Which Direction?

I always wanted to be a nurse, from an early age I was given a uniform, hat and stethoscope. My panda bear was always ill, I would inject him with my pretend syringe of medicine; he always recovered.

Years later I qualified as a registered general nurse; having learnt about disorders/diseases and the treatments/surgeries to resolve them. 

I spent most of my nursing career within Intensive Care Unit, both here and the USA. It was whilst working within this area of speciality I started to think that recovery may not completely due to the care and treatment the patient received.  I saw miraculous recoveries that defied belief and witnessed the opposite. There had to be something else at play here, something else that was out of the healthcare professionals’ control.

Within the healthcare system, the patient is seen by a member of the medical profession according to their area of expertise, e.g. cardiology (heart) dermatology (skin) orthopaedics (bones and joints) etc.  As human beings aren’t we so much more than a body?  As a human being, we are a whole person, not a collection of organs that work independently. 

We are mind body and spirit;
therefore shouldn’t we be treated as such rather than focusing upon the offending body system?

Let’s look at obesity.  We are told by professionals that we are eating the wrong foods, eating too much, not exercising enough, that we have to follow a diet and exercise plan to lose weight. The type of diet we should be following has changed as the science has changed.  Calorie counting is no longer in vogue, saturated fat; the cause of coronary heart disease may not be the devil food we were led to believe,  carbohydrates;  the current food group that has to be limited if we want to lose weight.

Whilst all of this might be true it only focuses on the food and not on the reasons why we eat.  The dieting industry focuses on changing what we eat by following a recommended diet plan.  We cannot resolve a problem with the thinking that caused the problem in the first place. In other words; we think that our diet is the problem so we change our diet.  The problem is not our diet but the behaviour that caused us to eat in the first place.  

What we should be asking ourselves is not what we eat but WHY we eat?  

The body is not the problem; the body is telling us there is a problem.

As a dieter for many years I know what is healthy for my body. I know that if I eat too much bread I will feel bloated the next day and that drinking more than three glasses of red will result in a headache.  Yet despite everything I learnt I could not follow a diet for any length of time to sustain any of the weight I had lost.

I am now a recovered dieter but it took 37 years to realise that I was looking in the wrong direction.

The body is complex, with multiple systems to maintain balance and wellbeing.  Leave it to its own devices, listen to the messages it gives you and all will be well. Hunger, taste and satiety are the messages the body provides to inform us when to eat, what you eat and when to stop. Yet many of us don’t recognise these messages any more, let alone respond to them.  We have overridden the body messages resulting in a body problem that did not originate in the body.  And we continue to override the body messages by following a diet. We ignore our body at our peril and blame our body for the way we have treated it.

There is no judgment here. I have judged myself and my body more than anyone.

We are mind body and spirit. Becoming overweight is not the result of our body malfunctioning, it is from ignoring the body messages,  suppressing our feelings, getting caught up in our thinking, and forgetting the spiritual side of our being.

How do we get in touch with spiritual messages? Through insight, when we stop intellectual reasoning to receive internal wisdom. This is when transformational change begins.

As a registered nurse I knew that we did not treat the patient as a whole, yet I believed in the medical model for recovery.

I know see that when we look to the body as a reflection of our mind, and our spiritual awareness for the answer we are complete.  We are not broken.    

Published date: September 2, 2019

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