Letting The Mud Settle

 

Each morning, I begin my daily practice in exactly the same way. I sit. I literally just sit. I breathe. I look out the window. I might sip hot water. But basically, I sit and do nothing as I allow myself to be exactly as I am. Whatever that might be. Sad. Unwell. Frustrated. Inspired. None of it matters as I do the most profound thing I will do all day; sit and do nothing.

What would possess a person to do nothing? 

The discovery that when all the mud settles, the mud being the difficult and troubling thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations threatening to take over, a sense of spaciousness washes over me; creating enough space for me to see, clearly and effortlessly, what is real and what is true.  

From this spaciousness, a greater connection to my body and its truths becomes available to me. This means that any problem I have, any solution I am seeking, or any balm needed for my broken heart or suffering body, is there. Always.

I first discovered this practice when my mind would kick into high gear in an absolute frenzy over everything I needed and wanted to get done after my kids had gone off to school. My mind hounded me about how much I had to do and in what order, how fast, and how well. It was maddening. So much so that I couldn’t settle into yoga or meditation because the demands of my mind were that intense.

Initially I sat, doing nothing, in protest. It was my way of saying to the thoughts, I want out. I am not playing anymore. I will not negotiate with you. 

And then, at some point, what began as an exasperated refusal to participate with an agitated mind, turned into a portal transporting me to a whole new universe I didn’t even know was accessible with so little effort. It turns out, I didn’t need to hack my way into the ease and peace I was seeking. It was already there.

Letting the mud settle does take time and some getting used to. Some days, it only takes a few minutes for everything to settle down. Other days, it takes a lot longer. But even on the days my mind pushes me to get going, to do something for god’s sake, I know better now. I know that in doing nothing, everything I have ever hoped for will show up when given the space it needs.

So sit back. Keep your feet on the Earth. Feel the warmth of the sun or the coolness of the air. Let your breath be where you put your attention. Breathe in a way that allows your body to be big enough to include all of what you are experiencing in this moment. 

Think of a candle melting and allow yourself to flow down in the same way. Follow that image over and over and over again until you feel weighted in a pleasant and settled way. When you feel like the mud has settled, even a little bit, notice what reveals itself to you by way of what is real and true in your body in this moment.

A little caveat. To the busy, stressed out, divided, and fear-based mind this practice can feel like a death. It is. But it’s only the death of things that needs to go anyway. The death of anything you would be better off without; like all the ways that your mind is unfair and unkind to your body as you unnecessarily fret over imagined problems. So when the mind screams and screams and starts rolling out all the heavy artillery around what a slacker-loser you are for not doing more, nod your head and continue to sit, knowing that when all the mud settles out, you will be left at home in your own body.

This blog was excerpted from my book Trusting Your Body: The Embodied Journey of Claiming Sacred Responsibility for Your Health & Well-Being 

If you are interested in purchasing the book from a site that donates to local book stores, please go to: Bookshop.org

Otherwise, it can also be purchased on Amazon



Ditching The Scale

 

Out on a run this morning through new fallen snow, it occurred to me that we are at that time of year when so many people’s well-intentioned resolutions begin to fade and fall away; leaving many of us convinced that we are weak and without willpower. That we are incapable of making lasting change.

As someone who now finds herself in the position of having made many changes over the years that not only  stuck, but that also got richer, deeper and truer over time, I spent the run wondering why that was so. The wondering took me all the way back to being twenty-five years old and thirty pounds overweight. To a time where I hated myself for being “fat” and for the cruel ways that I was treating myself.

At some point I just got so fed up with the diets, the use of food as medication and the way I felt about myself, that I made two radical choices. To get rid of the scale, and to figure out why I was using food to beat myself up with. It was scary to let go of the scale. Without that constant external number policing me, it felt like things might get even worse. More out of control. That without that constant reminder of either my failings or of the longed for number, I wouldn’t know what to do.

But that’s not what happened.

What happened was, as soon as I made the choice to stop policing myself with the scale, some internal “weight” lifted. I felt freer. Over time, a new kind of relationship began to form with myself where less and less was I turning to something outside of me to tell me whether I was good or bad. The less I was in the habit of thinking in those terms, the better I began to feel. The more I began to trust myself.

The self-trust that began to emerge after I ditched the scale, provided the foundation for exploring why I was using food the way I was. Not from a punitive place, as in “There’s something wrong with me,” but more from a place of recognizing that there just had to be a reason why I was doing what I was doing.

