Awaken your natural ability to heal with Holistic Health Psychology

Integrating Psychology, Meditation, Yoga & Organic Living Food

 

MindHolistic  

Hippocrates 099 website3 Twitter circle blue large Facebook circle white large IMG_2496 websitepics6 Pinterest circle white large Google + circle white large

Blog

By Irah, May 2 2017 01:02PM

This is a topic that has required attention for some time. The overstated and dangerously simplistic belief that it is unhealthy to experience negative emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and even rage and disgust, to name a few, is incorrect. I can say this with confidence because I have helped many use their naturally occurring and, more times than not, warranted experiences of these very emotions to heal from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple personality disorder and various other psychological struggles. What needs to be better understood to enable you to use negative emotions productively is two-fold: 1. What is occurring within to warrant the negative emotional state? 2. Is the intensity of the emotional experience grounded in the past or the present?


Here is what you need to know about negative emotions. They exist with an evolutionary purpose. We are, after-all, created with the innate need to survive as a species and as individual beings. Nothing exists within us that isn’t in some way necessary, even if that reason is, as yet, unknown. So, if you find yourself experiencing an intense level of emotion in response to a particular event, under no circumstances do I recommend attempting to alter that internal state. Keep in mind, that we are discussing emotions and not behavioral expressions of these internal processes. Perhaps this is the reason that many fear the experience of our negative emotions. They fear the actions that may arise and hold the emotional states to blame. Action is self-directed. Emotion is a natural internal response to a stimuli, be the stimulus internal or external in nature. Yes, sometimes emotions can be irrational, even resulting from an exaggerated interpretation of events or based predominantly on past experiences, but their existence is necessary. Emotions teach us about our environment, the people in our lives and the thoughts and memories that are at work within us.


So, here’s what you do with negative emotions to promote a productive experience, despite their intensity or less than optimal timing: As you experience a particularly powerful emotion, allow yourself to take a step back for a moment from the interaction that you’re having or the thoughts that may be running through your mind. Ask yourself what was happening to elicit this particular emotion. The answer may be obvious or elusive. This exploration, understanding the reason for the reactive experience of anger, as an example, is important. If the reason for your anger is obvious, OK. Perhaps you’re interacting with someone who is “making you angry.” The question becomes, “what did they do or say that triggered the experience of anger? Then ask, from where within your own life experiences did this “trigger” originate? The purpose is to understand the emotion’s origin, not to cast blame. The next step is to gauge the intensity of your reaction. Typically, the more powerful a reaction, the more uncomfortable the emotion and thus the less likely you will be to naturally sit and ponder the experience for the purposes of self-growth and improved self-awareness. That is precisely why the need for this article is so critical. People for whom intense negative emotions are troubling are likely modeling their own discomfort for others and thus promoting the suppression of emotion which does little for ones level of self-awareness and interpersonal development.


To continue, you’ve gauged the intensity of your anger. Now a question of self-exploration. Looking back on your life, as far back as you can go, when did you find yourself experiencing similar moments of anger?

Take some time here to really sit with this question. If memories do arise, recognize that this moment of anger is not merely a reaction to the present, but also a re-experiencing of the past. How interesting, isn’t it, that what we think is a reaction to a particular event is actually the reaction to more than one if not many other interactions and experiences? It is important to punctuate that regardless of intensity, your anger is warranted as it is present to educate you about your internal experience of a stimulus, be it an external interaction or an internal process, such as a thought or a memory. If you recognize that a moment of anger is related to both the current exchange as well as an earlier life event, now you can see the intensity as the combination of events and so all of the events coming into consciousness require resolution. When you become aware of the past’s effect on your present, you can then ask yourself which moment in your life warrants the intensity that you are experiencing. Ask yourself that question again. When you can answer it, you come one step closer to figuring out the appropriate and effective use of your anger. If the intensity is warranted for the present moment, for instance, if someone is screaming at you and you’re becoming angry with them, you can use your anger to tell them you’re not willing to be spoken to in that manner and extricate yourself from the situation. If you’re angry because someone forgot to put the toilet seat down once again but you also remember moments growing up when you would feel angry in response to your father always forgetting to pick you up from school, then you know that there are two situations that warrant attention. The toilet seat is angering, which is healthy, but the intensity of the anger is related to past experiences. This moment of awareness could help you react to the problem at hand with greater composure and eloquence than had the anger been left displaced to the toilet seat issue alone.


