It is hard to remain peaceful or hopeful when your mind starts to wander, recalling all of the times you have been disappointed and let down. Let down by life, by the people in it, or even by yourself. We tend to turn to anger when things do not go our way and we will even lash out at the people we actually care about the most when the anger starts to emerge. When it comes to anger, we, as a general society, seem to feel the need to “release” it, and even promote ways to do so. But why can’t anger just be felt, contained for a positive purpose and then let go? Do we need to yell, kick, scream, punch or blame someone for what has happened, for what “made” us feel angry or for the feeling of anger itself?
Come to think of it, while we are here, why do we even “let” people “make us angry?” It’s a common expression, so and so, made me so …, but have you ever stopped to think how ridiculous and disempowering this is? Perhaps, we as a society, don’t have an anger or frustration problem, but a problem with impermanence, human connection and the capacity to self regulate.
Perhaps what we need is not anger management or punching bags, but “self management” and the willingness to feel upset without the thought of a punch or kick.
Even if someone's actions, or your own, have caused suffering, blame will only continue the cycle of pain and not bring any relief. We can choose to let go of the blame and turn instead to something much more meaningful, to the power of forgiveness.
To accept is to forgive. We should first accept that something bad or wrong has happened to us and realize that we cannot change the current situation or outcome. We can change, however, how we move forward from it and how we react. A negative retaliation will not help solve the problem or ease suffering. It is difficult to accept what has happened and choose to forgive especially when it comes to yourself. We tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else, berating and taking ourselves down, when what we actually need is to realize that we are first and foremost: human.
We need to be gentle with ourselves because we are doing the best that we can. The same goes for others. If a loved one, or close friend, or even a stranger causes harm or makes a mistake we cannot turn to unkindness. Unkindness will not only burn the other person, it will burn you as well. We must remind ourselves that the people we encounter, loved ones or strangers, are simply people at the very basic level. We are all doing the best that we can.
The pain we are feeling is the hardest part to overcome. We become narrow focused on the “I can’t believe this has happened” or the “How could they have done this to me?” which is where the anger first comes to life. We then think “I would have never done this to them” or “I am so stupid for letting this happen” when in reality, this is not the case.
Instead of remaining in this anger circle, we can refocus our energy on thinking about what this person might have been thinking or doing that led them to this action or what similar situation we previously might have been in that can bring clearer wisdom to the present moment. By doing this, we may be able to piece together how things happened the way they did and even how we can start to accept and forgive.
This is not to say, however, that we shouldn’t have boundaries, because we can forgive someone and ourselves and still let them know that this behaviour was hurtful and unacceptable.
It’s why I don’t believe in compromises. Compromises are passive. Compromises construct no boundaries.
What we need instead are resolutions. Resolutions to not make a similar mistake again, to engage in a more positive behaviour, to be more willing to accept and forgive, to become more gentle, but in the same moment, more resilient.
You see, we don’t need a country full of violent, angry compromisers needing to escape acceptance or the feeling of anger in the first place.
We need a country of gentle, but angry resolvers who are willing to acknowledge and accept hurt and anger, yet transform it into something transcending the circumstances in which it was created.
Anger and hurt is not an opportunity to maim or blame, it’s an opportunity to accept and forgive, knowing that yes, indeed, through this we shall live.
It seems to be a common theme that we as human beings do not particularly fancy change. Many fear the outcome of their future reality or even the outcome of their future selves while others fear the energy commitment involved in undergoing change. I agree that change can be intimidating and scary, but this view only represents one angle, one perception of this dynamic situation. All things, even photos or people, have good angles and bad angles. If we take the time to change our perspective over a certain situation, we will inevitably alter the way we perceive the changes whether we want them or not!
One of the hardest parts of making a change is putting forth the effort and finding the motivation to start. We often find ourselves trapped in a comfort zone- or what I actually see as an “uncomfort zone”- a restrictive space which seems to contain all we know or all we think we can control. We allow ourselves to stay perpetually in the same daily routine, same environment, or same relationship, even though we know it is not in alignment with our inner nature .
