How to Heal Yourself – Introduction

I’ve just finished a GP locum stint in Bairnsdale and now I’ve got some time off to write. Yay! My eBook – Tools for Transformation is at the publishers and should be ready in the New Year. I’ve already started my next book, which is called How to Heal Yourself. I plan to really concentrate on it over the next few months and will have the first draft finished by February 2020. Each week I will blog about how I am going and what I am writing about. It may just be a weekly up date or if I am writing a lot it may be twice a week. 

How to Heal Yourself covers very practical ways in which any person can create the right environment to help themselves heal. Healing is a natural process yet many of us have forgotten this. I will outline lifestyle changes that anyone can make in order to be healthier. Once we create the right environment in our body, mind and spirit we enhance our healing capacity.

This doesn’t mean we don’t use conventional medicine to help in our healing; we use every resource we can find. Both conventional and complementary medicines provide therapies that help the body heal. But we can help the body even more by making lifestyle changes.

The lifestyle changes we make are not just on a physical level but also on an emotional, mental and spiritual level. As we take responsibility for our own health and healing we can transform our lives.

The changes I suggest come about from my reading about the scientific evidence of what works for people and observing over the past thirty-five years with my patients and myself what actually helps people heal. This book will be for people with any chronic health issues who want to heal themselves on a deep level. Real holistic healing that can change lives. There are no quick fixes here but if you’re willing to step up and take a look at your whole life this book will transform the way you look at life and health. 

I will write about how you can take responsibility for your own health and how you might choose between different treatments, conventional or alternative. There will be a chapter on how to release and process your emotional baggage and one on paying better attention to your thinking. I will look at how you can pay more attention to your life and your intuition and then determine what steps you need to take on your healing journey. I explore how deepening your connections with people in your life and with the earth will help you. I will look at how determining your life purpose and following your creativity can help with healing. I help you to look at your life in a holistic way so that you enhance your body’s natural healing ability.

I hope you enjoy the weekly blogs.

Stay tuned for information about receiving your free copy of Tools for Transformation.

If you would like to buy a copy of my book – Holistic Medicine, Beyond the Physical – copies are available on my website for $30 including postage in Australia.

Disclaimer. This blog is for research and entertainment purposes only. The information given in this site is not intended to replace a therapeutic practitioner relationship.

Transformation 2 – transforming the physical.

Transformation 2 – transforming the physical.

As I began to think about transforming myself it occurred to me that what I needed to do before anything else was to declutter my life. To get rid of the old before ushering in the new.

Last year I came across a beautiful little book called ‘the life changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organising’ by Marie Kondo. I read it and started to practice the art of decluttering. The basic premise is that we should surround ourselves with things that bring us joy and not hold onto stuff that no longer brings us joy. Similar to other decluttering advice – is it useful, is it beautiful, is it sentimental?

I followed the process as described by Marie and began to shed things. I shared the start of the process in a blog a year ago. I found the process difficult at times and there are many things that don’t bring me all that much joy that I am still reticent to part with but it is a process that I am determined to follow. There is a certain freedom in getting rid of stuff; we all seem to have so much of it.

Not only can I discard those physical things that no longer bring me joy but it is also good to discard behaviours and activities that no longer bring me joy. This is much harder to do.

I am aware that sometimes I try to do too much and don’t leave myself time for things like exercise, spiritual practice and writing. Instead I spend too much time looking at my phone and my emails or going to social functions that I don’t really enjoy. Or I watch meaningless stuff on television to fill in the time so I can avoid listening to my self.

At some times in our lives we all do too much so that our authentic selves become overshadowed by ‘real life’. Part of decluttering is about pruning back our activities so that we only do those things that bring us joy on some level.

My work is one thing that doesn’t always bring me joy. The other day I had a bad day at work with a very sick child. General practice can be very stressful yet there are parts of it that I really enjoy. I really enjoy the connections I get to make with people and the help that I can give them with the healing power of the relationship we build. The ability to help people transform into their true selves as they explore their illness and health is powerful medicine. Yet much of general practice is fast paced and stressful; too many patients for the day is a common problem that is difficult to overcome when you are providing a service to the community. Is there a way to declutter my practice so that it brings me more joy and less stress? I have been reflecting on this a lot and come to the conclusion that if I can be completely present for the patient then it doesn’t take so long to help them. So I practice this more.

