Healing Illness By Transforming Your Behavior

 

Here’s a stimulating, thought-provoking article a friend shared with me earlier today that I thought I would feature here. Hope you find it insightful and helpful in some way; I know I did…

 

Ditch the Suffering⏤How to Heal Illness by Transforming Your Behavior

author's own

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I take a holistic approach to health—no conventional drugs, no surgeries, no injections, nada.

Over the course of my career, I have gradually abandoned all types of alternative therapies, from herbal medicine to homeopathy to acupuncture. This may seem counter-intuitive, like a surgeon operating without any tools. Yet this approach has led me to discover some extraordinary things about how human beings heal that I’d like to share with you.

By skillfully performing the ordinary activities of our daily lives, we can experience healing that is worthy of the term miraculous. By “ordinary activities” I mean the four activities that all human beings can and must perform for themselves: eating, moving, thinking and relating. These four actions are the most powerful, reliable and rapid forms of healing available to us.

Let’s take eating, for example. If we choose to impulsively indulge in a pint of ice cream every night after dinner, we are not acting with true kindness and intelligence. Sugar and dairy destabilizes our endocrine system, which can lead to a night of tossing and turning, bloating, headaches, and dehydration. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, which causes many of our common diseases and ailments. The pint of ice cream is only one aspect of eating, but it’s easy to see how simply changing one activity in our daily routine can have a dramatic effect on our emotional, mental and physical health.

To consider what re-calibrating all four areas of our lives would be like, imagine if you could purchase the following medicines:

A medicine that gives you the power to eat impeccably, exactly in accord with the wisdom of your mind and body. When taken, you will develop a beautiful, youthful body free from almost every illness.

A medicine that gives you the motivation and skill to perform a daily 90-minute workout, dramatically increasing your strength, flexibility and endurance.

A medicine that enables you to direct your internal dialogue as an unbroken stream of positive, life-affirming, self-esteeming thoughts. This medicine frees you from collapsing into negative emotions and infuses your mental/emotional body with unshakable faith, hope and love.

The medicine of loving kindness and compassion, which would heal your relationships of arguments, misunderstandings, conflicts and violence.

What would you do or pay in order to get your hands on these medicines? Thankfully, you can forget whatever scheme first came to mind, because we don’t need those medicines—they already exist. Unfortunately, we haven’t realized this because most of us eat, move, think and relate in a way that is incongruous with the four ordinary human activities. Instead, many of our actions are untrained, unskilled, and produce suffering in our physical, mental and emotional bodies.

We cannot abstain from eating, moving, thinking and relating. But we can choose whether our actions will be expressions of our wisdom and love, or expressions of our ignorance and indifference. Choosing love and wisdom is as rock solid and practical as it gets, because healing occurs consistently when we accept responsibility for our behavior, thoughts, words and deeds—when we develop self-control, when we master our appetites and passions, desires and fears. This is the path of the wise.

By mastering our behavior, we honor the foundational principle that all world religions uphold—virtue, or, right action in thought, word and deed. Our mind’s job is to protect our body. The most destructive enemy our body faces is none other than ourselves. Habitually performing actions that harm the body makes our mind anxious. This anxiety is healthy and necessary—when we are addicted to what injures us, no medicine can assuage our anxiety.

Through right action we cease harming ourselves (and others). As we become less dangerous and harmful to ourselves, our mind becomes markedly less anxious. We can then relax and concentrate our attention in prayer and meditation, enabling us to further discover and express in our mundane activities the divinity that we are. This is why I consider the healing of our behavior to be true healing.

We all long for the blessings of health and happiness; without them our lives seem filled with suffering. We seek them through medicine, religion or politics. Yet, look! They are right here for the taking. Nearer than our breath and thoughts; they are inescapably available right now. Our lives are whispering, shouting: “Love me! Give me your all. Now!” Our bodies, minds and relationships faithfully reflect back to us the caring and thoughtfulness behind our actions. Our every act obeys the one universal law: “As you give so shall you receive.” If we want quality from our bodies, minds or spouses we must give it. There is no other way.

