November 2018 Whole Woman Newsletter
Life, Death, and Health - When We are Afraid to Die, We are Afraid to Live
The Natural Way
In looking back over my adult life, I have always been drawn to nature. In my early years, I lived in some astonishingly beautiful places in rural northern Arizona, California, and Minnesota.
The classic book Diet for a Small Planet, which Lanny gave me in my early 20s, spoke to me deeply about the unsustainability of the standard American diet on which I was raised. So there is no question that natural ways are my bias.
But as I continue to dig through the amazing science being developed while pursuing the nuggets that are of real value to women, I find my faith in the intrinsic qualities of nature constantly reinforced.
Is the Whole Woman work just a product of my bias toward the natural way? I don’t believe so.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a world in which the traditional role of reportage is under continuous attack, both verbally and in far too many countries physically. The established powers do not like others poking in the closets where their secrets are hidden.
Some of this criticism of the media they have brought on themselves by not acknowledging their biases. However, biases are one thing, questioning verifiable facts are quite another.
While I have my biases toward natural ways of living, there are definite facts to support my point of view.
I realize a lot of people wish our bodies were like our cars. Prolapse, hip pain, incontinence? No problem. Head to the repair shop for a quick (if not cheap) fix. But the undeniable reality is that the medical system’s “fixes” do not work the way a mechanic can effectively repair our cars.
If there were reliable, safe, and effective surgeries or other treatments for these conditions, I would heartily recommend them.
But the truth is, no such “quick fixes” exist.
Furthermore, medicine is a “practice” after all. Medicine is certainly informed and shaped by science, but it is also a business, which means medicine is informed and shaped at least equally by money. Big money.
And money, as useful as it may be for facilitating commerce, is at its root amoral. It attaches no values to itself except acquisition of more money. The result is that humanity, with its endless capacity to manufacture realities to justify our actions, creates all manner of damage and suffering in the world in pursuit of more money.
The medical system is a living laboratory of this truth. Yes, I criticize the medical system frequently because I see medical decisions being made in the system, not to alleviate suffering or guide people toward true health and healing, but to institutionalize terribly destructive processes and procedures because they are highly profitable.
Money and medicine are inextricably tangled, a fact that the medical system dares not acknowledge, because doing so would profoundly undermine the public perception they have carefully crafted over the past century as caretakers of humanity’s well being.
There are two tragedies here. First is the terrible damage the medical system inflicts on others, mostly women. And secondly, the smart, capable, well-meaning, and hard working people who are drawn to medicine to be of real service to their fellow humans find themselves trapped in a system skewed by the profit motive.
This is true not only for those who have the exalted doctorate degree after their names, but also for the armies of women and men who faithfully show up to work every day, and who carry out the many unglamorous, often tedious, and stressful work of caring for and housing the sick and dying.
As I have said many times, if you get hit by a bus, they are miracle workers. No doubt about it. But for chronic conditions, or deeper, more subtle conditions like cancer, the biases of medical methods are very suspicious.
In part, medicine plays on a primal fear in humans…fear of death. The conventional view of death is the end of existence, with all the terrifying implications. Out of this primal fear, countless religions have arisen to provide followers with “answers” to the question of what happens after we die. Particularly with diseases like cancer, the underlying assumption of treatment is that the worst treatment is preferable to death.
Ironically, as the many thousands of women and men have reported from their “near-death experiences”, those who have clinically died and later revivified, death is clearly a doorway. We do not lose our experience of existence.
The reality is that death is much harder on the living than the dying. It is those who are left behind that must cope with their loss, the dislocation of their lives, plans, and hopes.
It’s not as if any of us will escape death. I saw so much of this dynamic back in my days as a hospice nurse. Families would gather around a beloved granny or grandpa and implore them not to leave, despite the suffering of the dying patriarch or matriarch. Why do we not encourage those who have reached the end of their time, “Go, go! Be free of this world of suffering?”
Death means change in the lives of the living. We all resist change despite the fact that change is the only common denominator of this reality we inhabit.
Central to health, physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual is being open to change. This requires paying attention to what is going on around us, letting go of those habits, beliefs, and reality constructs that we have embraced, and being willing to face life with fresh eyes and no preconceptions.
What makes this difficult is fear. Fear is the process motivating us to hang on to what we have, to what we have always known, and insulating us from discovering that which is evolving around us.
I find it interesting that the term “cowardice” has a very narrow interpretation, usually fear of physical confrontation. But how is ordering one’s life around fear any different? Whether the fear is of economic change or dislocation, cultural evolution, or loss of a loved one, how are these fundamentally different?
Each results in our need to adapt, change, and evolve. The “death grip” with which humanity holds on to what it has always known inhibits our ability to become, to grow, to evolve in our awareness and compassion. I certainly have had to learn these truths for myself.