What may hold us back, of course, is the unknown. Will I make it? Is it worth it? Am I going to be okay? The answer to all of those questions is yes. You will make it, it is worth it, and you will be more than okay. The beautiful thing about change is that you can manipulate it however you want. If one try doesn’t fit right then you have the ability to try again. We do not have to feel stuck or trapped. We just need one feeling of bravery, one piece of courage.
Before we decide to take the plunge, however, it is important to realize why we are trying to implement these changes in the first place. There are a myriad of reasons, ranging from the simple desire of new scenery or a deep, necessity for a newer and healthier environment. Being able to identify why we want this change or why we need to change ourselves can make the process less overwhelming and ultimately more successful and meaningful. By doing this, we can motivate and energize our efforts behind why we really want to move on. There is no one right way to begin making changes, but it is almost always a bad idea to start worrying about the when and the how without first starting with the why.
And when it comes to change, there really isn’t such a thing as “an end goal.” The human experience is by definition, a state of dynamic fluidity. We are living examples of the most incredible acts of iterative evolution. Whether you believe in an act of divine creation, evolution or some combination of the two, human beings are miraculous change agents, experiencing or bringing about more change than any other living creature we currently know in existence. Fearing, resisting or denying change, is denying the most intrinsically beautiful human capacity, a capacity I believe we need to recognize now more than ever,
Change, you see, is not permanent, yet we must recognize that periods of profound “becoming” are often followed by periods of deliberate “being”. We must become aware of these seasons, of when we have made the changes we desired, of when we need to rest, reflect and grow from this new place of being. If we continue to move around in perpetual states of “becoming”, we will only become detached, lost or cold.
As you progress through stages of changes, take time to reflect and write down your goals- reminding yourself that changes is not about following plans, but following the heart that deeply believes in the evolution of you.
There will be days when you slip up, forget and start to fear the change coming; however, this is not a sign of failure, but a sign of growth, a sign that your chrysalis is warming to the rays of the sun.
Despite all of our “mental trepidation” we may not actually be afraid of change itself. We may not even be afraid of what it brings, or if it is worth it, or if we are capable of it.
We may just be afraid to start or we may just be afraid that there is no end.
We simply must learn how to begin, to identify why we want change, to stay grounded in our goals, and to finally take the plunge into the unknown.
A little over 5 years ago, as I sought to restart my life, I stumbled across ancestral health and the so called paleo diet. It was a rabbit hole that not only changed my life, but gave me life. In those 5 years I have read more blogs, listened to more podcasts, watched more videos and participated in more trainings that I can honestly count. If I were Popeye, this knowledge and exploration would be my spinach.
I could have never imagined as a young medical student just trying himself to get well and find his purpose that I would one day be using the power of creation and faith, evolution and science to help my patients and myself remain well.
As of today, I have been a medical doctor for just over a year. A resident physician with so much to learn. While I have MD after my name, you will not find MPH, PhD or any other acronym soup. On paper I am not a researcher. I have no special public health training and have not spent years in a research lab. I certainly have no money, no big grants behind my name and my mentors do not have the letters Dr. in front of their names.
As a fourth year medical student I took the challenging task to design my own mindfulness program and research study, and with the help of a close friend and mentor pulled it off. I didn’t do it for recognition or because I had to. I did it because students needed help, needed self care, needed reflection, and I wished to show them and others how valuable it could be. While in the end the study was small, underpowered without “statistical significance” 8 people’s lives were positively changed and I now knew that I could do this.
Fast forward a year and a half and I find myself leaping from the cliffs again.
Having partnered with my close friends, some of the most authentic and beautiful people I know, Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt of Autoimmune Wellness, I am seeking to further explore the power of nutrition, health coaching and that indescribable drive to heal. As a team, we have come together to design a pilot research study, the first medical study of the nutrient dense elimination diet known as the autoimmune paleo diet for autoimmune thyroid disease or Hashimotos. In 2016 Angie and Mickey partnered with a clinician from Scripps, a major medical and research institution to study the effect of AIP on IBD. Needless to say what they showed was nothing short of remarkable. 12 of the 15 participants went its clinical remission after just 6 weeks of the nutritional intervention. Yes indeed, food is power.