The art of living is the art of healing. All of our actions are sacred. All of our mundane activities: breathing, walking, eating, thinking, reading, talking and working are all sacred healing rituals and therapies. Through our actions we make kindness and wisdom manifest in our human body. This is my medicine. And this is yours.

A Simple Three-Step Healing Exercise:

Pick out one self-destructive activity that you want to overcome and one wholesome activity that you want to instill. For example, you want to reduce your sweets, coffee or alcohol; on the other hand, maybe you want to eat two large servings of vegetables daily, exercise three times this week or listen empathetically to your spouse or child’s concerns (especially if it’s you). To make your good intention real, commit to one action, no matter how tiny, that you can and will do.

List at least three benefits of doing this, and three consequences of not doing this. Example: what will be the results in your energy, mood, self-esteem, confidence, income, relationships, health, tension, anxiety and mental clarity?

Tell at least one person the change that you are committed to making and why you have decided to do this. Ask them to check in each day for a week about how you are doing with your commitment. Accountability ensures results—it’s easier to not reach for the pint of ice cream if a friend is there to remind us to pull our hand back.

The kicker? Only thinking about doing this exercise while not actually doing it will bring you about as much benefit as thinking about taking a vacation and not actually going.

Take that vacation and do this exercise to get back to a reality where this epithet rings true:

You heal your body by healing your actions.
You heal your actions with the medicine of kindness.

In health and happiness,
Charley Cropley, N.D.

Source: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/09/ditch-the-suffering%E2%8F%A4how-to-heal-illness-by-transforming-your-behavior/

Image: courtesy of the author, flickr/Karsten Bitter

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Self-love: Key Element to Health and Well-being

When I first started this blog I mentioned that I would be writing about things I’d found to be helpful in improving overall health and well-being, including two elements I feel are often overlooked by the mainstream medical community and even many alternative health care practitioners. Those two things are self-love and self-testing, or having a way to communicate with your body. I have come to believe that both are key to maintaining or regaining health. Most of us may think we love themselves, but if we do some soul searching or really pay attention to the messages we are sending ourselves on a regular basis, I think we would see how much room there is for improvement in our self-talk and sense of self-love.

 

 

Plus, regardless of how much we may love themselves, there’s always room for expansion/more. Upping your self-love quotient is actually the most unselfish thing you can do!

I featured a previous post on mothering yourself that had some great advice on the topic of self-love, and this excerpt from Anita Moorjani’s Dying To Be Me provides even more tips and insight into the often confounding process of increasing self-love….

 

“PEOPLE ASK ME WHETHER THERE’S SUCH A THING as too much self-love. Where’s the line, they ask, where it starts to become selfish or egotistical? To me, there’s no such possibility. There is no line. Selfishness comes from lack of self-love. Our planet is suffering from this, as we humans are, along with too much insecurity, judgment, and conditioning. In order to truly care for someone unconditionally, I have to feel that way toward myself. I can’t give away what I don’t have. To say that I hold another in higher regard than myself isn’t real and means I’m only performing.

When I’m being love, I don’t get drained, and I don’t need people to behave a certain way in order to feel cared for or to share my magnificence with them. They’re automatically getting my love as a result of me being my true self. And when I am nonjudgmental of myself, I feel that way toward others.

In light of this, I’ve learned that it’s important not to be too hard on myself if I’m experiencing challenges. Oftentimes, the problem isn’t the apparent conflict. Instead, it’s the judgment I have for myself. When I stop being my own worst enemy and start loving myself more, I automatically have less and less friction with the world around me. I become more tolerant and accepting.

When we’re each aware of our own magnificence, we don’t feel the need to control others, and we won’t allow ourselves to be controlled. When I awoke into my infinite self, I was amazed to understand that my life could be dramatically different just by realizing that I am love, and I always have been. I don’t have to do anything to deserve it. Understanding this means that I’m working with life-force energy, whereas performing at being loving is working against it.

