Years ago, I went to a lecture by herbalist David Hoffmann http://www.healthy.net/scr/Bio.asp?id=61. Early on the talk he asked the 100 strong audience to put up their hand if they thought they were well. About three people in the room put up there hand. I was very surprised, as the room was filled with healthy, glowing natural therapists, naturopaths and herbalists. What I think David was trying to demonstrate is that we have quite unrealistic notions about how we should be personally, and also how the people who seek us out for treatment should be.
Wellness in Western culture does seem to relate strongly to the ‘absence of physical symptoms’, but true Wellness is about so much more.
It’s about the presence of happiness, joy, community, love, exercise, humor, mindfulness and purpose.
It’s about a quiet acceptance of parts of our journey that challenge us constantly.
It’s about working with what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
It’s about taking the time to understand what we can learn from our illnesses/injuries.
I was reminded of this last night in my yoga class (www.caitanyayoga.com.au /)
My very healthful instructor has just been diagnosed with a Brain Tumor and had emergency surgery to remove it yesterday. (Blessings and healing to you Andrew on your journey). This is a challenge to be dealt with in Andrew’s journey, but no reflection on his commitment to his own health. Of course, as a Yoga Instructor, Andrew is blessed with a great range of tools to embark on this next stage of his journey.
So what can we learn from these challenges, instead of moving into a state of despairing victim? I liked this statement from Lewis Daly & Associates. “Wellness does not mean perfection. It’s more of a continuum than an absolute. A state of being instead of a status you need to attain.”
So today I embrace my flaws and challenges. I accept the learnings I receive from them. And I work towards a state of wholeness without obsessing about that as a goal.
I am well and the Dandelions and Plantain around here are hopping! I’ve gathered dandelion leaves to dry, and both dandelion and plantain leaves that have gone into a vinegar tincture for sprinkling on my salads, soups and the like. Susun Weed (www.susunweed.com) has a great recipe in her Menopausal Years Book.