I am speaking to you today to ask for your help. As I mentioned before, I have no special training in research, I have no grant funding, I just have a couple friends as passionate as I to somehow conduct a research study to show just how powerful food and human connection can be. In order to pull this study off, to cover all the laboratory and research expenses we need close to $10,000. This grassroots research project is a testament to the power of human innovation and answering a need to do something much greater than yourself. I humbly and sincerely ask that you consider donating to help make this research study a reality.
I have been accused before of having an agenda, for turning everything into some form of “natural medicine.” So to those people I say sure, I have an agenda. To relieve suffering and help those hurting find a path to sustainable health in all the ways that God and the mystery are showing me how.
Maybe it’s time you got a agenda too.
Curled up in bed, lights off, the cold weather begging to come in through my window, and a slow pain- coursing from head to toe. This was my expression of loneliness. Loneliness, is shown and felt differently for each person. It can be shown through anger, timidness, quietness, or over exploitation within one's personal life. My loneliness was expressed through a quiet and numbing pain. Not only this, loneliness changed who I was and changed how I acted.
I felt as if it was necessary to constantly go out and meet new people and avoid all the pain I was feeling. In certain ways this did help. It was nice to meet new people and spend my nights away from a dark room; however, from this place of loneliness, I was starting to meet the wrong people, spending my nights in ways that were actually detrimental to my well being and healing. I wanted that feeling of connection so badly that I started to give away parts of myself that should have stayed close to my heart and found those pieces of me falling into the hands of others who were not going to do me well. In those moments though, I felt whole and I felt wanted. I had felt the “connection” I was looking for, even though it had been temporary, it felt warm and authentic. If I had looked past the veneer I would have found the truth that the warmth and authenticity I had felt was simply a mirage- a placebo effect of what was missing.
After a months of avoiding my pain, and losing parts of who I was; I decided I needed to find a way to heal. I traveled back home to my loved ones for two weeks on summer vacation. It was ironic coming home because I had originally left because of loneliness and a desire for change. When I arrived, I was immediately embraced by my mother and in that moment I felt better. I felt less alone. The days continued and I was with people who unconditionally loved me, supported me, and cared about me. I also began to start doing the things I loved again; such as reading, writing, spending time outside, and just spending time by myself, healing. With this time, I began to ponder and realize that loneliness is not conquered by meeting new people or forcing yourself to connect, it is overcome by connecting with yourself and coming back to those who truly care, love, and support you.
Conquering loneliness is an interesting process and revelation. What I believe is the most critical step in this revelatory process is realizing what or who is causing you to feel the ache of loneliness. After identifying the cause, remind yourself that you do not deserve or need to feel this way. Remind yourself each and every day; and reward yourself by doing something you love- whatever it may be. On hard days, try and head back to your roots. Head to your loved ones; family, friends, or even a journal. Focus on platonic, healthy relationships that are equal and supportive. Head back to you. Make time in the day to do one thing that brings you joy. Finding simple things that you enjoy doing alone can be the most beneficial way to get rid of unwanted thoughts and feelings. Being able to spend time with yourself, doing what you enjoy, brings satisfaction and strength. Head back to you.
There will be many days where you will be curled up and the cold will be begging to come in through the window; however, those days, like all days, do pass. The sun will always rise. The weather will change and you will no longer be curled up. When you pass through hard times remember who you are, how far you have already come, and how far you will go. Go back to the people who love you unconditionally and are readily available to you. Above all, the loneliness will not win and you will not give up. The innate human desire to be free from loneliness, disillusionment, and disconnection won’t let you.
I have often struggled with this universal teaching, and more specifically, with this concept as presented in the Bible through the teachings of Jesus Christ. When first presented with the idea of "loving your enemies," I often find myself going down the road of why do they deserve it?, why should I "waste" my energy to extend love towards people that do not see me favorably?, I have trouble enough loving all the people I feel deserve and reciprocate my love.
