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Why Event-Based Healing Doesn't Work: Navigating Community and Events

Updated: Mar 21

If I'm being honest, I think we all, in some way, yearn for the "magic pill," "sacred plant," or "big event" to heal us from the pains of our humanity and free us from the burdens of our traumatic cultural imprinting. Yet, I have been exploring the depths of this longing recently and uncovering its addictive and disempowering roots.

It's time to remember healing as a process instead of a place.

You see, we have been misled, or rather more innocently - misinformed, that healing is some kind of destination place we arrive at, instead of a path that we walk. That belonging is something we must find instead of something we get to remember. This overemphasis on the goal instead of the cultivation of skills that creates such a result is a toxic form of bypassing and actually perpetuates the old narratives of oppression more than we think.

Part of the pains of event-based healing is that it's rooted in an illusion that healing is a place instead of a process. Anyone who has experienced tremendous healing knows that there was a long and detailed journey that led to some sort of shift in energy, physically or energetically, and that shift can rarely happen with any sort of sustainability without the preliminary evolutive training ground of the journey itself.

When we think in this manner, what we are really invoking is a shortcut mentality where the individual is seeking an external savior archetype to rescue and heal them instead of remembering that we have the capacity and skill to be our own healers, our own beloveds, if we could only let go of this tendency to seek the quick fix.

I can see this pattern even show up in plant medicine spaces, where the individual hopes, and maybe even is told, that this long night of prayer and plant consciousness can offer the healing they most need. I also see this show up at gatherings, where we en'act' this sense of community, only to go home and feel alone in our experience yet again. Although profound healing and insights do come through for many people in these spaces, I personally believe that if these events are being attended without proper integration and shifts in one's daily life, then they are still perpetuating the consumer-based model of healing.

Integration is also not a 'thing' to do, it is a re-weaving of yourself, and all that has changed, back into the context of your life and your community - it's a collaborative experience.

I will say, there are PLENTY of magnificent and integral places and people to commune with and medicines that are indeed life-changing. But what I am inviting us to consider here are the levels of access and sustainability underneath it all, and what new forms of medicine, healing, and connection might actually guide us closer to a revolution that moves us from this consumptive goal-oriented form of healing, and guide us towards a self-responsible and empowered practice of the process of understanding the nature of healing and itself.

Part of this shift involves exploring accessible and integrative practices that bring us back into ourselves, not out. This is why I am in such devotion to breathwork, and to the wild healing of Council and other models of accessible presence and witnessing without fear, judgement or goal-oriented relating. These practices, while diverse in their approaches, share a common thread in their ability to foster a deeper connection to self and others. They offer a path to healing that is more about the journey than the destination, more about the collective than the individual.

Also entering here, in my studies at least, is the profound experience of tending to realness community. Not people who are just like you, or that you get along with, or that agree with you. I mean getting low enough in all your relations to see how inextricably woven we all are to each other.

Community is not a commodity - it's a living, breathing, growing, dying, and emergent thing that literally depends on diversity and collaboration to survive.

And dare I say - THIS kind of return to connection with community takes grit, the kind of grit that comes from the foundations of fostering that relationship with yourself first. How many of us are still stuck giving our power away instead of reclaiming that within ourselves?

What do you think happens when we literally remember and embody the awareness that WE ARE THE MEDICINE, and we are our own healers? Not to say that everyone is psychologically equipped to handle this level of responsibility that has been bred out of us, but what if there were ways to learn this again as our human right as Divinity in form?

We have forgotten our power, our purpose, and our practices that bring us home to wholeness. There is no blame here, other than an understanding that this is a symptom of a sick culture that has been unwell for far too long. And, the pathway home, back to our integrated and interwoven reality, is to see that invitation in all moments, not just the festival or ceremony.

Healing requires looking at the wound, and the wound seems to be clear: we have lost connection to ourselves and to each other (and to Life and the Mystery itself). Until we can return to that bone-deep knowing within, no gathering, medicine, or ceremony is going to do the work for us. Yet, they can be stepping stones along the way, and a watering hole where we get to find our kin.

In the end, healing is inherently a process, not a destination. It's a journey of reconnection—to our inner selves, to our community, and to the larger web of life. By embracing this path, we can transform our approach to healing and find a more integrated, sustainable, and empowering way forward.

Keep weaving yourself in, friend.


Jenny Lee

The Sacred Wholeness


How am I tending to my healing in the day to day?

Where do I expect events or medicine to do the work for me?

What are some ways I can become the medicine in this moment, this week?

What are the ways I look at my community like a commodity?

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