The final installation for the 2018 Well-being for Women workshops in Sydney focused on how we value ourselves as women – a very important topic indeed. The presenters, Michelle Crowe and Heather Pope, lead the discussion with regards to how we all have an internal list that we constantly check in with that we measure our self-worth against.
How bringing our all and expressing it is the true antidote to loneliness in relationships
It’s extraordinary how you can love a group of people (many of which you don’t know) before an event you’re attending together has even started. The light filled Woollahra Library was so alive with enthusiasm (and dare I say it, love) for this Life is Medicine that there was a genuine heart-warming as you entered the room – an encouraging start for an awesome few hours ahead. It was as if everyone knew what was coming . . . the breath of fresh air, the opportunity to ‘go there’, the potential of a new way of living . . . perhaps a little true connection with oneself if we’re up for it. What unravelled as the day went on was this beautiful, playful synergy between the room of 65+ seeming strangers as we went within to explore exactly why we needed to connect and what it was that got in the way of our connection with ourselves. There was laughter, there was revelation, there was honesty. There was a coming together to share with each other in a way - that although sometimes uncomfortable - was ultimately freeing and evolutionary.
Connection to Self was the first of the three-part 2017 Life is Medicine series. In essence, it explored the discontent and lack of connection with self on the basis that this is the igniting foundation from which we first tap into the greater purpose and meaning of life.
There are so many angles to approach this topic – perhaps it’s the most expansive subject humans have explored since the start of our time on earth. If we feel a disturbance or tension in us in any way we have two choices – 1. to ignore it or 2. to question it – why is it so?
To help us do this the ‘very wise and witty woman’ (as our host Annette described her. . . and just for fun let’s add spunky, tender and oh so loveable) Jean Gamble delivered to us on a silver platter the answers to questions we’ve long been asking. Don’t get me wrong, we had to work for our supper (a la delve into our inner knowing) however Jean – in her all-embracing way, without an ounce of judgement – took us through the steps to re-connecting with self. With her guidance and holding love it was easy to feel free to explore the shadows and get real with ourselves.
Where we are at – humanity’s current norm
To start with Jean presented what happens when we choose not to connect, as if to give us a ‘this is where we are really at, reality check’ – after all, it’s easy to look around at the world and convince ourselves we’re doing ok. But society’s norm is not ok when we are truly in connection with ourselves.
Generally speaking, humanity is not doing well. You just need to look at the statistics and the amount we are spending on research and pharmaceuticals. As Jean pointed out there are also more specialist medical professionals and more complimentary health practitioners than ever before in history. Yet, despite this we are getting sicker. Jean presented that diabetes in Australia alone costs $15 billion / year. By 2025 this figure will double to 30 billion. Yet as Jean put forth – if Diabetes is a lifestyle condition (just as mental health is) – the fundamental thing to clock here is that lifestyle is a choice in how we live life, therefore the question to ask to solve this expensive issue is simple: “How can we live in a way that will support us to feel healthy and vital?”
Simple though it may be, there is much that gets in the way to murk the waters and make it challenging for us to see how easy it really can be. We look around us to see everyone else living a life of disregard – to their bodies, to their environments, to others – and we say, ‘hey, if they can get away with it, why can’t I?” Even though, deep down we know this isn’t the truth, we choose to ignore what is felt. Specifically, we ignore what our most trustworthy resource – our body – is telling us. For the body, as Jean put it, “dictates energetic responsibility.”
Energetic responsibility is about allowing ourselves to feel what is going on, reading it for the truth that it is and following up with what is needed in a way that considers the all – that is everyone and every living thing. Energetic responsibility is at the core of connecting to not simply ourselves, but one another and . . . the universe at large. Big statement, but let’s go there.
From our atoms to the universe – the science behind connection to self
These could be the only two words of this article, in truth, for when we are connected it’s all there – within us – the answers to all our woes and illnesses, as well as our joy and vitality.
“When we connect deeply with ourselves there is a wisdom we have deep within our bodies.” Jean Gamble.
