I read lots of articles and listen to hundreds of interviews with people facing a life-altering illness. Every so often I hear someone make a comment like this is an opportunity to “scale new heights”. I’ve read about women with breast cancer making the trek to the top of a mountain. I’ve seen the stories of people walking across the country bringing recognition to their challenge. Does every new height have to be huge?
What’s the difference between scaling new heights and making an internal shift toward healing? Why do these monumental demonstrative actions equate to creating a new you? I know I’m asking a lot of questions but I’m struggling as to why even the smallest changes aren’t considered scaling new heights.
Isn’t the person who never had time for anything who following the diagnosis creates a daily ritual of meditating scaling new heights? Isn’t the person with heart disease who changes their eating habits scaling new heights? I believe the smallest of changes is a new height. I believe that when we’re motivated to make changes that improve our physical, emotional and spiritual health we are scaling new heights.
If the day comes that the well has run dry and taking these monumental changes is all I have left then maybe that’s the route I’ll take. For today, I scale new heights by creating a spiritual practice, keeping to my medical regimen and finding news ways to feed my body and soul.
We are all powerful beings. The neuropsychologists and neurologists have long reported that we use only a small part of our brain capacity…Imagine what we could accomplish is we used more of our brain power? Keeping that in mind let’s consider the choices we make when overcoming adversity. How many times have we started to get better, do better at work, with our relationships, following our passion and then we get derailed? How many times, if we look deep within do we find that we are the cause of the derailment? It’s not something we should wear as a badge of courage, but the truth is the truth.
Last night I was talking with a client about her relationship issues. We’ve been focusing on her anger since separating from her husband. The anger isn’t what concerned me; it was her sharing that her auto-immune disease is starting to rear its ugly head. I’d also be concerned. I know that when I’m having a flair, I need to be still and look at what I’m holding on to and what’s holding on to me.
When I sit still, I can center myself and begin to acknowledge the ways I haven’t been my own best friend. It’s a difficult thing to sit with, but as I do I re-connect to myself and understand that I shouldn’t be my own biggest obstacle. There are many people and challenges that can feel like opposing forces to my wellness; I should not reinforce that energy. I should be my own protector. I should be my own advocate. I need to always be my own best friend.
How will you identify your self-sabotaging actions? What will it take for you to become your own best friend? What resources do you need to make that happen? How can I help?
We all want the magic pill. This pill is the answer to all our problems, challenges and obstacles. We wait often in angst for this solution to appear and for most it never happens. Many people discuss luck as a factor in overcoming adversity and for most luck is where preparation meets opportunity. This is why it’s important to keep moving forward on your pilgrim journey so when the opportunity appears you can take full advantage of it.
On the other hands transformation is often the end goal. We wait for divine intervention or a sprinkling of fairy dust to improve our health, finances and happiness. Can transformation really happen that way? Wouldn’t you believe that like luck, transformation is built upon a foundation of experience? Isnt’ it imperative that to improve our health we have to continue to do the leg work making the transformational experience appear?
Transformation is like gestalt theory, the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s a synergy that is created and that’s why transformation seems magical and for many a flash of enlightenment. When we build our experiences based on what we learn our growth doesn’t increase arithmetically, like 1 then 2 then three, it increases exponentially 2,4,8,16. The learning curve is steep and the rewards vast.
When looking for healing in your life either physical or spiritual it’s important to continue building upon the foundation you’ve laid down. Creating the environment where preparation and growth can intersect is about having a part in creating your destiny. It will impact your health! It will impact your quality of life! It will make a difference on your relationships with family and friends! How will you map out your transformation?
It’s often heard that “idle hands are the playground for the devil”. First let me say that I don’t believe our hands are ever idle. Consider everything we do with our hands. Consider how many cultures depend on hands for self-expression. Idle hands may just be hands at peace. When our hands are at rest couldn’t it be that our mind is at rest as well? Wouldn’t that have healing properties on the journey to health?
Whether you use your hands to communicate as with American Sign Language or gestures like so many people do while speaking it’s all self-expression. Maybe you use your hands in prayer as you go deep within communicating with your inner guide for direction, there’s nothing idle about that.
Consider all those who are in the trades and crafts and what their hands can accomplish. As a knitter and quilter I know that my hands pace my soul. They keep me from getting to far ahead of myself keeping me in the present, especially when I stick myself with a needle.
How can you use your hands as part of your healing process. How do you incorporate your hands in meaningful activity. What do your hands say about you? What do you want to share with the world through your hands?
Ever hear the saying “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt”? When we are a tourist we go somewhere as an observer. We participate on the fringe. We look, often are told not to touch and at then end of the day we smile because we enjoyed ourselves. There is not attachment to the outcome because the only expectation is to have fun. Why do some people facing a life-altering diagnosis live their lives like tourists?
The easy answer is fear. If someone receives a life-altering illness and takes no action, without really giving it careful consideration it’s like being a witness to a horrible accident, only in this case they’re the victim. On the other hand, there are people who receive the diagnosis, go to the doctor, engage in treatment but are removed from the process. For them it’s like having an out of body experience (not sure how that happens when it’s their own body).
Those of us who walk this journey as pilgrims know that we have to get down in the trenches and sure enough we’re going to get dirty. There are times, like on the 500 mile pilgrimage in Spain, that you’re thinking the journey will never end and the suffering, pain and exhaustion are endless. In many cases, the challenge has defined margins but it’s hard to see the end when wind is blowing in your face (like all the media discussing longevity, research trials and the endless pharmaceutical commercials on television). What we need to remember is that having faith in our journey is the primary means of being a participant in your care.
The pilgrimage is long because you have to show commitment to your healing. The pilgrimage is long so you can have time to weed out of your life those things that don’t matter or get in the way of living a better, less burdened life. The pilgrimage is long because you need time to take back the control you lost when you received your diagnosis. It’s a time to regroup and re-attack.
We can’t afford to be tourists in life when facing a diagnosis. Remember, those who are well behaved rarely make history.