Holistic you say?
Updated: Jan 12
Years ago, a friend once said to me: you're a contradiction! At the time, she was trying to make the point that while I'm a 'down to earth' person, my interests and my reading material were, in her opinion, contrary to my personality. She often accompanied me to the book store, which she knew would be at least a two hour adventure. Thankfully, there was a coffee shop inside the store where she could have a latte, browse through a magazine and wait while I scoured the aisles for the books that would temporarily quench my never-ending curiosity of the subject of the month!
One day, on our way to the bookstore, she asked me why I felt it was necessary to read '10 books on the same subject' when one would obviously do? I was stunned by that question and I quickly answered that in order for me to arrive at an informed opinion, I needed to read as many varying opinions as I could, from several different authors, to ensure I had a wide range of information with which to draw from.
I've always been a skeptic. I wasn't convinced easily of any one theory, especially where the practice of medicine was involved. Living in the hospital as a child can have that effect on a person.
My dad was a fan of 'alternative medicine'. Back in those days, big pharma didn't have the level of influence over the general population that it does now. Doctors weren't immediately defensive when the subject of home remedies came up; in fact, I can recall my GP offering what would now be classified as holistic advice for flus, headaches and colds. I was fortunate. My attitude toward alternative or holistic medicine wasn't negatively influenced by insecure doctors determined to exert their presumed authority, or a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry determined to increase net profits at any human cost.
So, when I became sick and couldn't find a general practitioner who wasn't bias, I followed my intuition and delved into the science of nutrition. After reading several books that I borrowed from the library, I purposely chose a holistic school because the courses required for certification dealt only with nutrition. It was the same when I decided to get certified as a counsellor. Both schools allowed me to concentrate only on the subject I was interested in. I didn't have to take a pile of classes that had nothing to do with what I wanted to learn.
I've understood for a long time that education, especially secondary, is not only an educational institution, it's a business. The more classes they can convince you to take, the more professors they can employ, and the more students they can draw from. Of course, the more classes you take the more well rounded your education is, but the class choices that the universities decided were required for a degree didn't line up for me, and the student advisors were never on the same page anyway. I knew of several people who had enrolled in classes based on the advice of the student advisors only to learn they had paid for classes they didn't actually need. In fact, some had become over qualified - which never made sense to me at all! So, I simply took the classes I wanted to take, and then when I wanted certification, I looked for institutions who provided certification on a subject by subject basis.
After Mind Files was published, I hit the trade show circuit to not only promote the book, but to speak to people directly about my program. I purchased tables in various cities, some were Women's shows, others Spiritually themed shows, and others were holistic health shows. While the majority of people I spoke with at the women's shows were receptive to the holistic model (which by my definition is a Mind, Body & Spirit approach), there were some who could not hide their disdain. Ultimately, these were people who held University degrees and felt that us holistic folks were all uneducated, hippie types promoting fluff. At first I was offended when people would outright attack me because I was certified in the holistic model, but eventually, I came to understand where that disdain really came from. There are a lot of life coaches and wellness coaches and fill in the blank coaches out there who are doing far more damage than good. While their intent is to help people, they haven't yet helped themselves sufficiently enough, and are merely projecting their unresolved mind files onto those who are seeking and who need help.
YOU HAVE TO WADE THROUGH THE WACKY
Of course, there are a lot of excellent coaches out there, but often times, the person seeking help is not capable of recognizing the wolf in sheep's clothing.
When you've been wrestling with life for a long time, or when you've been physically sick for a long time, you get to a place where you just want it to be over. Done! You just want to get your health back again and enjoy life again, but that level of desperation always results in a bad decisions. The promise of a miracle cure, or a bottle of super-duper life changing supplements can certainly be enticing, but you won't get your life or your health back that way.
A life coach who doesn't challenge your beliefs and agrees with every statement you make isn't helping you. They are merely gate keepers disguised as freedom fighters and their personal pep rallies will only keep you in the emotional and intellectual prison you created for yourself. Forced positivity is denial in disguise.
There is no such thing as a super-food, or one supplement, or one miracle medicine that is going to cure all that ails you. The human body is far more complex than that. Every body reacts differently to herbs, vitamins, nutrients and medications. The only way you can know for sure which herbs, nutrients or medications are the ones that will work best in your body is to have genetic testing done. Then you have to find someone who is actually capable of analyzing the data. Everything else is a guessing game, and if you're willing to test out various supplements, then by all means test away. But understand that it will take months, if not years, before you will achieve the level of health you are working toward.
THEM VERSUS US
There are so many things dividing people these days - cultural differences, sexual orientation choices and gender identity politics, adopted racism resentments, immigration policies, the guilt inducing idea of white privilege and the war between allopathic and naturopathic medicine - there is no shortage of things people can fight about, which means there is no shortage of people who are negatively impacted.
The rise of dualistic thinking has created a cultural and societal imbalance that will take years to resolve. It often takes a radical swing to either the left or the right for centred change to take place, and depending on where exactly one sits on that scale, the duration of the swing can feel like a lifetime.
Sadly, like in any war, there are civilian casualties. Opiate related overdoses are on the rise, more and more people are turning to various types of drugs - both Rx and street - to cope, the number of suicides is increasing, police in nearly every city report an increase in domestic abuse, and there is an increase in various human diseases (autism, high blood-pressure, cardiovascular disease, dementia, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, auto-immune diseases etc.) that we haven't seen for decades.
Rather than working together, the ego wars between the two opposing factions rage on and the number of victims increases.
I don't know what the solution is or even if there is one solution, but I do know that each person must be willing to move away from the extreme opposite, which currently is far left, of whichever debate they have chosen for themselves immersed in, open their minds to receiving different opinions, and move toward the middle if we are to avoid the absolute chaos that the inevitable swing toward the right will bring.