All this talk about connecting to our bodies, and the knowing within can just seem like words when we’ve been living a life disconnected from ourselves – which we have all done at some point or another. Jean gave us the animal kingdom as a point of understanding to highlight how the skills and know-how to care for ourselves is innately within us. Therefore it is possible to feel connected to ourselves and others all, if not most, of the time. For if nature can do it, why can’t we?
Jean gave the example of the weaver bird who knows exactly how to tie a complex, precise knot for their nest – no class needed. She also referenced the male pufferfish that creates a geometrically perfect mandala on the ocean floor to attract female fish to mate. These examples from the animal kingdom show us that wisdom is deep-rooted in the physical form. It’s there – any moment we choose – to be tapped into, connected to and used.
But how does this relate to the universe and why does it matter?
“Our bodies are made of particles. Think about the universe. What is it made of? Atoms, carbon molecules, and energy. If the universe is made of atoms what are we made of?” Jean Gamble.
The question Jean was leading us to ask was: How often do we look up at the stars and admire their beauty, or walk through the bush or a forest and are in awe of nature – all of which are made up of the same stuff as we are – atoms and particles.
“If you admire the rainbow but are doing ‘I’m not worthy’, remember you are made of the very same stuff of the universe. You are not the hair on the pimple on the bum of the giraffe”. Jean Gamble.
Why does this matter? When Jean asked the audience who wants to live a more vital, more purposeful, more joyful life with better relationships, every single person in the room put their hand up. So, if we all want this why are we not doing something about it?
“We don’t talk about ‘these secrets’” Jean pointed out. What better time than now. (More on why we talk about the secrets later).
The 4 pillars to support living a connected life – our true normal
From here Jean took us through the ‘four pillars’ that support living a more purposeful and connected life:
“What is the most useful thing to do when we start to connect? Self-care.” Jean Gamble
“Start with looking at your patterns of lifestyle. How do we know [what to look at]? The knowing happens in the body. The animal kingdom doesn’t do things that disturb their homeostasis - they tap into their knowing.” Jean Gamble.
Jean then introduced Stephen Gammack, who took us through some simple movements that warmed everyone up but also gave us an opportunity to put ‘connection with self’ into practice. Stephen teaches how to not lose yourself in the exercise whilst being super tender and present with your body – a unique quality in the personal training profession. What was amazing to feel in the room was that although the movements weren’t vigorous or adrenalin arousing the energy went up 10-fold. It very much gave us a taster for how easy it could be to connect with our bodies on an ongoing basis.
Why do we not feel this connection with us all the time?
Are you ready for Jean’s beautiful oak tree analogy?
It went like this…
The seed of the oak tree is the acorn. The acorn inevitably drops off the tree and is blessed with sunshine and rain. The acorn starts to germinate and turns itself into another grand old oak tree because inside that seed is everything it needs to be itself. And guess what? Everything is inside us that we need. We don’t need another oak tree telling us that our leaves aren’t shiny enough or our trunks aren’t the right size. Just as when we are children we really don’t need much to grow into an amazing young adult. All we need is confirmation of who we are because we have everything inside of us. Unfortunately, as adults we try to tell kids how to be which separates them from who they truly are and therefore their connection with self.
We get it from all angles right from the get go – a ‘five-pronged attack’ as Jean put it. This is where we get secretive about what we are feeling. At first we get it from our family who are well-meaning, but our parents were never told the all-knowing oak tree story either. Then we get it from the education system which tries to make us all fit the same mould. We get it from society in general via cultural norms and peer influences telling us to be something we are not, and we get it from the church which tells us we are ‘born sinful and need to purge ourselves’. There’s also the media which feeds us opinions and influences our buying choices based on filling a void to ‘create a better me’.
“All of these start to constitute our normal and we lose ourselves. We end up adapting in order to fit in with this production, the 5 prong attack. Our ‘adapted self’ is already separated from itself.” Jean Gamble.
Yet, we all know there is a better way of living.
