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This February, my first book “Cured by Nature” hit bookstores and Kindles everywhere and skyrocketed to #1 on Amazon in less than two weeks. This catapulted into an amazing career whirlwind, as this written extension of myself and deep reflection on my health journey became a huge part of my day-to-day reality, with a ton of tasks at hand. A lot of what I’ve been able to accomplish has been passion, and a lot of it has been my ability to multi-task.
These days I’m either running my company, The Organic Life, or writing bestselling books, songs or wellness articles over on my blog (www.theorganiclifeblog.com—say hi!). You can also find me teaching folks worldwide the secrets of forming a healthy, mindful relationship with themselves through my Cured by Nature workshops. After embarking on a remarkable road trip and relocation from New York City to California in 2011, and traveling the country and globe, San Diego was no contest as a home base because of all it has to offer for a clean, balanced lifestyle. From the expansive hikes, to the organic farmers markets, the engaged community, music venues, gorgeous views and perfect surf—I am so proud to live in San Diego and I definitely fall more in love with this city every single day. Nothing can compare to the inner peace and enrichment I’ve found here. For the Healthista, SD is paradise.
I find most of my inspiration in the moments when I can get lost in a sunny day and fulfill my most important obligation of all: the one to myself. My secret to success: constantly find a balance between doing important work and finding time to prioritize, meditate and practice self-care. We all know how our days can get jam-packed quickly, so it’s great when you find one local destination that encourages efficiency, while also providing a great place to eat, write, shop and chill out. I thrive off of nature; adore clean, healthy meals; and I absolutely love spaces that celebrate the outdoors and allow you the ability to step back and take a moment to yourself.
Since landing in San Diego, I’ve been looking for that one, special place—and I finally found it in The Headquarters at Seaport Village! This charming, one-size-fits-all destination is where you can do all of your meetings, shopping, then grab satisfying dinner and drinks, plus pick up something unique for the house or a friend on your way out. If you’re like me, this will be your new go-to spot! Between the views, the food, drinks and shopping experience, The Headquarters at Seaport checks all the entertaining, enjoyable lifestyle boxes! Located just blocks from multiple parks and the harbor, this dining and shopping haven is a hidden San Diego gem. During my recent adventure there, I quickly found out why!
The Headquarters at Seaport Village provides beautiful ambiance in a trendy, casual setting as well as a unique dining and shopping experience for every age. You won’t find many cut-and-dry shops here! Take your best friend and stop by Urban Beach House for a boho shopping spree or bring the whole family to Puesto for your choice of tacos! You can always treat yourself to a self-love date sometime and chow down on a Vennissimo Cheese’s melted cheese plate by the fountain, or swing by Eddie V’s for a divine dinner or drink with your parents or significant other.
Native Knowledge: The Headquarters at Seaport Village used to be the location of the San Diego police department which included several jail cell blocks. Today, they’ve used that fact to their advantage as a local tourist attraction. Do yourself a favor and check out the tiny cells where they used to keep inmates (they’re on the way to the bathroom—you can’t miss them!) The walls are even decorated with old mug shots to explore. A perfect backdrop for selfies!
The taco restaurant of my dreams! Whether you’re looking for an exclusive Mexican dining experience or a delicious drink, Puesto has you covered! With seating both inside and outside, this vivid restaurant looks out onto The Headquarters courtyard and provides delightful menu options for everyone. The tacos are out of this world (I tried three different kinds and could not pick a favorite! Sorry—you’ll have to try them all yourself!). Puesto’s guacamole is the best I have EVER had and their margaritas are out of this world. Strong and gratifying! You don’t have to cross the border to enjoy authentic Mexican food or drinks. I was pleasantly full but not stuffed—my favorite feeling after a meal! Bring a bestie!
Dallmann Fine Chocolates is a truly one-of-a-kind experience for the chocolate lover or your inner child. Like an adult version of Willy Wonka, this shop is chocolate heaven! Choose from dozens of different chocolates, truffles, beers, wines and cheeses. Be sure to make it upstairs, where Dallmann does delicious chocolate, cheese and wine tastings for under $20. In a rush? No worries. You can scoop up a mixed box of delightful chocolates or truffles and do one of your own pairings at home for a super reasonable price! I grabbed a box of sea salt and white chocolate truffles as a gift and was amazed by the handmade detail of each one. So beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them! You can tell that they were crafted with a lot of love, care and skill. Absolutely delectable! I could live here! (Can I?!)
