The only New Year’s resolution that really matters
“We physicians and scientists have nothing to lose by a reexamination of fundamental assumptions of our models of health: on the contrary, we face the extraordinary possibility of fashioning a system that emphasizes life instead of death, and unity and oneness instead of fragmentation, darkness and isolation. –Larry Dossey, M.D.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 132 million Americans (that’s 41 percent) will make a New Year’s resolution. A good quarter of those potentially life-changing commitments will have something to do with diet and health.
But here’s the rub—most of what we know about diet and health is incorrect. It’s a series of beliefs that we’ve all agreed upon and therefore reproduce in physical reality. These beliefs about our physicality are placeholders until we can, as Dr. Dossey suggests, fashion a new system.
Which is why I’m going to tell you three stories that not only defy our beliefs about health but actually provide clues to the only resolution you really need.
1. First story is about Amelia Boone. She’s a full-time corporate attorney and a four-time world champion obstacle racer. Sports Illustrated calls her one of the fittest women in the world. Wanna know what she eats before each race? A Kellogg’s pop-tart. Needless to say, the sugary, calorie-filled pastry is not widely regarded as health food. Except to one of the fittest women in the world.
2. The BBC did a documentary about a group of Brits who overcame all sorts of ailments and illnesses by listening to Britney Spears songs.
My point? The only thing we need to change about our health is our thoughts and our beliefs.
3. The last story is about Evy McDonald, a nurse I learned about from my songwriter friend Greg Tamblyn (listen to his song below).
In 1980, Evy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. By the time doctors finally determined her illness, she was, to use her own words, “a bowl of jello in a wheelchair.” The doctor told her, at best, she had six months to live.
After raging about the unfairness of it all for a day or two, she had this thought: “Since I’m dying anyway, why not use the short time I have left to finally learn to love myself unconditionally?”
For years, she despised her body. She was overweight, for one thing. The polio she’d had as a child left her with two withered limbs and well, she was hard-pressed to find anything she really liked about her physical body.
But she was determined. Three times a day, she’d roll her wheelchair to the mirror and sit naked. She wouldn’t leave until she’d find new positives to add to a list. Her hair was pretty, for starters. She decided that whatever it took, she was going to learn to accept herself. She also resolved to give all negative feelings and thoughts over to the bigger thing.
At some point, she crossed some kind of miraculous threshold. She actually began to feel love and compassion for herself. She began to see her body as a miracle of creation, to see herself as a blessed being who could experience joy.
Strength began to return to her limbs. She eventually began to walk, to feed and to clothe herself. She became the first person to completely recover from ALS and thirty-seven years later, she’s still ALS-free.
So, what’s the only resolution worth having? To become completely content with yourself exactly as you are. And to know that it is ONLY your thoughts and beliefs that can ever affect you.
I know there are lots of diets and rules and cultural paradigms that you’re probably contemplating right now. But do yourself a favor. Don’t resolve to change your body. Resolve to change your mind.
You can use any disturbance in your life (health, weight, whatever you believe needs to be changed) as an opportunity to expand your horizons, as a chance to evolve to a higher level.
As the Course in Miracles clearly states, the only healing that is necessary is giving up old beliefs and changing the way you think, feel and interact with the world.
As usual, I’ll be going through the lessons of the Course in Miracles this year. I plan to blog about my 2018 journey. If you feel so inclined, I’d love to have you join in.
Thanks, my friends, for being so amazingly awesome, so extraordinarily epic. I hope to see you all next year.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.