When you know you are living your adapted self (i.e. not your true self) there is a tension. We then feel we need to do something with this tension because, let’s face it, it’s hard to admit we’re not living life from who we truly are.
What default do we go to in order to deal with the tension?
“We medicate so we don’t have to feel the tension that is there.” Jean Gamble.
When Jean asked us to give examples of how we medicate the answers were endless:
The decision to medicate comes way before the conscious choice as Jean pointed out.
“We align with an energy way before we drive into Woolworths to buy the black forest cake. That desire doesn’t come from us. The ‘Darth Vader’ energy wants us to stay in our crap.” Jean Gamble.
The oxymoron - An antidote to medicating the tension
For some, Jean’s answer may have come as a surprise: “It’s not discipline.”
“It’s an awareness of making loving choices that pay off.” Jean put it to us to ask: “What energy do I want to align with to make the choices I actually want to make?”
“We get seduced by the outside world to make us feel better. There’s ‘hungry hawks’ that try to sell us what they think we need. When you connect you realise you already have what you need. It’s about making the time for connection. In order to connect we need to have a moment of stillness. We need to build stillness in our bodies.” Jean Gamble.
What better way to do this than with Esoteric Yoga – The Yoga of Connection.
Esoteric Yoga – The Yoga of Connection
We were fortunate to have Alexis Stewart take us through a session of this very stilling yoga practice. Alexis explained to us how Esoteric Yoga could support us to bring greater stillness into our bodies, despite the tensions we feel. From this deeper level of stillness, the understanding is that we make better decisions and choices. Alexis explored how we might support ourselves with this practice. The session she provided was a taste of how it feels to move in a way that honours the body and calls forth the soul to be felt more readily in our everyday. During the yoga session the enthusiastic charm of the workshopping settled and there was a much more surrendered and tender group by the end of it, ready and waiting for Jean’s next instalment.
What is it that stops us from connecting to this stillness?
Jean surmised that there are three main things that stop us from connecting to that divine stillness we all hold within – our true self.
This gave us a broad understanding of what’s holding us back from connecting. We then got to pull up our sleeves and get nitty gritty with it in an exercise to nominate our own main hurts that influence our decisions – the ones that “drive the car of our life,” as Jean said.
This is what we came up with . . .
What happens when we address the hurts and surrender to more stillness in our body?
Let’s let Jean do all the talking for this one…
“The fear of the hurts keeps us from the stillness. We don’t want to feel what’s gone on in the past. However, when we go there we can clear these hurts and feel the stillness.” Jean Gamble.
“When we begin to care for ourselves – guess what happens – we love ourselves?” Jean Gamble.
“When you are loving with your body – the nuclei (on a cellular level) go yay I’m feeling loved – they don’t care it’s only you loving you! They are joyous just because they are being loved. This gives meaning and purpose to your life . . . just by starting with loving and caring for you.” Jean Gamble.
“Self-care starts with connection. Self-care leads to self-confidence and self-esteem.” Jean Gamble.
“Expression is everything – it’s how I talk, it’s how I walk, it’s how I move. Ask yourself: how tender can I be?” Jean Gamble.
“This is a process – your body will start to show you what you need.” Jean Gamble.
“You are the particles of the universe in your body – you can’t fail. It’s all in our DNA already there.” Jean Gamble.
There’s only one Jean Gamble, that’s for sure, and the standing ovation for her presentation said it all. What a gift she and her fellow presenters Stephen and Alexis gave us that day with all they presented. But the biggest gift of all was the reminder that we are equally all just as grand, just as awesome, just as capable of living a life of love and connection. Life is Medicine is pretty profound like that. May it never cease to go to the next level. Bring on round 2 - Connection in Relationships - as we expand on the theme of connection and continue our path of return to Soul.
