I see many different types of people and medical issues come through my door, and I often wonder what it is that has some people experience such incredibly dramatic, positive results, and others not as much.
Obviously some problems inherently will respond better than others. This is true for all therapies and conditions. But even with the same condition in similar types of people, I can often see wildly varying results.
I have come to the conclusion that it has to do with the future “possibility” that the person is holding in their mind, and “living in to,” meaning they are taking the appropriate inspired actions to create.
What do I Mean by Possibility?
Let me back up for a minute. In this context, when I say “possibility,” I am using a very specific concept from Landmark Education that I will do my best to describe. It is at once a vision, a goal, a dream, and a choice to make one’s life what they wish it to be. But, it is more than wishful thinking or day dreaming, because it involves purposefully moving toward that condition or situation with specific actions that create measurable results.
It is similar to the idea of setting goals and creating an action plan to achieve them, but with the additional spark of inspiration, which infuses the goal with power and passion. A possibility that we create for ourselves may seem completely unrealistic or pie-in-the-sky to others, but it doesn’t matter, because we are truly inspired by this possible future reality that we’ve created for ourselves. So much so that any obstacles we encounter on the way become trivial in our minds, even the doubts of other people.
In fact, often our own inspiration becomes contagious and inspires others to not only cheer us on, but to consider possibilities for themselves that they may not have entertained before.
How About a Real Life Example:
I will use a bit of my own history to illustrate:
At age 23, recently out of undergrad school, my boyfriend of 4 years and I were splitting up, and I wanted to get out of my home state of Ohio. I had recently been intrigued to learn about massage therapy and natural wellness, so I picked up a Massage Magazine and thumbed through the school listings in the back.
Without realizing I had done so, I had created the possibility of moving to a completely different place, learning massage therapy and creating a whole new and great life for myself.
I was drawn to a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, (you can’t get much more different from Ohio!), so I packed a chest full of clothes, a few of my favorite books, my cat, and my bicycle into the back of my boyfriend’s pick-up, and he dropped me off in Albuquerque on his way home to California. He stayed long enough to help me find a dumpy 150 sq ft studio apartment attached to an old house in the University’s “student ghetto.” West Mesa Albuquerque, Spring ’97
I didn’t know a single person in New Mexico, or have a car, or any furniture except for a small, thin futon on the drafty wood floor. It was winter. My cinder block apartment was not insulated, and I had to keep the heating bills low, so I slept in 2 layers of clothes under blankets, with hat, scarf and gloves. My water pipes often froze, rendering my tiny shower useless, so I had to sponge bath with water that I warmed on the rickety gas burner that served as a stove.
And most people thought I had completely lost my mind.
But none of this mattered to me. Why? Because I was living in the possibility I had created: going to massage school, meeting new friends, and creating a great life for myself. I knew these unpleasant things were not my life; they were a temporary nuisance.
I worked 3 part time jobs, all within walking distance, to make ends meet and put myself through massage school, plus I pulled extra hours in the massage school internship clinic for tuition assistance. Not a problem; none of this seemed like drudgery or burden.
The possibility that I had created for myself was so compelling and inspiring, that my attitude was one of adventure. I didn’t consciously set out to have a good attitude, it was just present as a result of the possibility that I had created for myself. And, as a result of my attitude of adventure, adventure showed up in my life! Hiking in Pecos, Summer ’99
I purchased an old used car, and when my apartment lease ran out, I took the opportunity to move into a nicer house with 2 roommates, one of whom had become a good friend and massage school classmate.
I fell in love with another classmate. Eventually, we got an apartment together, and later a house outside of town, on a small organic farm. He was an outdoor adventurer, so we hiked, camped and backpacked all over New Mexico and Arizona.
After that relationship ended, I moved into a community house with a wonderful group of massage therapists and natural healers. We did yoga every morning at 6 am, and we never locked the door to the house; all of our friends knew they were invited anytime, so like-minded supportive community was ever-present. It was here that I created a new possibility…to attend acupuncture school and become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Looking back, my entire 6 years in Albuquerque was one adventure after another, far more than I ever could have imagined: befriending many diverse and amazing people, learning wonderful new information and skills, wrestling demons from my past, connecting with spirituality, falling in love, breaking a few hearts, and having my own heart broken several times, working various jobs, and changing residences (my cat and I lived in 10 different places in those 6 years). Backpacking in Gila Wilderness, Oct ’01
Other adventures in New Mexico included: spontaneous midnight road trips to the Jemez mountain hot springs; countless hiking and backpacking trips through mountains and streams discovering magical, isolated oases of nature and beauty; writing notebooks full of poetry and journal entries; living the night-life and traveling around the country with my sister-friend Laurel; taking Landmark Education classes that gave me whole new perspectives on life and the world and relating to others; and, eventually, sharing in a new possibility with another set of friends, of moving to Florida to start my acupuncture practice and settle down into a family.
To look back now, the life that I created during those years in New Mexico really shaped who I have become, and my life path ever since, all because that day back in Ohio I had created a possible future for myself, of massage school and a new life, and I didn’t let inconveniences or setbacks get to me.
How Does This Relate to Health?
The point is that I think the same is true for health. The things that I dealt with during those first years in Albuquerque could have really gotten me down and sent me slinking back to Ohio with my tail between my legs. But, because I was “playing a bigger game” by living into a future possibility that inspired me, those things seemed small; they were just situations that needed to be handled to get where I was going.
The same can apply to health. It is my experience that those people who “play a bigger game” by creating for themselves an inspiring possibility of vibrant health gladly do whatever is necessary to make their health the best it can be. These are the people who are so inspired by their vision that they willingly make the dietary changes, the lifestyle modifications, the commitment to regular acupuncture treatments, stress relief activities, exercise, etc, without feeling deprived or burdened, and are not derailed by setbacks.
These are the people who see the most dramatic changes in their health and realize the most benefit.
Those who don’t create this vision of future possibility often muddle along, not really changing anything in their lifestyle or taking the appropriate actions, because the game they are playing is a small one, only focused on momentary pleasures, where they might feel deprived or burdened by the actions necessary for a real transformation. Because they have no inspiring vision creating the attitude that will get them the results they are looking for, they want the proverbial “magic pill” to fix everything for them.
So, How About You? What is Your Possibility?
I challenge you to create a possibility vision for yourself. What do you want to feel like when you wake up in the morning? How do you want your body to feel while you are going through your day? How do you want to look? How do you want to experience life in and through your body?
Sometimes, in order to know what we do want, we need to know what we don’t want. What are the health issues that are getting you down? Are they stopping you from feeling vibrant, joyful and free in your body? Or maybe you wish to be an inspiration to others? Your children perhaps?
Really envision your healthiest, most vibrant, energetic, joyful self, and know that it is yours, if you just keep choosing the appropriate inspired actions. What is your ideal vision of yourself and your health? Play a big game! Get so inspired by your vision of your possible future, that every day you are excited to take another step toward it.
I can’t wait to hear your stories about living into the possibility that you create for yourself. And if you need some help getting there, or figuring out the appropriate actions for the possibility of vibrant health that you’ve created for yourself, just give me a call.
Happy Adventuring Onward to Your Healthiest Self,
Dawn Potter, AP, Dipl.OM