My secret to success: constantly find a balance between doing important work and finding time to prioritize, meditate and practice self-care
If you like cheese, you’ll LOVE Venissimo! This gourmet cheese shop is surprisingly charming, with darling photos of goats on the walls to pay homage to your appetizing options. The selection of cheese is exceptional, and can be paired with a variety of meats, fruits, wine and beer. With such a choice variety of artisanal cheeses on hand, I couldn’t help myself from picking up some gifts for family and friends while I waited for my meal to be freshly baked by hand—yum! I had their melted cheese plate and it was fit for a queen! There is something for everyone, and with a sample option you won’t have any problem picking the perfect cheese for you!
Up until this trip to The Headquarters, I had not tasted a decent gelato since my time in Italy because every option paled in comparison. So when I stepped into Gelato Paradiso, my eyes lit up! Was this really the gelato paradise of my dreams?! YES! Yes it is! I am SO excited I found this place, because I saved myself a round trip ticket back and forth to Europe—seriously! If you’re craving something refreshing and fulfilling (or the kids are!), this one-stop-shop is the way to go. They have a tremendous selection of gelatos to choose from and their cones are finger-licking delicious. Just try to pass by this place and the smell of waffle cone wafts into the courtyard and beckons you in! I munched down on the chocolate, vanilla and cherry! Can’t choose, either? Don’t worry—they’re happy to let you sample first and they’ll be delighted to make you a mixed cone of your very own!
Urban Beach House is everything you ever dreamed a SoCal shop would be! They have so many coastal inspired gifts to choose from and it feels like you are truly home (if home was steps from my beach). Just my kind of taste! They’ve selected locally made candles, stylish shirts, sun hats, dresses, jewelry and trinkets that all give a nod to the San Diego shore. Urban Beach House provides a wealth of options for cute, ocean inspired patterns, textures and colors to decorate or spruce up your wardrobe, home or outdoor living space. The perfect place to stop in for a thoughtful gift for the man in your life, too. There are definitely a lot of treasures to be found here (and treasure-inspired décor, at that!), especially if you dig into their sale section. Friendly customer service and absolutely no pressure from staff to buy anything—which is my favorite part of any retail store!
Beautiful ambiance. Strong, well-made drinks. Fresh, healthy seafood. For a taste of the local catch, it doesn’t get much better than Eddie V’s. I finished off a whole plate of perfect, melt-in-your-mouth scallops and sipped on a crafted gin and tonic, made with love and the most professional shake-and-pour I’ve ever seen! The service is quick and attentive, so it’s the perfect place for a first date, birthday, anniversary or graduation party. Eddie V’s has a romantic atmosphere, so I can only imagine a lot of engagements have gone down here! The building itself is crafted beautifully inside—with a bold, rural style and an expansive floor-to-ceiling wooden wine cabinet.
Native Knowledge: Live musicians play at night and the staff goes above and beyond to make sure you’re truly satisfied with your experience. Come during Happy Hour to catch the killer prices!
As a native New Yorker, I’m an admitted pizza snob. I thought the very best pizza came from Manhattan and Brooklyn—exclusively. Well, my mind’s been changed! The brick oven pizza at Flour and Barley is legit. Absolutely amazing! I’ve found my new pizza hotspot and instantly felt like I was back home in NYC with a pinch of classic Italian charm to boot! Be sure to try their bacon infused spirits (with a bacon garnish, in case there wasn’t enough bacon!). Beyond pizza, you and the family can choose from amazing entrees, home-cooked style pasta, exquisite salads and a great selection of beer and wine. You’ll find the hostesses greeting and exposed brick walls a warm surprise! Our waiter had me laughing the entire time and the service was exceptional.
Cherry Hills Market is the hidden gem among gems. Definitely my kind of shop! A mix of old school, New York City apothecary and inviting, SoCal chic, this market is charm—personified!
In addition to hand picking items, they partner with designers, visionaries and bloggers to bring engaging collections that thrill and inspire. Plus, the market has killer sales events every week. I just love getting something rustic and unique for my house or wardrobe on sale! Cherry Hill Market is right up my alley, with a brand focus on simplicity and sustainability, They boast a beautiful boho swank and a curated, home-focused beach style. You can feel the good vibes all around the store! Coming soon: vinegars and olive oils. Before you leave The Headquarters, be sure to stop by and ask what’s new!