And there was. As a matter of fact, some very good and sane reasons why I was doing what I was doing.

Though it took a long time to get to it and to unwind from it, all along the way, I was learning how to be in relationship to myself where I was moving towards something, as opposed to away from something. In other words, instead of trying not to be overweight or hating on myself, I began to turn towards learning about myself and what it was that I needed. What it was that had been missing and that had been driving me to do what I was doing with food.

The more I moved towards myself (as opposed to what I didn’t want), the better my life became.

Which brings me to why so many of our intentions just do not work. When we see the diet or the program as something short-lived and separate from who we are and how we will live beyond a particular time period, we define ourselves according to something fleeting and in the direction of what we are trying to move away from. In essence, whenever we are focused on “the scale” as opposed to putting ourselves in the position of being with ourselves, understanding how it is that we tick, what we need, what is not working, we will never feel integrated enough to follow through with the very best of our intentions.

As long as we are in relationship to ourselves from a distance where we are imposing something on ourselves as opposed to knowing ourselves, we are tied to what we do not want. From this place we are at war with ourselves as we avoid dealing with the underlying reasons of why it is so difficult for us to care for ourselves. In so doing, we leave the most important parts out; dooming us to fail because we are not all there or all on board.

But when we begin to get interested in ourselves and why we do what we do, not only do we get the “results” we want, we come to find that the results pale in comparison to what is possible in our lives. For example, all I wanted all those years ago was to lose weight. Which happened only when I stopped trying to coerce myself. But that was nothing compared to the way that my mind and emotions began to change to the positive and to what was possible. To the way that my life has taken me on a decades long journey of exploring what it means to feed myself and others in life-affirming ways. And to the deep, deep understandings I hold about myself; who I am and what it is that makes me tick.

All because I decided to ditch my scale.

 

Sleepless Nights

 

Did you ever have one of those nights that not only can you not fall asleep, but you just feel awful all around? Maybe something in the body hurts. Maybe the room is too hot. Maybe your mind is buzzing away or you are awash in fear.

I just had one of those recently and it left me prickly and surly the next morning. Mostly, because I could not run down the cause of why I had the night I did. Was it the late afternoon chocolate? The extra moments I spent watching something on a screen when I knew I felt like I was being assaulted? Was it the chicken I ate? Maybe it was raised in fear and that was what I was experiencing. Was it my husband’s restless sleep next to me or the storm blowing around outside? Or how about the volatile energies in the collective?

Maybe it was everything all together all at once?

It was like a tsunami of human experience ripping though me. At first I tried to sort through each one of the possible culprits to figure out what it was. But there were too many to know what was what. I went from deep and burning frustration right into despair. Not over what was happening per se, but because I just could not figure it out.

There it is. Being in the middle of a storm is one thing. Believing that you can manage it, or even understand its origins or purpose is quite another. That understanding right there is the difference between heaven and hell. Our need to figure something out, coupled with our downright refusal to say “Yes” to what is happening becomes our vote for hell.

Whether we know it or not.

I’m not saying it’s not important to run down the things that bring on a sleepless night. Or any other disturbances we find in our lives for that matter. Of course it matters. If only to learn to take responsibility for our own experiences, what it is the body needs, along with the consequences of the choices we make.

What I am trying to say here is that not everything can be figured out. Not everything can be known. Then what?

Do we fight like a fish on a line against what it is we do not want? Do we rail against the unfairness of it all? Or do we let go? Into the deep and demanding rigor of being alive in a body having all kinds of experiences. This requires going beyond our expectations and demands that Life be a certain way for us to be ok. It means going beyond us putting our stamp of approval or rejection on what is happening.

Lest you believe this means giving up, it’s just not the case. In fact, it is anything but. Instead, to let be whatever is happening is to align with the Truth that we cannot know everything, that everything is not within our control, and that to believe it is, is to create a kind of living hell.

Mostly, it is to forgo the peace that is available to us in every single moment. No matter what is happening.

Which is why the next day, I turned my attention not to the potential culprit of my terrible night’s sleep, but to my response to it. And what I found was a woman so bent on fixing something that she was not able to just be with herself, without demand, in the midst of a terrible storm.

You Cannot B.S. The Body

 

As we begin the New Year with the best of intentions, if we hope to be “successful” at whatever we are resolving to change, we must become intimately aware of what is motivating us. Especially when it comes to resolutions that include the body.

