Jill Davenport is a certified holistic health practitioner, reiki master and essential oils educator based in Santa Monica, CA. Here, she offers introspections on healing… advice for happiness…
What is healing? Healing literally means becoming whole – getting into balance. When we’re inbalanced it manifests in many areas of our life: health, career, relationships, finances, diet – I could go on. You may thrive in one area, but struggle in others. Often times if one’s out of balance, another is too. That’s why it’s important to have awareness of every part of your life and not neglect some in favor of others.
True healing requires you to “know thyself”: being aware of the way you act, your emotions and how you relate with others – how things affect you. You might think that coffee gives you energy, but does it also make you cranky or tense? Maybe you work a lot and are thriving financially, but perhaps it’s taking more time than you’d like away from your family. Losing weight may be an important goal, but are you doing it in a way that isn’t healthy for your body or mind?
It’s easy to ignore urgent questions when we’re in our daily routine. We must aspire to change and challenge our status quo. Only then can we journey onto the path of greater awareness and a fulfilling life. This requires being curious like a detective, nurturing a deep level of self-love and acceptance, and treating ourselves with the same gentleness and patience that we would a child.
For over twenty years, healing and wellness has been my passion. Since I was young, metaphysics, the mind-body connection, the spirit realms and other mysteries of life have piqued my interest. I always wondered what was on the other sides of their doors. I guess I could say it was my destiny to be where I am, because it’s where I’ve always felt at home. The first time I walked into a health food store and smelled all those strange and wonderful aromas of spices and herbs, saw the books on alternative healing, the sage bundles and crystals, I felt like I could stay in there for days exploring all of the new and ancient wisdom. I always felt a strong connection with nature and animals, and noticed the way our society was missing out. Changing my lifestyle and eating habits sync’d me more with nature and made me feel balanced. The more I connected with nature and cared for the environment, the healthier I became.
After catching a glimpse of the natural healing world, I was hooked. I studied holistic ways of healing: energy work, bodywork, nutrition, essential oils and complementary therapies so I could help myself and others find more balance in life. Natural healing made sense to me because it brings us back to our true selves. Disconnection causes illness and disease. When we’re connected with ourselves and something larger than us, flow streams in every area of our lives.
Growing up, people that I knew had trouble coping with life. I saw them stuck in negative patterns, unable to find their way out. I always wanted to help them find happiness but didn’t quite have the tools. I needed to figure out how I could be happy and healthy, first. I immersed myself in books on self-healing, took classes, attended seminars and habitually looked for new ways to help, in the process also helping myself.
In order to be on the healer path, you must first do the work yourself. The most dramatic and far reaching experience I’ve had with helping people, is from doing my own work. A big part of my journey has been about learning to quiet the negative self-talk and creating strong boundaries. These are issues for a lot of people.
That inner critic that tells us we’re not good enough, or not whatever we want to be, can be a loud little brat! The first step I took towards getting it under control was recognizing that it was there and that it didn’t have my best interest in mind (even though it acted like it did). I’d just say, “ok thank you for your input but I’m not going to listen to you anymore”. Simultaneously, working on my positive self-talk made me stronger. I’d speak and write affirmations and really put my heart into it. It might feel silly at first, but if you do them long enough and consistently, they sink in. It can take a while, though, especially if the critic has held residence in your head for a long time.
Creating strong boundaries came as I practiced saying no to things instead of just saying okay when someone wanted me to do them a favor, or wanted my time. Now I think before I say I’ll do something – because I can’t do everything for everyone. I must consider whether I actually do have the time or energy to give, and if I truly want to. This felt uncomfortable at first, but the more I did it, the easier it became – and it improved my interactions and relationships. New levels of respect and better boundaries were created by others, because I showed them it’s okay to protect and take care of yourself. If things you’re doing are draining, they aren’t getting quality attention anyway, so it’s doing a disservice to everybody.
It’s all a practice. Learning a new habit takes work at first, but over time it gets easier until it becomes almost automatic. The longer you’ve been doing something you want to change, the more patient you have to be with your process but that in itself is a gift or virtue, as they say.
People only change when they want to, but you can inspire them by being a light to guide them. When we see someone living in the flow and radiating the joy that comes from that, taking care of their body, showing themselves and others love and respect, it makes us want to improve, too.
Helping someone heal can be done in many ways: listening to someone who needs to be heard; brightening someone’s day or making people laugh — comedians are great healers! For me, with my clients, it’s about giving them the time and space to look into themselves and being there with them for that, having empathy and also showing them things they might not see from where they are on their journey. My goal for work with clients is to help them feel lighter, hopeful and more clear with an action step or recommendation to move them forward. It’s a daily practice: small things done consistently over time lead to big results.
As a healthy-lifestyle coach and energy worker, I approach the healing process holistically: with the mind, body and spirit intertwined and inseparable. Everything is made of energy, so for me it makes sense to think of it from that perspective. I’ve seen so many wonderful things happen for people from doing this work – huge shifts in their life, career, relationships and physical issues… It’s mind-blowing!
I truly feel blessed that I have been able to see first-hand how powerful healing can be and I continue to be amazed by people I meet and stories of their paths to a healthy and balanced life.