Native Knowledge: The front desk is reclaimed wood doors that originally resided in The Headquarters. In fact, every nook and cranny of Cherry Hills Market is alluring and curated.
Secret to Success: Constantly find a balance between doing important work and finding time to prioritize, meditate and practice self-care.
This is what my 11 years on Rx drugs were about: numbing out, tuning out, zoning out – anything but zooming in and looking right at the source.
Yes, they were prescribed to me by a doctor. No, I didn’t have to go out of my way for them. But should I have been on 14 of them at once — in my teens and early twenties? At 100 lbs?!
Pain, both emotional and physical, haunted me like a dark, looming, imminent cloud over everything. I masked it with more doctors visits, more pills and more prescriptions. It was legal, easy and I was even convinced that these pills might help me.
Plus, if I stopped, I might feel the pain.
If you’re following along on snapchator instagram, you know I’m in the process of writing book #2.
It’s a therapeutic process in more ways than one. Not only am I exploring old patterns that I had for decades, I am also trying to articulate exactly what’s gotten me out of them and into healthy patterns that have shaped and changed my life for the better over the last 5 years.
5 years. Still, when I say those words to people – when I tell them the length of my sobriety – I get one of three looks.
There is the person who’s never even thought about coming off their drugs. A mix of a-ha moment and wonder.
There is the person who has a vague idea of how hard it is, or has never taken drugs before at all. A mix of awe and sympathy.
And sometimes, there is the unicorn. The person who came off drugs – sometimes for 5, 10, 15 years – and then started again. A mix of sympathy and come-uppance.
Because of the pain.
Those last people, they always look at me with a certain twinkle that says, “You don’t know. You haven’t been there yet.”
They think I don’t know about the pain.
The co-dependent kind of pain that makes you need to turn to something else because you cannot possibly do this by yourself. Pain without words. Empty pain that hits the heart and lives in the stomach. Debilitating, all encompassing, body bruising pain. The kind that makes you take a drug, reach for a bottle or sincerely make plans to die. I know about the heaviness in your chest. Crushing anxiety, seemingly inborn depression, the survivor’s guilt. The kind that makes you scramble to the toilet bowl because you’ve overdone it again. But, you know as you peer and wretch at your own sick, that you’ll do it all again tomorrow. Just for some semblance of relief. Maybe tomorrow, it will work. So you knock yourself out on a muscle relaxer or a sleeping pill or a tall glass of booze, and you say a silent prayer that the emptiness will be gone tomorrow. Or at least a little dulled. So that maybe you can cope.
In fact, I’m quite familiar with that particular strain of pain.
It had a hold of me for my whole memorable life.
The most haunting and painful part, maybe, is reading my old journal entries.
I feel a surreal distance from the girl who wrote them. I don’t know her. I wouldn’t be friends with her. I feel for her, but I cannot believe she was me.
It is incredible to me how far I’ve come: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally.
I’m still in my twenties, and truly feel like I have the weeds sheered, the sack packed and the path mapped out. Now I just have to walk it.
From a girl who was attempting suicide in 2011, that’s saying a LOT.
Today, I have to pat myself on the back. I want to thank the wanderer in me. I want to thank the lessons, the pills and I even want to thank the pain.
Pain taught me very valuable lessons. Pain taught me how to be brave when I was weak. To get up when I was down. How to strike back when I thought I was done. Pain taught me me that anything is possible. Every time my body screamed NO! my mind screamed back YES!!!! I’M NOT GIVING UP NOW!!
Pain is temporary. But the lessons that you learn from overcoming pain?
Those are permanent.
Facing your pain and fears is permanent healing, which is what I had been seeking all along.
Only you can begin the process of healing, but without pain, you may never have a reason to start.
No matter how much I struggle, no matter what I face, no matter what lessons disguised as problems that life has in store, I have something now that I never had before.
The cucumber/grapefruit combo lends this drink a beautiful fresh scent and taste that’s also super healthy for you! Both of these sweet plants have amazing healing properties. I also love the smell of the basil (considered one of the world’s healthiest foods!) and grapefruit before taking a sip.
Bonus: they’re not sweet and a lot less tart than lemonade!
Flower remedies are powerful yet gentle healing tools that can catalyst the resolution of deep emotional imbalance. They contain a small, medicinal amount of alcohol (typically around 23%) plus the essence of flowers that have been infused in water. They are amazing for your health! Flower remedies can do everything from soothing grief to calming fears, manifesting dreams, releasing unwanted thoughts and can even help with physical exhaustion and public speaking. I’ve been taking them for a couple of years now and I can’t live without them!! You can either add them to a drink or smoothie or you can take them straight under your tongue.