Ultimately, anger and negative emotions let you know that there is something wrong. By allowing yourself to explore the intensity of that anger or negative emotion you bring yourself one step closer to mastery, not of your emotions, but of your actions. You can then decide what to do with your anger that can be productive for you. Maybe you speak up for yourself in an assertive way rather than screaming in response or seething with anger silently, after recognizing that your partner who can’t seem to keep the toilet seat down, is not your father who was also absent minded at times. Maybe you will also give yourself time to heal the wounds you developed in your relationship with your father. This could mean self-exploration or entering into therapy to better understand your history and emotional life. Those who direct others away from the experience of naturally occurring negative emotional states don’t have it all wrong. Certainly life is better and easier when anger doesn’t rule your life and negatively impact your relationships. There is a process, however, for allowing positive emotions in and reducing your experience of negative emotions as detailed above. This must be handled consciously, with awareness and self-reflection, making sure to not ignore the healthy human needs that are showing themselves in the initial experience of negative emotions felt in the moment.



By Irah, Nov 1 2016 08:43PM

Endings. Whether it’s the sudden end of a relationship, undesired but expected termination from a job, or a well thought out and even desired move to another locale, endings bring to light an interesting detail of the human condition: attachment. Whether we're exuberant about the changes happening in our lives or petrified of what those changes may entail, we are attached. This is neither good nor bad. It is merely a symptom of the human condition as we have created it over the course of our evolution.


So, how do we process our attachments through a psychologically holistic perspective? How do we nourish our way through such change physically, emotionally and spiritually? Where do we start and what do we do with the abundance of thoughts, feelings and associations that arise through this process? And where can we hope to find ourselves once on the other side of change as we live our lives in a more thoughtful and introspective way? Let's explore these questions together and perhaps continue the discussion in the comments section so that we might inspire others to choose a more mindful approach to change and life in general. Ultimately, the glimmer in the eye of our world is that through our personal growth and inspiration of others we might also promote a gentler hand in the treatment of one another, our global community and our earth.


The first thing that happens when change occurs, again, whether planned or otherwise, is a moment of being startled, a fleeting recognition of the unknown as some things in our lives come to an end. Whether this space is experienced with excitement or terror or a lesser of the two reactions, the natural movement is to fill the uncertainty with action, plans and follow through. Sometimes, if troubled by the experience, there might be a period of shock and inactivity. What needs to be recognized is that all of the above is a reaction to change. Yet, if we take a few large steps back, we realize that acting and reacting whether with plans or by falling prey to immobility is still a direct response to the stressor of change. When we see the whole of daily life and from an even broader perspective, life, in general, no matter how potentially preoccupying a specific experience may be, it becomes one moment among many moments. Reacting, then, to one particular experience from a holistic perspective is quite limited and limiting.


It's important to distinguish between attachment and engagement here. Attachment refers to a preoccupation with the goings on of life, while engagement describes a healthy awareness of and ability to experience fully life itself. When attached to one event we are often prevented from experiencing fully (being fully engaged in) the plethora of human experiences that present themselves on a daily basis.


Taking a step back can be very difficult as emotions may be particularly intense when change occurs. It is at this very moment that a broader view can be most cleansing, healing and ultimately empowering. Taking a moment to pour yourself a glass of water, sit down and drink it slowly is a nice way to begin teaching yourself how to sit with emotions without reacting to them and also nourish the body and brain. You're hydrating a system that is 70% water and often, in the majority of cases, at least in the US, already dehydrated. You're bringing more oxygen to the brain, which improves its natural ability to cope with stress. You are also letting a stressed system (whether by excitement or tension) relax, enabling the heart beat to slow and the breathing to become calmer, deeper, further increasing the amount of oxygen finding its way to the brain. A simple act has so many healing effects.


