10 Tips on Healing Naturally and The Nature of Healing
1. What is healing? Let’s look at that in contrast to what is disease, or dis-ease. Illness is a lack of harmony with Nature and with our true selves, a dis-integration between mind-body-emotion-spirit. We become out-of-sync so to speak when one of our levels, usually the mind, is superseding or over-riding our heart and soul’s path. Healing involves the allowing and supporting of our different and multiple components to come back into alignment. Illness and disease is conflict and represents the ways we block our growth and development. For example, we block our growth with fear, doubt, worry, etc. and illness represents these blocks. Healing is the resolution of conflict and progressing along our evolutionary path. Many teachers suggest that our primary purpose on Earth is to grow and learn—to evolve.
2. Relationships are important to all of us, and so they should be. Yet, this is where most conflict arises, from the lack of integrated relationship with our self, with others in our lives, and with Nature. Women tend to be more open to work on relationship communication than men, and keeping all lines open is usually necessary for successful and loving relationships. Men will do best also if they support this process. When we hold onto emotions and don’t express ourselves, these energies create turmoil, conflict, and dis-ease in our body. That’s why talking preventively, even when things aren’t bad or there isn’t a fight, can really keep our relationships healthy. Communicating openly, clearly, honestly, and thoughtfully is very important, especially when there is a delicate or sensitive issue at hand. Being this caring can prevent misunderstandings or hurt feelings, and keep things harmonious and open to growth. Yet, most of us must evolve to live this consciously. We can move toward this with some professional counseling on an individual, couple, or family basis can help us stay out of trouble. Our issues can be with our love partner or spouse, child or parent, or a work associate. Communication pays off, much like practicing Preventive Medicine, in the long run. Yet, talk is only one way to work things out and heal. Try a walk and talk, especially along a flowing river or at the beach. Plus, write a list of your issues and know that healing can take place on many levels and may take time. Give it that space and know that even if you change, it often goes slowly. Have patience, and take some time to organize your thoughts and feelings rather than react and vent. Learning to “fair fight” with a loved one is one thing, yet being able to prevent confusions and altercations is best.
Do we go for things that cannot be true, too much, too many, too often and who are we negotiating into a relationship? Are we looking for ourselves in others or who we wish we were and that shocks the relationship off its foundations—it’s a relatio-quake ratio…and so many wander from one to the other and often once it’s begun it’s too late because you are not properly prepared for the respond-ability required for rational relationships.
3. Opening to the Spirit and asking for help from the higher levels of our self is often helpful for healing. As I mentioned, much illness comes from this lack of connection or ability to listen to this Higher Self. If and when we do, we can receive the guidance we need and the new ideas and actions necessary to fulfill our purpose and move us forward in our life. We can heal and evolve. Healing the male-female conflicts will help each of us, as we have these issues within our core. Some of our most brilliant psychology minds, like Dr. Carl Jung, suggest that we each have our opposite sex energy as our subconscious. He termed these the anima and animus. The relationship between our thinking mind and deeper selves affect our lives and outward relationships. Thus, working in this inner healing realm and resolving the conflicts we all have between father-mother and male-female can fully improve and heal our worldly relationships. The more we evolve within us, the better our personal connections become. I have had many patients experience and tell me that they were able to improve their love relationships (and work as well) when they stopped running away from the conflicts they encountered in their personal lives. They tended to reach the same impasse with each relationship. Until they took a break and worked out these very intimate and personal issues they have about intimacy and personal relationships, they couldn’t meet and be close with the right person for them. At least, this is the ‘more right’ person, since with every relationship there are some issues and growth to experience.
4. The way we eat is crucial to health or illness. Much disease comes from poor food choices, mostly over decades, but also in the short term. That is why establishing the foundation of healthy eating should start in childhood. And if we’re parents, we need to follow the Number One rule for feeding kids right, and that’s “Set a Good Example!” This is where Nature comes in and eating foods closer to the source, which is our Earth Mother. She blesses us every season with foods that are best for us—fresh greens in the Spring, cooling fruits and vegetables in the Summer, lots of richer foods like grains, beans, nuts and seeds, plus many veggies in Autumn to help us last through the cold or wet Winter. Connect with this and minimize all the processed and junk foods and chemicals so readily available everywhere in our modern societies. This one area can help protect your health and keep you well throughout your years.
