I am away for all of November and my practice will be open again on Wednesday, the 4th of December.
This is a letter that I’ve sent in response to an article written by Samantha Turnbull (ABC online news) this morning. A link to the article is below the letter.
How my heart aches just a little bit more every time I read an article like yours.
I have spent the last 14 years working as a counsellor (and most of that in addictions), and what I am seeing is a rapid decline in the general mental and physical health of our communities. What I am also witnessing is that it doesn’t matter how much more money or scientific evidence we throw at the modern systems of medicine, they just aren’t working and they are buckling under the burden of expectation we have lofted onto them for the last 70 or so years… and we will not be able to afford it for too much longer. We have never been sicker as a population.
We need to approach our health question differently, all of us that is, you included. You appear to be buying into the argument that one stream of medicine is better than the other, and this therefore assumes that people like me (who use and believe in both) are idiots for embracing anything “alternative” and that we are constantly being hoodwinked by an industry that doesn’t know its a*** from its elbow. It is so insulting! And all the while people are missing out on what will become best practice in the future, a collaboration between the two.
What I would love to see and hear from reporters like you is a story that has people who have real power in the health world, like Professor Dwyer, say “tell me more, Professor Myers, I am open to knowing what you and your colleagues have found”, not several derogatory ,disrespectful and reductionist remarks in an article with a slant that sets out to lampoon a professor and his organisation who are looking for real change and to imply that they are incompetent. This doesn’t improve our national health one iota.
How about taking up Professor Myers’ argument that there is plenty of supporting evidence that should have been included in the NHMRC’s review of Naturopathy. WHY wasn’t it? If it was flawed, would not that become self-evident? Tens of thousands of Australians use complementary therapies, firstly because they work and secondly because they feel that the medical model can no longer see the forest for the trees and maybe, just maybe, there is something to be learnt from treating the body in an holistic manner rather than as the bits and pieces we’ve been reduced to.
I am interested in what motivates journalists like yourself to continue to ignore the huge body of evidence that is available that clearly shows that what is happening in the medical world is not working. Is it fear of stepping outside the square? What a shame, as there are thousands (yes thousands) of wonderful health professionals in Australia taking that risk every day despite the scorn, anger and lack of support associated with being outside the square. They know through experience and through positive outcomes for their patients that they are making a difference, and isn’t that the reason for being a healthcare professional? There is a fundamental truth in that.
This shouldn’t be a competition, and yet the media and this article seem intent on making it so. People’s lives are at stake every minute of the day. My colleagues (from a whole range of modalities, including medical doctors) and I could provide plenty of evidence of incompetence on both sides with life and death consequences, and I could provide plenty of evidence again on both sides of real healing and wellness because a practitioner was true to the oath they took when they cast their hat into the healthcare arena.
On a personal level, I wouldn’t be alive today were it not for some very skilled doctors when I was a young child. Equally I wouldn’t be the person I am now without the assistance of some very capable complementary practitioners who diagnosed and helped me through the resultant PTSD as an adult.
Please take a look around and catch up with what is already happening at the grassroots level in our communities, and it’s happening for a very good reason. The general population doesn’t lack intelligence. Dig deeper into the wellness side of healthcare. Thousands of us have, and we don’t have any problem marrying the two worlds together, and we are hungry for good solid truthful journalism that gives equal weight to both sides.
I am not associated with anyone in your article.
CRITICAL AWARENESS 101. When you look around at your family, your work or your social circle, who are the pacesetters? Be it fashion, lifestyle, relationship or money earned, who are they? Are they worthy of your attention? Are they great authentic examples of the virtues or wisdom they preach?
A big beware if they are not… They may simply be on the same bandwagon as others who are keen to profit from us, lord it over us and keep us how they want us. They use a lot of hot air and have no more idea about how to live well than you do.
If you want to live an authentic life, a life with connection and meaning, then go find people who live an authentic, connected and meaningful life… and follow them.
Resisting the urge to evaluate the importance of just sitting in nature somewhere is in itself healing.
Letting the defiant mind be soothed by the rhythm of the sun, the waves, the clouds, the birds, the trees, the whatever of the moment in front of you, can, in some small way, help reinstate the core of you. Follow the rhythm – it will return you home.
They say that a picture can be worth a thousand words, well here is a fantastic example of that.
My clients and I spend hours looking at ways to express and unravel the discomfort of life now and how helpless it can make you feel sometimes. Well here in just over 4 mins UK animation artist Steve Cutts paints that picture satirically, beautifully, chillingly, desperately and accurately. Well done Steve.
If you feel like you are on a similar treadmill and want to try and find a way out make an appointment and come for a chat. There are ways to pull back from the insanity of it all without losing all that you have.
As I was walking along the bay the other evening, after a full day of stormy freezing squally winter rain, I was struck by the moodiness of the moment. I’ve always loved a good storm and the way that it can remind me that I am a living, breathing, thinking being.