My love marine collagen is just amaaaaazing and this brand, Vital Proteins, is my absolute favorite!! It reduces wrinkles, encourages healthy cell production and is an all-around anti-aging agent. It also promotes bone and hair growth! Seriously so many incredible benefits. I can’t get enough of it!! Do yourself a favor and add a scoop of this to everything!
Lately I’ve found myself winning personal victory after personal victory. Personal struggles that have plagued me for years and now falling quickly to the wayside, even getting solved completely. It’s been quite an unburdening, and I’ve felt amazing these last few weeks.
And I think plants have had a lot to do with it.
In our backyard, we are surrounded by thick, growing bamboo trees.
I’ve always loved the way that bamboo looks, but it wasn’t until recently that I took much interest in the proverbial meaning of bamboo.
It turns out, surrounding myself with this grounded, strengthening plant may have been a huge key to my recent personal success in the face of years of struggles. It may have been the inspiration to start building myself and no longer taking shit from anyone.
The bamboo plant takes about 6 years to fully mature and begin to grow.
Once it does, it can grow up to 12 feet in a week!!
Bamboo trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world.
It does not matter who you are — or where you are — today, you have amazing potential for growth. Even though the bamboo grows quite rapidly, we might not notice its growth from day to day.
As long as you are making the effort now, everything will fall into place for you.
Even when we are making progress, it’s difficult to notice our own improvement. How fast or how slow we grow should NOT be our main concern. Only that we’re moving forward. The bamboo grows fastest around the rainy season. You too may have “seasons” where growth accelerates, and other seasons where it’s slower.
But as long as you are putting in effort, you are always growing. Don’t be discouraged by what you perceive as your lack of growth or improvement, and don’t be influenced by other people’s discouragement. I had hundreds of people tell me that there was nothing I could do in certain situations. That I was born a certain way. That I was capable of certain things. That there were was no protection in this world for me. That I should just ignore negativity.
I refused to accept that.
I tapped into deep universal laws. Those that worked in my favor. I went well out of my way to reclaim my personal power and made sure that in doing so, other people would not have to suffer in the future either. Although this has taken a lot of time, personal growth, strength, energy and even money and resources. It’s been completely worth it and an amazing, eye opening journey.
If you have not given up, then you are growing. You just may not see it right now.
I made a list of some of the most common feelings I was having lately. They included: Love. Gratitude. Courage. Strength. Unity. Smushyness (that’s the feeling you get smushing your dog).
The next day, I pulled all the same cards (Love, Gratitude, Courage, Strength).
This was not a coincidence.
Signs like this and the plants I grow have become some of my favorite teachers. I’ve been learning to listen to my intuition, to trust myself more and I am committed to sharing more of that part of myself with you.
It was the middle of winter, and the excruciating pain in my muscles and spine were shooting up into my neck. It hurt so much I was screaming into my pillow. I could not stop crying.
I begged my boyfriend, “Cut my back out.”
He looked at me like I was crazy.
“Cut it out,” I said. “I’m over this.”
I was in the middle of a flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis — a disorder for which I’d been on a prescription cocktail of fentanyl patches, Flexeril, and Celebrex for the last 12 years.
The moment that cutting out my own back seemed like the only way to get to the root of my pain, I knew something really had to change. The pain, exhaustion, daily blackouts, excruciating aches, and emotional toil needed to stop.
I was done masking the pain. I wanted to cure it — naturally, intuitively, and straight at the source.
I knew that a whole medicine cabinet full of ancient herbs, tonics, rituals, and secrets existed in nature thousands of years before modern medicine came along. I also knew that while my thoughts had a huge hand in my depression, pain, and anxiety, so did what I was putting in my body.
I decided to come off my 12-a-day dosage of prescription medication cold turkey (not a method I’d ever recommend to anyone). I replaced it with a more natural approach to healing, one that used food not just as a fuel but as a powerful medicine.
I thought that if I could tap into the healing properties of food and use them to propel my health, everything would shift.
My research was simple, but it changed my life.
Here are four healing herbal remedies that I’ve found can curb pain and promote relaxation. Bonus: most of them are probably already in your kitchen.
