Monday, March 19, 2007

A little space to grow...

It sure seems crowded around here. Perhaps I feel this because I am quickly approaching my first full year as an urban dweller. But it is more than the close proximity I share with everyone in Boston, it is the overwhelming feeling of my own life crowding in on me. I imagine that others can relate to this feeling. We have work time crowding into our personal time. We have commercials crowding out our television viewing. Pop up adds crowd our web pages. I could go on and on. But what is significant as far as our health is concerned is the manner in which this crowding creates a chronic, maybe undetectable, claustrophobia that produces a formidable stress opposing our pursuits to grow and lead a healthy life.
Information rushes towards us daily, bulldozing through, minimizing our ability to absorb and process this wealth of stimulation. What is important? What is valid? Should I eat more protein? Should I eat more carbs? Organic or not organic? Vitamin E is good, or not so good? It all becomes overwhelming. Unfortunately, an all too often response to feeling overwhelmed, is to try and avoid the situation, to take no action at all. But this is no escape. Too many of us recognize that our health would benefit from a change, yet take no steps to make it happen. I think our fear from our past failures crowds the possibility of success. This is born of an all or nothing mentality. When the recognition comes that even the slightest change or shift in health can be beneficial, we can evaluate or efforts moment by moment instead of by an end result.
So first, take a step to the side and begin again. Create the space in your life to allow healing to happen. This is crucial. As a Naturopathic physician I worry that patients come to see me hoping that I can somehow heal their ills. This is a belief with roots in the conventional medical system, that somehow the "all knowing" doctor has the answer. This dynamic continues to erode at the conventional medical system right before our eyes. Fortunately, I can remind myself to step aside and create some space for the patient. Then their healing can begin.

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