To Change Your Health, Work on Your Consciousness

connieWhen Dr. Shanti Rubenstone and I first started practicing together, we searched for a phrase to describe how she practiced medicine, and how I aspired to practice.

I thought of the term “transformational medicine.”

Later, when we moved to our new Pacific Naturopathic office, I named one of the rooms “Metamorphosis Unlimited.”

I know it’s a bit unwieldy (!), but I wanted to say that our brand of medicine involves emotional, mental, social and spiritual transformation, as well as physical transformation.

I expected the name would elicit comment. But, really, I just wanted to open up a discussion of transformational medicine. And I was more than a little surprised when we received barely a handful of comments.

After a bit of reflection, I realized that it was because our staff were all happy, healthy people. And happy people are rarely looking for a change of state, whether through transformational medicine or any other means.

The real candidates for transformation are those who come to us with disease, discomfort, dissatisfaction, and despair.

Uncomfortable states are nature’s powerful impetus for transformation.

By and large, people come to our clinic looking for a change in their physical bodies – they’re very urgently seeking change! But, over many years of practice, I’ve come to understand that the first cause of our discomfort is rarely physical.

I say “rarely” but not “never.” An uncomfortable chair creates real physical pain. The glare of the sun can cause a headache. And a virulent microorganism can overcome a healthy immune system. Physical discomfort can have a strictly physical source.

But, more often than we imagine, a change in our consciousness translates into physical suffering. And vice versa, a change of consciousness can help us transform our body and become healthy.

Here’s something I’m betting you’d never guess. Our cancer patients often tell us that their cancer is the best thing that ever happened to them.

They feel the disease was given to them as a springboard for evolving into a deeper spiritual awareness, and as a powerful motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle, so that they can find more joy into their lives.

There’s a spiritual principle that I truly believe. It says: “All that is given to us is meant to encourage our evolution into wiser, more powerful, more loving beings.” 

As part our transformation, disease may often fill the role of a wise teacher.

Seeing disease as a teacher might involve taking a fresh approach, by stepping back a bit and looking at it with a somewhat more detached curiosity, instead of identifying with the disease and claiming it as our own.

When we become too strongly identified with a disease, it tends to intensify the symptoms and prevent us from moving away from the diseased state.

Immersed in the pain and discomfort, we compose a powerful story of suffering: “Nothing has ever helped me, and nothing ever will!” By affirming that the problem will never go away, we draw to us a consciousness that can actually prolong our suffering.

Affirming the negative and rejecting the good can have a terrible effect on our consciousness, our circumstances, and our bodies. A famous study of elderly nuns found that those who had adopted a happy, positive, life-affirming attitude lived much longer than other nuns who had trudged through their lives with a heavy sense of duty.

Just so, if we believe that our disease is incurable, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised if this belief manifests as a protracted illness. Feeling victimized by the disease just perpetuates a “victim mentality.”

To change our health, a very good first step is to change our consciousness. We must commit to a new direction, with a level of energy and willpower that will carry us all the way through to freedom from disease.

Healing requires patience and taking realistic, positive, practical steps. Transformation rarely happens overnight. But taking small steps in the right direction can give us tremendous hope.

Nature is always trying to teach us to take a positive, expansive attitude. When we align our consciousness with the healing force of nature, we draw to us tremendous support. Resources suddenly appear. We find our positive attitudes affecting our quality of life. And in the long term, we find our health improving.

The caterpillar of disease naturally transforms itself into a butterfly of freedom. If we could be completely aligned with spirit, as the saints are, our transformation could even be natural and instantaneous.

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