Often, in my Clinic, I will ask a woman to describe the characteristics of a healthy woman so she can define for herself what she is aiming for. The room generally gets pretty quiet. The trouble is, we don’t know all that many. I feel that we need to create more archetypal models for each other.
About the time we were born, post-industrial age, our mothers cooked, cleaned, combined Kraft Dinner with Hamburger Helper and threw out the dishes awarded at the old movie houses to replace them with Tupperware. Most of us witnessed the cancer state of mind incarnate as our moms rescued everybody else to the exclusion of themselves, living the un-lived life hungering to be someone else named Jones or Smith. In cookie-cutter homes in suburbia, moms had only a sherry or coffee party in the afternoon to look forward to while their husbands went off to the office in the family Buick with a brown vinyl briefcase sporting a three-piece-suit. If our Mothers worked, they typically were stenographers, typists, and general Girl Fridays in service to the men.
After the mind-blowing 60’s, we began to re-order ourselves and look through “the Doors” of rose coloured glass. The “me generation” had us shortening our skirts and questioning the status quo. But have we really come all that far? Just yesterday, I heard a women say, “but I can’t quit my job of abject drudgery, I have to pay the bills!” So reluctantly, I listen, to the litany of stories and complaints about dead-beat husbands, beastly bosses, unfulfilling work, isolation and lack of support with the child-rearing, and the absolute state of never-ending exhaustion. Yes, we independent women have had the biscuit and have been eating it too. But are we any more happy and healthier, or just “crummier?”
As of 2003, women’s mortality rates were only slightly lower than men’s. Cancers, respiratory disease, infectious diseases and even poisonings are now almost just about par with our post-industrial office-hubbies. We put on our nylons and our pumps, filled our own briefcases and bought independence. Without any help in the kitchen, full-time Nannies for our babes, or house-keepers that we drool over in our Jane Austen book clubs, we are wholly stressed to the max., and some women I know are actually teetering on the brink of suicide. Holy crap, is this the biscuit we chose to chew on or a dried out old rusk?
So if we’re aiming to become healthy women, and there are few archetypes to choose from and we aren’t it, we risk becoming like our mothers (God forbid!), does this mean we are trapped with no way out? I feel that when things look the most dark and bleak is the time to search for the flashlight and plumb the depths to see if we can start to crystalize a smidgen of light out of this mess! The only way I know how to answer this question is to talk about the woman that I know best … me! And God knows, I may die trying to figure this out, or even finding that darn flashlight.
The thing is that I set my needs at the top of the list before anybody else’s. It is a bit like when you are on a plane and the Flight Attendant instructs you to put the oxygen mask over your face first before attending to the care of any other human being, including your own child. I realized some time ago, that I’m no good to anyone else until my needs are met. I happily serve my patients a very busy 4 full days of the week in clinic; I receive a massage every two weeks; I study hard, but not to the exclusion of my play; I go away alone to cabins or kayaking in Algonquin Park to think and just “be” once a month in the summer. I live potently in that which I have set goals that have become reality out of love. I do not struggle needlessly at anything. I eat very well, exercise gracefully about 45 minutes 6 days a week, and I sleep like a log. I am in a resonant, orgastically rich loving relationship, and my beloved children live with their awesome Father 2 weeks out of every month which really contributes to my health as a mother.
When my children are with me, I have the most amazing league of beautiful folk, with small children or no babes at all, who love a chance to spend time with my kids a couple of times a month. I work this arrangement solely on the basis of trade as I wholly value their services. I work at what I absolutely love and am destined to be and I don’t spend a minute complaining about a thing in my life … except that my school debt needs to be paid off faster than it is. I love my home and live on a farm with trails through forest for hundreds of miles. I have amazing friends who wholly wait for me to finish my post graduate studies so we can spend more time together. I have a family, by choice, and one by birth, however, I don’t have an ounce of obligation built into the latter one. Thanks be to God!
I embrace my femininity, living from my hips, I am quick to smile using my whole body and I can also be enraged in an instant at the Pharmaceutical Companies or at the Political Machine. I seek only pleasure, resonance, congruency, while wholly being connected to my feelings (and displaying them confidently) with the capacity to surrender assuredly. I’m never politically correct and take full responsibility for my feather ruffling. I am afraid of the political machine and what will happen when the federal reserve goes tits up. I throw tantrums like a stubborn 2 year old, but I’m also mature and I’m told wise for my years. I am not easy to live with, but I am wholly cherishable, smart at times, funny as hell and very bloody intense and I love myself more than anyone. I am bold, brash, and often inappropriate and I can dance like a sufi fiend, and often do. I speak my mind and my heart, I love to hear myself sing, and I love to watch myself write anything. I am pulsated with endless creativity and I’m wholly unabashed to say so.
I will only engage in what I feel is generative, freeing and in line with my core values, so if someone asks me if I’ve read the latest mystical book that is all a-buzz, I will say “no” and if pushed to answer “why?” I will say that when you have access to principles and the oracle of truth to be able to “cure disease,” why do I need to follow someone like Robin Sharma or Eckhart Tolle? Why should I choose to be on a mission when I can be a seeker that has actually arrived! Can you imagine how jazzed I get to know how to cure Cancer, or how to enable an Autistic Babe to speak for the first time, or potentially save a man’s life from his Father’s heart disease? The community I joyfully celebrate has gone beyond, McTaggart’s popular book, “The Field,” where she, “describes scientific discoveries that she believes point to a unifying concept of the universe, one that reconciles mind with matter, classic Newtonian science with quantum physics and, most importantly, science with religion.” To a Heilkunstler, this smacks of mysticism and doesn’t anchor us in the principles of spiritual science or consistently help to solve disease, it does make us yawn, though. Yes, I’m totally politically incorrect?
As a woman and a Heilkunstler, I’ve made it my goal to be my own mentor. Whether I am sitting with a patient (or holding them lovingly and securely) while they cry, or hanging with my kid’s at the local coffee shop, or writing my thesis, or swimming laps at the pool, I hold myself wholly accountable to my self. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Heilkunst, defined health as:
In the healthy human state, the spirit-like Living Power (Autocracy) enlivening the material body (organism) as Dynamis holds sway unrestrictedly and keeps all of its parts in admirable, harmonious, vital operation in both feelings and functions, so that our indwelling rational spirit can freely avail itself of this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.
A healthy 21st Century Woman is what I strive to be, wholly availing myself to my higher purpose. This is what Heilkunst is all about!