Realizing that I am love was the most important lesson I learned, allowing me to release all fear, and that’s the key that saved my life.” ~ Anita Moorjani from Dying To Be Me

PERSONAL NOTE: I highly recommend reading Moorjani’s book, especially if you or a loved one are dealing with health issues. Also, see this short post from Stuff My Brain Thinks for a simple routine that will give you a place to start for increasing self-love:

http://stuffmybrainthinks.com/2012/03/11/to-do-list-love-myself/

And for more tips and insight into how to increase self-love, check out this previous Self-help Health post on mothering yourself:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/mothering-yourself/

And this post about “soul vitamins” that is sure to “up” your love quotient in general:

http://healthisfromheaven.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/10-soul-vitamins-for-the-coming-of-autumn/

 

“Be gentle first with yourself–if you wish to be gentle with others.” – Lama Yeshe

Salud!

p.s. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more self-help health tips, tools and information.

Welcome!

Greetings and welcome to my new Self-help Health site! I’ve been blogging at Evolution Made Easier for a number of years now and often include information about health and well-being in my posts there, but decided it was time to create a site devoted strictly to health-related information and resources,…. especially anything that is all-natural, simple to do/use, inexpensive and “self-help” oriented… things we can easily incorporate into our daily routine without expending a lot of time, effort or money.

Like a lot of people, I took my health for granted when I was growing up and was fortunate enough to enjoy physical well-being without even thinking about what I was eating or how much I was exercising. Then I started facing a number of  health “challenges” and in the process was diagnosed with chronic Lyme’s Disease, severe degenerative bone disease, skin cancer, heavy metal toxicity, anemia, and more. In my search for relief and better health I have done extensive research, tried tons of protocols, taken supplements too numerous to mention or remember, done a variety of cleanses, etc., etc. And I’ve learned A LOT along the way, often about what NOT to do. 😦  I have to say that often the things that seemed to make the most difference for me were those simple, inexpensive things I could do on my own, or things that mainstream medicine and even many alternative-minded healthcare practitioners leave out of the equation when advising individuals on how to go about regaining their health. Two things I think are key to health and healing that are often overlooked are self-love and self-testing, both of which will be discussed, along with numerous other things, in upcomings posts.

So stay tuned and come back often!

Salud (“to your health”), Zirah

p.s. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier and companion blog  Evolution Made Easier for a wide variety of information and resources on health and well-being  on every level….mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Mothering Yourself

During my quest for better health I have come to realize that nutrition, exercise and mental attitude are important, but what is at the heart of many illnesses is the dis-ease caused by lack of self-love. People may think they love themselves, but from my own experience I feel that’s rarely true. It’s common for us to be constantly judging/comparing ourselves and putting others’ needs before our own because we’ve been taught that we’re being selfish if we don’t. So how does all that honor and show love to ourselves? It’s hard for a body to reflect vibrant health and well-being when the mind is focused on our seeming imperfections and the heart is unpracticed at sending it’s love inward. 

But how do we begin rectifying the situation? Well, with Mother’s Day upon us, this article by Tama Kieves provides some great insights as to how/where to start…

Mothering Ourselves: Nurturing Yourself, Your Dreams, and the World

I have had to learn how to mother myself in this lifetime. I love my mother, more so these days than ever before, but for many years I felt like I got the short end of the umbilical cord. Like many of us, I didn’t get the movie mother in this lifetime, the tireless cheerleader, the fierce cub-protector, or the one who listened deeply to all my secret places and saw colors in me, I had yet to see. That mother was on back order when I was placing my cosmic selection.  Instead, I got someone who hadn’t exactly read the manual, and I know now, deserved and needed a mother herself.

But I have become a great mother to myself.

It’s taken years mind you. At first, I took the sad track to the broken amusement park ride of “It’s Not Fair.” But you can only ride that ride for so long before you realize that nothing has changed and never will. Yes, I’d wince when I met someone who had a mother that was their best friend, or someone they aspired to be like. I’d avert my eyes from that glow like seeing something so beautiful and private, something I could never have, something not meant for me.

But it was meant for me. It was meant for all of us. Even if you have a great mother, it’s important and life-changing to become that nurturing presence for yourself. It’s a practice. You can get better at chess or yoga. And you can get better at being there for yourself in ways that rock your soul.

