Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fresh Start: Be Your Own Guru...

Part Two:

Be your own guru, because no one else wants the job, and anyone who does, probably doesn't deserve it.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) you've got to do your own work.  There's really no way around it.  If you're not ready to do the work, you're not ready to be well, and live your fullest, most vibrant life.  It is as simple, and as complicated as that.  The ability to be brutally honest with yourself is a huge asset in the healing process, if you've already accomplished this in your life, you've cleared the highest hurdle as far as I'm concerned.  Everything after that is just a matter of being a diligent researcher, changing daily habits, and upgrading your life (start with small, realistic increments for best results until you're confident in the strength of your commitment), and becoming your own healthcare advocate. 

Now, this is where people start to get a little uncomfortable.  If you've read Part One, or even my post about intestinal permeability (leaky gut), healing my body, and restoring gut-health, to some people it begins to seem as though a highly unqualified person who has absolutely zero business dispensing medical advice, is doing just that.  To be clear, I am not a healthcare professional in any capacity, and I am in no way looking to become a meddling interloper between anyone and their healthcare provider or disrupt anyone's method of treatment for whatever ails them.  The thing we must understand, however, is that people seek out other forms of information when modern medicine, or their present support system is currently failing them -- right now it's bloggers, and pod-casters, in the 1970s it was crudely pieced together pamphlets, and photocopied pages. Often times people who are looking for alternative information are at the very end of their proverbial ropes, and feel as though they've literally got nothing left to lose (sometimes this may include their own life, or what's left of it).  It is a way for people to reach out to others in similar situations from the comfort of their own homes (homes they are sometimes unable to leave!), and begin to piece together information that has possibly been kept from them through inadequate healthcare channels, their own lack of education, or the intimidation that can often accompany doctor visits that keeps them from asking the tough questions they need to bring to their doctors' offices that may, in fact, change their lives for the better.  I believe in connecting with, and empowering people to make the best decisions for their lives, and encourage everyone to never follow anyone blindly (myself included) when it comes to something as important as their very lives.  I don't think it's a matter of opinion to stress the crucial necessity for everyone to become well-informed patients with the confidence to make decisions (yes, sometimes with the help of a professional) in the best interest of their physical, mental, and emotional health.  Sometimes this bothers people, we (especially Americans) tend to live in a society where we are almost expected, if not, required to hand over our personal power (and at times, freedom) to "those who know better," and trust that they will make ALL of the correct decisions on our behalf ... No questions asked.  You can't really blame us, it's ingrained in us from very early days, and questioning authority is very much looked down upon (including now).  So, I understand that the notion of empowerment can be distressing for some, but for others it is the permission slip they never knew they needed.

So far I've been lucky with my staggering lack of angry emails calling me irresponsible for simply posting about my own experiences that may point some extremely hopeless people in a positive direction.  If I do rub you in completely the wrong way, what I ask is that you consider anyone reading my posts grown enough to make their own, decisions.  I will never tell anyone to forgo proven life-saving treatments, or lead them down a dangerous, or deadly path.  In fact, that's kind of the whole point!  I don't want to lead anyone.  I want everyone to find exactly what is right for them.

I'm always wary of the people who want to lead me, most of the time they just have something to sell, and honestly I try to avoid them like the plague.  At best, when I have been seduced by the promise of miracles, I've had mediocre results, at worst I've found myself drained of money, motivation, and hope.  What these experiences have led me to, however, is quite possibly the best piece of unsolicited advice I've ever conjured:

Find people who are doing it well, 
and ask them how they're doing it!

It sounds so obvious, right?  The best part is, it works for almost everything!  Craft quality questions, and just talk to people.  At first they may try to skirt the issue, because it's not often we're out here trying to get deep with our neighbor, or Uber driver, or delivery person so they might be a little taken aback, but once they recognize your sincerity I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the responses you're able to get.  It's tricky because we live in a society full of the lazy-"fine".  How are you?  Fine.  How was work today?  Fine.  How was the concert last night?  Fine.  I mean we "fine" the hell out of everything these days, I think partly because we believe that no one ultimately cares about one another beyond polite, brief encounters.  So, this experiment might take a little work, and some practice, but if you can break people out of "fine" mode, and really get them talking you'll be well on your way to learning all sorts of new stuff you can use to enhance your life, besides being a decent human being by extending interest, and care to another person.  Win / win!

I've recently done this myself with a girl on Instagram who kept popping up on my radar.  We had shared similar health experiences, and I was impressed with not only her recovery, but her commitment to flourishing, and positive outlook.  What I've found is another person I can lend support and encouragement to, and she's been able to unlock for me new paths to healing that have not only been beneficial to me, but have helped other members of my family as well.  I definitely encourage all of you to reach out, and make new connections, and don't forget a little gratitude goes a long way.  The people who are willing to help you will be nourished, and replenished by your genuine appreciation.  Also, it doesn't hurt to put yourself in a position to pay it forward even if you're currently in a position that makes helping others feel like an insurmountable task, sometimes lending a hand to someone else has a way of feeding the soul, and reviving purpose that helps us continue on our own path to healing on the days when everything feels impossible.