Carly Stasko, Imagitator (one who agitates imagination)

(r)Evolutionary Healing – The Spiral Journey

Healing is a vibrant dance of life. Healing is awe inspiring, powerful, subversive and is continuously happening holistically throughout all aspects of the body (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically). I’ve come to see creative healing and transformation as a process that can be envisioned as a spiraling wheel. The cycle begins with a challenge, something that has reached a crisis point and must be addressed. It could be an absence or silence in the mainstream narrative of history, education or media. It could be a social, economic or environmental injustice, an unsafe space, sadness, loss or a life-threatening illness.

The next phase of this cycle requires individuals and communities to muster up their courage. It takes courage to believe that we can make a difference, or that creativity, which is so often disregarded as trivial, could provide new solutions for resisting and transforming what is challenging us.

The third step isn’t always obvious – it is to play. Playfulness is ever present in all the various forms of creativity I have participated in such as zine publishing, performance art, education, and healing.

The final step in the cycle is love, which takes the form of a new vision of the world and a new sense of purpose or place in that world. For example, this is demonstrated in culture jamming by increased media literacy and a stronger sense of belonging and participation in public space.

This transformational process is what I call (r)Evolutionary Healing. With each revolution around the wheel, we pass through Challenge, Courage, Play and then Love. Rather than traveling in a straight line or repetitive cycle, this (r)Evolution is a spiral — a process through which each time around we have the potential to move closer to the central goal of wellness and interconnection. This model doesn’t limit us to the metaphor of a linear path; the occurrence of new challenges do not signal a failure, but instead indicates that there are still further opportunities to transform, lessons to learn, and connections to forge.