Now that the body is calmed, the heart and mind can become conduits for growth and empowerment rather than mere triggers for living by autopilot. In this space, strengthened further by sitting in the sunlight and thus bringing vitamin D into our system, we can begin to notice and interact with our feelings and thoughts rather than being led blindly by them. In this space is the greatest opportunity for growth as we are given the chance to see ourselves as separate from our thoughts and feelings. You are the being sitting quietly and being nourished by fresh water and natural sunlight and in addition to this you are having thoughts and feeling emotions.


So, here, you let the emotions and thoughts come and go. It could be seen as a form of meditation as you allow yourself to become accustomed to the unique rhythm of your mind and heart. Sit and listen. Make no judgements nor plans or decisions based on what arises because, remember, we are looking for the larger picture, the full landscape of your human experience in this moment of life change. Sit for 20 minutes. Then rise and stretch. There are typically a few restorative postures that I recommend to my patients as they develop a more mindful way of living based on their unique physical flexibilities. A wonderful place to start is to simply stand up and while raising your arms into the air directly overhead, allow your shoulders to fall gently down. The contrast of raising the arms and grounding the shoulders simultaneously allows you to physically experience the emotional space of expansive thinking within the parameters of healthy boundaries. It also allows for an intense stretch that engages the muscles in the arms, shoulders and back without putting unnecessary strain on those areas. Another helpful posture to take while standing is to gently allow your torso to bend at the hips and gradually bring the torso to hang over your legs, with arms bent and hands loosely holding opposite elbows. This allows for the inversion of the head and torso, enabling blood flow to reverse toward rather than away from the heart and head. This further assists in optimal oxygen flow to the brain and ultimate improvement in neuronal functioning. Remember to roll up very slowly as you rise to allow the blood flow to reverse gradually.


Now, you are ready to engage in your moment of change. Now, you are experiencing change against the backdrop of a relaxed and oxygenated system. Feelings and thoughts may arise, but you are not preoccupied with them. You are not your thoughts and feelings. Instead, you feel them, notice them and recognize their relevance without acting rashly or prematurely. Perhaps your change was the sudden end of a job. You may feel disappointment, feelings of tension regarding uncertainty about the future or even excitement about possible new prospects. You may be feeling disappointment and uncertainty, however you're not rushing to quell that discomfort with substances or taking a job too quickly which may not be a good fit for you. You are not rushing to the gym to quickly increase the heartrate and endorphin rush to "feel better." Instead, you sit and watch. In a minute or two you may notice a curious unexpected contentment in the present which calms your nervousness or deepens your excitement about the future. Through sitting with your emotions, you become able to relish the experience and more thoughtfully plan your next step. It's important to recognize that the goal in coping with life stressors and in emotional improvement, in general, is not to "feel better." Yes, we all would like to experience more positive emotional states and enjoy our lives more, but the path to this end point begins with the cultivation of stillness, physical health through bodily nourishment and the ability to see our true emotional world as it exists rather than attempting to force our thoughts and emotions into an inorganic mold of what we think or worse what society suggests we need to feel. When we act rashly without mindful living we are being led by our worst fears rather than leading ourselves down a path thoughtfully and proactively.


Another critical question is what else is happening in your life that is also impacting your everyday life. It may not be a new stressor, but the everyday things that require navigation are relevant when coping with life change effectively. Recognition of them will enable you to make a more thoughtful and ultimately more appropriate decision regarding just how to react to change. It will also allow you to maintain a broader perspective as you explore the change that's in your life. For instance, perhaps you're also coping with a stressful romantic relationship. How might this effect your view of a job loss? Might it make you feel more pessimistic about your prospects given the absence of support from a significant other? Might this pessimism compel you to take a job that you aren't particularly interested in? As you may imagine, the possibilities of interactions between current stressors and life that is ongoing is endless. Recognizing how your unique ever-malleable emotional world may impact your experience of change allows you to not just make a more informed decision about how to move forward, but give yourself the opportunity to become aware of the full picture of your life.