You see, the inner dialogue confronted when one begins to explore this concept is certainly not the easiest to simply disregard. Over the years, as I have continued to grow and often stumble in my spiritual practice, in my purpose pursuit of mindful discernment, I have come to see this piece of universal wisdom in a slightly more optimistic and rather "doable" light.
So begs the question
What has led me to see this advice through different eyes?
Where does one actually begin?
In an answer to the first question, I will say more than anything, more than my study of scripture, my daily moments of prayer, my evenings of asana and reflection, what has drawn me to see the act of "loving your enemies" as not only possible, but necessary has been MY PATIENTS.
As clinicians I don't think we pause and reflect enough to recognize what is actually being birthed and transformed in the VERY SPACE between doctor and patient. We can easily forget the immense vulnerability of our patients, often times bearing their deepest traumas and personal self loathing as we sit back and wander off into constructing a differential diagnosis.
For as I see it, "Loving Your Patients" is actually a deep act of "Loving Your Enemies"
What did you just say?
Yes, loving your patients and honoring the vulnerable space that can either be one of healing or one of further fragmentation involves the act Jesus so eloquently taught: Loving your enemies.
Now to bring context to this statement, I am not saying as a clinician and healer, your patients are your enemies, not at all.
What I am actually referring to is much more akin to "Loving Your PROBLEMS" or in this case, the fragmentation and hurt of our patients.
As I mentioned above, as you start to enter the vulnerable space between clinician and patient, you can certainly focus and find the superficial symptoms or other distracting scars, OR you can start to discover the root reasons behind this person's suffering. You can unearth childhood traumas, periods of absent love, acts of self destruction, negative self talk, and the list goes on and on.
Being gentle and loving these potentially destructive and self defeating thoughts, the acts of self sabotage and self care gone astray, loving the aspects of the patient they most desperately wish they no longer possessed requires a deep act of LOVE, and one perhaps, both clinician and patient would choose to just ignore.
When we discover the past trauma, the periods of absent nurturing presence, the fear of our patients, their reactivity, and the projection of our patients' frustration and cynicism into our lives, do not run away, do not get defensive, for YOU HAVE FOUND PRECISELY WHAT NEEDS THE MOST ATTENTION AND LOVE.
Fill the voids of your patients with presence and compassion, be gentle towards the parents, partners or strangers who may have enacted deep acts of hurt or even hatred upon your patient for they too likely suffered the same insults and simply transmitted the fear, the hatred, the loathing into another generation.
As we come to understand the complex world of epigenetics and the regulation of genetic expression, trauma, absence, fear and disdain are not simply transmitted through families as part of deeply embedded and maladaptive psychosocial frameworks, they are altering the expression of our genetic code and changing our core physiology: the terrain itself which the soul must traverse.
As I bring this post to close, I want to bring this back into the universal, extending my description from the clinician and patient dynamic into the world of simple human connection and relation. Every day you will be greeted by antagonists, problems, challenging people and unfortunate circumstances.
What if the next time you are faced with an act of hostility or hurtful misunderstanding, instead of responding to the individual with an equivalent level of hurt and hostility, you start to truly see the place from which the hostility emerged and start asking the questions:
Who hurt you?
Who was not there for you?
What about yourself do you not love and accept?
How can I fill these voids or replace these hurts with love and understanding?
You see, "loving your enemies", or love at all for that matter doesn't have to be about hugs and kisses.
For Love, as He knows it, was never meant to involve touch at all.
Whether you are just getting started trying to shift your dietary choices to a more ancestral approach, or whether you’ve been living this way for a while, it’s possible that you’ve worried about the financial costs of eating this way. Maybe you’re motivated to eat a more evolutionarily-aligned diet, but anxiety kicks in every time the total comes up at the Whole Foods check-out. Or maybe you would just like to be able to whittle down your spending, but don’t want to have to sacrifice nutritional quality by purchasing cheap foods.