Transcending fear of death is the foundation of health. This shift of awareness and motivation suddenly illuminates a foundational bias in the institution of medicine. All death is bad, any alternative, no matter how painful, difficult, expensive, or the level of suffering necessary for the patient to endure, is the only acceptable alternative.
When I left medical nursing for hospice, it was in the hope that I would find more sanity than I had experienced as charge nurse on a busy medical/surgical floor of a major local hospital.
I was deeply disappointed. I would often come home in tears at the degradation and suffering of these poor patients, who once they had been irredeemably carved up, poisoned, and irradiated were sent to hospice, the junk yard of the medical system, to die.
Yes, I have a bias toward the natural. But that bias is based on the thousands of research studies I have digested, my years of experience with the medical system, and a lifetime of thought about life’s big questions.
The data clearly point to the fact that every cell in our body is infused with astonishing intelligence. Our ecosystem is populated with both microbial friends and enemies, and like in all relationships, cultivating a welcoming and supportive environment for our friends encourages them to stay around and enrich our lives.
In the mindless pursuit of money, humanity has done horrifying damage to the only home we will ever know, our spectacular Mother Earth, our ultimate source of health.
Whole Woman News
Joy of Menopause
Each month we release a primary video followed by weekly secondary, shorter videos with a more practical application focus. The themes for each month are -
- All Health Begins in the Mouth
- Bones of Contention - Strong Bones, No Drugs
- Melanoma is an Estrogen-Dependent Disease
- The Myth of BRCA Genes and the Untold Story of Breast Cancer
- Prevent Dementia and Revitalize Your Aging Brain
- Conquer Insomnia and Cool Hot Flashes
- Vaginal Atrophy and Closing of the Flower
- Healthy Heart, Happy Life
- Soaring Spirit and Endless Becoming
We just released the third primary video (Part 3) and the first of the secondary videos for this month (Part 3A).
The preparation for each of these primary videos involves diving into research literature, which is fascinating. There is so much astonishing science being done, which is just not making its way into the public awareness, primarily because much of it is funded by drug companies, whose sole interest is how they can make more money selling new drugs.
It is a joy to hunt through the literature for the real story hidden below the veneer that scientists have to put on their findings to keep their paymasters happy. The conclusions consistently point to natural solutions to health challenges.
One study I just found explains that every cell in your body (thats ten trillion give or take) undergoes 20,000 repairs on itself every day and some sources even suggest a million! While this mind boggling statistic is almost impossible to absorb, it certainly points to the power of our amazing bodies to heal, and therefore how critical creating the conditions for health really is.
I’m confident you’ll find the secondary videos for this month practical and useful.
If you haven’t joined the Joy of Menopause yet, the videos are “dripped” into your account automatically over a period of nine months. The rationale for this approach is simple…the program includes 45 videos, nine primaries and 36 secondaries. It’s just too much information to absorb all at once.
And after all, menopause is with us for about a third of our lives, which suggests that much more in-depth education about the transition than we get either growing up or from the medical system is very important, and also that we have time to assimilate that education.
If you didn’t take advantage of the pre-production introduction for the Joy of Menopause, I hope you will take another look. Here’s the link - https://whole-woman.thinkific.com/courses/joy-of-menopause
First Aid for Knees
We shot the first module of this important course yesterday and it should be released by Monday.
Until I suffered a knee problem myself, I had no idea how prevalent the problem is, particularly in women, and, not surprisingly, how destructive traditional medical interventions are.
It’s a big subject and in the five modules of the video course I will break the problems and solutions down into manageable chunks. My research into knees has only reinforced my appreciation of the wisdom of self-care, the foundation for all the Whole Woman work.
Yes, there is still time to apply for practitioner training. Whether you take the training to enhance an existing practice of some kind, or are changing course in your personal or professional life, Whole Woman Practitioner Training is an opportunity.
If expanding your personal or professional horizons draws you, or deepening your knowledge of the miraculous body you inhabit, Practitioner Training will accomplish both.
A note of warning…we have many beliefs programmed into us in our early years. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what we know that gets us into trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” If you are ready to absorb a new way of seeing health and life, Whole Woman Practitioner Training will feel like home to you.
And the course takes time, effort, and work. But the sense of accomplishment and empowerment to have real impact on your own health and well-being, as well as the lives of the women in your community, is priceless.
If you haven’t done so, please download the information and application package at https://wholewoman.com/newpages/wwpt.html. We’ll be notified when you have filled out your online application, and Lanny will be in touch to schedule your interview with me. I hope you will join us in January for our 2019 class.
Be well, be strong, believe in yourself and trust your body. As we head into the holidays, enjoy your family and friends, but especially take time to be with yourself and experience your life in its fullness.