The spiritual element comes into play when we realize that from our physical stretches there comes great openness in our bodies. The spirit is kindled when we observe our changing emotions and see that they are limited only by the length of time with which we choose to sit with them. Our thoughts and feelings are endless. The space within our bodies is as expansive as our movement toward greater flexibility allows. When we sit long enough, we see not just our own feelings and thoughts, not just the space within us, but also the external world in which we move. The endlessness continues, upward, downward and into all directions, all never-ending.


Now, as we sit in this spaciousness, we return to the sudden moment of change that is brought into our lives. Job loss. We now see the big picture and feel calm in our bodies, minds and hearts. Now we can make an educated decision about how to move forward in our lives in a most authentic, informed and meaningful way. The decisions we make in the heat of the moment versus decisions we make after treating our bodies, minds, hearts and souls mindfully can produce vastly different results. I invite you to care for yourselves in this way and suspect that you will, likewise, care for and be cared for by those around you and the world at large.



By Irah, Dec 17 2015 03:10PM

Choosing to live a healthy life is no small task. From a holistic psychological perspective, it requires an openness to the possibility that not only is there more to a healthy lifestyle than we may think, but that we may actually be stifling our ability to access what is truly healthy. The level of awareness that is necessary for such a task is seldom developed in today’s ever-increasing pace of life, a world of instant gratification, emotional eating, a manufactured sense of what tastes good, and the most debilitating, a fear of change. Unfortunately, the majority of the advertising we see, in its own collective disconnection from what heals, exploits all of these weaknesses to steer us toward their wares and even further away from our mindful internal selves. It is here, in our core, where we can harness what the mind and body need for optimal health. It is possible that as we, one by one, shift our focus to one of healthy living, that the media, too, made up of individuals just like us, after-all, will one day also shift to presenting holistically healthy information.

We want to feel “better” as quickly as possible. This mindset has led to the development of drugs both prescribed and otherwise (alcohol, food, sex and hyper-social behavior to name a few) that suppress our symptoms rather than heal the cause of our ailments. The overuse of psychiatric medication is a wonderful example of the evolution of this model of instant gratification. You feel down or anxious, go to your neighborhood psychiatrist and pop a pill that will make you feel better. The plethora of side-effects not withstanding you may experience “relief.” Whether this can be considered an improvement is questionable since now you are dependent upon a medication for the stifling of an emotional reaction that if explored could assist in the improvement of your well-being. But no, the cultural and so collective preference is to shut down the emotion at all costs.

Let’s take a look at how a manufactured sense of what tastes good impacts our reality. We eat with our eyes. If we envision the beauty of an elaborately designed cake, it can seem as if we’re shopping for home décor rather than for food that will nourish and sustain us. The basic reality that most grimace at the sight of broccoli or brussels sprouts and light up at the sight of a well decorated pastry can help ground us. We are no longer attracted to the fruits and vegetables of the earth, but drawn at ever more alarming rates to food that is harmful to our health. Advertising and the development of unhealthy food cravings and habits fuels this disconnect. We are all affected and now struggle with the same need to extricate ourselves from the illusion of what food is and move toward what food is intended to do, to nourish and sustain. The beauty of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables is unparalleled once we free ourselves of our collective food illusions. The ever-increasing pace of life interferes in our ability to awaken to this reality and so we must slow down and make space to see what is real.

