Posted July 1, 2017 in Monthly News

A Wholesome Response

A Thought for Today from Brahma Kumaris [Need to specify the source.]

The secret of change is to focus
all of your energy,
not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.

This month’s Beyond Mastery Newsletter article was prompted by a June 2017 Townsend Letter article about a subject important to both of us: Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, CAM. The headline for the article caught our attention: The Next Big CAM Battle Is Here and It’s Ugly. In short, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the primary private Continuing Medical Education (CME) accrediting company, is trying to require Complimentary/Alternative Medicine groups to teach only “mainstream” (Western) medicine. The energy surrounding this issue prompted us to think about how best to respond in “wholesome” ways to “unwholesome” actions.

In the case of “mainstream medicine” versus complimentary and alternative approaches to healing, it is easy to see that the problem is one of “follow the money.” If a person opts for acupuncture or massage therapy instead of a traditional M.D. and prescription medications, “mainstream” medical institutions, personnel, and drug companies don’t get paid. The money goes instead to CAM practitioners. Western medicine, including surgery and pharmaceuticals, clearly has its place, and modern medicine has become an important part of our lives for good reason. That doesn’t mean, of course, that an M.D. and prescription drugs are always the first, best choice for the aches and pains that trouble all of us on occasion. The concept of “one size fits all,” has never worked well.

Several years ago Joel developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and was basically incapacitated by pain and fatigue. Because his tendency is to do research first and act second, he saw what physicians were doing for CFS, which was a combination of heavy-duty pain killers (opioids) and anti-anxiety medication. Two of the people he read about had been on the drugs and unable to work for six years. That didn’t appeal to him. With Debra’s assistance, he went to an acupuncturist. She made a big difference on the first visit, and within a month, he was almost back to normal. This is not to say that CAM is always the answer, and CAM practitioners will tell their clients to have surgery when it is required. Since that time, Joel has had two surgeries for problems unrelated to the CFS (cataracts and hernia). Our position is to use CAM when you can and save surgery and pharmaceuticals for when they are the best solution to your problem.

Medical problems are, of course, not the only situation that require responses when your choice is essentially between “wholesome” and “unwholesome.” This choice is not quite the same as between “good” and “bad.” A “wholesome” response is one that is good for the person making it, for others, and for the environment. “Unwholesome” responses, on the other hand, are not good or healthy. In that sense, it is an “energetic” term—what energy does it add to the universe? Virtually all situations producing either anger or fear (or a combination) provide the opportunity for us to choose a wholesome response.

Regardless of the specific outcome, a wholesome response is a better choice, but wholesome responses often result in unexpected positive outcomes. For example, a woman realized her wallet was missing when she arrived home from the grocery store. She called the store and was told the wallet had not been turned in. She had a significant amount of cash and several credit cards in the wallet, but choosing not to react negatively, she began to meditate using the mantra, “What is mine comes to me.” About 20 minutes later she received a phone call saying her wallet had been turned in. Half expecting (fearing) the money to be gone while driving to the store she intentionally continued with her mantra. She was delighted to have her wallet in her hands, especially so since she had all of the cards and cash intact!

Here is an excerpt from Money and the Law of Attraction, by Jerry and Esther Hicks, that seems relevant to this newsletter:

For every pleasing thing, there is an unpleasing counterpart, for within every particle of the Universe is that which is wanted as well as the lack of that which is wanted. When you focus upon an unwanted aspect of something in an effort to push it away from you, it only comes closer, because you get what you give your attention to whether it is something that you want or not. It is up to you to focus upon and attract what is wanted.

The ramifications of limiting CAM practitioners to present only what is already embraced as “mainstream” appear obvious, and, if such comes to pass, it is very easy to understand the risks for CAM practitioners and to their patients and clients. The options for a wholesome response, however, may be different for each of us. The old saying is, That which we resist, persists.

A good example is the use of hand sanitizers. We can all agree preventing the spread of germs is a good thing, but some of us also see how the use of sanitizer can a big part of the challenge of limiting the health risk of germs by making bacteria antibiotic resistant. Without awareness of the bigger picture, well-meaning choices can actually create greater risk…. Hand sanitizers alone are, of course, not entirely responsible for antibiotic resistance. Once antibiotics were discovered, they started being prescribed for almost everything with the idea that they would preclude bacterial infections. What happened, of course, was that every time the bacteria were exposed to an antibiotic, they evolved.The bacteria essentially “learned” how to resist the antibiotic. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we shouldn’t use antibiotics. It just means that we need to use them only when they are really required. For most day-to-day exposure to germs, the body’s natural resistance is ample.

The CAM situation and the lost wallet are only two of the situations that present challenges for those desiring to choose a wholesome response. A good friend recently shared her grandson’s challenges managing his emotions. One outburst included physical harm to his sister. This woman has valued insight found in Cliff Notes from raising siblings without rivalry. If your child says, “You’re always with the baby,” avoid simply dismissing the child’s negative feelings. Put the feelings into words acknowledging that the child does not like mom spending so much time with the new baby. This is not tolerating unwholesome behavior. It is being intentional with our words and actions so we confront unwholesome behavior with wholesome actions. Children (and adults) need to know that they have the right to feel the way they do and that they can change the way they feel by changing the way they think. The more we know, the less we fear. When we are not afraid, we are more likely to make wholesome responses.

A wholesome response requires both the desire to reduce the amount of violence in the world and the skills and courage required to make the wholesome choice.

“Someday, some time, I see the possibility that man will be able to live without any control – religious or political – because he will be a discipline unto himself.” Osho

If Martin Luther King, Jr., can go to the mountain top. so can we. As Ken Wilber says, “Be the most ethical, the most responsible, the most authentic you can be with every breath you take, because you are cutting a path into tomorrow that others will follow.”

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