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Whole Human Care

From the category archives: Anthroposophic ideas

Anthroposophic ideas

Sensing Like the Heart

Feel your heart. Stop, pause for a moment and see if you can sense the rhythmic beating of your heart. It is an amazing organ because it is in constant movement, so flexible and mobile that the moment you say "there, now it is contracting" it has actually already started expanding, and by the time you say it is relaxing it has again started squeezing. The heart creates an tremendous organic activity—it is not so much a pump as a physiologic archetype of balance—faithfully and continuously working through our whole lifetime, steady, steady, steady (can you imagine carrying out the same activity for 70, 80, 90 years?), yet simultaneously so dynamic that it never really rests. Because of these dueling activities it is hard to capture the essence of the heart in a single work or image; there are too many aspects. The description of a "harmonious paradox" might come close. But even that is not quite right. Better, perhaps, would be "the possibility to hold opposite activities (like contraction and e ...

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Working with Fear

There sure are a lot of things to be afraid of in the world right now.  Part of that seems related to these being turbulent times, but part of it is probably because we are connected to so many things and people and places.  How many pieces of news can you really digest in a day, even if it is all good news?  How many pieces of news can you digest if most of them are bad?  Certainly the worrisome and scary events in the world seem to get the most press so that sometimes it can feel like everything is collapsing.  That makes it hard to find places to safely orient ourselves.   Orienting is a really important part of maintaining our own well-being.  Some of our anchors for orientation lie outside ourselves, some are inside, and some anchoring activities are about reinforcing the boundary in between.  As a very young child, inside and outside anchors are hardly distinguishable--when I am around the ones who truly care and tend to my well-being (mother, father, grandparen ...

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Something Spiritual--What to do when Nothing seems to be Happening

Some new year's thoughts: one of the best, and also the hardest parts of life is that things are continually shifting.  If we are too busy we wish for some down time.  If we are bored or under-utilized we wish for something more to happen.  Amazingly, there are even times when we wish for things to slow down (usually in one arena of life) and speed up at the same time (in another area).  Wow, being a self-conscious human being is complicated, because not only do we get to feel this way but we also get to observe ourselves feeling this way and then be unsettled by it.  There are also times when we don't feel like anything is happening, even if we are overly busy and our time is fully occupied.  Or, we get so used to things going fast all of the time--because there is a pervasive expectation that we need to be productive all the time, especially if you have things like family, and work, and social groups, and even things that you do for fun outside of those other ...

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Plastic Surgery for Food? The GMO Question. Living an Authentic Life, part 4

Is there such a thing as living food?  If so, does that mean that there is dead food?  Why should it make a difference, if the most important thing about nutrition is the calories, fats, protein and vitamin content of a food?  Let's explore this a little: certainly fresh food tastes better, and fruit that has ripened on the tree or vine has a whole different quality than fruit that was picked green and shipped around the world.  It also seems increasingly clear, from all kinds of different perspectives, that highly processed food is not good for us.  Processed food is not the same.  Like formula for babies, which even if it chemically is as close as we can possibly make it to breast milk, it is not an equivalent.  That is at least in part due to the fact that the nutritive substance in breast milk has already been enlivened by the mother's body.  It can easily be digested and taken up into the body.  The substance of the milk is living--it loses some of that when i ...

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The Etheric Body: Foundation of a Dynamic Clinical Lens

            There is a great modern hope to find the kernel of good health in a check-list.  As medical costs are ballooning and rates of chronic illness climb, one oft-espoused solution is to get more precise about what we as healthcare providers are doing, creating broad practice guidelines and working to universally apply them.  There is the hope that if we define the basic parameters of physical health and work towards them, we will all be healthier.  Body-mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer screening, vaccinations and smoking cessation become our measures of good health, and if those are within their proper parameters we can all feel good that we are keeping people healthy.  For anyone who has recently gone through an academic medical training this kind of reductionist medicine is all too familiar.  The parameters may shift—dependent on the specific patient population and organ focus of a particular dis ...

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