By Nicki Ferguson
Have you ever avoided a situation or opportunity because you were too scared of failing or being rejected? Taken on too much work so that you can avoid feeling settled? How’s about picking a fight with your partner because you didn’t want to take responsibility for something you’ve done? What if we were choosing things on a daily basis that were getting in the way of us truly leading the lives which we not only always wanted to lead, but were born to live? Such was the topic of the first Living in Connection, Life is Medicine workshop at the Woollahra Library at Double Bay presented by psychotherapist, Jean Gamble.
With just over sixty people in attendance, the newly built and beautifully designed space was filled to capacity with little room to move; a great turn out for what is only the beginning of what is sure to be a compelling series. Jean talked the audience through the story of an everyday acorn, one which falls from a tree, that has everything neatly contained inside of it to grow and flourish into its full being. Add a little soil, rain, sun and a few other weather conditions and the rest is guaranteed. But Jean asked the poignant question - what if we’re the same as human beings? What if we’re born having everything inside of us that is needed for us to grow into amazing and natural human’s beings but that life just somehow seems to interfere with this? And if this is so, what are these interferences and how can we work with or around with them to truly grow?
With this kick starting the workshop, Jean and the crowd unpacked and discussed the various ‘weather conditions’ that life throws us that are anything but perfect, often resulting in us growing in some strange ways with some strange behaviours, leaving us not only feeling less than our full selves, but also feeling that there has to be more. The conditions unpacked by the crowd included things like family and cultural expectations, dogmas from differing institutions as well as pressures from the education system, all asking us to perform and act in ways that may or may not be natural to who are. Presenting in a way that was equally open, playful and hilarious, Jean displayed her wit, sharing stories from her own life (including her marriage –with her husband in the audience) that made the room laugh heartily as they came to see themselves in the behaviour, making the day not only educational and inspirational, but also enjoyable.
Handing it over to the group, Jean asked the crowd to form small clusters of four and discuss the topic - how do we medicate the tensions of life? And together we developed quite a list - food, drama, busyness, entertainment, over exercising, sex and alcohol, the list went on with these just the beginning of an alarming but not surprising list of behaviours and substances that we turn to help us mitigate the tensions we feel from not living ourselves in full. And in a room of over sixty participants, predominately all strangers, it was beautiful to see the commitment and honesty in the sharing’s, with each group member supporting one another as we came to understand that this was not just something we individually were living with, but was a human condition we were all dealing with.
As the day unfolded Jean called on different presenters along the way to help offer a different perspective on the topic. Stephen Gammack presented a simple exercise routine that was designed to support us to develop connection to the body, but in a way that did not overexert it or unnecessarily tire it. Heart rates were raised but they were done in a way that was gentle, respectful and nurturing of the body. Yoga practitioner Alexis Stewert also lead the group through an Esoteric Yoga session, the yoga of stillness, supporting the audience to deepen their connection to themselves and feel the innate space that is inside of them; the very thing we try to interrupt with our behaviours and choices, Alexis pointed out.
For the final part of the day, Jean presented the possibility – what if we have hurts that we carry and protect, that ultimately shape and control decisions that we make or opportunities that we take? And if this were so, what were they? And as a group we came up with a long list of possible things that get in the way; feelings of being rejected, shut down, misunderstood, lied about, shamed, humiliated and embarrassed being amongst the many. The exercise was easy, almost enjoyable, until we were asked to identify the flavour of our own hurts, which made it more real, hitting home. Despite this being at first confronting, participants engaged willingly, sharing honestly and openly, highlighting which one stood out the most for them, giving them an opportunity to bring more awareness to what might be controlling and or influencing their lives.
Finishing on a reassuring note, Jean reminded us of the power of living in connection with ourselves and the importance of incorporating self-love into our everyday routine, supporting ourselves as we begin to face the things that might frighten or challenge us, proving to ourselves that we are much bigger than these. And with a standing ovation at the end, it was clear that participants had been touched by the presentation and felt the power that living in connection can bring.
