In the druid curriculum I am following, one has to choose one of seven "spirals." I chose healing.
One of main things to be done for the healing spiral is to study a healing art. When I embarked on this path, I sent a couple e-mails asking about whether the things I wanted to study would count as a healing art. I wanted to study healthy living -- prevention of disease rather than the treatment of disease, including diet, exercise, and environmental toxins. I was also interested in practicing Nia.
I never got an answer to those e-mails. Rather than continuing to try to get an answer (I think it only took me a few weeks to figure out that the way to get questions answered was to post them to the e-mail list, rather than to send individual e-mails, so I could have posted my questions to the list), I decided I would just do tai chi. I knew that tai chi was acceptable as a healing art, and I did have an interest in learning it.
I have been learning tai chi, but I don't really have a passion for it. In contrast, I have been devoting the largest part of my druid studies to another part of the curriculum, called the Earth Path. For the Earth Path, I have been doing a lot of things that don't actually count toward fulfilling the requirements. We are supposed to read nine books about the natural history of our area. I have read one so far. I have also looked at thirteen other books -- ten on tree identification, and three on identifying other kinds of plants. These don't count because I did not read them in their entirety, I just used them as a reference and read sections here and there. I have also read five (and just started a sixth) about sustainable living. The curriculum requires that we try to live more sustainably, but not that we read any books about it.
For the Earth Path, I have been pursuing my interests. I have been learning the things that will contribute to my growth. Eventually, I will read the nine natural history books, and they are part of what I want to learn, but they are just part of it.
I should take the same path to the healing spiral that I take to the Earth Path. Just as I will read the nine natural history books, I will learn tai chi. And just as I have read parts of identification books that I will never read cover to cover, and as I have read books on sustainable living, I will also pursue the other things related to healing that I need to pursue for my own growth.
What do I want to get out of the healing spiral? I want to understand my own health problems, and do my best to alleviate them. I want to understand what can and can't be alleviated, and learn to live with that which can't be alleviated. As far as I can tell, Nia makes me feel better. I want to continue to practice Nia, and to continue to try to figure out what makes me feel better, and do do those things. I want to live a healthy lifestyle, to prevent future health problems as much as possible. When I embrace these things as part of my journey in learning about healing, I can embrace tai chi too, to see tai chi as one of many potential tools for maintaining health.