I began with the stuff; the physical things that fill my life. I pruned back my possessions so that everything in my house brings me joy. Of course I’m not that good at doing it so as I write this I’m still surrounded by too much stuff. But I have started the process. We can begin with small steps and physically decluttering our lives is one thing we can all try. It is a process after all.

It is important in decluttering to examine each aspect of our lives and try to let go of those parts that don’t bring us the joy we deserve. We can declutter our physical stuff, our work, our social engagements, our family commitments, our leisure time and our spiritual practices. Making my life simpler helps me have more time and space to connect with my inner self and spirit.

Transformation 1 – Intention

Transformation 1 – intention.

This blog series is my effort to document the process of transformation that we might undergo in order to become whole or truly ourselves, the person we are meant to be. In order to transform consciously and purposefully we can’t just write about it or think about it. The change has to involve doing things differently, behaving differently. It has to involve action of some type.

In writing this blog I hope to not only learn how to transform myself but also help other people learn how to transform. The intention is to transform myself into a person who is more aligned with my inner self. This inner self is the essence of who we really are but often it is overshadowed by our outer persona. The persona we display to the world comes about as we are shaped by the outer physical world. We let ourselves become a person that sometimes only faintly resembles who we really are. We do so because it is easier than being true to our real self.

My intention when I started this blog was to become truer to myself, authentic, more whole. While I had discovered much about my true self in writing my first book, Holistic Medicine, it seemed that I still lived according to other people’s rules. I still paid too much attention to what society and my ego self expected of me.

Could I transform myself into the person I was meant to be without chaos, illness or drama?

And how was I going to do it?

Without knowing what the process would be I first set the intention that this is what I am going to do. The intention is set by the action of beginning to write this blog and document my progress. I trust that the process will reveal itself as I take each step and documenting it all not only helps me but potentially helps others who wish to transform themselves into more authentic people.

The reasons we are not authentic are many and varied. We tend to become less authentic when we let society or those around us dictate how we should behave. Often it is our own expectations and beliefs that trap us in a life we don’t really love. For surely being authentic is about living a life that is full of joy and love and service to the world. It is about living the life we were born to live, following our true path, our destiny.

How do we identify our true path? How do we know when we are not on it?

The simplest answer is that our true path brings us joy and when we are not on our true path we are not living with joy. Our life drains us and we are unhappy. But changing our life is often a long-term process.

In order to transform into the person I desire to be, all I have to do is align my outer self with my inner self. Of course it’s that easy! My inner self is the eternal part of me, my soul, my connection with Source (the universe, God etc.). This part of me is full of love and knows exactly what the path is. My outer self is the ego me, the mind that chatters away, often with negative thoughts and beliefs. Transforming into my authentic self is about being constantly in touch with my inner self and source. My intention is therefore to live a life in touch with source energy. Setting this intention is important. Like any process living my life in touch with source energy does not have an endpoint and it isn’t a physical outcome so much as a spiritual one.

Once upon a time my intention was to transform my life into a life full of joy and happiness and I thought the way to do this was to stop work as a doctor and become a fulltime writer. So my intention was much more focused on the physical dimensions. For years I fantasized about stopping work as a doctor and just being able to write. I changed jobs frequently trying to find something that was more joyful and fulfilling. Yet I always ended up in the same place. That was because my intention had such a physical outcome attached to it. My inner self and source were always leading, attempting to get me to follow my true path and my true path is to be authentic. Now my ego thinks it knows what that means but it doesn’t. My ego thinks my true path is to be a writer not a doctor. My ego plans and plans and focuses on outcomes that never happen. So now my intention is to live a life in touch with source energy and I can do this by aligning my inner and outer self. In this way my outer persona is a reflection of my inner self – that is what being authentic is all about.

If your intention is about physical outcomes then this blog is probably not for you. While I will go through certain steps or processes that help you transform into a more authentic person it is not a recipe for achieving specific physical goals. Our inner self knows what achievements we are capable of and the direction our lives can take. Our ego thinks it knows what we can achieve but these wished for achievements are often fantasies that society has sold to us. We are all special but often not in the way we fantasize about. When we manage to live our lives directed by our inner self and source we achieve things we never knew were possible but they may not reflect what our ego dreams of.

