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Are you ready for me to give you all the right answers about how to be totally physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy?
Because I have spent way more than the requisite 10,000 hours it supposedly takes to become an expert on anything. I have been researching and practicing each one of those aspects of health obsessively for years. I totally deserve at least two or three PhD's.
Okay, I might have seemed just a tad insufferable at times (especially in regards to nutrition), BUT I KNOW MORE THAN YOU and I have cutting edge science and renowned spiritual teachers throughout the ages to support my theories.
So just pull up a seat near my feet and I will enlighten you. You're welcome.
Just letting you know that the irony of the following has not escaped me and I am a bit more humble than when I kind of thought I knew it all.
I, who have shunned almost everything that can be put in or on the body which is not organic and sustainable (and all of the other ultra-healthy buzzwords) and
I, who no longer smoke or drink alcohol (yes, I formerly smoked organic cigarettes and drank organic alcohol) or take any kind of drugs (including over-the-counter) and
I, who have all kinds of lovely spiritual practices and
I, who hike and dance every day in the healing beauty of nature and
I, who have been trying so hard to do everything "right" (the list goes on and on)...
I have been struggling with insomnia and put on 50 pounds in the past few years. And, I have been sick nearly steadily for the past 11 weeks with cold and flu viruses as well as experiencing a variety of miscellaneous aches, pains and mysterious, distressing symptoms.
|Me at work last week, sick and beyond exhausted, with severe pain in my right foot, but dancing anyway.
But resisting, fixing, and blaming are missing the point. These strategies make this condition into a villain rather than a helpful friend.
What we resist, persists, so even though my survival conditioning (which flips automatically into Fight/flight/freeze when there is pain) screams RESIST and FIX (or get a numbing fix), I am doing my flawed best to welcome these visitors with curiosity, humor and kindness.
I believe the anxieties underlying these issues (especially the insomnia) have origins in younger parts of me and that helps me be kinder. AND to be more understanding of the invalid, immature beliefs that underlie the fears.
I am not passive in the face of that which causes harm. I can listen to these abandoned orphans of my psyche and invite them to be on my team, but they don't get to drive the bus! Similarly, any symptoms that truly threaten my survival, will be addressed by whatever means are necessary.
I'm sure lack of sleep probably helped turn my formerly rock star immune system into a welcome mat for every passing bug which then wreaked havoc with my already precarious finances. And doubtless, insomnia contributed significantly to my weight gain which in turn exacerbated my other physical issues. All of which, of course, caused anxiety and contributed to more insomnia.
AND it is equally if not more true that the insomnia, and all of the other related physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial issues have invaluable gifts to offer.
I am still unpacking these gifts and putting them together (kind of like a really complicated piece of furniture from IKEA that you know is going to look great).
But the most important piece is this jumble in front of me right now is that "everything is medicine". I have been saying this in a variety of different ways in my blogs for years, but let me share with you blurbs from a blog that landed in my email last week.
In her blog on 4/3/18, Dr. Lissa Rankin said:
Through the lens of “everything is medicine,” physical symptoms may even be perceived as a gift, a message from the Universe that helps you get back on track...
This isn’t to say that you caused your illness or that all illness has psycho-spiritual roots. Some traumas to the system are external, like when you live next to a toxic waste dump or are filling your body with toxic food or poisoning substances. But this opens a portal of inquiry that allows your physical illnesses and accidents to become messages from your soul. If disease or pain is here with a message for you, are you receiving the message?
Later in the blog Dr Rankin quotes from the new book that just came out entitled "The Sacred Science" By Nick Polizzi
There is a principle I learned from the shamans ...: Everything is medicine.
I’m not saying you should take a spoonful of Elmer’s Glue to cure your cold. It’s more figurative than that. What native healers are getting at is that everything that happens to you in this life, every single moment, good or bad, has a lesson to teach you.
Everything that has ever happened to you and will ever occur around you can be seen through one of two lenses: medicine or poison. It’s totally your choice, but your mindset will determine which choice you make.
|Healing crystals, ritual objects and magical elixirs from a Shaman
Another fascinating perspective on this concept of "everything is medicine" is the recent book by Dr Joe Dispenza entitled "You are the Placebo", in which he
" shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. Similarly, Dr. Joe tells of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse—or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use double- and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs."What if the "spoonful of Elmer's Glue" that Nick Polizzi mentioned above, could cure my maladies and "repair" all that is "wrong" with me better than the most tried and true conventional and holistic remedies if someone convinced me it was a magical healing substance?
What if the reason all of the myriad remedies I have tried (including various practices and healing modalities as well as machines, pills and potions) have been ineffective is because deep down, I don't currently believe that there is a fix that will work for me?
What if one the reasons for my lack of faith is because on some level I understand that as distressing as these symptoms have been, it's not about making them go away, but of paying attention to the messages/gifts they are bringing me?
And what if it is more beneficial to explore and celebrate the cracks in what is broken than to fix and erase/hide them?
Wabi Sabi - highlighting and celebrating beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. OR As Leonard Cohen says, "There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in."
I would rather get a root canal by a hungover dental student reeking of the previous nights jello shots in a room full of angry hornets while watching I Love Lucy reruns at full volume than attempt to assemble anything from IKEA.
But I love puzzling over the chaotic mess of broken pieces of my life and combining them with the heartbreakingly, beautiful pieces from the stories of others broken lives (and every single truly compelling success/healing story has these pieces) with the intention of creating something that inspires a more heart-centered, trusting, adventurous and joyful approach in the midst of life's most difficult times.
I may not have all of the "right answers" for you, because first of all, I don't think there are any black and white "right answers" -- just a whole lot of mind blowing paradoxes. Furthermore, all of us are unique and ever-evolving and living in a world where change is accelerating at a bewilderingly astronomical pace.
But I hope you find some of what I am learning helpful in creating your mosaic. I would love to hear what you are learning, if you are willing to share in the comment section below.
We all have pieces to contribute. Whether or not you choose to share publicly what you have discovered that is essential for you right now, I encourage you to at least think about what feels true and write it down or speak it out loud to someone today.
We are all in this amazing time together.
|Artist : Laurel True
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