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     I find our societal views of what it means to be healthy, to be too simplistic. These views overlook many essential aspects of health and limit our idea of what is possible. It’s difficult for me to even express how inadequate our idea of healing is.

     When I first began my own healing journey, after making a commitment to find my way back to health in December of 2000, I focused primarily on my physical health. The quality of my sleep was abysmal, due to physical pain and severe muscle spasms, so I invested in a new mattress. I increased my physical activity, experimented with various types of bodywork (massage, chiropractic, myofascial release, etc.), and began a supplementation regimen to calm my muscles, soothe my digestive system and address my anxiety.

As I began to improve, I was further inspired to look at what I was eating and what types of chemicals I was exposing myself to in my personal care products. That morphed into considering how my home and work environments were either supporting or hindering my ability to heal and achieve wellness. I switched to non-toxic cleaning products, as well as paints, floor finishes, etc., for our home improvement projects. I changed light bulbs, bedding and made our home into a soothing, calming, healthy space, little by little.

     Addressing my mental, emotional and spiritual health came much later. I just didn’t understand in those early years of healing, how critical this aspect of my health was. Since then, I’ve worked on reprogramming my unconscious beliefs to allow my thoughts to be more positive, which is a huge improvement over immediately imagining the worst-case scenario. I’ve released old emotional traumas and have been able to see how the behavioral patterns created by those experiences shaped my life, often in ways that were not ideal. Breaking those vicious cycles has been SO freeing and has expanded my ability to experience health in ways I could never have imagined. Addressing these areas of my life is now an integral part of constantly maintaining and expanding my health.

If you’ve ever played or watched someone play a video game, what you see at the beginning of the game is only a snapshot of everything that will take place as it progresses. I’m referring to older video games and am not sure this applies to newer games, but games like Super Mario had different levels. Each level was a different series of obstacles that required different tactics in order to progress to the next level, often increasing in difficulty with each level.

     Healing and achieving true health are similar. My first level was dealing with physical pain, daily digestive discomfort and anxiety. Addressing those issues allowed me to move on to the next level, where I had to change my daily choices to move on to the next level of healing. Throughout my journey, integrating multiple facets of healing kept me in constant forward motion, revealing new aspects that needed my attention for the momentum to continue.

When I started out, I didn’t know that I had all these issues to sort through. That only became clear as I kept making improvements and advancing my health. And I had no idea that I could achieve what I have with my health by being open to learning that my mental, emotional and spiritual health would dramatically impact my physical health.

     I don’t know how many levels I’ve moved through, or how many levels remain ahead. I’m not sure there is a cap on what I can achieve. I do know that I am constantly expanding my health, my happiness, my satisfaction with my life, and my concept of what is possible, by staying in the game.

I invite you to deeply consider your health, how it’s connected to every aspect of your life and what you might be overlooking. You may be limiting the possibilities of what you can achieve by playing small and overlooking areas that could bring you to the next level. There could be magic, satisfaction and joy just ahead that you may not even have dared to dream could be yours.

Life moves fast and it’s easy to be swept into the chaos and stress of the American lifestyle. But you deserve better. And you are the only one who can choose a different path and continue taking steps to find the magic behind each bend in the road.

I still have obstacles to overcome, some that I have no idea how to address. But I know that the answers will come as long as I stay open to receiving guidance and taking action when something feels right for me.

I know that you are capable of great things and that there is a part of you that longs for more. Most of us were taught to suppress our dreams, to be “realistic” and “responsible” instead, but those who dare to dream are the ones who move us all forward.

It’s time to progress to the next level of the game, unleash the dreamer within, and develop the health you need to make those dreams possible.