Thursday, January 31, 2013

Boldly Taking Control...

My first artwork in MONTHS. Ain't she sweet?
...of our own health.

It's about time.

The cartoon my friend sent to me showed a patient sitting on a doctor's table. The patient was drawn to look middle-aged, with a tired expression and wrinkled suit.

"Doctor," he says, "I don't feel well and I'm not sure why."

The wise doctor replies, "I want you to meditate for 20 minutes a day twice a day, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, avoid processed foods, eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, spend more time in nature and less time indoors, stop worrying about things you can't control and ditch your television. Come back in three weeks."

Now that's my kind of physician!!!!

A few weeks ago, I had some tummy pain again. Laying in bed that day, I thought I should call a physician and finally see what was going on with this situation. So I made an appointment with a specialist, albeit almost a month away from the day I called due to the fact that, as the receptionist stated, "We're overwhelmed lately with appointments."

I hung up the phone and thought about that. For the next four weeks, I thought about it, actually. A digestive disease specialist practice with four physicians on staff was 'overwhelmed with appointments." What does that say, really? When the day for my appointment came, I called and cancelled. I'd decided during the month leading up to it that I was not going to give my power away for a battery of heinous tests, a pill, and a lifetime of dependency on someone else to manage my health for me.

What I did instead was stop owning the issue. I will never again state "I have a stomach condition," which I'd done in the past. That's inviting it to come in, set up residence, and thrive. That's owning it...and I won't do that.

I also used a bit of common sense to figure out what might be triggering my tummy upset from time to time. This required some lifestyle changes, always a first step for most people to optimum health. I cut back considerably on something I truly love and enjoy...coffee. Yes, I know that will come as a great surprise to those who know me personally, but coffee is a primary trigger for intestinal upsets, especially the heavy dark roasts that I prefer. I went from the amount I was drinking daily down to 2 cups in the morning and a half-caff cup in the afternoon/evening. (For my afternoon blend, I mix coffee with teechino, an herbal coffee blend that is completely caffeine free and quite tasty!)

Rather than approach exercise weekend-warrior style, as in doing nothing all week then walking 5 miles on Sunday, I made time to walk everyday, weather permitting. My son accompanies me, and often his friend/s will as well. Sometimes on bikes, sometimes on foot, we walk and talk about things we see. This is probably my favorite thing, because working with kids I know they actually quite enjoy talking to adults. I learn alot about my son and his friends on these walks, and he/they learn that they can talk, openly and honestly without judgement or consequence, to me.

And I used my knowledge of Reiki and healing, which I've always done, to take care of my body. Daily yoga routine and time spent in quiet meditation and healing.

And here I am, a month later, feeling better than ever.

We are, ultimately, in control of our own well being. I have, unfortunately, for years watched a family member accept bad health and give power away to medical professionals who prescribed a pill that riddled the person with side effects and ultimately did nothing. Now, at a fairly young age, this person has succumbed to being disabled and a near-invalid state. This was all avoidable, had it been faced head-on years ago, and because it affects to my life deeply, it has inspired my journey to a better way of healing. I believe I could help this person, but they are not open whatsoever to what I offer. They prefer the white lab coats and diagnosis of this, that and the other. They own these illnesses to the hilt, telling people about them at any given opportunity. The distance it has created between us could span light years, and the effect it has had on this person's life is immeasurably catastrophic.

I wonder how their life might have been if, 20 years ago, they'd had a physician like the one in the cartoon my friend sent to me. But when one had been dependent on physicians for the majority of their life to tell them how they are doing, it's a habit that's hard to break.

As I approach the study for my level II in Reiki, which will enable me to work with healing on others as well as myself, I'm grateful for the nearly 2 years of lessons I've had since receiving my level I certification. I was told then that when I was ready for level II, I'd know it, but the process could not be rushed. I had to have some experiences along the way to not only teach me, but to test my commitment to the natural healing journey I was on. And now I'm ready. It's a wonderful time.

It's a wonderful life.

Please comment below on some of the things YOU do to maintain optimum health. I want to share them with others in a future blog!

Artwork: The serpent is an ancient a symbol of female power and women's healing intuition. This small colored-pencil sketch in a study for a large painting.

2 comments:

  1. First- I am glad you are better. Second- I am glad you took control of your own health.

    Many of us don't realize that we are in charge of our own well-being. Our health is basically made up of what we think, what we eat, and what we do... Most people with high blood pressure don't just suddenly wake up with it one morning (however, genetics DOES play a role... sometimes). People eat processed food, they lead a stress-filled life, they smoke, they are over weight, and they sit A LOT. Then they go to the doctor and the doctor gives them the magic blood pressure pill and they continue to lead their same lives. Meanwhile, who knows what side effects that magic blood pressure pill is having on their body. Most of the time, it could all be managed by life style changes. When I worked in an MD's office, I would often hear, "Ohhh- I can't give up eating [insert food]"... So the blood pressure medicine companies and the companies that make our processed foods just keep getting richer and richer and we get sicker and sicker. It's just sad.

    If we take time (like the cartoon said) to prepare REAL food, exercise, spend time in nature, spend time in meditation or doing YOGA :)... we can change our lives and become healthy again. We don't have to accept this as our "fate."

    Great post, Amy! One that I can certainly relate to!

    Here are some great links to share...

    http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/
    http://www.hungryforchange.tv/
    http://kriscarr.com/
    http://kriscarr.com/products/crazy-sexy-cancer/

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  2. Mt life became richer when I got a dog and started walking everyday and when the man started getting interested in a more holistic approach to eating (he's the cook - I'm the bottle washer!). Pounds rolled off and energy peaked...we laugh and share as we walk or cook together. So much of life is about the choices we make and what we choose to embrace and what choose to let go of. Nice post, Amy!
    - Ginn

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