The event felt like the ultimate therapy session, except that it was accessible, real and down to earth, where you walked away not only feeling connected to the therapist, but a whole room full of people, validated that you’re not alone and that we’re all in this together. And as an added bonus, it cost less than a tenth of a therapy session, let alone a three hours on, so it’s safe to say, the day was incredible value, in more ways the one. Observing the many who lingered around at the end to discuss and talk about the day, it was clear everyone enjoyed themselves and were eager for the next one.
Thankfully there are two more sessions to look forward to, Living in Connection to Others on Sunday 9th July and Connection with Life on Sunday 8th October, so if you missed out, there are plenty more opportunities.
This is a grand beginning to what is sure to be an incredible series. To find out more, head to our events page for all the details.
By Martin Gladman
What is it to be a Woman in the World Today?
Exploring the images we buy into versus the love that we are . . .
What would it be like to live in a world without billboards, glossy magazines or pop up ads, without fashion photography or VIP lines, without gossip or comparison to other women? What would it feel like to grow up in a world where we were encouraged to simply be ourselves – no imagery to aspire to, no expectations to live up to, no roles to play?
It would feel amazing of course. Like being the wild eagle soaring instead of the caged parrot mimicking – we would have a clearer path to fly, what’s more, we’d feel a whole lot better for it. But that is not how the world is today. It is dominated by pictures of what we should look like, talk like, act like – all telling us we’re not measuring up to something . . . that we could do better somehow if we just tried a little harder.
The great news is, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, there is great opportunity in acknowledging what is going on for women and how we are portrayed. By talking about what it is we feel about all these pictures and roles we play up to, we start to unfurl their grasp on our subconscious and re-ignite the spark of our true essence; a true way of being which is far more powerful than any image cast upon us.
Esoteric Women’s Health Sydney recently hosted an event to do just this – question what it is exactly that we are measuring ourselves up to with society’s standards and how we can live in a way that is more honouring of who we truly are. The first of three in the Well-being for Women series 2017, What is it to be a Woman in the World Today? asked us to go there – to really look at what ideals and images we are trying to meet and how these are crippling our most gorgeous true selves, our essence.
Dr Maxine Szramka presented to us an array of photographs collected from the media – glossy advertisements, billboards, fashion ‘art’ – that portrayed women in a way that is not even close to what all the women in the room admittedly felt they are. Though the images were normal in terms of what we are bombarded with everyday (many printed in the world’s most highly regarded fashion magazines) they were quite shocking when you spent a moment contemplating them.
Maxine presented the princess image, the perfect wife image, the happy mother image, the virgin butterfly, the hard-edged career woman . . . and – from ads by top designer labels – the gang raped woman, the sex slave woman, the entertainer woman. The list goes on but needless to say it was exposing to see just how many roles society asks us to live up to.
But what was wonderful to feel about Maxine’s presentation was that it ignited a room full of women to express how these images had affected their lives. The suppressing expectations, the conflicting comparisons, the stringent ideals, the self-inflicted harshness, the exploitative behaviours – the all round degrading attitudes we have used against ourselves and other women to stop us from being the magnificent women we truly are – it all flowed out.
What Maxine presented was that this is something we all know is going on yet have been so entrenched in the way society runs that we haven’t always had the courage or honesty to really go there and explore this topic. The question raised was – why not?
“When we are small we learn to go outside of ourselves – we learn to role model ourselves on people until we go ‘no, not that, no no, not that’.” Maxine Szramka
What happens when we don’t say no and follow the images? “When we look around and see that we don’t match the images, we turn it in on ourselves and we start to think there is something wrong with us”, as Maxine pointed out. We start to measure ourselves up against these images and get into this perpetual cycle of self-judgement, self-critique and self-loathing. Sometimes this is subtle, sometimes it’s full blown and results in self-harming behaviours – ultimately however it results in a lack of self worth i.e. the complete opposite of who we are and the celebration we ought to be having about ourselves. All this fuelled by the images we are trying to meet and have said yes to. The disturbing thing is these images are often fed to us subliminally and in socially acceptable contexts. We often have little awareness of how they are affecting us until we have a conversation about it at a
Well-being for Women event J
“What I love about women is that we have an enormous amount of wisdom . . . one of the beautiful things that happens when we come together that is very precious, is that we get to share that wisdom.” Maxine Szramka
The exploration of our own projected images of what it is to be a woman today was exposing – the fact that every woman in the room raised her hand to the question ‘who feels there is or has been something wrong with them?’ is insight into just how important this topic is to explore if women are to feel their true worth and use their true voice.