Chamomile has been globally promoted as a relaxation herb for thousands of years. It has anxiolytic properties, meaning that it naturally inhibits anxiety. Chamomile extract is also a powerful pain reliever that can soothe aches at the source by lubricating joints and inhibiting bone loss. It’s also been shown to help ease menstrual cramps.
Plus, you can find chamomile practically everywhere. Speaking as someone who’s sensitive to caffeine, I can attest that it’s the most common caffeine-free tea available today!
Ginger was one of the first herbs I discovered in my healing journey, and luckily I already loved it! Ginger has quite the history of pain relief. It has been commonly used since the dawn of Ayurvedic history and was described as “the beverage of the holiest spirits” by the Ancient Koreans. Today, medical journals have found that a few tablespoons of ginger a day helps ease muscle pain caused by exercise.
Ginger works on a cellular level because it contains anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and antioxidant agents as well as analgesic (inflammation-fighting) properties. Ginger has been shown to reduce cytokines — inflammation-causing substances that are often linked to pain — by breaking down existing inflammation in the joints (naturally)!
I used ginger for the excruciating daily pain of my arthritis and scoliosis. I started by buying raw ginger and putting pieces into a tea catcher, boiling hot water, and drinking it as a tea. You can also buy premade ginger tea or supplemental ginger vitamins.
Used for more than 4,000 years, turmeric boosts more than just your circulation. A member of the ginger family, it’s an effective anti-inflammatory that can help with joint problems and arthritis. It’s been used to treat rheumatoid and osteoarthritis pain straight at the source.
It’s also one of the easiest herbs to incorporate into your daily routine. My joints felt more fluid after just a week of incorporating turmeric into my diet, and it’s now replaced many of the drugs I took for pain and inflammation.
Egyptians worshipped it. Entire literary genres have been written about it. It was even used as currency in previous centuries! While these may not be your very first thoughts about garlic, this powerful plant contains naturally occurring antioxidants that are amazing for fighting discomfort, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. It’s great for healthy joints and pain management. Simply toss a few cloves of garlic into your tea catcher, boil water, and drink with some honey. You can also put garlic cloves in your bath as aromatherapy.
You can find some of my other favorite herbs, mindful practices, and healing techniques in my book, Cured by Nature.
You’ll wake up for about 25,000 mornings in your adult life, give or take a few.
Even though they can’t all be magical Disney sunrise song bird mornings on the beach, it turns out many of them can.
And there’s definitely ways to improve and start your day that are important for overall health, wellness and happiness.
They’re simple, easy to do, and done earnestly will truly elevate your life.
Let me give you a recent personal anecdote.
A few months ago I was having some health issues that were hard to address. Although they felt like one thing, the area of the pain suggested that the problem could be a huge host of things, none of which I was comfortable with exploring in any conventional way aka probing, drugs, surgery and the like. I saw one puzzled doctor after the next. I was poked and prodded and my blood drawn at every turn. I was suffering big time, and I was scared that I may have no solution. On MD #4, I was putting my shoes on and asked her the question, ” What do you think it is?”
She adjusted her glasses, reached into her lab coat for a pen and said, “Well it could be anything. Cancer…”
After that the room kinda started spinning.
My dad passed away from cancer just over a year and a half ago, making that pseudo-news particularly alarming. No one wants to hear those words as a doctor’s stab in the dark. Nothing will quite ruin your day like being told you might have cancer, no matter what your background with it is.
After a few moments I collected myself and tried not to panic or go to a bad place with this. I did my best NOT to google (too much) and I tried to stay off the news or dramatic TV shows for any amount of time. Instead, while battling this pain I had no name for, I dug deeper into my personal health and conscious. I started re-learning and connecting with my body… and what followed was drastic.
A huge issue that I first dealt with in trying to gain control of my pain, moods and emotions is that I was focused on:
“I don’t want the Pain.” instead of
“I want the Control.“
These may seem like two ideas with almost no difference, but learning that they worked as separate entities – and whythey worked– was essential to my healing.
1. Take The First Step
The first step is to Ask yourself: Am I truly trying to be healthy/be a better person/live a better life?
Most people will automatically say YES, of course! Why else would I have read up to this point, you dingdong?
Well, I tell ya… back in the day, thinking about “changing my life” was actually really… very scary.
