The Healing WELL: A community for healing, renewal and growth
April 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

When I arrived in early March for my first day I found a big, beautiful banner that read “Welcome Home Ebony”. My heart was warmed and a huge smile grew across my face. What a welcome, I thought. What struck me most was the use of the word "home."

"Home" is a layered word with many meanings, many configurations and many emotions attached. All homes are designed to provide shelter, structure, protection, a place to BE with others and most importantly with ourselves. Our first home is the body, a dwelling divinely created with imperfection. The place that houses our Spirit. Similarly, the Healing WELL contains the spirit of warmth, acceptance, unconditional love and community. For those of us impacted by trauma, the pain of past experiences can burrow in the corners of our mind and body. Often the pain is so great in fact that we go to great lengths to escape those uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and memories.

The Healing WELL is a place where we can come in from the storms of our lives. A place where we find community and deep transformative healing. Through the practices of movement and meditation we journey inward slowly, gaining greater insight into our experiences and our potential. It is a space we can use together to RE-MEMBER ourselves, to embody, and to BE.

"Welcome Home" is exactly right. Welcome to all of us! Come grab a cup of tea, see a familiar face, get a hug, laugh or cry. After all, when we come to the Healing WELL, we are coming home to each other and ourselves. As a former volunteer, it’s so good to be back, as I move forward in my role as Assistant Director, I look forward to seeing you.

Sound Healing
Tuesday mornings are filled with beautiful sounds and deep relaxation at The Healing WELL. Through listening to the vibrations of Himalyan singing bowls, we release tension and energy, and promote emotional balance. We’re so glad you’ve joined our team, Ashley!
April Block Party
With Improv Theater games, seed planting, card games, sidewalk chalk games and art projects, we promoted joy and friendship on Eddy Street last Friday. Special thanks to Mike Casazza for picking up Safeway donations, Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep students for helping with the activities, and Book Passage for donating wonderful books in our “Give Away Library.” The pupusas were a great draw, too!
Thanks to The Healing WELL Friends, who have launched a monthly BINGO party. On top of the great snacks and prizes, our participants thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to socialize and have fun.
Thanks, Ted, for generously sharing your talents with us. You made it possible for our community to make beautiful soaps for gifts for loved ones.
Leadership Intern Program
Retreat with Dave Richo
Our third cohort of the Leadership Intern Program is underway. Our participants
are doing public speaking at multiple events and outreach visits, leading groups of Healing WELL participants to wellness programs at organizations throughout the Tenderloin, and offering hospitality at the front desk. The focused trainings and group discussions provide great opportunities for learning and growth. The camaraderie among the team lends not only support, but also connection and inspiration.
Thanks, Dave Richo (pictured right above with our Community Host, Sal Gasca), for the wonderful retreat, “Our Spiritual Journey.” We’re grateful, too, to the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center at St. Agnes Church, for donating its space to us, and to Rocco’s Cafe for providing a wonderful lunch. Opportunities like this give us an opportunity to reflect on our inner beings, tapping into our values and beliefs to
guide us.
The Passing of our Friend, Myriam
“Huge smile, big hug, amazing heart. You are loved!” The outpouring of love and kindness we experienced with the sudden loss of our dear friend, Myriam, reminded us all of the power of our community. 40 people gathered for her memorial at which we sang, read poetry, and shared stories. Thanks to Caroline, Joan, Anne Marie, Rosie and Micaela for the delicious food. In Myriam's honor, we created a colorful banner which we stretched across The Healing WELL, capturing our love for this light in our comminity.
Participant Expression
Written for Myriam and read at her memorial
Do you hear that?

It’s the sound a gentle wind plays on your ear
You hear it in the trees as the leaves dance aloft the sky blissfully unaware of sorrow of a wilted flower bathed in its shade

Loss is the note you had not yet heard in a song

You sense it
You can feel it
But you don’t know it’s there. 

Through unrelenting tears a fluttering eyelash finds strength in the lashes by its side, together drenched, but never drowning 

Grieve the good but know that true goodness cannot perish 

Mourning a deep loss is essential to clear out the fragments from which pieces of ourselves remain, 
A reminder of that which has been ripped from our souls in this time of pain

Stand sentinel with your hard
But harden not your soul to love’s embrace

a broken heart in need of mending seeks a loving hand, a gentle touch reaching back in search of healing

Grief fills the space across time 
when the dust settles and we see ourselves a little less whole

In grieving we take the time to remember the love, laughter and otherwise entirely ordinary moments made extraordinary by the knowledge they can never be made again

Isn’t it extraordinary that when we remember the dead, they live eternally in our hearts 

It is in these moments where we find ourselves being mended by our dear departed friend 

Standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends in mourning like lashes on the eyes. 

The tears dry out
We set our gaze upon the heavens 

We see our friend again and find ourselves repaired and made whole

In the love we share
Our hearts cannot be felled again

Justin Schuck

Donations by check, addressed to "The Healing WELL," are also welcome. 
Please mail them to:
The Healing WELL
476 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
The Healing WELL is a fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives
415.500.2099 | |