“If you didn’t have images coming at you then you would grow up thinking I’m it – I’m amazing.” Maxine Szramka
What if we didn’t model ourselves on these images and we lived by what’s inside us?
All of the images Dr Maxine shared with us have one thing in common – they don’t reflect the true beauty of what it means to be a woman. Women are warm, we are real, we are profoundly wise, we are nurturing, we have a natural sense of relationship and community, we are playful and we are immensely powerful when we honour how sacred we are, i.e. ditch the images and connect to the absolute divine essence we hold within.
How do we live from that essence inside of us instead of all of these images?
Enter Beverly Carter. Bev shared how she had transformed her life from being someone who seemingly was the picture of perfect health / fitness guru and living the celebrity life but felt lost and empty inside: “on the outside I looked like I was doing pretty good but on the inside I was feeling pretty crap”. Bev is now a woman who is absolutely gorgeous (she literally glows), joy-full (she literally shines) and deeply honouring of her body. She is living proof that it’s possible to transform your life from the inside out rather than the outside in.
How did she do it?
“What I have learnt is that my body is a way to connect to my beauty. Over the years I have been remembering my essence.” Beverly Carter
With Bev we explored what our essence is, how the images we buy into affect our essence and how we can drop the images to appreciate ourselves more deeply. Simply, we worked on rediscovering our self worth.
So what is essence? The group explored it as:
Really, what’s the issue? Why are we not connecting to our essence all of the time if it’s so wonderful and all that?
‘I remember thinking: “I’m craving to get there [my essence] but I’m fighting the surrender to get there . . . to find your way there - after you’ve layered so much on - that’s the difficulty . . . there’s a process to go through to get there . . . you’ve got to let go of the control. It’s difficult – to give yourself permission to let it happen.” Gabrielle Caplice.
Bev gave us some very practical tips on how to reconnect with our essence. Some of these were:
What is it to be a Woman in the World Today? was exposing yet exceptionally loving and healing at the same time – we very much felt held in our self-exposures. We were given the opportunity to unpack our images, but also walked away with some very simple tools to apply in our daily lives to make more loving choices to support us to come back to a ‘true normal’, not the normal we buy into. The wealth of insight and inspiration on offer was a wonderful foundation for the next topic – Women in Relationships. No doubt this will be another fun and eye-opening topic to play with!
By Nicki Ferguson
Next up for Well-being for Women Sydney . . .
Women in Relationships
When: Sunday 13th August, 10.30am – 1.00pm
Where: Woollahra Library (Event Space B), Level 1, 451 New South Head Road, Double Bay
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is true well-being?
This was the opening question posed at the recent Well-Being for Women presentation presented by Maxine Szramka and Katie Walls in Surry Hills, Sydney.
With the current rise in illness and disease and with high levels of stress considered ‘normal’ have we accepted our state of well-being to be something far less than what it truly is?
The presentation led into a discussion on what is true well-being and what are some of the key factors that get in the way of us experiencing true well-being as women. A point of consideration presented was that if we are feeling tension then we are in a state of ill-being.
Resilience as a way to 'get by'
A discussion on and around how we have used resilience as women to get by opened up a conversation that most women could relate to. Resilience has become our best friend. We have used it to toughen up, to be able to do it all, to be the superwoman; the mother, daughter, friend, career woman, wife, partner and in this state of being ‘resilient’ we then override listening to what our body needs in way of self nurturing and self care. Resilience has been championed in our society, yet it has not delivered in giving us true well-being because we are still feeling the pressures and tensions of life not to mention the increasing rates of cancers and women’s health issues.
