How do you define success?
Growing up in North America, in a society that suffers from “Hollywooditis” and that conditions us to believe that money and material items are the epitome of success, it has been a challenge, at times, to be in the profession I am in. Especially in Canada where many have the belief that health care is provided to us for free by our government. Why would we invest in our health? When making a budget, we factor in everything – cost of mortgage, property taxes, car payment, entertainment, etc, but there isn’t a category for investing in your health. We aren’t taught this. And this is a mistake. Your most important asset is YOU – not what kind of car you drive or how big your house is! Why wouldn’t you want to invest in you?
There was a time when I didn’t value my life as I do now, and as an extension of that, I didn’t value my health. For many years, I was depressed, anxious, battling bulimia and body image issues, and bipolar disorder type 1, and I wore the mask that everything is okay on the outside but I am struggling on the inside. The last thing I wanted anyone to know was that I struggled with my mental health. I wore the “I am perfect” persona so well that I could have won an academy award for my performance. “Never let them see you sweat” was a belief that drove me further into perfection and some would say success. That worked well for me. Until it didn’t.
The Value of Health
I refer to my 1994 suicide attempt as a spiritual crisis – and out of that crisis came something good. I slowly started the process of healing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Now, there is nothing that I value more than my health. It boggles me when I hear patients say “I can only see you for three visits because that is all the coverage I have”. Really?! It saddens me that people don’t prioritize their health — from the food they eat to the chemicals in the products they use to the state of their mind, body, emotions and spirit.
I spend more on organic food, supplements, counseling, massage, floats, yoga, exercise, and chiropractic care than I do on my mortgage or car per month. I’ve designed my life this way because this is what I value: my health & my relationships. Not the size of my home, the type of car I drive or the brand of clothes I wear. It comes down to priorities. We need to adjust our budgets to account for our health. My previous career was in banking, and most banks, when you look at the categories for spending don’t include a section on health. This needs to change.
When I get to the end of my life, I know I won’t be on my death bed saying “If only I had spent more time at the office working more”—Instead, I hope to be celebrating that I cared for my health and the health of my family. My goal is peace – mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My health goals now are to continue dissolving my ego and shift into greater awareness and awakening. What about you? What will you be celebrating when you get to the end of your life? It is my hope that you will get you free of regrets. Atone now if you need. Say sorry. Ask for forgiveness. Make amends. Let go. Be. Love.
Instead of TV or idle worrying, invest your time in something that will grow you. Consider the online Integrative Mental Health Course with Dr. Chris, created for those looking for additional support on top of what their health care provider is giving.