For example, if our resolution is to lose weight or to exercise more, and the underlying motivation is to control the body, force it into looking a certain way, or if the unconscious sentiment behind your actions is fear, loathing or disgust of your body, your intention will be doomed from the start. This is not something a lot of us tune into because this is not what we think about when it comes to making changes in our bodies.

Whether we know it or not, we are deeply influenced by the western perspective based in invasion and control (think surgery, pharmaceuticals and all of the programs that seek to exert dominion over the body). But is this actually what our bodies most need, or what it is that brings them into balance? When we are willing to pay attention, we see that the answer has to be no. Look around at all the failed attempts to cure lifestyle-related illnesses by this approach, and it becomes obvious this is not what our bodies most need in order to to be well.

The truth is, you are one, whole living organism with every single part of you touching and affecting every other part of you. There is nothing going on in your mind that your body doesn’t know about, and nothing going on in your body that your mind doesn’t know about. When we deny or ignore the inseparable and seamless reality of who we are when it comes to our bodies, we miss out on more than we can imagine.

If this is true, and for just a moment imagine that it is, do you think you can trick your body into something? Do you think you can deny it what it needs and it won’t notice or care? Do you think you can hate it or be afraid of it and it won’t know how you truly feel about it?

Deciding to go on a diet is easy. Committing to a new program is nothing compared to what it takes to get to know how you actually feel about your body, and what it is that drives the choices you make. Make no mistake about it. It is a gigantic, lifelong endeavor to find your way back to recognizing that how you feel about your own body, and what you do to it, is how you feel about all of life. Including your own.

Ultimately, how you feel about your own body is how you feel about yourself.

This is deep and potentially scary to contemplate. It is no small thing to come face to face with the realization that how you feel about your own body reveals your sentiments towards yourself; how valuable or precious you believe you are. Or not. 

And that is why you cannot B.S. your body. Because it is you, and you, know how you, feel about you. Even if you have lost track of this consciously, somewhere deep inside is the knowing of when your actions come from a place of love, and when they come from a place of trying to get yourself to conform based in reasons that are less than loving.

So as you step forward this year, or any time you are looking to make a change, check in with yourself asking “What is driving this desire for change?”

It’s important to note that we sometimes do make a change out of fear, like when we get a scary wake-up call related to health. While the fear may be the shock we need to jumpstart a much needed process, at some point, it will cease to carry you forward in a life-affirming way if that remains your sole focus.

While arduous at times, learning to value yourself will always win out over behavior modification. Meaning, that while the body might momentarily seem to be submitting to the stick of the “carrot and stick approach,” it will be short-lived, unsatisfying, and worst of all, missing the very point of your existence.

 

If this resonates, you might consider checking out an upcoming program I’m offering called The Healer Within.

Your Right To Your Own Health & Healing

Years ago, I was in a Holistic Health Counseling Training. It was one of the most profound and generous trainings I have ever been involved with. And I have done many. What made it so profound and generous was that we were offered every approach under the sun when it came to perspectives on health and healing. A smorgasbord of ways to approach things like diet, healthcare, spirituality, lifestyle issues and more. It was left up to us to sift through all that we were given; choosing for ourselves what worked for us, and what didn’t. 

Looking back, I can see that the founder of the school, beyond his desire to convey content, understood something vital, life-affirming and humane. An approach far too often missing in our conventional healthcare systems. The approach being, a basic trust in each other of our ability to choose for ourselves when it comes to what makes the most sense to our lives, along with what it is we personally need in order to be well. 

This is something I aspire to embody in the health and healing approaches I offer to the world. I am not being falsely self-deprecating here. Instead, I fully understand how difficult it is to not try and influence another when you believe you have the fix for them. When you believe you know better than they do about what is going on for them, and what they should do. Even must do, from certain “modern” public health perspectives.

But I want something more than to persuade or coerce another into my belief system. The “something more” is not just for me, but for all of us. I want a world where we trust each other at the level of recognizing that each of us truly does know what we are doing. Even if it cannot be understood by those around us. Even if we ourselves do not fully understand it. 

But why take that chance with one another? Because this way of being creates a world where we pay homage to the journey each of us is on. No matter what we might make of it. Because when you trust deep down inside that another has within them the capacity of inner wisdom to know their life, their body and what it is they need, you give them the great humanitarian gift of empowerment, agency and personal responsibility. 