The role of food as an addiction is a powerful one. Food for all of us is where we go for nourishment, both physical and emotional. It comforts in times of sorrow and gratifies in times of celebration. It feeds us psychologically, when in actuality, these needs are there to be met by friends, loved ones, our own sense of self and our spirits. What it no longer does is feed our bodies optimally. And now we come to fear, the emotion that we ourselves embolden. Whenever there is a construct that is introduced to the human psyche for which there is not yet a schema, the mind experiences a period of uncertainty. When the construct is in contrast to views that are already held, there is dissonance and a desire to calm that dissonance as quickly as possible. Usually that means rejecting this new construct and thus holding on more strongly to preexisting ways of thinking. Growth and I dare say productive evolution lies in the ability to sit in this gloriously uncertain space and allow for the quiet of the unknown to enter. Fear often arises just under the surface, so all we feel is angst, discomfort, anger even, and once again, the desire for relief. Well, we need a new word here, a word that can represent the boundless possibility of the unknown, a word that is uncertainty without fear, a word for the emotion of the moment which is filled with wonder and yet a knowing that we are on a great introspective journey before we settle in to a false sense of understanding. Awe, perhaps. This is a pivotal and sacred moment.

There is a critical message that must be realized. We, each of us, within ourselves, hold the key to optimal health. This cannot be overstated. You have the ability to connect to what is healing all by yourself once you begin to proactively search for it. Holistic psychology, integrating meditation, yoga and organic living foods is a wonderful way to kick start this process. Growing psychologically and learning to sit in meditation are two ways you can begin to access your inner knowing self. It is the nuts and bolts of awakening to awareness. One patient, a woman struggling with anxiety, when directed through a few yoga poses and then ultimately a meditation posture, was struck by how uncomfortable her stomach felt. She had the average amount of belly fat that most Americans have, an amount that sadly is directly correlated with an increased rate of heart disease, however she was unaware of the damage it was doing. That moment of discomfort was her first step to seeing the reality within her and the beginning of listening to her body and moving away from illness and toward health.

What I have seen time and again is that when my patients are freed from the many psychological barriers that exist within all of us, they naturally gravitate to a lifestyle that is filled with organic local produce, water that is clean and filtered and exercise that enervates not just their limbs, as you might find while lifting weights in a gym, but their whole selves as they move outdoors and enjoy natural sunlight, fresh air and mindful exercise. Meat, dairy and processed food eating simply declines without intervention and health improves. It’s not surprising that as people heal emotionally, they eat less foods that are harmful to their health. For more on the detriment of eating animal products, read about the research of Dr. Esselstyn, MD at http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/articles-studies/ and Dr. Campbell, MD at http://nutritionstudies.org/t/plant-based-diet/. You might also enjoy reading about the work of Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD at http://treeoflifecenterus.com/why-live-foods/ and learning about alternative health centers that are helping individuals improve their health with a plant based diet such as the Hippocrates Health Institute and the Gerson Institute. When considering the findings of these doctors it is important to remember that the goal is first and foremost the prevention of illness. A key lesson that I learned while studying at the Hippocrates Health Institute is that unlike attempting to cure an illness, we are creating an environment within that is no longer hospitable to disease.



By Irah, Aug 6 2015 12:12AM

There is always a feeling of excitement when research is cited to have found the answer to all of our prayers: a cure for cancer, the end to obesity, the fountain of youth, and the list goes on and on. It’s not surprising that our steadily increasing pace of life craves the quick fix to all of our social, personal and medical ills. Political ills are also related, but we’ll save that for another time. There is, in part, a cognitive reason for this. As we age, our experience of the minute becomes shorter and shorter. This means that we are literally feeling as if time is moving faster than it did the previous year, when in actuality time is exactly the same human construct it has always been. The reality of time being constant has not stopped society at large and then we, imprinting upon social norms swiftly, from following suit. We as a global culture are moving faster and faster.


The reality of healing, interestingly, rests in the conscious acceptance that not only is there no such thing as a magic pill, but that there is absolutely no need for it once time stops being our enemy and becomes simply a thing that was created to help us wrap our heads around the boundlessness of what exists outside of us. Imagine for a moment, what it would feel like to wake up one day having forgotten that the measure of time exists. Your actions would very likely slow down drastically. There would be no alarm clock to wake you and no watch to remind you to race out the door without breakfast or, perhaps worse, scarf it down hastily. You wouldn’t be rushing to get the kids out the door in time for their bus and fearing the pending traffic and a late arrival to work. I make this point to illustrate that what we have created to help us organize our sense of the universe and existence can also hurt us when the purpose of its invention is forgotten. We and what we see around us is real. Time is not. It is an incredible mechanism for defining what is outside of us, but it was not invented to organize our way of being human in the world.


