Claire Edmonds - Healing Journey Leadership
I have been a part of the Healing Journey Program since I was a student. In fact I did my Ph.D. with Alastair Cunningham many years ago and was a member of both his research and his clinical team at the Princess Margaret Hospital for over 20 years. Starting back in 2003, part of my role has been to help move the Healing Journey Program from its original home in the hospital out into the community through Wellspring. It has been such a wonderful experience watching the program bloom and grow within this broader community. I cannot count the number of fine people I have worked with in the program through the years, both members and colleagues.
I was asked recently if my role and my soul were in alignment- an odd question perhaps, except to someone in the Healing Journey Program! The question asks us to consider whether the roles that we have in our lives fit with our understanding of what is important to us, deep down, what it is we most value and appreciate in life. In working with people who are coping with cancer and their loved ones, I have had the privilege of witnessing the best in people. I have watched people reach out to each other, offering support and sharing their experiences. I have seen members begin Level One feeling frightened and alone, and watched how they have progressed through the levels of the program, gaining confidence, expressing their feelings and gaining a deeper appreciation of their authentic selves. I have seen the value of awareness gained through meditation, journaling and mindfulness. I have come to better understand the full spectrum of healing- what it is and how it is expressed in the many different people I have been honoured to work with.
This has all informed me about how I wish to live my own life, with a sense of the preciousness of each day and of every person I meet. As my skills have grown, as a leader, teacher and therapist, I have felt my soul grow too. I have discovered the richness of compassion and how when we listen to each other, heart to heart, compassion emerges for us all. My work and my soul are entwined, and I am so grateful for this. Wellspring and the Healing Journey Program both mean a great deal to me and I am ever thankful for both, and all those people who make this work possible.