The other evening, I had this real sense of how many parts there are to me, how many stories I have lived through or created – the library of me, so to speak. Some autobiographical, some high adventure and escapism, some read like a Greek tragedy, some are hilarious, some have been badly written, some beautifully, many have been written by others. Then there are the murder mysteries where I’ve killed off those ugly parts of me only to discover on a night that will be as dark and stormy as this one that they’re hiding in the hallway cupboard or under my bed. Then there is the epic love story that makes nights like this seem like all the waiting, distance, heartache and anguish were perfect… meant to be. (I’ve read Wuthering Heights!)
But in the main, I can now see looking back, that most are sturdy works of pure fiction, not based on fact at all. However, like all great fiction stories, they were well-researched and at the time very convincing, so convincing that at times I lived, breathed and ate nothing but their well-constructed storylines, believing them to be the passport to my enlightenment.
Back then, I would be seen nowhere near a beach on a windy, stormy night for the fear bordering on terror that a squall of wind would scatter my library to the four corners of the world, exposing me like the rocks on the beach the morning after the storm. Now I can stand there and shout “BRING IT ON!!!”, rejoicing in the knowledge that the pages in my books are written on the same templates that are handed to us all as we inhale our first breaths.
Standing there the other evening as the night closed in, extinguishing the last remains of the day, I felt vindicated for all the time I have spent attending to my library, re-reading, editing, deleting and then filing the remainder of the books in their correct time and place.
I think the thing I love the most about huge changes in our weather is that it can, if we are paying attention, provoke us out of our daily stupor and remind us that we are evolving beings with seasons just like the rest of life and land here on this earth and that the more we are separated from these, the more we pine for them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
There are more books to come and more walks to be had in winter storms no doubt, and all will be informed by the same brave heart and reckless courage that have kept me company in all that’s gone before.
Last weekend I took part in a Pecha Kucha evening in Dunsborough. If you’re not familiar with Pecha Kucha (look it up) it’s a fantastic way to test your comfort zone about public speaking in front of your local community. The deal is that you are allowed 20 photo’s in which you get to speak to for 20 seconds so 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. Yikes!!!
My talk was on the invisible power of words a topic that I am passionate about and one that really has the ability to change your life.
Check out the video and I apologise that the lighting wasn’t too good for the speakers but then again the message is the point of the exercise and you can certainly hear me.
Sometimes as an individual and as a community we can be completely overwhelmed by the subject of suicide. We don’t know what to do or say or how to help others and the community around us who have been affected by suicide.
Suicide: The Ripple Effect is a documentary that addresses this issue. Made by Kevin Hines, a suicide survivor himself, it chronicles his recovery over the last 18 years and his mission to use his story to help others stay alive and to make us comprehend the vital importance of building an understanding community for the mental well-being of all of us.
We simply can’t do this on our own, and neither can our medical/health/government systems. This is a crisis that ripples across every area of our community and it needs the collective wisdom and power of this community to join in the conversation. Our hope in screening this film is to create a space for every member of our community to know that they are not alone in their overwhelm and that somehow, collectively, we can be the catalyst for change.
There will be a Q & A session at the end of the film with a panel consisting of a GP, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a mental healthcare educator and a number of other practitioners.
The film is brought to you by the Holistic Healthcare Practitioner Network, which is a network of over 200 practitioners here in the south-west of Australia. It is a fundraising evening for our free Wellness Festival in Busselton on Sunday, 28th October 2018.
WHEN: Saturday, 28th July. Doors open at 5:45pm for coffee, tea and other refreshments as part of the fundraising, and the film will screen at 6:30pm sharp.
WHERE: Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Multi-purpose Activity Centre (MAC), 2 Hawker Approach, Yalyalup, WA 6280
COST: $23.00 AUD admission + $2.00 AUD booking fee = $25.00 AUD
Online bookings only, through Fanforce: GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
Knowing things. The older I get the more I know important things like… I know nothing compared to this old beauty… I know that I often find myself envious of what trees know and what they have seen… I know that I am completely jealous of just how unflappable they are with all their secrets… I know that my heart whistles a tune every time I go by. I love knowing these things.
It’s all about belonging. At the end of the day, knowing that we belong to our families and our communities is perhaps our most primary emotional need.
In this sermon Brené Brown talks about her research findings on belonging and how a lack of belonging leads to loneliness and disconnection. Here she puts it in the context of what she wants from her church. She also puts it in the context of the state of the world at the moment, and I couldn’t agree more.
In this increasingly disconnected world where blame is the easiest weapon and fear has taken up residence in the bottom of our guts, our craving for belonging has never been greater. But I’m not sure we identify that discomfort with our need for belonging.
Brené does, and she is on a mission to wake us up and make us aware that we have the power collectively and individually to change the trajectory of our communities.
And I say “Amen” to that!