“The hidden contexts from which we live determine what we see and what we don’t see; what we consider and what we fail to notice; what we are able to do and what seems beyond our reach. In this view, all behavior – all ways of being and acting – are correlated to the context(s) from which we live our lives…” ~ Landmark Forum course syllabus
I hate swallowing pills…gulp/swallow…I hate swallowing pills…gulp/swallow. My daily routine revolved around the many supplements I was taking daily, and I complained bitterly to a friend. “And if you are hating each pill,” Cindy said, “how effective do you think they will be for your body, given that energy follows thought?” That abruptly stopped me in my very negative thought track. The context was negative and dis-empowering.
Okay, context is decisive…what can I create? I decided to shift my context to kindness so that each pill I swallowed was an act of kindness towards my body and my immune system. At that particular point in time I had the opportunity to be ‘kind’ to my body about 80 times per day. And yes, it took a bit of practice to really experience it as kindness, in fact, about two weeks of practice.
During my many hours of couch time I took an inventory of acts of kindness to myself in the past. Hmmmm….fail! With my inherited athletic genes I had thoroughly enjoyed competing in many sports, for decades, training hard but rarely nourishing or resting my body appropriately. There was no kindness, just demands upon demands and expectations of performance.
There was a new experience now, softer and gentler, and through my symptoms it was becoming a more prominent experience than the misery.
Funny how we have to learn our lessons repeatedly and in different ways. I have always had a love for chiropractic care, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I landed up in two chiropractic practices that were very specifically wellness practices. Care was provided inside of a wellness model rather than a sickness model. I had the opportunity to be steeped in a wellness education (balanced diet, stress relief, adrenal support, detoxing, neurological system maintenance) and to shift the context I had around health care. And while I was very enthusiastic about the wellness model, there is a difference between knowing something well and actually putting that knowledge into practice under one’s own steam.
There were some days this year when, completely unexpectedly, I awoke feeling totally normal, healthy, energetic…surprised!! They came out of the blue and vanished after a day or two. From these experiences I know that wellness is inside of me.
My health experience shows up somewhere on the wellness spectrum, some days closer to the high end, some days closer to the low end…but either way, it’s a level of wellness that I experience. If I am floundering in the lower end of the spectrum there are things I know to do to improve my ‘rating’. And of course, there are days I subject myself to a sickness context. The difference now is that I am clear that I create that context and subsequent experience.
And so the journey continues, reminding myself that I create the context for my life, because it IS decisive. It is easy to do when I’m feeling pretty well, and a real challenge when some symptom(s) or another is highly activated! The true color of my context is revealed when my feathers are ruffled. That’s when it pays to have people around who hold me accountable for my life experience…and yup, sometimes that is just incredibly annoying…but ultimately they are the best friends I could have. They push me back onto my own two feet, leaving it up to me as to whether I create wellness, kindness and self-responsibility for myself or not. The choice is mine.
(This post dedicated with gratitude to Dr. Lawrence Stern and Dr. Mitch Gordon – wellness chiropractors, both providing experiences, education and support that have been for my higher good)