Back to School for LifeSeptember 1, 2010
I can’t help myself, as Labor Day approaches I yearn for new school supplies, whether I’m in school or not. I’ve had a love affair with school supplies since my childhood when I would play school with my friends in our basement – fully equipped with a blackboard and desks. I loved heading back to school each year, ready for new experiences and armed with all that new “stuff”. And yes, I admit it, I loved school. We Vata’s (here I go again with the Ayurveda) love to learn (although much of the information seems to fly right out the top of our heads) and so the thought of not learning new things seems downright boring. The beauty of being an adult is having the freedom to learn when and what we want, and from whom we choose to learn.
Having had an incredible couple of years in the learning department lately I would like to offer this advice: PAY ATTENTION. When you are open to learning there will be signs and messages guiding you along the way. As the old Buddhist saying goes : “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. Teacher, coach, healer, mentor, parent – there are many names for someone who can teach us throughout our lifetime. Pay attention and follow your intuition. Please indulge me while I tell you what happened when I followed mine.
A magazine article by the founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition caught my eye and my gut told me this place was going to change my life. Two weeks later I was in my first class (with hundreds of other like-minded people) and I knew I belonged there. Before classes began we were asked to choose (from a list of dozens of former graduates) our own health coach to help guide us through the program. I chose Vanessa Pozzi. She was half my age but something in her profile drew me to her and I trusted my intuition. I can’t even begin to tell you the life changes that IIN and Vanessa helped me make. Vanessa has remained my coach and mentor and I consider it nothing short of a miracle that she appeared in my life at the right time.
Dr. Lu Ping, Chinese doctor and medical qigong master, has been selflessly forthcoming with his wisdom of this ancient healing modality. It is his intention that I learn from him so that I can help others (like you!).
It was initially her voice on the radio that drew me to Deborah King, a contemporary master healer and expert in the field of energy medicine. After attending her workshop and experiencing her healing energy firsthand I became her student. The knowledge that I have gained from working with Deborah has added a new dimension to my health coaching practice, not to mention my own life.
What do all of these teachers have in common? Their willingness to share their knowledge unconditionally while continuing to learn and evolve themselves. The Chinese say “When the teacher stops learning, he relinquishes the right to teach”. Life is one long journey of learning.
Wow, writing this down makes me realize just how busy I’ve been. But what does all of it have to do with holistic health? Where’s the kale and the goji berries? Well, for starters, this newsletter (not to mention this health coach) wouldn’t be around if I hadn’t PAID ATTENTION and trusted my intuition. These life changes impacted my health far more positively than any amount of broccoli. Don’t get me wrong, good nutrition is vital to allow our body to do its job and keep us on this earth for a long time. But the things that feed our soul – knowledge, inspiration, doing what we love, and then sharing it with others – don’t underestimate the impact this has on our health.
If on your quest to stay in school for life no one significant appears, remember that YOU are your own best teacher. In addition to reading books, try spending more time in nature (minus the cell phone and iPhone!). Quiet your mind and look around with the same wonder you felt as a child – you will be amazed at what you learn!
A note of thanks to my friend/assistant, Alissa Ambrose, who has taught me computer skills, organizational skills and how to put together my newsletter and blog!
Every student’s nightmare (from Ferris Buehler’s Day Off)