When I was about 3 years old my mom took me to have my picture taken. I had on my favorite dress, she had curled my long blonde hair using her curlers, I was wearing my perfectly shiny patten leather shoes, and I was carrying my prized possession...my beloved stuffed dog. That dog had been there with me throughout all of my life's journey thus far, so of course, he would be joining me for this monumental day.
We arrived at the "photographer's studio" which as I recall was at the back of the Big N Store, next to the toy department. I was ready and excited for my big moment. The photographer commented about how pretty I looked. I was ready for my close-up! But then, it happened...
He took away my beloved stuffed dog and handed me a brand new stuffed animal. What was he thinking? I don't know this toy...it isn't mine! I don't love it and share precious memories with it. Take it away! AND BRING ME BACK MY DOG!!!
I screamed, I cried, I asked for what I wanted, I had a full-on tantrum. Nothing worked. No matter how nice the idiot photographer tried to be, he was not getting a smile out of me. He had become the enemy. And he was not going to win this battle. My mom even took me for a little walk around the toy department to explain that they just thought the new stuffed toy would look nicer in the picture. I did not care. In the least. I. Just. Wanted. My. Dog. Back.
And I got it! When we returned to the studio I was reunited with my precious doggie, and the photographer was ready to get a bright, smiley picture of me. But you know what, I wasn't feeling very smiley...
When I look at that picture which I love so very much it reminds me of three amazing lessons from my childhood:
1. I have always held a clear vision for what I wanted to create and experience in my life.
2. I did not give up my beliefs or cave to the will of others.
3. I am not someone who is easily controlled and manipulated, and do not like being disrespected...at all.
Another thing I adore about this picture is that it is a completely honest and true reflection of how I was feeling in that moment. It may not be as cute as a bright, smiling face with a brand new stuffed animal, but that wouldn't have been a true reflection of my true self in that moment.
And so I ask you, when you look back at pictures from your childhood do you see the "real you" or do you see some other version of yourself that you don't really recognize?
The reason I ask is because I think it is important to understand that from a very early age we were taught to put on masks and act the way that others thought it was appropriate for us to act. We were taught to act in ways others wanted us to behave, and many times if we didn't, there were consequences to pay. And so we began to give up little pieces of who we were born to be, and started to adopt this other "acceptable" version of ourselves.
The problem is that one day you wake up and realize that you don't even like this person you have become, and you are EXHAUSTED from having to be who other people think you should be all the time. Sound familiar? You are not alone. This is a story I hear over and over again from my clients.
But how do you find your way back to your true self? The easy way (in my humble opinion) is by investing 8 weeks into your journey within through the Inward Bound Program. You will be given the tools, support, safe space, and guidance you need to find your way back to the Self you love and accept unconditionally.
It is time for you to reconnect to your true vision of what you want to experience, to believe in yourself, and to create a life for yourself that is a beautiful expression of who you really are. You are the only You that will ever be...and there is a sweet magnificence to that. It's time for you to shine your light in your own unique and beautiful way.
Even if that means holding on to a stinky old dog with your grumpy face on!
This has been a fun week of exploring our mental health, emotional health, and physical health. Quite a few wonderful questions were posed to me throughout the week:
So I decided to answer these questions in a Facebook Live. You will find the recorded version below...
If you should have any questions or comments, please leave them below...thanks.
There is this very strange and scary belief that things just happen to your body and there really is nothing you can do about it. It leaves people with a sense of being completely out of control about what happens to them. But the question is...is that true?
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I say absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I was taught that we create the wellness we are experiencing in our body by the way we eat, drink, think, and live. And as a perfectly healthy, non-prescription-taking woman I can attest to the truth in that statement. So let's break it down...
I am not about to tell you what you should or should not be eating. What I will say is if nature made it, eat it, and if man made it, avoid it. And if you are interested in adding more healthy foods into your diet may I suggest the book Eat to Beat Disease by Dr. William Li.
As far as what you should drink...water! Your body requires 1/2 of your weight in ounces of water daily to perform optimally. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water daily.
But let's get to the interesting part...what you think and how you live have as much to do with your health and well-being as what you eat and drink! What?!? Oh yes my friend, it is true! All of those negative thoughts that we focus on and all of the emotions that come up in reaction to those negative thoughts are as damaging to you as an unhealthy diet. Perhaps even more so.
Why? Because emotions each have a vibratory pattern, as do your organs. Those vibratory patterns can interfere with the frequency of healthy tissues causing dis-ease. Here's are some examples; anger can affect the liver, resentments affect the gallbladder, grief affects the lungs, an unwillingness to let go affects the colon, fear affects the kidneys, bitterness affects the heart, and the list goes on.
So learning how to focus the mind on our vision of the life we want to create is the first step in changing what we are experiencing physically. I have had clients heal themselves of all kinds of "unhealable" issues...from herpes to pancreatic cancer. And each of them started with a clear vision of what their life was going to look like once they were completely healed. Their certainty in the body's ability to heal itself was key.
Not to mention brilliant. After all the body was designed to be a vehicle for your spirit to experience the human condition for as long as it is wanted and needed. The body is designed to be a self-healing machine, and as long as it is given what it needs to heal itself (nutritious food, clean water, peaceful thoughts, and joyful experiences) it will last for as long as you desire.
We have covered a lot of information this week about mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being and I'm sure you may have some questions. I am going to be hosting an Office Hour Q&A Session tomorrow at 4pm eastern time on Facebook. If you are not going to be available at that time, please leave your questions in the comments and I will answer them tomorrow Live. I will tag you with the replay so you can listen when you are available.
Looking forward to seeing you soon...
So what is emotional health? The ability to recognize, release, and redirect ourselves emotionally. As long as we are in human form we have a full array of emotions available to us as tools for expressing ourselves to others. The problem is society has deemed some emotions as good and others as bad creating a ton of judgment around how people go about expressing themselves...and so bit by bit and little by little we begin the attempt to hide away pieces of ourselves that we think others may judge.
But why is it that the emotions can feel so out of control sometimes...?
I know it may sound strange but some people are unaware of what emotions are present for them in the moment which is why being able to recognize them is our first step. The ability to step into observer mode and notice what is present without any attachment whatsoever is incredibly powerful.
And an interesting side note for my empath's: recognizing the emotions that are present becomes a twofold process. What is present? Is it mine?
The next step is being able to release those emotions...all of them. The goal is to be able to sustain a place of peaceful contentment where we can simply accept what is present in the moment with detached compassion. Being able to observe emotions passing through like clouds in the sky or leaves on a stream helps us to be able to release the emotions with grace and ease.
And the final step is in redirecting ourselves back to our peaceful center. It is important for us to remember that whenever we clear something we must then set the intention for what we want, like a farmer who clears the field and then plants the seeds for what he intends to grow. Envisioning your heaven on earth and the highest and grandest version of your Self will draw your attention back to what you are here to create and experience.
Tomorrow we will explore our physical health and well-being...