The sacred act of you having faith in them, including your willingness to set aside your opinions and dogmas, carries the capacity to inspire and to help another move mountains in their own life. For when a person can trust themselves, what it is they are knowing and sensing from the inside out, you support them in becoming their very best. When you can stand in with another who is lost and confused without trying to get them to do what you think they should do, giving them the space to come to something on their own, they will exceed all expectations you, and even they themselves, might have of what they are capable of.

This is what changes lives on the personal level and what then goes on to change the life of the world.

Each person’s health and healing is unique to them and it is a deep, deep disrespect and a fundamental undermining of another’s humanity to try and take this from them. To ever try and co-opt the journey they have chosen for one of your own making. Each person’s journey of health and healing far exceeds a moment in time merely focused on a cure at the physical, mental or emotional level. Instead, the journey each of us is on is our soul’s deepest expression in physical form. 

To interfere with that expression by trying to manage, control, legislate, or mandate what another does in this regard, is a sin against humanity. 

(If this resonates, consider taking a look at the upcoming program I’m offering called The Healer Within.)

 

 

To Trust Your Body Is To Trust Yourself

 

I talk and teach a lot about trusting your body. Sounds nice. But the truth is, given how we have been conditioned over the last decades to do anything but trust our bodies, this can be a hard sell in a world encouraging the abdication of this sacred connection to the technologies and the experts we have come to put more of our faith in than these bodies of ours.

This is problematic on many levels. But perhaps the most problematic of all, is that if we don’t trust our very own body, we will not be able to trust ourselves, and we will not be able to trust life itself. Without a steady belief in what we are experiencing and knowing through our own body, we will be adrift in terms of how to navigate the changing waters of the world. And without a reliance on how life flows through these bodies, we will be at odds with ourselves over what we can expect day to day in terms of a greater support and guidance that is available to all of us.

It’s such a strange thing to be talking about trusting your body. As if it is somehow separate from your very existence and how you live. And yet, this is where we are: So horribly removed and disconnected from what is innate that we find ourselves having to do some kind of rehab to remind us of what is not just built in, but that forms the very basis of who we are.

We are mammals, and there is not a mammal out there, other than us, that does not exist without complete and utter trust in what it is experiencing, and what it means to be in a body. The good news is, this is an authentic and powerful place to go to to re-learn where to take our cues from. What I mean by this is that just by turning our attention to that which is most inherent and most basic about being in a body is the way back to trusting your body, yourself, and all of life.

Best of all, it’s not fancy, expensive, complicated or beyond your reach. It is quite literally, as close to you as your next breath. As close to you as the next time you sense thirst, hunger or exhaustion. What I am talking about here is a kind of reacquaintance to your body’s most basic and non-negotiable needs. Those things you could not do without and still survive. Those things that a newborn baby must have in order to live.

The very things modern life has taught us to put on the back burner, but that still remains alive and well inside of us and can be found by wondering to yourself, “What could I absolutely not be able to live without?”

It’s not your cell phone, Netflix or social media. It’s not a new pair of shoes, a fancy trip or a new car. It is quite literally your breath and your ability to feed yourself. I know most of us would say we already know how to do this. But do we? Do we actually quench our thirst with life-giving water or do we flood ourselves with caffeinated drinks? Do we feed ourselves what our body really needs to be well or do we consume lots of processed, fake, and ever more bizarre substances masquerading as food? Do we get the rest we need or are we more interested in staying up late to watch the latest bit of noise coming out of a screen?

To bring this right down into the body and out of the machinations of the mind, try this: Once a day pause and take a full deep breath in as you feel some sensation in your body. Then ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” If you can get in the habit of starting there, I will guarantee you something; over time as you turn more and more back to your most basic needs, a fundamental trust will form with your body which will then extend out to how well you trust yourself. And life as well.

What Is Possible When It Comes To Healing?

 

Years ago I read a funky little book called Mutant Message from Down Under where an Aboriginal tribe called The Real People took a white woman on a walkabout for several months. In one of the most compelling scenes for me, and believe me there were many, one of the tribe members intentionally leapt off a cliff suffering a compound fracture of his leg. If you don’t know what this is, his leg bone was broken and it was sticking out through the skin.

It left me flabbergasted as to why someone would voluntarily put themselves at such risk. Why would someone intentionally jump off a cliff and suffer such a serious injury? Because… he knew how quickly it could be healed, and because the tribe wanted to demonstrate to this woman the true nature of healing; which looked like two healers working on this man’s leg, basically reminding it of its inherent wholeness. Sounds kooky, but within a very short span of time (I think it may have been an hour or two), his leg was healed. There was no cast. No steel rod implanted. No crutches. No stitches. No long rehab.

