an old layer that has served us, we expand into a bigger and brighter version of ourselves.
In fact, I believe the most holy act of all, the act of creation, can also be a peeling away of that which is not the intended, until the intended is revealed. Like Michelangelo calling forth an angel from the marble, we simply chip away all that does not look like our truest selves to reveal the perfect art within.
For the duration of our lives, we will be peeling and healing, creating and expanding. As long as we are in human form, there will be another wonderful discovery to make about ourselves, and a deeper layer of authenticity to embody.
Exfoliation is everything. 😉