The concept of holistic health is a thing of expansion. First we enlarge the scope of what it means to be healthy; it is not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual. Then, when we integrate the reality of time being simply a human engineered construct, we near a more genuine understanding of ourselves. If you refer back to the image of waking one day to the absence of time and the feeling of boundlessness that this would bring you have an image of the true human experience. Meditation is a wonderful way to connect to this reality. Connecting to our limitlessness is the blooming of true holistic wellness.


The passing of time no longer rules us. We are suddenly able to sit still and smell the air around us. Is it fresh and sweet or polluted and unpleasant? Holistic health is here in the realization. It may compel us to be grateful for our environment or realize that perhaps changes need to be made in order for us to nourish ourselves optimally. We sit still and feel the clothes on our skin. Are they comfortable and made of natural fibers, allowing our skin to breath or filled with plastics and chemicals that clog our pores and enter our blood stream? We can then relish in our coverings or move toward wearing organic natural fibers free of plastics and chemicals. This can extend to the sheets we sleep on and the towels we wrap our bodies in, to the substances and brushes we put in our hair and with which we wash our bodies. Of course, the way we feel when we eat certain foods is critical. When sitting still, do we feel strong, vibrant and energized or sluggish, fatigued and bloated? The answer to this question may illicit gratitude for the way we nourish ourselves or lead us to recognize that changes need to be made. Distinguishing between what tastes good because it nourishes the body and what tastes good because it calms a craving is central to the holistic lifestyle and may sometimes require professional assistance to sift through the relationship between unresolved emotional pain and how we nourish ourselves. Becoming more aware of your sensations and surroundings can help you make proactive preventive lifestyle changes.


In our attempt to master time we have distanced ourselves from the wisdom inherent in being human and our natural ability to sense what is good, healthy and healing. We have the answers if me merely slow down and allow ourselves to connect to them. Time isn’t the only veil that hides our true selves. The unresolved emotional pain of our lives can also bring us to feel as if there is only one way of being, the endless repetition of painful relationships or the power of repetitive thoughts that get in the way of the bliss that is truly living. Both examples are illusions that relate to past events and need not be part of the present. In my work, I help people, not suppress the emotions, a popular and damaging suggestion, but to see the difference so that they can heal from past emotional pain and stand in the present with all of their strengths in hand.


Holistic emotional health begins with maintaining openness to your internal awareness in relation to what is healing and what is impinging upon your health. Psychological barriers exist but need not be a limitation if there is a commitment to working through them. The balance lies in allowing yourself to move gracefully between the two, not becoming preoccupied with one while losing sight of the other. What often happens in life is that when you find yourself having what you’ve always wanted, it looks nothing like you thought it would. You desire the ever elusive fountain of youth and one day after years, months or even weeks of living an organic lifestyle filled with stillness, raw sprouts and juices, spiritually expanding exercise and psychological awakening, you find yourself swimming in it. When you are on a path to holistic wellness, the magic pill becomes meaningless because you are no longer trying to rid yourself of your ailments, you are viscerally feeling the transformative growth coming from within you all the time.



