Do you ever wonder how life can get so out of balance? It occurs to me that we just wake up one day feeling miserable, feeling like we do not know who we are anymore and really not understanding how we got to this point. Sort of like driving home from work and pulling into the driveway, but not remembering any of the stoplights, other cars or even the turns along the way. It is a dangerous business, not being aware (also known as “being present”) because it is in that state of distraction, where we can begin to wander off the path of balance and harmony, and directly into misery. That lack of attention is precisely why we end up feeling like we are totally “out of options”.
The good news is you do have options - being aware or present to the fact that you are out of balance is both the key, and the first step back to the “You” that “You” want to be. Awareness can come about in a multitude of ways; hopefully, it will not be the “universal baseball bat upside the head” in the form of a diagnosis. In my 25 years+ of experience treating patients, beginning with allied health, and now complementary/integrative medicine, the “diagnosis wakeup call” is the most profound, and seemingly most motivating of them all. My practice specialty is prevention, prevention from reaching the distracted “zombie” state, and prevention of the subsequent disease/disorder states that provide the devastating wakeup calls.
You might be asking yourself, “So how does one attain the awareness required to create a strategic plan of prevention?” First, you must be in tune with your body, and take the time to listen to what it is saying. Your body will actually tell you everything you need to know about how it is doing, and what it needs. You just have to pay attention.
One of the biggest challenges in being able to hear or notice what our bodies are telling us is the modern world we live in, and our obsession with pseudo connectivity. Technological advances are destroying humans’ connection with the earth and nature. We are so wrapped up in checking our IM’s, texts, tweets and emails that we forget to take a walk, kayak, go camping, or simply visit the beach. These self-imposed restrictions create a barrier to the very force that feeds our essence, that force is nature and the earth. There is a beneficial field of medicine aptly named Naturopathy, and its entire focus is on this very theory. Human existence requires life to be outside connecting with the grass, sand, water, and mountains. We are not a part of nature, we are nature. Outside activities allow our bodies and minds to recharge our very essence. They are integral in allowing ourselves the ability to hear our bodies speak clearly.
Another important way we can become more aware is to quiet the mind. This can be experienced through practicing meditation. A quieted mind is a peaceful body, and vice versa. After years of practicing the art of meditation, one can literally walk through the greatest of chaos, and remain at peace. If you haven’t tried mediation, even starting with a mindfulness practice, where you spend less than five minutes per day mediating will create a dramatic effect. There is a great amount of research supporting the beneficial effects of meditation on the brain and body.
My point is you only need to do three things to begin the process of self-awakening:
1. Reduce the time you spend with technology driven connectivity.
2. Reconnect with nature! Go outside! Spend time on the ground, in the water or on top of a mountain.
3. Begin to practice meditation even if it’s only quiet breathing one minute per day.
These three concepts will begin the process of coming back to the “You” that “You” want to be. What better time to start anew than right now, with a New Year? So begin where you are now, and see where it is you want to be next year this time.
Remember I am right here with you, and maybe we’ll run into each other on the beach!
Happy New Year!
To start on your path back to you, call 941-951-1119 to book your complimentary meet and greet with me. I'm here to help!
Christina Captain, DAOM (C), MSHN
Christina Captain is a nationally board certified (NCCAOM) acupuncture physician and the director of integrative medicine at the Family Healing Center which she founded in 2000. In 2014, she earned a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, CT and is currently a candidate for the Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with a specialty in Pain management & Integrative Medicine. To make an appointment call 941.951.1119 or get more information at www.familyhealingcenter.com.