“It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” -J. Krishnamurti.
An important part of healing the self is to begin noticing how your thoughts, values and behaviors have been influenced by the culture at large. Many aspects of our culture are actually symptoms of dis-ease. In the same way that an individual exhibits imbalance within, the population as a whole reflects the collective imbalance. We can see this imbalance in the way that many people live their lives, feeling disconnected from one another, the earth, and their own bodies. Greed, pollution, and a population self medicating, obese, and unhealthy are a testament to this collective imbalance.
The cultural influence can be very subtle, as we receive the message over and over again from advertisements and the media that we need to buy more, be more, and subscribe to a certain lifestyle in order to find happiness. The truth is that happiness is an internal state, and that all of the resources in the world cannot buy peace of mind.
Humanity is in the midst of making a profound transformation, and we are moving from an era of competition to one of cooperation. As the health of our planet is threatened, we are beginning to pay more attention to our actions and behaviors. This mirrors the journey of personal healing as well. As a crisis arises in your minds, emotions, and physical body, you begin to pay more attention to what is out of balance within.
So begin paying greater attention to which parts of your cultural experience are causing you distress and disharmony. In what ways are you shaping yourself to fulfill cultural expectations. Examine your wants and desires, investigating where they have originated. There are many eye opening books and documentaries that help to shed light on how our unconscious mind has been shaped. The BBC series, “The Century of The Self”, is a great place to start
Healing the Earth
Reconnecting and repairing our relationship with the earth go hand in hand with personal healing. If we look at the history of humanity we can see how disconnected we have become from the earth, and the negative effects this has had on our collective health, and the health of the planet. We are literally made from the elements of the earth, and we are profoundly connected to the energy of the planet in a way that has long been forgotten.
The good news is that more and more people are waking up to this profound connection, and making changes in their attitudes and lifestyle. When we take the time to be in nature, let our feet touch the bare earth, get our hands in the dirt, and feel the stillness and expansiveness of nature, we re-experience our connection. The more we allow ourselves to return to a natural way of living and being, the greater connection we feel with the earth and our own hearts. So turn off your television, computer, and phone for a while, and go out among the trees and wildlife. Plant a garden, go for a hike. And when you do, notice the peace and calm that comes over you. Blessings and Good Health!
Mica Akullian M.S. is a holistic counselor in the Bay Area, providing counseling services in Oakland, Berkeley, Sebastopol, and Skype counseling as well as phone counseling. Through his own journey of self healing, he continues to learn how to live in greater holistic health and investigate natural healing methods.