Disclaimer: If you are on a therapeutic diet under the direction of a practitioner, some of these tips may not apply. Strict adherence is often necessary. Always consult your practitioner before making dietary changes.
I was so fortunate to be invited by my dear friends Steve Fullerton and Somers Stephenson to beautiful Monterey Va, in the grassy mountains of Highland County to give a talk on the Future of Medicine.
The talk is broken down into two main sections.
The first includes a discussion of the 7 Relationships- the 7 key lifestyle areas I see as important for optimal health.
I offer detailed descriptions and even some science for each area and offer practical tips to improve one’s habits within the 7 Relationships.
In part two I breakdown my definitions of ancestral and functional health and provide the basics of my clinical approach and systems based thinking.
I then walk through a real life case study, making parallels to the key dysregulated systems and offer my thoughts on testing and diagnostic approach. I provide a therapeutic hierarchy and offer my comprehensive treatment recommendations including lifestyle based therapies targeting the 7 Relationships as well as targeted supplementation addressing the identified physiologic disturbances and dysfunctions.
I conclude the talk offering my hopeful solution to our epidemic of chronic disease which includes collaboration with health coaches and nutritional therapy clinicians. I describe my recent work collaborating with Angie Alt as part of her SAD to AIP in six program addressing autoimmunity through nutritional and lifestyle approaches.
I really hope you enjoy this talk and will sharing more of my work in the near future!
In conjunction with his recent guest post: Is Baking Soda An Effective Treatment For Autoimmune Disease? we are so excited to announce Rob’s partnership with Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt and the entire team at Autoimmune Wellness. Over the next few months Rob will be sharing space with Mickey and Angie as part of this new collaboration, taking part in social media q/a sessions, writing quarterly articles and engaging in a new exploration of clinical research: studying the role of multidisciplinary, health coach and nutritional therapy practitioner led diet and lifestyle interventions for stopping and even reversing chronic autoimmune disease. More clinical research into the efficacy of the the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and health and nutritional coach based interventions is a must and we are here to push this movement forward!
Dr. Abbott is a college friend and previous podcast guest. He is also a member of the Future of Functional Medicine Review clinical newsletter. He has put many of the concepts we discuss into practice and produced an excellent case study. If anyone from our audience has a case study worth sharing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily review.
70 y/o female
Food for Thought
Visit 2 – Testing and Initial Recommendations (returned 1 week later following echocardiogram)
Financial considerations, insurance coverage, availability of testing and desires of the patient all were taken into account when determining to test. Patient desired a minimalist approach and was open to herbal treatments over drugs. Given previous testing and the patient’s complaints, I focused on nutrient status, markers of inflammation and thyroid health. I did not pursue hormone testing as I believed her symptoms would improve as part of a targeted gut approach. I also choose to not test thyroid antibodies and instead elected the initial screen with TSH and free hormone levels..
Initial treatment followed an anti-microbial pathway given suspicion for methane predominant SIBO with dysmotility. Treatment was empiric in nature without comprehensive stool testing. Prokinetics and anti-biofilm agents were added given concerns for constipation and the potential for increased efficacy with herbal antimicrobial treatment. The treatment was targeted for 6-8 weeks with reassessments over the next 2 months prior to changes in therapy. A combined dietary and herbal regimen was a good place to start and it was predicted that the patient would show significant improvement.
Visit 3 – Lab Interpretation and Treatment Evaluation (4 weeks after initial appointment)
Overall no signs of anemia on CBC, normal liver and kidney function on CMP, fasting glucose of 82, HbA1c of 5.2 and Tg/HDL-C ratio less than 2 is supportive of good cellular metabolism. Iron levels are within normal limits and patient does not appear to need any intervention for anemia or iron overload at this time. Thyroid function is suboptimal but not requiring intervention at this time. Inflammation, as measured by HS-CRP, appears low. A suboptimal homocysteine and elevated B12 may indicate some disturbances in methylation, B vitamin metabolism. Given concerns for impaired estrogen metabolism and detoxification as well as increased need/suboptimal absorption in the small intestine given concerns for SIBO, the patient likely will benefit from a period of targeted B vitamin supplementation.
