What is up with the way we treat ourselves in the wellness industry? We are always up for improvement, self help, self improvement, FIXING… I am so saddened by the pathologizing nature of the western medical model, and now guess what – that mentality has infiltrated the alternative wellness mindset too.
You have a symptom? Let’s treat it with herbs to fix you (instead of surgery that sounds greatl right?) Who cares that you are an integrated whole being with an entire function of your nervous system that heals you from the inside out. No, let’s not acknowledge the Parasympathetic Nervous System – let’s not talk to you in a way that promotes restfulness, let’s pretend that you need to DO a bunch of pills (read: suppliments or medications) and therapies to FIX your symptoms.
See, this is how we have learned to motivate one another, through fear. Fear-flight response tactics ensure that you are highly motivated, because look what will happen to you if you don’t take XYZ supplements! Your genitals will fall off! Better hurry up and do what your primary care provider suggests. Better hurry up and listen to your stress responses, and worst case scenario thinking to make important decisions about your health. Because, seems like you forgot…
YOUR DOCTOR IS NOT YOUR GURU.
Your Accupuncturist is NOT your Guru.
Your Yoga Teacher is NOT Your GURU.
Who knows the most about your health and wellbeing? Is it your chiropractor, who looks at your chart while you’re in the waiting room, and tells you everything about your body with confidence, so you can just relax and not think about it? If you’re like, but wait, leave health up to the health professionals – that’s what I say. I didn’t go to school for 15 years like they did, studying the biology of dead bodies, and completely neglecting my own health – so how should I know?
Here’s the Point: You know everything you need to know about your health, about your life decisions, about your place in the world, and about the greater conversation about life and death. You just aren’t listening.
You have the entire wisdom of the cosmos in your very own DNA. You have the capacity to know deep inside your core body what is right for you, and what is not. In Ayurveda, it is stated that the root of dis-ease in the body (leading to disease), where the first fork in the road lies – it is within ourselves, when we choose to deny our own inner wisdom. In other words, self betrayal is the root of all disease. And conveniently, and profitably, the entire medical model, and holistic wellness model too, is built on this GURUistic wholesaling of personal power.
It’s not working, because there isn’t a restful place for the Parasympathetic to awaken, for the rest and digest and self-heal response to kick in. We don’t make it a priority, it is not modeled anywhere, and the fields of medicine and wellness are still operating on a fear based, symptom focused approach that upholds the hierarchy.
Here’s the Magic Bullet: You need nothing else, just to slow the fuck down. When you are restful, when you have fully regenerated your nervous system, you have access to all the wisdom of your body, and the subtleties continue to deepen the more you serve yourself with self care and rest. I’m not saying don’t go to the doctor, but what if you went fully in your rest response instead?
When your lymph nodes suddenly swell up, if you take a moment to pause, notice the stress response in your body, take a deep breath, take another, feel into the fear of swollen lymph nodes, what does that feel like? What does it feel like to experience stress? Feel where the stress hormones landed in your body – maybe in your chest or belly… notice the fact that you are now trying to defy gravity with all or some of your tissues. Notice that you have ideas and stories about what swollen lymph nodes means. Let it fall – like leaves toward the ground. Let your thoughts fall, let your body fall into the center of the earth, let your attention fall towards the opening, instead of staring like a deer in headlights at the closing fears and your worst case thinking. What else is possible here? Can you feel your breath in your belly? Can you feel gravity on your skeleton…
What does it feel like to not know the answer right now? What does it feel like to be open to discovery?
What about the deeper wisdom of your body, are you ready to listen now? Ask yourself, what is happening here, what am I not seeing? Taking slow deep breaths, listening to your wisdom, trusting that YOU are the authority on your health. Maybe you get an intuitive hit here, something unlike the fear-thinking, something more restful, it feels effortless, almost obvious – how could you have missed this?
And a flood of relief! You remember that you ate shellfish last night, and you forgot about being allergic. All you need to do is drink a lot of water and rest. Now, looking back at your stressed out self, getting ready to Fear-binge WebMD – and all you needed was inside you all along.
Anyway, I digress. I use the medical/wellness guruism as an example – why is everything about improving what is already fucking pristine? You don’t have to go to another self-help seminar, you don’t need another certification, you don’t have to suffer for 10 years in a bad relationship before you wake up to realize that you’ve got it baby. You may WANT to continue to grow and evolve – but you don’t NEED to. Love is already available everywhere, you are fucking perfect – the only thing holding you back from receiving all the love you want – guess what! It’s YOU.
Well, it’s your silly thinking actually. You, in your radiant core, already know perfection and have all the wisdom and love in the world. You just have some silly thinking that hyptonizes you into believing that you don’t – because how could you shine so brightly without keeping yourself small like all the others? The problem is with our cultural obsession to improve.
What if this were true: You will never need anything else to be worthy of all your desires, know and unknown yet, and you do not need to improve to be unconditionally loved. There is no work to do on yourself before you are ready for your life. You are the most real and authentic You there ever was, and in the play of life, if you’re holding back on taking the stage until you have improved yourself sufficiently – well your spotlight is missing it’s star.
Imperfection. Embrace it!
Perfectionism is the death of your creativity and thirst for life! Stop trying to improve. Stop trusting the authorities (whatever that even means!) when it comes to your body and path in life. Take care of yourself gaddamnit – stop self betraying and making yourself sick. This is just tricky, because if you’re always sick then you have an “excuse” not to shine. Fuck that. The stage is waiting.