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Grace & Grounding: The Gospel of Healing

Learning How to Breathe

By Shereá Denise

Soften up the mess.

Drop it in the water.

Let the daughter find her image with the rest.

She'll be learning how to breathe…

Song - Higher by Madison Ryann Ward


For those who know me personally or who follow me on social media, it is no secret that I often implement different spiritual practices and tools depending on what I feel I need and/or what I feel led to use. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and the healing abilities of water but I am not in church every Sunday and one traditional baptismal was enough for me. I actively use Palo Santo, aromatherapy, sound healing, numerology, Tarot Cards, and crystals for a variety of purposes. Prior to 2021 I thought that I had a decent grasp on spiritual practices. The last two years have taught me otherwise. I have stood on the altar at church, as well as at the altar in my home. I have studied, learned, prayed, and practiced in ways that I had not considered before.


Over the years I have had several divination/intuitive readings. In each reading I was encouraged to implement self-care practices, rest, and boundaries before my body forced me to. Despite thinking that I had (at least partially) taken heed to the advice that I was given, I found myself in precisely the space that the Diviners had hinted at. My body - which was typically my last thought, if even a thought at all - has become something I consider in practically every moment and before committing to anything. I have had to sit with why my body is screaming at me, how we got to this point, and how I can prevent this from happening again. Being intentional about showing my body consideration and rebuilding trust with my body seems to be the bulk of the healing work that I need to do. Some days are easier than others. Some solutions are more obvious than others.


This process has made me recognize the importance of being willing to learn. While some of my practices are still helpful to me, others have been replaced or refined. I initially began looking for healing physically, but learning more about SIBO and how my body responds to treatment has taught me that there are mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of my life that have to be addressed/healed as well. After a few conversations with my Pelvic Floor Therapist I had to reconsider the medical route that seemed very “one step forward, two steps back” for me and begin to look at things more holistically. Luckily, this seems to be an approach that many SIBO patients have taken, so there is a wealth of information and resources available. Though I am far from an expert on holistic healing or gut health, I have learned a lot over the last few years. I would be dishonoring my commitment to improve my community through (at minimum) the sharing of information if I did not share some of what I have learned and some of what I have found to be useful.



  • What is Holistic Healing? “Holistic approaches include but are not limited to: acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, massage therapy, chiropractic physicians, manual therapy, naturopathic physicians, meditation, guided imagery, yoga, therapeutic touch, reiki and other energy therapies, and ayurveda.”

  • What is a Divination Reading? “Divination in its purest form is a way to gain insight into a question or situation or seek understanding of the future. Divination is a form of energetic communication. It is a wonderful tool to help us connect with our guides and intuition. The ancient practice of seeking knowledge, guidance, messages and inspiration from spirit or higher consciousness, can be accomplished using divination tools and crafts such as palm readings, tarot and dowsing.”

  • What is Reiki? “Reiki is an energy healing technique that promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety through gentle touch. Reiki practitioners use their hands to deliver energy to your body, improving the flow and balance of your energy to support healing.”

  • What role does acupuncture play in SIBO treatment? “Acupuncture is also supportive and can help clear SIBO and calm your nervous system.”

  • What is an Herbalist? Is this the same as a Naturopathic Doctor? “When it comes to plant medicine and understanding how herbs work in the body, Herbalists are THE experts. Naturopaths study botanical medicine, and they also study acupuncture, nutrition, Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) and homeopathy.”

  • What is Functional Medicine? “Functional medicine is suitable for treating chronic illnesses and diseases. Patients who experience persistent symptoms need long-term treatment and care. The nature of their condition may severely impact their quality of life. A provider of functional medicine seeks to find the root cause of chronic diseases.”

  • What role can herbs play in SIBO treatment? Various herbs can be used in all phases of SIBO treatment. Articles and podcasts reference multiple herbs that have been used by SIBO patients, including: Oil of Oregano, Neem, and Allicin.

  • What are the benefits of breathwork/breathing exercises?




In addition to the resources that I have found regarding gut health, I have also found a lot of information and learned quite a bit about myself. So many of the lessons that I have gained during this experience center around the concepts of grace and grounding, specifically giving myself grace and ensuring that I am grounded in my body.


One way that I am extending grace to myself is by letting go of the unrealistic expectations and timeframes that I tried to put onto my healing. I am also examining the ways that I may have been creating my own discontent. I am choosing to do what makes sense for me. Recently that has meant canceling or rescheduling most medical appointments and seeking out holistic practitioners. I cannot be sure that the holistic approach will work, but I feel like I have exhausted my other options and do not have much to show for it. I am hopeful that answers, healing, and better health are possible and forthcoming.


Since admitting that I was not well, I have learned to recognize that sharing some of the personal lessons I have learned can prove helpful to others and healing to me. For that reason I am sharing some of my personal lessons for those who are fighting battles that others do not fully understand. While some of these lessons may sound cliche and like I have been taking a deep dive down the self-care Instagram rabbit hole, much of this has proven necessary and true for me. As Princess Skepticism herself, I am likely as shocked as you are.



  • Change your mindset. Much of the “battle” for healing is in our minds. There are things that you will have to make your mind up about. There are habits, practices, and routines that you will have to change. A few times. You will have to consider things that you never imagined, but you will also experience things that blow your mind in the best possible ways - if you allow them to. It is up to you to do your research, to choose your joy, and to take heed to the signs that are all around you.


  • Control what you can control. Listening and trying to heal your body will help you recognize what is beyond your control and what is not a priority. There are some things, situations, and people that will no longer be that important to you. That does not make you a bad person. It simply speaks to the fact that - in spending time pouring into yourself - you will have less time to waste and less to pour into others. 



  • Give yourself grace. In The Body is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor says: “Religious people consider grace the free and unmerited favor of God. This is a gift we can extend to ourselves regardless of faith or doctrine. We do not have to earn radical self-love. The act of giving yourself some grace is the practice of loving the you that does not like your body. When we feel the most deficient, what is being called forth from us is more love — not because we earned it but because we never had to. To give grace to oneself is to move beyond words like “worthy” and ­“deserving,” terms that still imply qualification.” Grace and radical self-love involve having boundaries, allowing yourself to rest/slow down, and asking for help. There is no shame in acknowledging what you and/or your body cannot do.


As I continue to reflect on all that has happened over the last several years, I can say that the years were trying, but I also can say that they have been some of the best, most life-changing years of my life. Great things have happened in the midst of all of this. My health has been the catalyst for so many necessary changes. My healing has become determined and intentional. My faith has become different and deeper. Though medical providers initially expressed amazement at the physical pounds that I shed, it is the emotional weight that I lost that seems most noticeable to me. I have become someone that I do not always recognize - in more good ways than bad.


Despite the changes in my own spiritual practices over time, I am still a believer in the healing power of music, especially gospel music. For me, one of the highlights of any testimony service was the song of encouragement that concluded everything. While the lyrics of the song may not have rung true in that exact moment, my faith and my hopefulness told me that - at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) - all of the promises that I know (from my God, from my Spirit, from my ancestors) would be honored. I (possibly shakingly, possibly from a space of desperation) knew and believed that the problem was already resolved, that my healing was on the way, and that IT had already been done. I finish this post in that same space, one that is both determined and hopeful.


Your family's saved. Already done.

Your bills are paid. Already done.

Your body healed. Already done.

Every void filled. Already done.

Song - It’s Already Done by The Anointed Pace Sisters


Read Part One: We've Come This Far By Faith

Read Part Two: The Weight We Carry

Read Part Four: Having the Last Word

Find additional posts and resources here.

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