By Irah, Jun 1 2015 08:26PM

Over the weekend, a woman approached me and paid my hair a compliment. She, let’s call her Anna, shared with me how frustrated she was with her dry and unruly locks. She asked if she could touch mine and noted how soft my curls were. Anna had been to all of the major boutiques promising model tresses with mostly toxic and sometimes even organic ingredients. She asked me which products I used. When I shared that I mix a solution of baking soda and essential oil for shampoo and follow, be it rarely, with a vinegar-essential oil complex for conditioning, she smiled. Anna noted that she was already brushing her teeth with baking soda, but never even considered making her own hair products. Her daughter soon joined us and we continued talking about the creation of a beauty regimen that is wholesome, organic and entirely sustainable. I explained the difference between chemically derived and natural sodium bicarbonate and recommended that they use bamboo combs rather than their plastic alternatives. When they asked my age and couldn’t believe that I was no longer in my 20’s, in actuality far from it, I told them that I would be happy to share my skin care regimen with them, knowing that healthy eating and conscious exercising such as yoga and outdoor activities where trees and nature abound were also important.


Looking back, I remember there being such an excitement between us as we spoke about living naturally. There was no awe in seeing the complicated ingredient lists found in store-bought beauty products and on restaurant menus. The awe was found in the recognition that by our own hands, with a few wholesome products we can unearth youth and beauty.


We were in an organic market, with lots of vegan and raw vegan options, so eating healthy was already recognized as an important piece of the beauty puzzle. I mentioned that my mother had just finished a three week program at the Hippocrates Health Institute, where she was introduced to raw organic eating and helpful alternative health care remedies. My mother, who had been sitting with us and enjoying our discussion, mentioned that in just three weeks she had lowered her cholesterol by 100 points and lost 13 pounds. The four of us were immersed in an energy of growing awareness, connecting to the reality that health and improvement of our wellbeing need not be complicated. What is complicated sometimes is the emotional baggage that follows us on our path to living holistically and sustainably. Anna’s daughter shared concern for other family members who, while removing certain harmful products from their diet and that of their children, such as pasta, still had a long way to go and could use some guidance.


Many times, even when we know the right path to take, the road ahead remains invisible, while the signs around us, beckoning us away, are bright, shiny and alluring: "BUY THIS! And you will be beautiful. EAT HERE! And your hunger and cravings will be subdued. SPEND A LOT! And you will be infinitely rewarded." Who hasn’t fallen prey to the advertising giants? I still find myself craving foods that I typically find repugnant after a few well placed and well made commercials. This is why I find introspection and meditation so critical. If we are to battle Goliath and win, we need to know our weaknesses and connect to the strength that is within us and between us. Both can be quite elusive, especially when the outside world distracts us and our internal world does not yet trust what is intuitively known.


In my work, in the beginning of therapy, patients are running away from their pain and doing damage to themselves and those around them as they run. Whether they are throwing verbal daggers so as not to look at the self that they share with others or berate themselves due to a preoccupation with their own weaknesses, they are not seeing themselves and the inexplicable beauty that is within them. As I help them see the person that they are presenting to the world, they in turn begin to recognize the person who they actually want to share. As veils of defensiveness, distrust, control and self preoccupation are shed, the conversation in therapy become less filled with chatter, leaving room for silence and the tolerance of our own thoughts and feelings. I look back at patients who have come and gone and see not just the emotional and personal transformations that occurred, but also the physical and social. Diets became more healthy, unnecessary weight was shed, medical conditions became less problematic and they began to focus on doing good. This happened not because I led them step by step through this process. This happened because psychological introspection and meditative silence awakened them to their intuitive world that naturally compelled them to care for themselves, their partners, their families, fellow humans and the world at large. That is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen.


When we begin to take this road toward holistic wellness it is rightly an invisible path because it shows itself to us little by little, step by step, with no end point or carrot hanging ahead of us. Although, you’re certainly welcome to take a carrot for the road. We sit quietly and unearth thoughts and memories that evoke sadness and pain and we just see them for what they are, human and temporary. We explore the repetitions to heal fully. Then our path is illuminated and we continue forward, step by intuitive step. It is a beautiful world that we are all walking toward in our search for real holistic wellness and the closer we get to it the more beautiful we become. Interestingly, once achieved, these moments of beauty that we all wish for do not feel as expected. What stays in mind is no longer simply being beautiful, but rather sharing that holistic beauty with others.



Hippocrates 145