Do You Have Time to Heal??
Written by Karen in Spring 2009
Basic to all my teaching and writing is the idea of balancing tendencies toward “degenerative disease” with the renewing effects of “regenerative ease.” When my children were young we used to go to stay in cottages on Cape Cod that were owned in the 19th century by a large corporation which kept the cottages for the rest and renewal of its employees. Has your employer sent you on a rest and renewal retreat lately?
I’m guessing that the answer is no. Especially with the economy so tight and people often working more than one job….if they’re lucky enough to be working at all..in order to pay their bills, the trend is that we have to wear out and fall apart before we are stopped in our tracks and have to take some kind of better care for ourselves. Then the problem is…do we have time to be sick? Do we have time to take the time that it would really take to renew our health…or do we take a treatment that may improve our immediate symptoms…but not replenish the underlying problem or need that led to the serious condition. The second option would comprise what I call “healing”. It involves getting at underlying causes such as stress, dietary deficiencies or excesses, lack of exercise, toxic indoor or outdoor environment, and many other factors that tend to make us sick. In work place and home we are almost always under pressure to be “on” all the time. Imagine if we were able to regularly hang out a “do not disturb” sign, literally and figuratively… and be silent, calm and even meditative for periods of time. This is not a irrelevant fantasy…it is basic to the maintenance of well being. Now that times are particularly stressful, it is even more important that we make some time to take better care of ourselves.
It’s interesting that the sanatoriums of earlier centuries offered “the cure” for serious diseases like tuberculosis..by offering rest, good food, hydrotherapy and other elemental non technological support for peoples’ bodies which gave them a chance to heal themselves. Today’s spas tend to be more trendy and product driven with lots of services offered, but not always operating or affordable at the level of simply offering a place to BE while healing happens.
We all need healing time. As part of a movement to redefine our health culture we can adopt practices which honor our bodies’ needs for regenerative ease. We can allow ourselves to be bored and to do NOTHING while we rest and renew. We can free ourselves from the excesses of food practices which fill us with empty calories, refined sugars, heavy animal fats, and allow our bodies to clear out toxins and tiredness.
A really fundamental question to ask yourself is: Do you believe in healing?? Do you believe that most people..given the right circumstances and resources, can have health and well being and live free from sickness, pain and fatigue. This includes serious disease. I’ve found that many people actually don’t believe that this is possible. They have been tricked into thinking they have to “live with” relative states of dis-ease. Watch TV ads for a few hours and assess the assumptions made there about common health problems.
I know how busy everyone is these days, but I also know how many hours of television the average family watches and how much time is spent on computers, games and other screen entertainment.
As we talk of renewing the economy, we can think of renewing our personal health and time economy by making time for quiet, relaxation, stretching, silence, meditation, regular time.for real renewal and re-generation of our nervous systems..our immune systems..of all aspects of body and mind.
Please notice the trends in your life that are really about heading toward sickness before you make time for yourself…and then take that time now for healing. This is a matter of faith in a fundamental human capacity for health.