To set my intention with this spiritual focus of being authentic to my inner self is new for me. All those years I have been trying to be authentic I have just been trying to achieve an ego fantasy of what I believed was my authentic self. I believed that my real role in life was to be a writer not a doctor. Having set my intention to now be authentic I am now open to what my inner self and source have in mind for me – my ego does not know what that might involve but living life with the intention of being authentic opens me up to many possibilities that I may not have even entertained.

I have lived much of my life trying to follow my authentic path but this is the first time I have let go of the outcome in physical terms and set my intention in purely spiritual terms. I intend to live with my physical self aligned with inner self and spirit. Or in other words to manifest my inner self on the physical level. Let’s see how it goes.

 

 

 

Transformation – introduction

I had set out to write a book on transformation but have decided for the time being to publish it as a blog. Books take a long while to write and I am keen for some feedback on the topic while I am exploring the process.

My life has been a series of transformations. This is true for most people and especially for those of us interested in personal and spiritual development. Many of our transformations are brought about by suffering or tragedy. Events that happen that jolt us out of our daily grind and make us realize there is more to life than we had been living. Positive experiences can also cause us to undergo transformation – the birth of a child, falling in love, landing the perfect job, or meeting a special friend.

Often we let our lives pass in this way; waiting for change and transformation to arise out of our life’s events. What if we were to actively embrace change and transformation? What if we were to decide to transform ourselves on a day to day basis in order to become a better person? Of course this is the basis of personal and spiritual development and there are many traditions that recommend such an approach. Choosing to actively transform ourselves into the person we were meant to be. Becoming more authentic. Allowing our soul and inner self to be reflected in our outer persona and our life story.

This is what I propose to explore in this blog series. Choosing to transform. Choosing to grow and change into a better version of ourselves. This version is already present within us but it takes some work to allow our outer persona to be in alignment with our inner self.

My first book Holistic Medicine put forward a model that we can use to understand ourselves better. Holistic Medicine sought to provide people with a way to grow through chaos and transform and heal themselves. This blog begins with the assumption that instead of waiting for chaos or other events to transform us we can choose to transform ourselves consciously.

Whilst I believe that chaos is a natural process that leads to transformation it is often uncomfortable and causes a lot of suffering. What if we could grow and learn and transform without having to suffer so much? Why not choose that path?

If chaos happens in order that we transform into something new can we avoid some of the chaos if we choose to be open to transformation all the time? Rather than waiting for chaos and suffering can we be open to change on an ongoing basis?

Transformation comes about as we bring our inner and outer selves into line so that our inner self is expressed. Our ego shrinks and our inner self or spirit grows and becomes manifest in the physical world. We become who we are meant to be and live authentic lives. We heal our fragmentation and become whole.

The process of chaos has been described in my first book but essentially it is a nonlinear process that cannot be controlled; the outcome is never predetermined and it can take us anywhere. Once we find ourselves in a chaotic process we have no control and have to rely on our inner self to bring us to the outcome. The transformation that we undergo can happen on an unconscious level but as we become more aware of our inner self and its connection to spirit we transform on a more conscious level. I believe that as we become even more aware of our inner self we can choose to undergo the transformative processes without the need for so much chaos and suffering. We can choose to grow in a spiritual sense through the power of our desire to do so. But we may have to learn how to do this.

This is what this blog series is about. Learning how to grow spiritually by choosing to do so. Let’s choose to grow and transform without waiting for life to bring it to us in the form of suffering. Let’s choose to transform into our higher self where our physical self is aligned with our spiritual self and we are whole.

 

 

Skills for living an authentic life 5

One of the most important skills for living authentically is to follow our passions. If we fail to do so then we leave part of our inner self unfulfilled and unexpressed. It’s like hiding part of ourselves away and not showing the world who we truly are. Our passions and our inner callings reveal much about our authentic self and they demand that we pay attention.

Many people are not sure what their passions are but when once a passion gets hold of you there is no doubt about its power to change. And it’s never restricted to one thing. There is the passion that grabs hold of you when you fall in love, the passion that grips you when you have a baby or start a new job or a new project. Some passions are obviously creative projects but many people discover passion in sport or outdoor activities. The range of passions that can be followed is unlimited. The important thing is not to ignore the calling.