For me – and actually, for most people I speak with – changing your life means a tremendous shift, a great value assessment, a complete 360 in what I was willing to accept and do and be. It was a change in where I was going to live, what I was going to do with my life, who I’d be willing to keep company with, how I would sound, speak, and treat others. This meant – although I didn’t know it at the time – becoming a completely different person. Getting totally uncomfortable in even normal every day behaviors that I didn’t used to think twice about. The way I carried myself, my opportunities, my voice inflections, my approach, and my behaviors, shifted gradually with my thought patterns.
In this case, it involved accepting and constantly seeing my body and mind as a gift and an opportunity, instead of a nuisance, and giving daily thanks for what I have. Shifting my mentality from sickness to health. Seeing and feeling comfortable instead of frustrated and trying to rid myself of the pain. I had to begin…
Accepting good thoughts instead of bad ones.
Accepting what is happening instead of what I want to be happening.
Focusing on what I want instead of what I don’t want.
These thoughts have all changed my life.
2. Accept It (Dammit!)
Being sick, being emotionally immature, being dependent on drugs or being in pain provides us an opportunity that a lot of people find comfort in: to be lazy. To procrastinate. To put off our goals and dreams until tomorrow. This laziness is truly the hardest thing for people to give up, because healing is work, and it’s truly all mental. You’ll never make a permanent, lasting change to your actions unless you change your ideas, no matter how badly you want to heal.
Healing means having no more excuses. Nothing less.
And, to point out the biggest and most universal discourager to you right now: True Healing is quantum, which means it is invisible. You cannot see yourself healing. You will notice little things, or some loved ones may point things out to you, but it does not happen overnight. There’s patience required, which will be a problem for a lot of people.
21st Century medicine focuses a lot on tracking down solid disease-causers and eliminating them, but most of your mental and physical healing does not work that way. But as long as you are trying, it has been scientifically proven ( <– that is worth a good click!) that you will see a difference.
Let’s be real: Nobody knows you better than you. The frustrating reality, as far as medicine is concerned, is that we already know that the living body is the best pharmacy in existence. It produces painkillers, diuretics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antibiotics & indeed, makes them much, much better than they come in pill form. (Read more about this here!) The dosage is always given on time, the side effects are minimal or non existence, and it’s part of a stream of built in intelligence that is almost effortless when in proper working order.
This therefore means that intelligence is not just mental – it’s everywhere in our bodies: our cuts heal without us thinking about them, we react to a hot stove before we have the chance to feel the burn & our bodies process and digest food that helps us grow and thrive without a hitch each and every day.
Learning how to tap into that process – instead of masking it or fighting it – is the key to becoming our most perfect selves.
3. Learn The Rules
People who can turn anxiety into excitement, turn tragedy into prosperity or turn dis-ease into meaningful opportunities to heal are ahead of the game.
There are certain unchangeable laws in the Universe, and they don’t come in pill form. Take Gravity for instance. Despite your “Karma“, despite how you treat others, when you drop something on the floor, Gravity doesn’t decide that because you’ve been a very good person, it will suspend it’s laws so that what you dropped does not hit the ground. It makes no distinction between if you are a good person or a bad person. Thoughts, like gravity, have real weight and real gravity as far as our mind-body connection is concerned. These laws do not get suspended for ANY thoughts (<– that link is also worth a good, strong click!) – not even short term bad ones. Wishing someone ill, discouraging yourself, cursing yourself for being sick, any kind of envy, even road rage, is not only a waste of your time – it is poisonous for your cells.
A good analogy – and my favorite example – is Music. Let’s say you are watching a pianist play some Mozart. Where is the Music? You can find the music on many levels – in the vibrating strings, the trip of the hammers, the fingers striking the keys, the black marks on the paper, or the nerve impulses in the player’s brain. But these are just codes: the reality of the music is invisible, beautiful, and tangible without ever being part of the physical world. Your thoughts, though never part of the physical world, are having an affect on your body at all times.
Like Music, the body doesn’t have to get rid of it’s molecules altogether to change, or mask them with drugs: it only has to learn to re-form them into different chemical patterns. We are constantly building patterns to look through that tell us what is real: this does not stop for a moment ( presumably, until we die.) If we see the pain, there is pain. If we don’t, the pain is gone.
4. Shift Your Focus
When you focus on the Pain – even when you focus onnot wanting the Pain, you are giving the Pain the Power. This is true for your mental as well as your physical state. This truly took a really long time to sink in for me personally, so I’ll type it out once more: It’s true for your MENTAL as well as your PHYSICAL state. Focusing on ANY kind of pain – even if you feel completely justified in doing so – even if you feel so wronged you are sick to your stomach – even if it seems impossible to ignore – is hurting you.
