What is Healing?

Matt Hogan
3 min readJun 1, 2024


Over these past few weeks, in Boulder, Colorado, I’ve been face-to-face with the experience of this question. A question with its answers woven into the path of seeking, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the multiple organizing wisdoms that create and inform our lives. (Donald Epstein)

For this conversation, I am including the layer of Maslow’s hierarchy that is not largely known and was acknowledged by Maslow before his death.

Beyond the level of Self-Actualization is Self-Transcendence. My experience with these two is best summarized as; “I must become someone so that I can then let go of the idea that I am anyone”.

So, what is healing?

There’s talk of this concept in increasingly more spaces, places, and conversations. Or so it seems.

Perhaps, Maslow would not refer to moving up the hierarchy as healing. He may lean towards terminology such as evolution. This is not a direct quote. Rather, it’s based on the exposure I’ve had to his work to date.

From attending a couple of Donald Epstein’s events, and receiving Network Care, that he created decades ago, healing could be biological, emotional, mental, and spiritual. And from varying levels, you may experience them as separate or unified.

Donald and Maslow’s work is genius in varying ways, and it’s not my place to pretend to understand the full scope of their creations. I acknowledge and appreciate that the forward momentum of my life is built on the shoulders, backs, and in the minds of those who came before me.

I have experienced healing in a couple of ways.

  1. A seemingly never-ending search to fix something that has felt fundamentally broken about me. This has comprised approximately two decades of this lifetime. It’s certainly not all or nothing. The underlying sense of being flawed and broken has informed much of my intentions, attention, and use of time and resources.
  2. A search to experience a full expression of each organizing wisdom that Donald speaks about (Bio, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual). This is where nuance is important because I’ve been seeking a full expression of ‘me’ for as long as I’ve been seeking to fix something about myself. The nuance here is that this search often masked the underlying feeling of brokenness, which was unknowingly running the show much of the time.

Feeling connected to the core motive that is driving my seeking, is invaluable. Time, money, relationships, and energy can be spared and engaged wisely when the core of what is steering the ship is clear.

It’s important to note I’ve had many protective layers and defenses that hid these deeper motives from plain sight. I recognize this is the nature of being human, and I feel reverence for the parts of my mind that say, this is too much to face.

And yet, the seeking continued, because walking through life believing and feeling a fundamental brokenness did not work for me. It does not feel natural to experience this sense of being broken.

It has taken years for this feeling to make sizeable shifts, where the feeling is increasingly one of fundamental okay-ness vs brokenness.

In closing, here are a few perspectives defining healing.

  1. Healing is evolving up Maslow’s hierarchy to Self-Transcendence
  2. Healing is evolving through the stages and seasons that Donald Epstein speaks about
  3. Healing is evolving beyond a sense of being fundamentally broken to okay, good, great, and beyond

And lastly….

4. You could see and experience how each is the same, using different language to point to the same experience.

What does healing mean to you and your life?

And, why does it matter?

Thank you for reading.

Be well,




Matt Hogan

Coaching Leaders & Executives to Find Purpose, Clarity, and Alignment. | World Traveler | Soul Seeker | I help you through the hard sh*t.