Taking your health and destiny into your own hands is the best route to well-being.
Nanny Simon-de Vries | July/August 2012 Issue
When disease strikes, it affects many of us like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky. It’s not easy to understand. After all, we weren’t in bad shape; our diet was decent; the stress in our lives seemed manageable; and we walked for exercise. Yet suddenly we’re waylaid by a heart attack, diabetes, depression or some form of cancer.
This is what happened to me three years ago. Never before had I experienced what I felt that day, but I knew it must be serious and life-altering. The next morning, I discovered I had suffered a stroke when my left leg, arm and hand refused to cooperate. The left side of my face felt like it was living a life of its own, and I was slurring my words so badly it was hard to speak.
My recovery began like this: My oldest son and his wife had a Reiki master come to my hospital bed. My youngest son and his wife brought me Jill Bolte Taylor’s unparalleled book, My Stroke of Insight, and my husband gave me all kinds of love, care and companionship.
After initially (and gratefully) following the allopathic medical path, I took my own path to healing. I searched…and found. What I was looking for, above all, were opportunities to be reborn into a world in which I took complete responsibility for my situation.
How had this happened? I was much too young, the doctors said. My stroke was part of what Joel Fuhrman calls a degenerative disease. Which is why Fuhrman, a family doctor specializing in healthy food, calls his diet a way of life that aims to contribute to a healthier world. In one of his books, Eat to Live, he says that acquiring knowledge of the healing nutrients we consume each day is crucial. According to Fuhrman, we must know about food in order to use it as a health-promoting “medicine.” In his books, Fuhrman explains that our bodies weren’t made for a Western lifestyle. We suffer from chronic diseases and fall into depression. Our food makes us sick, and our lifestyle fails to acknowledge our true nature. We have strayed too far from natural ways to grow vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds.
Eric Pearl is another doctor who is equally helpful in the quest for health. He argues that the energetic frequencies surrounding us have evolved over time and that healing is a question of finding the right frequency using a “reconnection.” In his book The Reconnection, he illustrates that we can all find a maximum level of healing for ourselves as well as for others. “Heal others, heal yourself” is how he describes it.
Immersing ourselves in different worlds—as they manifest themselves in the lives of our minds, bodies and souls—and seeking consciousness require perseverance and dedication. This is about a crucial investment in restoring health to these layers of our being. Even after a serious illness, we can take our fate into our own hands. Which is exactly what I decided to do. This encourages our sense of meaning and power and puts us on a path toward further growth, love for ourselves and our surroundings and connectedness with the planet and the world around us. If we start small and use our disease as a guide to our consciousness, we can contribute to a healthier, more balanced world.
While all the effects of my stroke have clearly not disappeared, I can walk just fine now, play the piano and do my yoga exercises. I’m talking normally and am delighted that my life has changed and those changes have been for the better! Fuhrman’s way of living contributes to a life in which we simply eat to live. It gives us more energy and independence from conventional medicines and their side effects. Pearl provides fresh insights into real healing in our current era, and Eckhart Tolle teaches us to connect with the here and now, allowing us to feel happiness and meaning as we detach from the suffering of the past. In the words of Tolle, let us not feed our “pain-body.”
With the help of our contemporary sages, let us make conscious choices and be open to new insights, many of which are as old as Methuselah, so we can put an end to the outbreak of the degenerative diseases of our time. In so doing, we will not allow them to dominate our bodies or our minds but instead bring meaning and insight into our lives.
Nanny Simon-de Vries is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, reconnection practitioner and spiritual coach.