Observing the world from my perspective as an Integrative Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner, I have a unique opportunity to meet a lot of people from all walks of life, of all ages, and with diverse life experience. I love what I do in my practice and at my centre, but the thing that makes me saddest is to see the number of people (almost everyone) taking toxic pharmaceuticals to manage various conditions that could so easily be managed with natural remedies and/or lifestyle practices, with fewer or no side effects. What I’ve also observed is that the reason for this pattern is the buy-in to the quick fix philosophy of “treat the symptom, not the cause” whereby the first cause of a condition or disease is not even considered in thinking about how to alleviate the symptoms. It’s really quite backwards when you think about it, but in the fast paced world in which we live, we don’t (seemingly) have the time to slow down, become quiet, and really observe what it is that this condition is trying to communicate to us. Symptoms are messages, and usually the messages are about how we have deviated from a more natural way of living and Being. So what does it really mean, to live in harmony with nature, and to accept the invitation to learn in a way that doesn’t assault our bodies and our minds with toxic chemicals that wreck havoc on our ability to heal ourselves when we get out of balance?
We live in times that are much different than when most of us were growing up. While the internet and the devices we use to access it are indeed wonderful and have opened us up to being more informed than ever before, it seems to be at a cost, and that cost is that we have lost our connection to nature. Instead of looking around at nature and at each other, we are all looking down, seemingly “communicating” with each other, but not really seeing or hearing each other. We go to bed too late, sometimes with devices in hand, we consume fast and/or processed & unhealthy food that is devoid of prana (life force) usually while multi-tasking, and it is my observation that rarely do we do anything completely mindfully. Multi-tasking is something that has become revered in our society and I have even seen it on resumes as a skill to be rewarded rather than discouraged. We drink bottled water in an effort to supposedly be healthier, yet we are contaminating our earth with plastic in the process. All of these things actually take us further and further away from nature and thereby from ourselves. We become magnets for illness and disease of all types because our immunity suffers from trying to combat that which is not natural, from the microcosm to the macrocosm.
Nature has an inherent intelligence that runs through all things, including ourselves. We do not have to monitor the changing seasons, how a seed becomes a tree, or even the trillions of chemical reactions in our body that go on simultaneously without our conscious awareness. We need to learn to live in harmony with this intelligence not in opposition to it, which we do when we are living our lives in a manner that does not honor the laws of nature or when we use unnatural means to treat a symptom or a condition – in ourselves or on the planet. The body knows how to be healthy and it knows how to heal itself when something goes awry. We ought to be making lifestyle choices that respect this innate intelligence so that when imbalance occurs, it is quickly corrected so that it does not develop into a full-blown medical condition where pharmaceutical or surgical intervention is actually warranted. So many things can be treated by natural means. Why not take the time to get back to nature by observing the imbalance and looking toward nature for a solution – a food or nutrient, an earlier bedtime, a practice like yoga or meditation, an herb, or even a prayer. Take the first step just by being an observer of that which is happening. The offerings to correct an imbalance are plentiful; all you have to do is seek, and indeed, you shall find….
Dr. Joanna Carmichael is an RN, Dr. of Metaphysics, Divinity, Interfaith Minister, Ayurveda Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher and Founder & CEO of the Kalyana Centre in Narberth, PA