I have learned to become a fierce advocate for my joy. I am still working on becoming a resourceful presence for my pain. Here’s some of what I practice: I tell myself, “you can tell me anything,” and I mean it. I no longer punish myself for feeling helpless, angry, jealous or stuck, and I’m willing to fill a thousand journals with my feelings.  I buy myself tokens and totems to celebrate achievements, large and very, very small. I whisper to myself in the crevices of emptiness between my bones, “I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you. I have so much faith in you.”

I used to think it was sad to have to be nice to myself, since I didn’t have a “real person” to do it. Then I thought it could even be destructive, as though the worst parts of me, liberated from criticism and threats, could grow like spores, live on pizza, and let reality T.V. replace reality.

But it turns out that I’m not reckless when loved; I’m soothed and healed. Turns out that when I don’t have to protect myself from my own self judgment I’m really not all that interested in indulgence and escapism.  And lately, I see self-kindness as a matter of pragmatism and responsibility. I am called to be a steward of the abilities and gifts that only I have, to represent the sacred love that comes through me, to tend my fire, keep it burning, creating one more source of light and warmth in our world. And as I take care of myself, I am one less broken soul, one more capable being on the front lines ready to tend the wounded.

I’ve learned how to mother myself from many sources, for which I am so grateful. I’ve learned from the forgiving eyes of therapists how to listen to myself with less judgment and attack. I’ve learned from the tender gestures of friends and lovers how to buy myself grapefruit juice, treasure my impish smile, and to say “oh honey,” in the hard times.

I’ve also been amazed by the spontaneous mothering I’ve experienced in life from total strangers, people who saw me leaning against a wall like a wild rose bush, and who gently tucked a trellis underneath my leaves and helped me find a stable way to grow. I have been saved, redeemed, and taught by the kindness of brief acquaintances who may have offered something basic to them, but who loosened a dark primeval knot inside my soul. I’ve felt safer in this life knowing that mothers, beings of nurturing and kindness, support and love are everywhere and that I do not have to be related to be deeply connected.

I’ve also learned so much from different wisdom paths such as Buddhism and A Course in Miracles. I’ve learned to become a loving witness for others and in so doing I’ve become that witness for myself.  I’ve learned to discover and listen to a sweet beloved inner voice that is mother, father, lover, creator and an original intelligence with the power of ten thousand waterfalls, the softness of a puppy’s breath. I continue to learn that I am never alone and infinitely loved, though love may come from a line in a book or the fragrance of a garden.

Since I have committed to following my dreams in this lifetime, I deliberately set out to become my own advocate and cheerleader. I knew there would be cut glass upon the path, abandoned markers, questions and locked doors. I have consciously created a voice of encouragement within myself, one who sees how brave I am just for daring, one who doesn’t care about results, but cares about the efforts. It’s this voice that keeps me warm with praise, and puts cotton in my ears when dark stories are told. It’s this voice that keeps lists of encouraging signs, scraps of evidence in my favor.  It is this voice that will scream from the bleachers when I die, “Way to go dear one, you gave it everything you had. It’s been a great ride!”

The beautiful thing about becoming this presence to myself is how much it’s enabled me to gift others with this love, to be that generous stranger for another, to be that lightning rod for my friends, family, clients and students. I’ve turned some of my private ache into public service. I have even learned to mother my mother, a rag tag child herself, lost at sea in judgments and opinions and injuries I will never fully know. Sometimes I do not feel appreciated or seen by her. But I accept that now.  Because I am always appreciated and seen by me.

(For those of you in my tribe who are wondering, yes, this article is a reprint of one  I sent you years earlier, and yes, my precious mother is no longer with me (in body anyway) and I love her more than ever before.)

This month, I’d like you to think of nurturing yourself as your responsibility.  Do something truly kind for yourself. Can you buy yourself a small gift or token of gratitude and support? Also, are there people in your life that you would like to thank for their tenderness or example of kindness? The world is full of dynamite mothers, and some of them are men and some of them are dogs and cats.

Would love to hear anything/everything from you, dear one, on the blog or Facebook.   

©2013 Tama Kieves. All rights reserved.www.TamaKieves.com

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