For many years I ignored the call to write; I would dabble with various projects but never fully commit to them. It wasn’t until one of my best friends died that I realised I needed to follow the call and commit more fully to writing. I actually quit my job and spent the next year writing, and farming alpacas. I allowed the passion to take hold of me and I followed my intuition. It led to the beginning of my first book Holistic Medicine. I ended up returning to General practice, which is a nice balance to my writing because patients teach me so much more about life and healing. I still try to write as much as I can especially when the urge is really pushing me to do so.

Of course I have other passions in my life that I try to pay attention to such as my relationships, the garden and sustainability, walking in the bush, reading and thinking. And I am always open to a new passion taking hold of me. This is important in living authentically – to listen to our inner callings and respond to them. They come from spirit and our inner self and they open us up to possibilities that we don’t necessarily see when our focus is on the everyday.

For those people who don’t feel they have any passion in their life it is important to recapture that feeling of direction and drive that passions bring. Try to recall how you felt when you were gripped by some project and imagine what new things might inspire you. Be open to change as this often brings about new opportunities. Remember all those things that you have been passionate about in the past and resurrect some of them that you feel inspired to revisit. Use your intuition to explore new possibilities for passion and joy. When you are inspired to begin something new don’t let the everyday obligations stand in your way. Always spend time doing what you love and what brings you joy. It doesn’t have to be grand or world changing it just has to be yours. Listen to your inner self.

 

Disclaimer. This web site is for research and entertainment purposes only. The information given in this site is not intended to replace a therapeutic practitioner relationship.

Skills for living an authentic life 2

This week, in the second blog of the authentic life skills series, I am going to write about being aware of our physical body. For me there are two main aspects of awareness. The first is the actual physicality of our body and the second is the spiritual dimension of our physical body. By paying attention to both our physical needs and the spiritual messages that relate to our symptoms and illnesses we can learn to live more authentic lives. Our inner self is sending us messages by way of our physical body and as we learn how to pay better attention we learn more about our selves and what we need to be healthy and whole.

We sometimes forget that we have a physical body that we need to look after. We eat too much of the wrong foods or we drink too much alcohol or use drugs or we put too many toxins in our body or we don’t get enough sleep or we don’t keep our body active. Our body will generally tell us when it isn’t happy but only if we’re listening and paying attention. Sometimes we push our body beyond what is healthy for it but our body will give us messages that things are not right. We need to get used to paying close attention to our body and its messages.

These messages show us how we might treat our selves better by eating good foods, getting enough rest, doing enough activity or exercise and avoiding toxins and pollutants. The messages also often have a spiritual message that we can interpret through our intuition or with the help of intuitive healers. I have mentioned some books previously and my favourite is The Body is the Barometer of the Soul, by Annette Noontil. With this book we can decipher what our physical symptoms mean on a spiritual level.

Recently I have been suffering a bit of vertigo, something I experience intermittently. This episode is relatively mild but lasting longer than usual. It makes me feel off balance and slightly dizzy. Without looking at any books I can tell something is out of balance in my life. Maybe I am not grounded, a bit floaty and probably I’m not looking after myself properly.

I dip into Annette’s book and it tells me that vertigo is about not taking personal time for yourself. It says I am going round in circles and not being organised for the straight path, that I need more inflow of insights for what to do next and that I should make a solid direction for self. Of course this is all very apt because I have been writing my book on transformation and exploring the concepts of going with the flow and not focusing on outcomes. Obviously my body is telling me I need to ground myself more and make solid directions and be more organized on my path.

I look at another book by Inna Segal, called The Secret Language of the Body, and it tells me that vertigo is about feeling unstable, out of balance, ungrounded. It is to do with difficulty accepting things as they are and going round and round in circles, not being sure how to make changes or what direction to take. While I don’t like to admit it this sounds like what is going on in my life. I have only recently moved to a new job near Phillip Island and I love the location but am finding the work has the same frustrations as all my previous jobs. I am feeling unstable because I am living in two places neither of which is permanent and have just spent three weeks in a holiday house while working in the very busy tourist season. No wonder I’m off balance. I have begun the process of paying better attention to the physical symptoms and need to make some changes. I need to ground myself more and make some decisions on the direction of my life. By the sound of it, it would be good for me to stop going round in circles in my life and settle on a firm direction. Of course there are other things to pay attention to like my intuition but paying attention to the physical body gives me information about what my inner self is trying to tell me.

