What is Health? According to WHO ’Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in which disease and infirmity are absent’ (1).
The WHO further describes mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’.
Forgotten Faces of Health
What we often forget about health is that health is not just an absence of a physical or mental disease or injury.
What is assumed in the WHO’s definition is that we should be not only
- free from disease or injury
but also be:
- adaptable to the world (‘can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully’)
- able to develop fully while following an optimal lifestyle according to our individual constitution (the individual realises his or her own abilities)
- pay as much attention to our own mental, social and spiritual wellbeing as we do to the physical
- able and willing to contribute (‘make a contribution to his or her community’).
A Therapy is Not Enough
Thinking about WHO health definition it becomes clear that a therapy intervention alone is not going to help with the whole health. At best a therapy – conventional or alternative – can help us to reach a stage of ‘an absence of a disease’ but to build sustainable health which is to reach an easily maintained state of full physical wellbeing, realisation of our individual potential, be adaptable to life and make a fruitful contribution, we need to take further steps.
I’ve been observing this need of further steps ever since I started with my Natural Health Clinic in 2003. I have been lucky to practice probably the best holistic (in a true sense of this word) therapy, Colourpuncture, which focuses on building sustainable health on Body, Mind and Soul levels. Colourpuncture can also give you clear insights on your next step in life but to take this step and also address other sides of your life is still totally up to you.
So I started noticing common barriers to sustainable health, pots of problems so to speak and looking for ways to take things further.
Good pots of bad problems
Here is my version of 10 pots of (Health, Life and Self) problems I have been working on solutions for all along, with some examples of Good Quality Questions to answer 🙂
The problems can feel bad – nobody would argue that a headache or migraine is a particularly enjoyable experience and it seems that nothing good can come out of it. However, some of well known therapies which have been helping numerous people came into being after a seemingly endless and severe struggle of just one person carrying this pot of problems whose solutions ended up as a blessing for other people.
The idea here is to take each pot of problems and work on creating great solutions till we arrive to a situation which is better than it was before the problem.
While this may sound too big or complicated a goal it actually isn’t. Apart from a therapy all we need is a set of Good Quality Questions, to which we find honest answers which will form ‘building blocks of life’. A building block of life and a clear sense of Self will create a core structure of our authentic lifestyle of sustainable health, happiness and fruitful contribution.
This is a classic ‘lemons to lemonade’ scenario which is practical, structured and fun. Think about that: if you never had a particular ‘problem’ you would have never looked into solutions and our solutions tend to bring beautiful things: better habits, useful knowledge, better suited profession, creative hobby, stimulating connections, and bright creative expression, or indeed building an entire new therapy system.
Having found solutions for ourselves we tend to share them with other people so our little pot of problems once opened, cleaned and worked with can become an endless source of good things with a much bigger reach.
Barriers to Sustainable Health
There are bold and obvious barriers to health such as eating wrong food or not exercising enough; working too much or sleeping too little or staying in a Soul destroying job or relationships. While not necessarily addressing them we all know we should.
And there are less obvious but probably more important barriers because they form the roots on which those bold and obvious barriers later grow.
Here I give just a few examples but each topic is a huge pot.
- IDENTITY or SELF problems:
- Poor sense of Self outside of our professional/social/family Roles
- A sense of incompetency
- Not flowing or non lived creativity
Typical belief: ‘It’s noble to put something/someone else first’.
Solution: to remember, acknowledge and develop our Self
The Self is like the Sun, the centre of our internal Universe giving energy to everything and everybody around; if this is compromised nothing else is fully possible.
2) RELATING, giving and receiving problems:
- imbalance in creating and maintaining love, money, or time
- problems in establishing contacts or separation problem, boundaries problems
- imbalance between ability to love and care and receive love and care
Typical belief: ‘It’s noble to put someone else first: your partner, children, or mother in law’.
Solution: to build harmonious relating, create ‘win-win’ every time and enhance each other’s life while giving space
In any relationship there is a Moon principle of reflection – we tend to see in others what we have deep inside of our Self and sometimes it’s not what we want to see – purely because we judged it and labeled ‘bad’ when in fact most of the time it’s a neutral quality, a statement of the fact.
3) MISMANAGEMENT of EMOTIONS and FEELINGS:
- emotional indulgence/entanglement/denial
- lack of adequate expression of emotions (both positive and negative)
- lack of adequate action on emotions (‘e-motion’ means to bring to action)
Typical belief: ‘You just don’t show your emotions’.
Solution: to fully recognise, accept, express and constructively action out our emotions (past, present and favourite)
Emotions and feelings can get our love/hate reactions and we may miss the point that in reality creativity and action should be our goal when processing emotions.
4) LIFE ORGANISATION problems:
- ‘Missed’ life stages: not fully lived joy of childhood or freedom of teen-hood (example: due to early responsibilities, profession or marriage)
- ‘I’d rather forget this memory’: unintegrated/non-owned experiences including psychological traumas leading to scars or developmental stunts
- ‘Unfinished business’
Typical belief: ‘The past is set in stone. Just forget bad things and never go there.’
Solutions: develop a sense of competency and self respect by owning our life choices; recognising that in many situations we simply din’t play a leading role when we thought we did
Life experience, by extrapolation sets expectations. Raising our ‘tolerance to life being good’ (2) regardless the past experience or having a realistic view on pure ‘luck’ experiences is a single most important factor for both accepting and loving your life as it has been and organically expanding to play a bigger game in future.