What about NURTURANCE? Nourishing ourselves with care, food from loving cooking, friendship is investing in self, and this investment can comfort and heal us. Being sensitive to our own needs, truly caring for ourselves, nurturing our own being by knowing what will nourish our body and spirit, we can learn the uniqueness of our being, as every human is different.
5. Exercise activity is crucial to staying healthy and vital, as well as to good circulation and a strong immune system. A balanced daily and long-term program that includes stretching for flexibility, aerobic activity for endurance, and weight work for strength. This all leads to better relaxation and getting our minds out of the way so that healing can happen more easily in our bodies. A vital body rarely gets sick. Yoga and other flexibility-enhancing movements are helpful at keeping us youthful. “We are as young as our spine is flexible.” So, stay young and healthy with regular exercise.
6. Nutritional supplements support balance and healing. They nourish our cells and tissues, and support optimal function to allow healing to happen biochemically and physiologically. Deficiency symptoms such as fatigue and coldness may require nutrients and hormonal balance (and a more nourishing diet) while congestion and toxicity problems like headaches, allergies, aches and pains, and digestive maladies can be helped by detoxification with herbs (and with a more cleansing diet) and nutritional support. Make sure you or your guide knows what they are doing, and don’t overdo it. We can find the right program for each of us if we listen to both our inner guidance as well as outside wisdom and experience.
7. Avoid the victim and blame game, the name game. Most of us get into trouble because of the way we think and the judgments we make, both for others and ourselves. When we say things to others out of anger and with an attempt to hurt them, as we may feel hurt, we generate a war of words and feelings. That is not a healing feeling and creates separation. Separation and upset emotions generate dis-ease while love and connection/cooperation toward unity help us heal. Many people have bad habits, self-destructive behavior because they feel victimized by life and don’t feel deserving of love, health, good food, and other ways of nurturing and pleasuring themselves. Sometimes, the number one thing we can do is to heal our attitude towards self and life. I encourage my patients to adopt the philosophy that “this is the only body I have, and I want to treat it in a loving and respectful way.” Then, if we can really feel and believe this, we will begin to eat better, exercise more, learn to handle our stresses, and have a new and different approach to life. Wow!
Don’t live on the harm farm, where no matter what you do ends up out of balance or so it seems. Re-learn to think positively and act confidently. Read the biographies of those who have overcome great obstacles to live fully and use their inspiration as motivation. Live simply, Live well!
8. Where can we go to Heal? The answer lies within. Some people tap their deeper levels only when they get away from home or work and their everyday world. This may involve a retreat or just going into Nature. Others may benefit from some workshop or therapy program. Getting out of the way, relaxing and letting things flow allows healing to happen—it’s a natural experience our body wants. When everything is flowing through our channels (blood, lymph, energy), we are healthy and vital. Tune in and go to your stress; allow the conflicts to surface. Also, allow your dreams to bring you insight and give you passion for action.
Dream Exercise for Healing—Before you go to bed, write down these three important questions and then meditate on them a few minutes as you drift off to sleep. Our subconscious has the answers we need to solve our health dilemmas if we are willing to listen to this innate wisdom. Make sure you write your questions on paper, ideally in your personal journal as this brings them into form.
- Body, why am I experiencing this problem (you can be more specific to your concern) right now?
- What do you wish to tell me?
- What is needed for healing?
Or use some variation of these questions, and you can make them specific to your personal issues. This is also a technique in guided imagery work to have an internal dialogue with the wise part of your self. Give this a few nights or even weeks to see what comes back; you may be surprised and delighted, and certain conflicts may be resolved.
9. Shifting and balancing with the Seasons is vital to Staying Healthy. Being aware of your own cycles within Nature’s is a key knowledge to acquire and use throughout life in regards to personal choices, activities, diets, etc. How did you feel last year at this time and what were your dreams then and now? If you journal these things, you’ll have some reference for yourself and this will help you learn. Tune in and you’ll find yourself in there; yes, you’re in there…meet up with yourself and have some fun. Discovering the many dimensions and mysteries of our humanness can be quite an adventure. We were all gifted with treasures — that is the gold at the end of the rainbow of love. We are loved…we are love, love is all around us, let us celebrate and radiate love, which is healing. There is love to light the way…my first book, Staying Healthy with the Seasons, is a guide book for traveling through the cycles of light and dark and the effects on inner and outer climates.