Visit 4 – Follow-Up (4 weeks later, 8 weeks after initial appointment)
Visit 5 – Follow-Up (3 weeks later via email)
Take Home Points
Dr. Ruscio’s Comments:
Again, an excellent case study which illustrates a few important concepts:
Thank you, Dr. Abbott, excellent work.
How Do You Prepare For Gameday?
Okay, I’ll admit, while I have drastically reduced the amount of time and energy I put into following sports, most of my life has been spent absorbed in the fascinating world of athletics, both as a competitor and as an engaged fan. Sports are arguably one of the most ubiquitous endeavours on the planet, and despite ESPN and other TV providers attempts to steal your attention away from other perhaps more noble pursuits, there is something to be said about joining a raucous crowd, and going absolutely bananas with people you may never see again in your life.
Sports are sports, and sports are here whether you like them or not.
So why am I starting this post talking about sports? Is there going to be anything medical about this at all?
Short answer, no, nothing strictly medical.
Longer answer, still no, but what I am about to share with you transcends the well defined boxes of sports or medicine and opens us up to a curious discussion of how did we find ourselves in these boxes in the first place?
If you read the title of the post, and have a more athletic mindset, your mind may be thinking of some very practical ideas on how to “prepare for gameday.” For the true fanatics, this may involve acquiring food and beverages to enjoy on a comfy couch with friends, or perhaps it involves getting on your computer to pick your fantasy team for the upcoming weekend’s slate of games. Perhaps it involves washing those smelly socks and undergarments so your son or daughter has something at least slightly clean to wear before tomorrow’s game. Or maybe even still, it involves getting yourself as far away as possible from family who may be more inclined to throw sharp or heavy objects as part of an emotional explosion during the big game.
There are lots of ways to prepare, and lots of “Gamedays” for which we could be preparing.
Which begs the question,
What really do I mean by “Gameday”?
Thinking back to my childhood where it seemed I was never NOT kicking a ball, wearing a glove, or putting on a pair of athletic shoes, Gameday carried a very literal connotation.
There was the physical preparation, the pregame meal, the team warm-up, reviewing the line-up and strategy, the final pause before everything began.
Some people on my team had intricate pregame rituals, listening to the same songs on their I-Pod, putting on their shoes in the exact same manner, engaging in a reflective prayer, finishing the warm-up by touching the backboard. You name it, it was part of the preparation for Gameday.
And while some of these odd rituals or practices may seem just that, the reality was, there was little judgement when it came to preparation for Gameday. You didn’t talk to your friend who was absorbed in his pre-game playlist, you didn’t stop your friend from being the last one to lay the ball in the basket, you didn’t bat an eye while you waited for your friend to finish lacing up his shoes and extend his thanks to God.
It was “Gameday.” And that’s all that mattered.
Reflecting back on those years, it’s amazing to think about the unconditional acceptance of people’s practices and it’s fascinating to see the impact television has had in shaping the pregame rituals of our youth.
Do you really think that 12 year old learned how to step into the batter’s box and hold out his hand from a coach or a book?
We as humans are master emulators, and masters too of unconsciously assimilating the habits and practices of our heroes and peers.
And as I mentioned before, no pregame ritual or preparation is TOO odd. Whatever you have to do, you just do it. No one questions Lebron when he kicks of a game with a cloud of chalk. No one questions the pitcher who juggles the Rosen bag prior to the first pitch.
And while no one judges our athletes on how they prepare for “Gameday,” we also forgoe perhaps the most important question we should be asking ourselves
How am I preparing for MY “Gameday”?
Yes, I said it. Your “Gameday”
Not Lebron’s or Bryce Harper’s “Gameday.”
Now some of you may have slipped back into sports mode and thought once again about how you prepare for your athletic competitions, but that’s not really YOUR “GAMEDAY.”