5) Lack of RESOURCES:
- Empty/not enough spiritual/emotional ‘reservoir’ (for example due to early lack of early input from family or being in a long term caring role)
- Lack of self-care and unmet needs: health, free time, activities feeding your Soul and body
- Not developing your talents by tapping into your Family Tree
Typical belief: ‘Man/women up’ and just get on with it’.
Solutions: to uncover, recognise and create new resources
Resources can be a central all encompassing problem which once resolved can just give you everything you need.
6) Lack of CONNECTION and WHOLENESS:
- Disconnection (from people) or sense of not belonging
- Disconnection (from body and Self) which can be inborn or developed due to traumas, beatings, abuse, pains and diseases
- Disconnection from reality
Typical belief: ‘Nobody even thinks about these things (apart from therapists)’.
Solutions: to re-establish connection between the Self and others, and between parts of Self
Mind-Body-Soul are three layers of our being and everything we do need to feed all of them. Social connection is vital for human wellbeing.
7) DREAMS and WISHES problems:
- Unfulfilled plans and dreams, ‘unfinished business’
- Not identified, not clear (or denied) wishes
- Denial of reality of a current situation
Typical belief: “Dreams didn’t happen so you just forget all about it.’
Solution: to define our wishes and make a plan how to get there and be open; to remember our long forgotten wishes and go back, own them and update them
NEVER give up on your dreams; you are a part of a much bigger picture and your dreams are not just your dreams. Let go of a form and keep your dreams and wishes up-to-date. This is your lifeline with your Inner Self and the rest of creation.
8) UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION problems:
- Forever stuck in 9 to 5 out of fears around security
- No idea what your unique contribution can be
- Going with somebody’s expectations of an assumed Role
Typical belief: “Go get law/medical/financial degree. Or a trade skill’.
Solution: signpost the Landscape of your Path
I keep noticing ever since I started giving and receiving Colourpuncture to people that our ‘worldly contribution’ reveal itself naturally as soon as we are free from major road blocks in a field of our consciousness. I also noticed that in every case this plays out as an exciting mixture of all previous skills, interests, talents, wishes and life experience and the uniqueness of it is fascinating. I feel that worldly contribution is something which is always there, it’s always somewhere right next to us but usually is buried under a lot of emotional and psychological clutter. As soon as this clutter starts to lift our ‘contribution’ reveals itself with no extra efforts.
9) ‘MY ONLY PROBLEM IS’:
- an obvious disease
- a pain
- a physical or emotional or psychological discomfort
Typical belief: ‘Just ‘fix’ this only problem and everything else will fall into place’.
I put this as a n9 even though it seems like a n1 because basically it’s a collection and an outcome of all previous pots and a result of some years of development. It also comes in layers: your obvious current/recurrent disease which comes down to disease trends and further down to family history trends and the rut for it, an existing weakness is always going to be there; so it needs regular ‘weeding’. Also here belongs an obscure but probably most important ‘your favourite poison’, your mental construct which prevents you from establishing good habits and taking targeted balanced actions.
10) NOT ENOUGH JOY in life:
- obvious depression or anxiety which eat up your daily joy
- numbness of feelings due to a serious injury to the Soul
- resignation due to seemingly unresolvable life situation
Typical belief: ‘You are either a happy bunny or you are not’ or ‘Your joy directly depends on our external situation in life’
Joy is an integrative emotion. According to the TCM Joy (Fire) comes naturally when all other 4 elements (Water, Wood, Earth and Metal) are happy and balanced.
Joyful being to me is living every day fully once you know yourself and keep your life experience organised and your life, balanced. This joyful being is possible though at a very early stage of Cultivating the Self as here we connect directly to the core of our Self; we find building blocks and use them to build our Life and Self every day.
Bring passion back into your life
Our Cultivating the Self program is an integration of numerous self help tools from Personal Development, Natural Therapies and Soul works. A particular problem lends itself to a particular solution. Cultivating the Self is an integration which helps you to build a solid structure for fruitful life out of building bricks of life, learn to ask yourself Good Quality Questions on various life issues and also remove the barriers to sustainable health.
For each pot of problems there are only two choices:
- you can argue for your limitations and keep your current less-than-wonderful situation or
- take control of your life by taking charge on what’s going on, come back to sense of Self and plant seeds of a good life
Assuming you take a constructive choice, start with some Good Quality Questions on what your early conditioning has been around:
- the Self
- Emotions and Feelings
- Life experience
- Connection and Wholeness
- Dreams and Wishes
- Unique Contribution
- Health and Wellbeing
- Joyful Living
- How this conditioning and resulting choices are affecting you now?
- What’s in your Pots?
The easiest way to do it is to take 1 piece of paper, put ‘My belief about the Self, how is it effecting me now and what’s in my pot of Self’ at the top and do some Stream of Conscious Writing with no judgment and no stops, and do the same for each pot.
Have fun doing it and take it seriously at the same time 🙂
If you do I promise you: 10 pages of focused, honest writing and you will be beyond surprised about what you discover about your Self and your views on your Life Experience.
And if you like unravelling the magic of Self, Join us in Cultivating the Self to dive deep exploring and finding creative solutions for each of these pots – and more! – in a company of people on the same quest.
Cultivating the Self is cultivating your ability to speak from your heart, act from your core, and live your true Self according to your constitution and develop your talents according to given gifts.
Show up for yourself in a lead role in your own life and give the others permission to do the same!