Impossible, utterly impossible is what most of us would think. But what if, just for the sake of argument, it were possible? What then?

This kind of “miraculous” outcome fascinates me and serves as a measuring stick, a North Star if you will, for what is available to us. Possibilities like this keep alive in me the knowing there is far more to healing than we have ever been told. If only we could get out of our own way by opening up our minds and leaving behind all the outdated and corporate-driven ideologies that drive our current healthcare system.

But this is a big leap. A giant step into the Great Mystery we call the body. A journey that can only be undertaken by learning how to let go of all the fears and preconceived ideas we have, while teaching ourselves to be absolutely present to the moment as the body reveals it to be so, without trying to control a single thing. And in its place, to see ourselves as part of something much vaster and far more Intelligent than we could ever come to on our own.

This is where true healing resides. But it can be so hard to get to given all the noise around fixing and medicating and controlling these bodies of ours. All of the unwillingness on our parts to step into the unknown with the greatest of humility and allow ourselves be taught, as opposed to trying to make the body come in line with our limited understandings and approaches.

 

P.S. If any of this resonates and you want to explore what is possible when it comes to your health and healing, check out my latest offer, The Healer Within: A Life-Affirming Movement Putting Your Health, Your Healing & Your Life Back Into Your Own Hands

Where Body & Mind Meet

 

I was out on a run this morning with my husband, and I was struggling physically. Something has been off in my right ankle and it leaves my gait a little uncomfortable and a little wonky. Interestingly enough, the physical experience pales in comparison to the disruptions I was encountering in my mind.

I watched as my thoughts initially went to worst case scenarios. How I wouldn’t be able to run in an upcoming road race, or how I wouldn’t be able to hike next weekend. When that settled, it landed on a tsunami of explanations and justifications, all the things I was going to say to my husband after the run, about why I was running so slow.

Believe it or not, this is one of the main reasons that I love to be physical: Because of the opportunities it gives me to see just what my mind is up to under duress. What it does when things are not easy, comfortable or working out the way I need them to. So while we all know the benefits of moving the body, I think one of the unsung heroes here is the chance to get to know yourself at a very deep level.

What it is that you fear. Where you limit yourself. How often you compare yourself and what is happening to you against the expectations of others. I could go on and on about all the discoveries I have made over the years, but suffice to say, to move your body is to know yourself; in ways you will never access if you don’t challenge yourself, if you don’t get out of your own comfort zone, if you don’t discover that edge where body and mind meet.

I think we do everyone a disservice when we make moving our bodies a “have-to” based on avoiding some terrible outcome of disease and illness. In fact, look around. This approach is not working. Despite all of the information, and all of the admonitions around exercising more, we have never been more out of shape. Perhaps that is because, like so many things when it comes to how we are living, we are starting in the wrong place.

Instead of tapping into the depths of who we are and what we actually need, we get offered bubble gum versions of our lives and what is possible when what we need is a deeply nourishing perspective that includes the totality of who we are. One that goes beyond someone trying to sell us something. Or legislate something. Or scare us into something. Such small-minded approaches diminish the magnificence of who we are and what we deserve.

To be in your own body, and therefore with your own experience, and to move it according to your own inner urges, is to lay claim to your own sovereignty. It is to create a life based on assuming responsibility for your thoughts, your actions, and what it takes to live all of that into existence. It is a committed self-determination that says, “I will know my own mind and what it is that makes me tick.”

Sovereignty

 

I am watching closely now what is happening in the world when it comes to our health. This includes Big Tech becoming the doctor of the future, vaccine passports, mandatory medicine, the censoring of alternative approaches and more. We are living in times where we run the risk of bypassing our humanity in a quest for the supposed infallibility of the technologies and of those slated to make billions in profits off of our increasingly sick population.

We also run perhaps the biggest risk of all by believing the fantasy that something outside of us will guarantee health, wellness and happiness. With not much effort, by the way, on our part. Instead, a kind of passive approach to our health and well-being that does not require much; other than to extend an arm, take a pill or schedule a tele-doc appointment. All while being told, “This is what you must do.”

How can we be expected to know how to care for these bodies of ours? After all, we’re not experts. We couldn’t possibly know what to do.

