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Empowered Living

Reclaiming the Vis:  Not all “obstacles” can be removed at times.  It is therefore important to also take personal responsibility and to remain in our power and integrity.  When we realize that we have an inherent potential and wisdom, and no longer give our power away, we begin to see changes from within.  And once we change from within, things around us inevitably begin to change as well.  We can reclaim the Vis by breaking free of the victim role and by “being the prescription, instead of the description” (Char Sundust).

Another vital aspect of strengthening the Vis is becoming whole again.  It is about mending together all of the fragmented, forgotten, lost, or suppressed parts of ourselves back into our being, back into consciousness.  Sometimes these parts of ourselves were suppressed because they were too embarrassing or frightening.  Sometimes a part of ourselves simply gets neglected due to the busyness of life.  Other times we lose ourselves in relationships and compromise what we love and enjoy for the sake of another.  And there are times when we give our power away out of naivety and habit, such as believing that doctors or other authority figures always know what is best for us.

Regardless of what the stifling event was or is, it is important to take back the power from whatever is not serving you any longer.  When we take back the power to become whole again, the Vis begins to awaken and thrive.  There may have been a time when it was necessary

Reclaiming the Vis:  Not all “obstacles” can be removed at times.  We cannot necessarily overhaul our healthcare system overnight for example.    It is therefore important to also take personal responsibility and to remain in your power and integrity.  When we realize that we have an inherent potential and wisdom, and no longer give our power away, we begin to see changes from within.  And once we change from within, things around us inevitably begin to change as well.  We can reclaim the Vis by breaking free of the victim role and by “being the prescription, instead of the description” (Char Sundust).

Shifting the Paradigm of Health

During my first year of studying Naturopathic medicine we were introduced to and discussed the concept of paradigm shifts.  Reflecting over the past four years my views and understanding of medicine, health, and healing, has dramatically shifted.  Like most things in our society, our knowledge and understanding of the world is significantly influenced by those with power.  We become immersed and socialized to thinking and believing things that reinforce the status quo, so to speak.  The medical institution is a prime example of this, particularly the pharmaceutical industry.

The predominant paradigm of understanding health has been through identifying, preventing, and treating disease.  Through this lens of understanding health through disease, we inevitably get trapped in the cycle of disease–there is no way out, besides through the hands of “professionals.”  This model ultimately leaves us feeling powerless, as disease is only something that professionals can manage and treat.

Consider the example of a diseased plant.  A plant that has a low vital force is more susceptible to pathogens and getting a disease.  There are generally two approaches.  We can spray pesticides and fungicides and whatever other -cides on the plant to get rid of the disease.  We can also feed the soil of the plant with antibiotics to ensure eradication of bacteria.  This is the way we process and cultivate our produce and food and approach our health today.  The idea is that the world is a dangerous, unpredictable, chaotic environment not to be trusted.  The other approach would be to ensure good nutrients and factors that promote strength in the plant.  With adequate nutrients the plant is able to mount a proper response to foreign pathogens.  The force field of the plant, so to speak, becomes strong in a way that foreign pathogens cannot penetrate through and attack.  The plant is able to produce particular defenses and equip itself to fending off disease.  This scenario happens to be the case.  Most of the soil supporting crops is severely nutrient depleted.  With this nutrient depletion, comes a vulnerable state of being attacked and infiltrated with disease.

Nonetheless, doctors are geared towards symptom management, rather than treating the cause of symptoms.  One of the principles of Naturopathic medicine is Tolle Causam, or discover and treat the cause.  Symptoms are just a way of the body trying to communicate that there is an imbalance; it is not the problem itself.

The predominant way of thinking about treating the cause unfortunately, has been based on the model of disease, that there is something that needs to be eradicated.  This can vary from disease to disease, whether it is a pathogen or toxin, but it is ultimately the cause of the disease.  This idea is similar to the idea of the War on Drugs.  We think that the drugs are the cause of all of our problems, so we do everything to try to prevent the production and distribution of drugs.  My belief is that we are not necessarily getting to the root of the problem; why do people resort to drugs in the first place?  How can we help improve their life and well being so that drugs aren’t such a driving force?  Similarly, cigarettes do contribute to health issues, but it is not necessarily the underlying cause.  What is the driving force that causes people to continue smoking (besides nicotine addiction)?  Cigarettes often fulfill some kind of underlying need as well.  Furthermore, it is the relationship people have with particular substances that lead to abuse and health issues.

How can we take the power back and begin to have more personal responsibility for our health and well being?  What will it take for us to believe in and awaken to our own inherent potential and wisdom?   What are the things that actually help foster vitality, motivation, and empowerment?

Sometimes we might not even be able to find the cause.

How do we motivate and empower others to want to change their life, to improve their health?  The current model of motivating others is largely based on fear.

It does little good to tell someone that they need to eat healthier, to stop smoking, and to get more exercise, for example, if they are not motivated or have the resources to do so.  Besides, most people already know what they need to change.

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