Updated: Apr 14
I was raised by a marine who taught me, above all else, to be honest and not to lie. Perhaps that is why in my career as a Naturopathic Physician I could not bear to offer my clients any advice or therapy in which I had the slightest bit of doubt about the results. Over my career I have gradually abandoned all types of therapy such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture etc. Today my entire healing work is teaching my clients how to heal their Health problems by performing their ordinary daily activities with kindness and intelligence.
By "ordinary activities" I mean the four activities that all human beings can and must perform for themselves alone: eating, moving, thinking and relating. These four life sustaining actions are the most powerful, reliable and rapid of any forms of healing. We find extraordinary healing hidden in our most ordinary actions; miraculous benefit unrecognized in and as the mundane activities of our lives. The health that results from the skillful performance of the ordinary activities of living is truly extraordinary and miraculous. You can prove this for yourself in your own body.
To illustrate: Imagine that you could purchase the following as medicines. A medicine that gave you the power to eat impeccably, exactly in accord with the wisdom of your mind and body. The results of this medicine would be a beautiful, youthful body free from almost every illness. Next a medicine that gave you the motivation and skill to perform a daily 90 minute balanced workout resulting in strength, flexibility and endurance? Would you like a medicine that enabled you to direct your internal dialogue as an unbroken stream of positive, life affirming, self esteeming thoughts; one that freed you from collapsing into negative emotions and governed your mental/emotional body with unshakeable faith, hope and love? The medicine of loving kindness and compassion would heal your relationships of arguments, misunderstandings, conflicts and violence. What would you pay for such these medicines?
In the real world there has never been and never will be such medicines. Why? The medicine already exists. You have simply never had it shown to you. Therefore the ways you (or most people) eat, move, think and relate are not the kind, wise ways suggested above. Rather their actions are untrained, unskilled, and produce pandemic physical, mental-emotional and social misery.
There is NO option to not perform these actions. We are already and always engaged in them. Our only choice is whether our actions will be expressions of our wisdom and love or expressions of our ignorance and indifference. The stakes could not be higher: Our Health, Beauty, Vitality, Youth, Happiness, Marriage, Career. All these depend entirely on our ability to govern our most basic actions.
We all long for these blessings, we are miserable without them. We seek them through medicine, religion, politics, yet, look! They are right here for the taking. Nearer than our breath and thoughts; they are inescapably available now and now and now. Your Life is whispering, shouting: "Love me! Give me your all. Now!" Our bodies, minds and relationships faithfully reflect back to us the caring and thoughtfulness behind our actions. Our every act obeys the one universal law: "As you give so shall you receive." If you want quality from your body, mind, or spouse: Give it. There is no other way.
As you can see this approach to Healing is anything but mysterious, weird or far out. It is as rock solid and practical as you can get. It is accepting responsibility for our own behavior, for our thoughts, words and deeds; Developing self-control, mastery of our appetites and passions, our desires and fears.
The foundation of all world religions is virtue or right action in thought, word and deed. Don’t kill, Don’t steal, Don’t lie. Be honorable sexually, don’t covet, don’t hoard, eat pure food, be clean, exercise, be honest with yourself, pray.
Through right action we cease to harm ourselves and others and therefore our mind becomes less anxious about the inescapable consequences that wrong actions incur. We are then able to relax and concentrate our attention in prayer and meditation enabling us to further discover and express in our mundane activities the divinity that we are.
The Healing of our own behavior: physical, mental/emotional and social is what I consider true Healing. It is absolutely impossible to have stable Health and happiness while engaged in actions destructive to the health and happiness of ourselves and others? That has to be obvious.
Further, if we desire better Health it is most valuable to ask ourselves “How am I damaging my own body, mind and relationships through my own actions?’
The art of living IS the art of healing. All our actions are sacred. Our mundane activities: breathing, walking, eating, thinking, reading, talking, working are sacred healing rituals and therapies. Through our actions we make Kindness and Wisdom manifest in and as our human body. This is my medicine.
A Practical Healing Exercise:
Pick out ONE self destructive activity that you want to overcome and/or ONE wholesome activity that you want to instill. For example, reduce your sweets, coffee, or alcohol, eat two large servings of vegetables daily, exercise three times this week, give your spouse or child the gift of listening empathetically once a week or to what they are upset about especially with you. To make your good intention real, commit to one action, no matter how tiny, that you can and will do.
Think about how this will effect you and list at least three benefits of doing this and three consequences of not doing this. e.g. What will be the results on your energy, moods, self esteem, income, relationships, health, tension, anxiety, mental clarity, fun.
Tell at least one person the change that you are committed to making and WHY you have decided to do this. Ask them if you can talk to them each day for a week about how its going.
Lastly, thinking about doing this exercise and not actually doing it will bring you about as much benefit as thinking about taking a vacation and not actually doing it.