It is in this way that we can become more aware of what our inner self needs by paying close attention to our symptoms. We can look at the various physical ways that we might not be looking after ourselves and address these. Then we can go deeper and look at the spiritual meaning behind our symptoms. If we address both the physical and spiritual needs the symptoms often resolve and we can find a greater understanding of our true self.

 

Disclaimer. This web site is for research and entertainment purposes only. The information given in this site is not intended to replace a therapeutic practitioner relationship

Skills for living an authentic life 1

Well it’s 2017 and time for new beginnings and changes. We all like to think about making changes to our lives at this time of year but so often we don’t follow through on our resolutions. What if our one resolution was simply to be better at expressing our true self? I have been writing some of my new book on Transformation and I have been thinking a lot about how people might be more authentic and true to their inner selves. For most of us this is a journey of discovery about who we really are and who we want to be in the world. Living authentically may seem a bit of a new age cliché but a lack of living authentically is what causes many of the problems in society and many of our personal problems. We are trying to be some version of ourselves that is not who we really are. When we can be the version of ourselves that is truly who we are then life falls into place. Yet we often don’t pay attention to the skills we need to live authentically. Over the next month I am going to discuss at least seven skills that help us live a more authentic life and they are –

  1. Dealing with our emotions
  1. Being aware of our physical body
  1. Dealing with our mind
  1. Listening to our intuition
  1. Following our passions
  1. Cultivating our community
  1. Appreciating nature

Today’s skill is dealing with our emotions.

Young children are usually in touch with their emotions; they feel sad they cry, they feel angry and they yell and throw a tantrum, they feel happy and they laugh. Yet society doesn’t feel comfortable with such overt displays of emotion so most of us are taught that some emotions are not acceptable. We are taught not to cry when we feel sad because it is a display of weakness, that it is not okay to feel anger much less act it out, that even laughter and happiness are not always appropriate. We are taught to bottle up our feelings in many different ways. What happens when we are taught to suppress and deny our emotions isn’t that the emotion disappears but rather the emotion simmers beneath the surface and can erupt if the conditions are right.

Most of us know the feeling of anger building as small frustrations mount up into big frustrations and anger boils over. Instead if we allow our anger to be felt and let the feeling permeate our being we can begin to understand what the feeling is about. As we feel the anger we begin to learn about what is causing it. Maybe it is an injustice that we need to speak up about, or maybe we are allowing people to control us, or maybe we need to change something about ourselves. Emotions are not useless inconveniences they are one way our inner self lets us know when things are going well or not so well.

Feeling our emotions is not always easy especially if they are emotions that have been labeled as bad or wrong at some time in our life. We sometimes have to just sit with our feelings and emotions as they bubble up inside us but if we let ourselves feel them they rarely hang around for very long. As we feel them we can usually become aware of their message. So-called negative emotions are a signal that something is not right. Positive emotions signal that things are on track and that we are following our path. When we experience a lot of negative emotions it is good to pay better attention to them; to actively sit with them and feel them. Usually when we sit with them we discover deeper meanings that encourage us to change things – either the situation or our reaction to a situation or something about ourselves.

There are many ways we try to avoid feelings – we drink alcohol, use drugs, work too hard, project our anger onto other people, gamble too much or sometimes we just pretend that everything is fine and put on a happy face. Instead of avoiding our feelings it is wise to simply sit with them, allow them to have their way with us and experience them more fully. This doesn’t mean acting them out but rather allowing them to move through us. If we have a lot of trouble doing this then sometimes it is wise to see a counselor or psychologist to learn better strategies. I have written more about dealing with emotions in my book Holistic Medicine but there are other books around that have been written primarily on the subject that may be useful, such as Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Whatever way you choose to learn more about your emotional self it will help you discover things about your inner self that help you on the path to becoming more authentic.

In my next blog of this series I will discuss how we can be more aware of our physical body.

 

Disclaimer. This web site is for research and entertainment purposes only. The information given in this site is not intended to replace a therapeutic practitioner relationship.