Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership
In our society there is quite a lot of emphasis to find and follow a personal guide to healing and betterment in all its guises, from athletic trainer to Zen master. People look to their life coach, doctor, therapist, counselor, trainer, shaman for the ’Way’ to healing, inner peace and vitality. We all have been influenced and some of us convinced that ‘someone else’ knows the way. As I’ve said before, there are phenomenal and fantastic guides and pathfinders in the world to show us a path to our ‘Way’ but there is not just one, only one, interpretation of a Way to be in this world.
Some methods work for another but may not entirely serve us or in fact, may be the long way around for us. Trouble always comes when the ‘Way to be’ is presented as the Answer (capital A) and not a ‘path’ to assist us on our own personal journey we all must walk alone. Now, it is always good to be on a journey with friends and family that are traveling the same direction; but ultimately the direction of our personal path is our own.
Having signposts along the way helps, so we don’t have to blindly follow the path developed by another nor blindly strike out on our own; one path leads to conformity, the other to confusion. Good guides are just that, guides that point the general direction and empower the individual choice of what works for you.
I have spent many years doctoring, learning a specialized way to assist people back to health. I got very good at it. As much as I wanted to see people use what I knew, take what I could teach and then seize control of their own way, it seemed that the majority of the time I was the designated repair person. People did what they did and then would come into my clinic to be ‘fixed’. Sometimes I felt like I was a drycleaner: people would stop by and ‘drop off’ their body to be pressed and straighten and then they’d head out, not taking responsibility, coming back again when their pain would return.
A larger societal concept lurks behind this phenomenon. People have bought into the worker bee mentality; a path that is promoted by industrialization. Self-worth is tied to accomplishment; value is not derived from who they are. We have changed into human doings and not remained human beings. People’s primary importance to themselves and their jobs is in doing work and secondarily, if considered at all, being healthy fully and vitally.
It is obvious to see that seeking health and wellbeing for most is a very low priority. People’s responsibility is limited to getting their list of to do’s done. They feel good when a ‘to do’ is checked off. If their health and wellbeing got in the way of their List, well, health is a lesser consideration – until that is, their level of pain and inability to do the ‘To Do’ List drove them to seek help. That is where the external ‘health professional’ originated. People focused on an external job didn’t have an inner relationship with physical/emotional/mental/spiritual issues; it became a mystery to them as to why they hurt or became dis-related to feeling whole.
Now my practice was full of good people; people that I enjoyed taking care of. It was an honor and a privilege and a pleasure to work with them. Further, a great many of them rose to the challenge of taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing and they succeeded in changing their path so they avoided the bumpy road of injury, pain and loss of vitality.
To be clear, I’m not telling you a story about my patients. No, this is a lot more personal and uncomfortable. This lesson of balance didn’t just apply to other people. It was an in-my-face lesson for me and not without some personal pain. Chiropractic is a physically demanding profession and, while I was very precise in my own body mechanics for my back and shoulders (the two prime injury sites for Chiropractors); the microtraumatic insult of 35 years of adjusting built up in my elbow to the point where pain and hypermobile joint damage stopped me from practicing. I came face to face with the concept ‘what you don’t see will surprise you’. I had perceived myself as being one thing (healthy and balanced) but in reality, I was doing another (doing too much of an action that was slowly progressively injuring me). I was the worker bee I spoke of; I was the do’er not the be’er. If I was my own patient, I would have given the very good advice to reduce the activity that was injuring me or find another way to do the same thing. Give myself room to be healthy or do it differently.
It was an emotional shock to confront this perceived roadblock. It took a good eighteen months for the withdrawal symptoms to subside: feelings of failure as a doctor; the loss of my ‘dream’ job; the one thing that I was good at I failed at; the inability to support myself in my profession; if I wasn’t a Chiropractor what and who was I? And on and on. As much as I had thought that I saw myself as a human being, I also had miss-identified myself with my human doing – the Chiropractic Doctor.
During this time, I had many hours to think and reflect on what had happened in my life. Just like the broken back and collapsed lung trauma of 40 years ago that shaped my direction towards Chiropractic as my profession; my arm pain was a constant reminder of a teaching that I hadn’t taken to heart.
So this situation forced me to look at what I had built, see the direction I wanted to go that showed the expression of my passion. It is a very confrontational process. Who I thought I was; what I did; who I couldn’t be anymore is the outer superficial layer. I realized that my passion to serve and help people and to bring the best of me to any situation was intact. The outer game may have changed but the inner core values were still there.
Did I have to choose another dream and vision for my life? NO. I feel myself being in my power when I am speaking, talking, writing, explaining, demonstrating, sharing the source of health and vitality, how to find it when lost, how to nurture it when regained.
What was the road to my dream and passion going to look like? I didn’t know, but the one-on-one me-doing-it-for-you model was not going to work anymore. Not that it ever was the most effective way and one-on-one is never going to reach the most people in the shortest time.
The best way to reach the most people was to stand up and speak and write for mass consumption; which means books, CD’s, DVD’s, internet blogs, video’s, twitter, facebook and more that I don’t know about yet. So if I want to be true to my passion and dream of being of service and supporting people in their journey to health, wealth and leadership, I had to change what I did to be consistent with whom I am and want to be. (That decision to change is why you are reading this blog post now. Ultimately what you are reading will be a book on vitality, productivity and influence; your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership.)
I think many people are confronting similar challenges in their personal journey to fulfill their passionate dream. Let’s face it: our world is changing dramatically and rapidly. Economies are changing; demands on workforce dynamics – available jobs, needed skills, areas of importance and popular interest – are fluid. What work is being done is changing, because we are changing, growing. Values are shifting to what is sustainable both in the larger economic picture and in the intimate personal level. ‘How can I be?’ is a much more valuable question than ‘What can I do?’
Health and vitality is an inside job; it comes from inside you and is easier to find when you are following your heart’s passion and your innermost mental vision of your best life. That leads to a life that is personally fulfilling and sustaining. That leads to being an influential guide for others who are on their journey. And we all cycle into an ever expanding ring of mutual support, balance and evolution.
It is not hard to find, just complete this sentence:
“I express the best of me when I am ________________.”
There will be a doing part that expresses an activity but don’t ignore the feeling part that gets you closest to your heart’s path. That is where your being best resides which will lead you to producing your best work, which will generate notice, influence and leadership.