There's More Than One Right Answer
Here are some things to consider as we set new intentions for 2017, and beyond. I actually wrote this a long time ago, but it seems to be a relevant post based on what I am seeing in my practice lately. I hope you enjoy reading it and come back for more musings soon!
When we are feeling chronically unwell, we become anxious and worried about what's happening next in our world and how/if we will have the energy to cope with it. This prevents us from being present, not in the moment, as we continue to search outside of ourselves for answers or opportunities, avoiding or ignoring the voice within. When we are not fully present, we are not fully in our body. When we are not fully embodied, we become more permeable and vulnerable to illness, attracting the opportunity for diseases and negative thought patterns to set in. When illness and disease set up residence within us, the body becomes an inhospitable vessel for the higher self. Spirit and body are at a dissonance. On many levels we do not even WANT to return to it because it's all so overwhelming. We check out. This can occur within physical, energetic, mental, and spiritual systems, all of which are inter-connected.
So, our energy body sets up residence just outside our physical body and we become even MORE sensitive and vulnerable to our environment (foods, chemicals, relationships, thoughts). This creates a vicious cycle, and eventually we won't "fit in" anywhere. We begin to attract more of the very things we are trying to heal. Feeling unwell and scanning our exterior environment for the right answer, the magic-bullet, the way out, a break, or a means of control, yield depressing results because we instead need to listen within and avoid getting swept away into the current of illness and negative thought patterns (and even addictions). We need to clear these imprints and become whole. This vicious cycle yields energetic and spiritual consequences, and totally affects our ability to care for ourselves properly by choosing the appropriate foods, expressing truth, setting boundaries, scheduling down-time without the need for justifications, and so on. Our keys to freedom lie within, yet we can't get back in with all that chaos going on in there! Ask yourself: What set all this in motion to begin with? What was the trigger? What would happen if I became completely well, strong and capable, a shining example of exuberant perfect health and balance? Where would I have to (or get to!) show up in my life if this problem or that weren't in the way? What are my excuses and conditions? I love how Alberto Villoldo put it: "We can have what we want, or the reasons why we don't have what we want." Think about it!
Before you do a life makeover, or overhaul your diet, or quit your job, it is crucial to understand WHY you are doing so. Continue to question. What is the INTENTION? Really? Why do you want to make this move? What do you want? Or, possibly, what are you avoiding? The intention determines the VALUE (totally subjective), the IMPACT, the RESULTS, and the TRUTH of what it is you are attempting to change. Is it arbitrary? Is it fear-based? Is it ruled by ego and popular opinion? Is it vanity-driven? Is it for health or balance? Is it sabotage? Are you following your intuition? Are you rebelling? Are you a martyr? Can you do this with self-love?
The modalities, diets, methods, dogmas, and protocols we choose are SECONDARY when we want authentic change and transformation (and transcendence) to occur. Understanding the WHY of what we are doing is PRIMARY to the HOW if we want integrated, lasting results. Change, not fighting to remain the same, is the name of the game.
Once this WHY is established, we must survey the territory and take inventory. Again, let's ask ourselves: How do I treat my body? My thoughts? My environment? My relationships? MY SELF? What drives me? Which areas are out of balance? How are they out of balance? How is one like the other? Why? When these pictures are clear, then the details will have VALUE. THEN it will matter which approach you take and which guru of this or that to follow, and for how long. You become the conscious boss of YOU and use these details as gifts and tools, not as distractions and excuses to remain the same. The medicine will find you.
If intentions and agendas are clouded by denial, shame and fear, we can get lost in a sea of have-tos, couldas, shouldas, wouldas, and incessant self-improvement and discipline, as opposed to devotion. The details become serious DISTRACTIONS from the real issues, mere band-aids, and we run the risk of taking everything personally. What difference will the right brand of sea salt make if I'm binging on toxic foods, chemicals, or relationships? Who cares about a green smoothie when I just want to cross it off my endless list of tasks to complete when most of those tasks remain excuses as to why I am not fully expressing my creativity or fulfilling my life's purpose? Why dream of a perfect partner when I treat myself so poorly? In contrast, when we are devoted to wholeness, when our soul has a home to return to, we can create an arena that fosters clarity and intuition. These guide us and alert us when there is a malfunction, either physically or psycho-spiritually. We can zero-in on the source of imbalance and choose wisely the best course of action to get back on course. We have to know our course! Intention is the driving force behind the course. Where do you want to go, and WHY?
Once we can view the landscape honestly, and have set an intention of becoming balanced, centered, and well again, it's important to understand that physical and emotional issues require varying degrees of support. Some conditions or goals require accumulative treatments, while others are only situational or temporary. Still others are for maintaining a balance and need to be tweaked and reevaluated from time to time as we change and grow. Think of this when choosing foods and supplements. Some are for our "retirement account" for longevity. We may not notice immediate results from these, but they offer support for the long haul, and are often preventative in measure. "Remedial" foods and supplements are useful when something unforeseen knocks us off center and we need to get into alignment quickly. These remedies are not necessarily for the long term, but offer a variety of quick-fixes to get us back on the health highway, and to keep us from spiraling. The day to day choices for well-balanced health (mental and physical) call for "tonic" methods, foods and supplements for sustenance and maintenance.
It can be quite confusing and overwhelming to navigate the endless barrage of dietary and emotional advice because theoretically they can ALL work if they match the intention and situation. Diet or magnets? Gluten-free or meditation? Spring water or psychotherapy? Yikes! Gregg Braden once told me at a workshop, "We are all drowning in information, but starving for wisdom." Wisdom, at it's purest form, cannot be taught, its source resides within and must be experienced. Listen to it. Listen to YOU!