There is only one cure for this, and that is Coming Back To Yourself.
Coming back to the body, learning yourself, spending time in silence and really feeling what is going on between your cells is an essential part of a healthy development. This is not something anyone has ever taught me, and truthfully it’s something I really need to constantly remind myself of, encourage in myself and the people I keep close to me. No one ever taught me that sitting beside a stream could heal my emotions, that taking a walk was essential to my back pain disappearing, that taking time in the morning to stretch and talk to my body could be life changing in fighting cancer and disease. But I’ve learned it, first by opening myself up to the idea, then by trying, then by being earnest, then, truly, by watching miracles happen in my life.
Taking a walk cannot hurt you, sitting down and meditating in silence cannot hurt you, waking up in the morning a little earlier and doing some yoga cannot hurt you, which is why I think that it seems to scare so very many people. It sounds too easy. It IS too easy. And for some reason, we still want a pill-fix, not an intuitive one.
6. Keep Calm
I encourage you next to treat yourself as your best friend & be kind to yourself. This will mean something different for everyone. For example, for me it means spending time in meditation, having silent time, reading, creating art with others, sharing my creations, listening to my body, keeping negative thoughts & people OUT. It means eating well, joyfully, mindfully and nourishingly. I spend a lot of time finding real peace, learning myself, finding what I enjoy: and doing it. I enjoy exercise, am off of all pharma, I take my Vitamins, I do my very best to treat my friends and loved ones and family the way I want to be treated, I live in a tranquil place, I listen to my body, I accomplish my goals, I don’t go out if I’m too tired, I forgive myself, etc. Some of these may seem very small or not very insightful, but they’re things I’m really proud of. Taking responsibility for who I have become, and being proud of that person, is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.
For some reason, it made sense to me once upon a time that medicating – that putting something inside my body – was the solution to subduing or controlling my mind.
But I was never encouraged to use my mind to control my body.
7. Take Responsibility
I speak with a lot of people who are so caught up in their job, their pain, their exhaustion, their emotional instability, or their anger and anxiety that they make no connection between how they feel mentally and how they feel physically. These are the people who are so often sick, battling allergies, struggling with relationships, feeling trapped, struggling with anxiety, are on medication for ailments that doctors have said are chronic. They’re willing to discuss with me why they’re on a bunch of medication, or in an unstable relationship, but they’re not willing to discuss the root of it, or how they plan to change it TODAY.
And I always find the same thing: they are taking no time at all – not even FIVE MINUTES A DAY – to learn themselves. They think it’s entirely unimportant, that their pain is permanent, and “is something they have to live with”. They think that their poor relationships are not negatively affecting their health. For years I believed all of these things – and far more detrimental things – about myself, and could not be convinced otherwise, even by people who already knew what I know now about learning your body. Boy, do I feel foolish.
Appreciate your time, your health and take pride in who you are. If you’ve stumbled upon this and gotten this far, chances are you’re very privileged & blessed, and willing to open up your ideas about yourself.
I had a friend who is moving recently ask me what I got rid of when I moved from NY to LA – what was hard for me to discard, what I wish I’d kept, etc.
I said that honestly, I left a lot.
Both of my guitars, all of my books, all of my furniture… and that in leaving so much, I wasn’t extremely prideful about what I kept. I ended up misplacing a lot of what I wish I had carefully stored away. I didn’t see the care and opportunity in what I owned. I’ve since learned my lesson (my recent pack/move was practically painless and very carefully done!) and my advice to her was to pack what she is proud of, and then analyze the rest. At the very least, you’ve put things in perspective. But it got me thinking: that is a great message to carry throughout life:
Take Pride In Who You Are
Do What You Are Proud of First
Take Time for Things You Love
Give Thanks for What Makes You Happy
Whatever is left can be handled accordingly.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live life half-heartedly. There’s a perfect person inside of you waiting to be well and glowing and fit and healed. I promise.
As for the end of my story, within days of that scary doctor’s visit and armed to the brim with my new commitment to wellness, my pain had disappeared completely. Although I did a few follow up appointments, it was hard to pinpoint the cause without any pain to speak of, and I have since received a clean bill of health. I have proved – to myself – without a doubt – that I hold the key to my own personal health and wellness. And I am the only person who needs to be convinced. 🙂