It happens to me more and more, every time I go to the grocery store, to Costco, to a restaurant, to the farmer’s market. I am deeply, acutely aware of how sick we are. I am appalled at the choices of what is disgustingly called “food” that we are seemingly forced to chose from. We aren’t told we have options. We aren’t told we can get better. I see more and more people staggering, stumbling to walk, with all kinds of devices hooked to them to keep them alive.
As I go out to these places and see what is all around us, I literally ask myself if this is real life. And it gets to me on a deep level. My heart hurts for how much everyone is suffering. My heart hurts for the truth that so many are not aware of, or that they ignore, or the limited beliefs that keep them from opening up to what is possible. My heart hurts for the animals being needlessly killed to become “food” that is slowly killing us (because how can we eat dead flesh and not be effected, physically, emotionally and spiritually?). My heart hurts for sick children, for those with debilitating issues where no medical doctor or expert can give them any answers, and for those who don’t know that they can take their health into their own hands because they give up their power to who they believe can help them, when no one has the answers that they need.
We are sicker than ever, we are more overweight than ever. There has never been more confusing information out there about nutrition, diet, supplements and in medical research. One thing is great for you and the next day it’s deadly. There is so much competing information from interest groups and those looking to make a profit and they do not have your best interest in mind. There are also some amazing doctors out there who don’t have the answers, because the research and information just isn’t there. And they don’t have the time, they are tired, overworked and trying to make a difference as best as they can with what they know. But we know so little, truly. My own doctor told me that the more he learns about the human body, the less he feels that he knows and he’s been practicing medicine for over 30 years.
This is an epidemic. It’s time to take your power back. You have the authority to be your own agent of your health. It’s your body, your life, and you can do this. The human body is designed to heal. We just haven’t come far enough to see true healing on a deep level and on a massive level. Yes surgeries can heal broken bones, torn ligaments, even a shattered pelvis. I have seen my own family members come back from what could have been an accident that ended their life. Modern medicine is amazing for that. But the deeper issues are still a mystery.
For the last 8 years, I’ve been on a quest for holistic and natural living. Something inside of me started searching for more, because I could not accept that this was the way life was supposed to be. I almost got my tonsils out, and when I changed my diet, I no longer get strep throat, at all. I had it chronically for the first 28 years of my life. I haven’t had once incident in almost 10 years. That wasn’t because I got my tonsils out. I kept my tonsils because they are an important part of the body that provide immune defense. I stepped up to radical self care, and that is what has changed everything for me.
Radical self care is doing EVERYTHING in your power and in your heart that you know to be true and that you know you need to do for yourself. It is IGNORING the naysayers, ignoring the trends and the traps of what is trying to hook you in, it is STANDING UP for your health no matter what.
Our world is not normal. It’s not normal to work an incredibly long week and be so exhausted you don’t have time to prepare nutrient rich food so you grab whatever you can and shove it down to appease the hunger. It’s not normal to numb ourselves with a neurotoxin (alcohol) or other substances that give us a hit of dopamine, just because we feel that we can’t be sociable or around others without it, or just because it’s a social “tradition”. It’s not normal for a young child to be on medication because they can’t “sit still”. It’s not normal to take 15 bottles of pills just to stay alive, and half of them are to counter the adverse side effects of the first 5 or 10 that you take. This is not how we are supposed to live. Yet is is how we are living, because somehow it hasn’t become apparent that there is another way.
Some are trying and there is a movement, there always has been. Witches burned at the stake were skilled herbal healers. Midwives shunned by white western doctors at the turn of the 20th century were women of color who had generations of healing expertise and experience behind them. Yet fear was created and they were attacked instead of celebrated for their skills as competent midwives. The “alternative” healer is not alternative at all, they are just not what gets the most noise, they’re not what spreads the message louder, and they are not where the money is. So they get drowned out by the big guys. And it can be hard to listen. It can be confusing because the messages are so loud, so filled with fear, and so widely accepted by almost everyone in society. When you go against the grain and follow your heart, it takes an amount of bravery that is so courageous and so vigilant that many don’t believe in themselves and that it is possible for them. Once you take that first step, you will realize how strong you are and how possible it really is.
So what is radical self care to me? It means bringing my own food almost everywhere I go. It means having a daily routine of herbal teas, essential oils, tinctures and supplements that I try to express my utmost gratitude for. It can get me down to stay consistent and on top of my game with all of my healing tonics. But I know what the alternative feels like, and I don’t want that. I try and continue to remind myself to try to express immense gratitude for the knowledge I have gained and for the easy access I have to all of these healing items. Radical self care looks like saying no when I need to, and reminding myself to say it more often if necessary. It looks like not picking up a drink with everyone else and being ok with it that, because I am in the company of who I want to be with and I don’t need to numb myself to be present. It looks like getting herbal tea when I meet a friend for coffee, as much as I want that delicious coffee, because I know my liver and adrenals will be paying for it later, and it’s not worth it to me. It looks like stopping to meditate, even when I don’t want to, and it looks like giving myself permission to FEEL my feelings. It looks like deep self introspection and always working on my shit. Yes its hard. Growth is challenging and can be so painful. Shedding limited beliefs and recognizing when the ego is trying to sabotage me is tricky stuff. So I take it a day at a time.
Radical self care means trying to go to bed early, trying! And it also means throwing all caution and doing something amazing and crazy just because you want to have fun! Go to that amusement park, go see the action movie that you secretly love, none of those are bad if they make you feel good in a POSITIVE way. That’s the complicated part. Feeling good can be a blip of a moment from a hit of dopamine. Or it can be deeply soul filling. There is a big difference, and it takes a lot of exploration and curiosity to discover the difference.
Radical self care means living a life that is not ordinary, that goes against the grain and is the least popular way to live according to what society portrays. It’s not an easy road, it takes daily work and commitment. And it might feel lonely at times. But you will definitely find your people that get you. You will find your community of others who feel the same way you do. And even when others do not, it’s not a big deal. Because when you know who you are, know what choices you need to make to care for yourself, you can stand in your truth just about anywhere. You don’t need anyone’s approval except your own.
Radical self care is not radical at all if you think about why you are doing it and the outcome you are experiencing. For me, I want to live a life of wellness and vitality for as long as I can. I know what helps me feel good, and it is worth all of the effort. Because living life in the present moment, feeling the best we can given what we have, might just be what this life is all about.