Life is full of challenges and unexpected changes that make each of us dig deeper into our selves for the resources to face them. There is an urban myth of a woman who picks up one side of a car to rescue her child – a potent image for sure. We all carry, deep within us, our greatest potential to do amazing things. This potential can get used up with chronic stress and chronic illness and it is this potential that must be the focus of healing. I call this potential your adaptive resources.
The most recognizable attribute of healthy people, of people who recover quickly from illness and injury, and of people who make it through traumatic experiences intact is their adaptability. The opposite is also true. The people who are the most stubborn, rigid, unwilling and righteous seem to have the slowest recovery from disease. The same is true of people who are physically and emotionally exhausted. Sometimes the first step towards healing is some honest self-reflection and some consistent and deep rest.
How adaptable are you and can you feel, deep within yourself, a sense of energy and resourcefulness to meet the challenges in your life?
Your metabolism, your hormones and your neurotransmitters can only adapt to the changes in your life and your health if you have abundant adaptive resources. More accurately, you need the tissue and nutritional resources to build and regenerate these essential substances everyday day and all day. All of your hormones are made from cholesterol, so a low cholesterol diet is not going to help. It is a medical fact that you cannot ingest enough cholesterol in day to replace your body’s needs for cholesterol in a day. All of your neurotransmitters are made from amino acids so it is a good idea to eat abundant amounts of protein in your diet. The process of turning cholesterol and amino acids into hormones and neurotransmitters requires a lot of co-factors like iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc and calcium so eat your vegetables!
One of your greatest adaptive resources is your physicality; how much you move and apply your body. Your central nervous system reaches into the world through your muscles, nerves and bones. If your body feels like a weak, stiff and/or overweight prison, then your nervous system will feel nervous; which is the opposite of adaptability. If you get a lot of exercise and sunshine then your nervous system will feel calm and ready for whatever happens next.
Another essential resource in maintaining or improving your adaptability is your social and intimate connections. Humans are very social animals and time with family and friends is, in my opinion, a fundamental need. Some of us need some time alone every day and some of need to be the center of attention. Finding how much sincere connection you need is a good thing to know.
I encourage you to make an appointment with yourself, in particular your inner Doctor. Once a month or once a week and spend 15 minutes reflecting on your sense of your physical, emotional, social and nutritional resources. If you feel like you have the resources to respond to any and all of the challenges that may come your way, then AWESOME! If you feel like you probably won’t be able to handle things if your life throws just one more curveball your way, then I encourage you, from the center of my being, to connect with someone you knows how to help you.
I know what it is like to completely burn out, get very sick and I know from personal experience how hard it can be to return to better health. Don’t wait and see how bad you can take it, turn things around and take the road to how good you can take it?