10. In summary, imbalance occurs primarily from a dominance of thoughts or excessive, stressful emotions, or from a diet that causes congestion or deficiency (too much or not enough, usually both). And the balance and healing lie in the inner work and enhancement of spirituality. Explore all parts of yourself and work/play to integrate them by working through weaknesses and other challenges, and allow yourself to become your full and true Self. Blessings to you all.
10 Tips to Enlightened Eating
- You can renew your relationship with food and all life, and plan how you can grow even a little bit of your own food. A garden–whether it’s a window box herb garden or an urban plot–can provide enlightened eating enrichment. Herbs in pots, flowering fruits such as strawberries, or decorative and edible vegetables can be grown in a window box. If you have a balcony or a patio-container garden, there are many other possibilities – flowering peas, nasturtiums, peppers, lettuces, and tomatoes – perhaps mixed with fragrant flowers that will discourage insects. Good spring foods to consume are the leafy green vegetables, such as chard and kale, and lettuces (all of which add many important nutrients to your diet). Also, growing (or buying) fresh sprouts is a fun and simple way to see Nature in action, and these sprouted grains, beans and seeds have good protein and many nutrients.
- If you do have space for a larger garden, become familiar with organic methods of pest control. Also be aware of the quality of the seeds you use. (The “terminator technology” is here with non-viable seeds and genetically-modified foods, especially soybeans and corn. The seeds of these foods cannot be replanted EVER and the chemical and genetic changes in the plants are toxic to insects, the Earth, and ourselves.) Sharing the bounty of your garden with others is a great way to build community and get others interested in healthy eating.
- Investigate the possibility of community gardening, either in an existing space or somewhere new. Working with other people is a great way to stay motivated, and to get results that would be difficult to achieve alone.
- Investigate Farmer’s Markets in your area. The more local the food, the less processing it generally has to go through to get to your table (and often the less chemical spraying, in contrast to out-of-season produce and products shipped from other countries). Talk and listen to the people that you are buying from and make discerning choices. You will likely find that the growers are committed to the idea of healthier foods, and are a good source of information about what is available in your area.
- Become aware of which foods are most likely to be handled in ways that are detrimental to your health (pesticides, chemical additives, irradiation, and genetic engineering) and eliminate them from your diet, or buy them in organic form. Check my book, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, for more specifics.
- Always carry fresh water and a healthy snack with you. Avoid making food decisions or doing your food shopping when you are ravenously hungry and will eat anything. Eating on the run often involves poor nutrition, unnecessary packaging, and inadequate digestion time, which can leave you more tired and run-down. Making time for your own needs will lead to having more energy for your busy day, and more importantly, not having to spend your valuable resources and time recovering from the results of years of unwise choices.
- Talk (and listen) with family, friends, and coworkers about the changes you are making in a supportive way. The more people that are aware of food health issues, the more impact we as consumers will make on the market, NOW! Get involved by making your views known in the marketplace. Many groups are lobbying for better labeling laws, more humane and less toxic farming practices, and cleaner food.
- Support and eat at restaurants that provide wholesome menus or advertise “No MSG.” Ask about additives and other health issues. I do! Request that your food be prepared without extra salt or MSG, and find out the quality of the oils used. The reaction you get will determine whether that restaurant is a good one for you. These questions may influence restaurateurs’ decisions if they know it affects whether you spend your money there. When eating out, avoid killer desserts, big starchy meals, and poor food. Remember that it’s not usually the fat that makes us fat; it’s the overeating of sweets and starches.
- Be aware of other ways chemicals enter your life. Household cleaners, detergents, and even toothpaste can contain additives that are potentially detrimental to your health and the health of your loved ones, especially children and pets who are more vulnerable, even the familiar products we take for granted. Exposure to chemicals in the workplace or in department stores can be significant. Indoor pollution is often a greater concern than outdoor exposure.
- Above all, let these changes occur naturally. Be mindful of what is important to you, and work to educate yourself on those issues. Small changes can have a snowball affect, and the better you feel, the more you will want to do.
P.S. If you have school-age children or aging parents, be sure to inquire into their dietary provisions in school or other care facilities. Let us exercise our nutritional rights while we still have them, because without these treasures, life is not the wondrous adventure it can be.