Your “Gameday”, you see, is the playground for your life’s calling, the blank canvas for your embodied artistry, the perfectly polished stone ready to be tossed across the hauntingly still pond.
Your “Gameday” is your opportunity for growth, your opportunity to succeed and fail, to make mistakes and get dirty, your opportunity to relate and connect with others in ways you didn’t think were possible.
Your “Gameday”, you see, is YOUR EVERYTHING, so why in the world do you show up like its just YOUR SOMETHING or even worse, YOUR JUST ANYTHING?
You cannot prepare for what you do not know, and you cannot know without some time to prepare.
Many of us have at least taken the steps to discover our passions, to follow our hearts and live out our callings.
The problem, is we don’t see our callings as GAMEDAY, and as such we don’t have any clue on how or why we should prepare.
Some of us are still searching for our playing fields, seeking out our true Gamedays, and are even perhaps playing on baseball diamonds with more rocks than blades of grass and soccer fields that haven’t seen nets for 20 years.
But just because you don’t know where your Game is being played, or are stuck playing in a Game you wish didn’t exist, doesn’t exempt or excuse you from preparing, for showing up, for readying your heart for what you do not yet know.
I will be honest and say despite my dedicated yoga practice, my constant reflection and my perspective of purposeful intention, I have only recently started to see my calling, my work as a family medicine physician as “My Gameday”, and as such have just started to dutifully pursue proper preparation for “My Gameday.”
Let’s get real, do you think Lebron is going to show up 5 minutes before the game is about to start having downed a double espresso and half a bagel with cream cheese after navigating through rush hour traffic with one eye still glued shut after 5 hours of restless sleep?
Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but what I just described to you is how WE are showing up, how we are preparing for our work.
So WHY IS IT OKAY?!?
My calling as a healer is to craft and hold spaces for patients to discover what they must let go in order to heal, and fully embrace what they must bring into their being to restore their joyful nature.
This does not happen by accident, this does not happen running on Red Bull and bagels, this does not happen while ruminating on how to tell your mother she could have loved you more.
We must get serious, we must get playful, we must be intentional, we must become AWARE.
The remainder of this post could involve me telling you how to prepare for Your “Gameday,” but that would be waste of space and your time.
What you need, and we need is a roadmap, a simple process to realize this preparation and live our “Gameday.”
So here it is
1. Discover “Your Gameday”.
In this moment “Your Gameday” may not be your calling, and may indeed involve getting scrapped by rocks as you slide into second base, but you need to get quiet, take pause, and discover “Your Gameday,” wherever that may be. Don’t get moody or angry about it. Pros prepare and show up no matter the conditions. Amateurs come up with excuses on why the game shouldn’t be played.
What do you want to be?
2. Begin Your Preparation
But I still don’t know my “Gameday”? What’s the point? The paradox of preparing for Your “Gameday” is that you will have to and will likely spend months or years preparing for Your “Gameday,” before you ever discover where in the world the game is being played.
My suggestion, get quiet, rest your mind, and start to breathe.
I don’t care if it’s 10 seconds or 10 hours.
Get Quiet, Rest Your Mind and Start to Breathe
And if you are one of the lucky ones who knows Your Gameday, start walking the pitch, start inspecting the grass, walk every inch of the diamond before you ever touch a glove, and never for second think you know enough to stop.
Evaluate what you are doing now, what are you eating, how much are you sleeping, what do you listen to on your ride in to work, what is the last thing you read or say before you go to bed. How many times do you say I love you?
The Beginner’s Mind will be your friend and will never stop the pursuit of preparation.
3. Just Do It
Nike got it right with this ubiquitous slogan and the truth is preparation is only preparation if you decide to play the game. We cannot spend our lives perfecting what cannot be perfecting, or planning for what cannot be foreseen. We must live our callings and carry out our work knowing we will make mistakes and we will miss things we “shouldn’t” have missed.
But guess what?
Growth doesn’t follow from perfect practice.
Perfect practice comes when see that it’s possible to grow.
So, How do you prepare for “Gameday?”
Maybe it’s time we all start playing a little ball.