While there are many, many layers to how it is that we will be caring for ourselves over the coming years, I would like to propose that at the very heart of any authentic and humane discussion of what happens with our bodies be the irrefutable requisite that sovereignty is at the center of any discussion, policy enacted or delivery of care we engage with. A definition of this word recently offered to me by a wise woman sums it all up:

Sovereignty is rulership over oneself.

My god, can you imagine it? Can you imagine, as the dictionary writes, “freedom from external control?” In other words, a lifelong path of claiming total rulership over your body and its health as the core of what we do individually and collectively. With this as the starting point, we cannot go astray. We cannot be confused by mixed agendas or glitzy new technologies. We cannot get spell-casted by the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies. We cannot be strong-armed by hospital insurance codes or public health fear tactics trying to scare us into action.

But. And there is a big but here. To have this level of sovereignty at the center of our lives is to recognize the current paradigm that tells you, “You are a child who needs a parent/expert to tell you what to do. You do not possess the authority to decide for yourself.” This is not something that is easy to see in yourself, but it can be gotten to by paying attention to how you talk about your body and who decides what happens with it.

Listen for statements like, “My doctor put me on…” or “I didn’t think I really needed it, but he said…” Pay attention to how often you have a sense of something happening in your body that gets silenced in the presence of your doctor. Be on alert when you don’t say something for fear of irritating or angering your doctor. And then, learn to be honest with yourself when you catch yourself being relieved by not having to be the one to make the decision because it feels like it’s so much safer and more of a sure bet to just do what they tell you to do.

Sovereignty and freedom go hand in hand. There is no freedom without rulership over your own health choices. And there is no rulership without a felt sense of your right to be free of external authority governing the very territory of your own body.

This is what is before us now and has little to do with a healthcare plan and everything to do with each one of us growing up enough to become the one who claims the leadership role in matters of our own health and well-being. This does not mean that we go it alone. But it does mean that we partner with those who place our sovereign human nature above all else because that is what is so at the deepest and most fundamental levels of what is real and what is true for a human being.

And because that is what we have decided we are worth.

Being A Midwife To Ourselves

 

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I wanted help being with the experience fully and naturally. I was new to figuring out how to trust my body, and I knew I needed to be with someone who already believed that childbearing was a healthy and natural experience that I was built for; one that would serve as a powerful initiation into motherhood.

At the time, I read two things that continue to inform my relationship with my body, and what it is that I hope to impart to others. The first being that midwife means “with woman.” I immediately felt a deep resonance to those two “little” words. They felt like they held a code to something so very, very true. Imparting a simple and basic tenet that as we move through all the experiences of life in a body, more than anything, we need someone willing to be with us. Someone who knows down to their bones that we have it within us, and that at times of great transition, we just need a little help.

In essence, someone who helps us to know that we are not alone and trusts that we can do whatever needs doing.

The second thing I read was a story of a midwife who said that when a woman thanked her too profusely after the baby was born, she knew she had inserted herself too much into the experience, so she would go back and reflect on where she had gone wrong. She said she never wanted to steal the experience from the mother by making herself the doer of what the woman had actually done herself; knowing that that new mama was going to need all the self-trust she could muster to bring that baby into the world.

This perspective is not alive and well in the world we live in. Instead, we are undermined at every turn when it comes to trusting these bodies of ours. We are told to listen to the experts, and to follow the science. We get our ideas about what to eat and how to feed our families from the commercials we see on tv and from which foods are affordable to us as a function of government subsidies; not what these bodies would naturally choose.

Instead of someone being with us when we visit our primary care doctors, we are “done to” in our 12-minute office visits where routine tests are administered by a likely harried and robotic nurse and inserted into a computer. Then we wait, alone, for the doctor to arrive and more often than not, a prescription for a pill handed out, when what we most need is the patient presence of someone we trust.

To trust our bodies begins with knowing that we deserve better. That we deserve someone being with us in times of challenge. That we are not a number or a commodity to be filed away in some orderly fashion so that the reports all come out right for the hospital administrators and insurance companies.

If, like me, you are done with this, it is time for you to claim your humanity, and the preciousness of your existence. Time to align with those who have created a sacred vow to be “with” us through it all. But to do this, you must learn to feel. Feel when you are being done to. And then you must allow some part in you to rise up and claim that you are worth more than this. No matter what they say. No matter your own thoughts that might say, “This is all there is.”

Truly, you are precious enough for someone to choose to be with you through all the challenging moments of life in a body.