With resilience we are able to ‘get by’ as women – but isn’t this ‘getting by’ a far cry from a true state of well-being that we can live as women, a life that is filled with joy, connection and love that is felt from the body on a daily basis.
Our innate sensitivity as women
Innately we are deeply sensitive and yet for many of us we have chosen to numb our sensitivity because the world has told us that it is not okay, that we won’t survive or get by if we are too sensitive.
If we reflect back to when we were little girls most can remember this sensitivity and just how gorgeous it felt. But at some point we decided that being sensitive was not a good thing. We are fed and then we buy into the pictures that we can be the super woman, overriding much of what doesn’t feel good. We put on our cape, stand proud and tall in our boots and get on with life.
Sensitivity as our 'superpower'
The discussion within the group presentation led into that perhaps we have got it wrong and our sensitivity is actually our superpower. That being sensitive is what allows us to feel and be in the world in a way that honours the innate preciousness and natural power that we all are as women.
We discussed that the body has a deep wisdom, yet we often choose not to listen to it and we override it in an effort to achieve everything we think we need to. However, what we arrived at is that it is through our sensitivity that we can feel what it is that the body requires to be in a true state of well-being, so when we surrender in our body and allow ourselves to be tender, we naturally connect to the woman that is there within and from this quality have the ability to honour her in all that we do. Living in connection is what leads to true well-being.
Could it be that sensitivity is the new black?
Honouring our sensitivity ~ the key to true well-being
Isn’t it time that we turned the tables around and honour our sensitivity as ignoring it hasn’t worked so far which is evident with the increases in women’s health issues over the past decade? Could it be that honouring our sensitvity is the key to true well-being for us as women?
By Donna Gianniotis
Well-Being for Women presentations are held in Surry Hills in Sydney. The next upcoming presentations will be held on Tuesday 12th July & Tuesday 11th October at Surry Hills Library and Neighbourhood Centre. Read more
Amongst our 7 billion global population 95% of people have failed health according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Delivering this alarming statistic Bill Foley, the MC and Professor of Linguistics at UNSW noted: “We are living longer but not as well”. He went on: “41% of humanity have 5 or more chronic health conditions and of these 41% are under 65 years old. We are far less healthy yet spending more money than ever on health”. The bar was set for the quality of what was to be presented at Life is Medicine – the ground-breaking event applicable (it would turn out) to us all.
Something isn’t working – but what is that and more importantly why? Enter Serge Benhayon. “Let’s make this so uncomfortable that it changes your life”. An opening statement said with such noble humbleness and playfulness one couldn’t help but be intrigued.
Serge went on to present the paradigms of health and fitness at play in society as it stands today observing how obvious it is that they are not working. He gave examples from elite sportspeople with major health issues, to people seeking stimulation and reward to ease the pain or stress of how they are living, nominating that the increase in sugar and coffee, as well as a rise in illness and disease are signs of “an unannounced plague of exhaustion”.
Serge further noted that, “7 Australians per day suicided in 2012. That’s 1901 men per year and 634 women per year”. Hunter Institute of Mental Health Suicide Data 2014
But how do we change this and is there another way? Absolutely.
"Everything we do is either healing or harming… [It’s about] simply taking responsibility back and knowing you can make a change. Everything is related to lifestyle, how we live, our every living way. We have been careless and lacking in self-nurturing and self-responsibility” Serge said.
A proposed new health policy
The current way most people live involves making choices in life that lead to health issues which leads to visiting a doctor or practitioner when that health issue needs treatment. But as Serge pointed out we have nailed conventional medicine, in fact, we are great at it. We have more experts than ever before – more surgeons, nutritionists, alternative therapies etc. This is obviously not the whole answer. So what is the bigger picture we are missing?
Serge proposed a new health policy – a policy that adds re-connecting and making choices from our essence (our inner-most being) the highest priority: thereby introducing factor A.
Factor A is: “your ability to be in your essence. Your essence is the ability to let go of everything you thought you had to be. To feel and not be afraid to feel. Know you know and not be weirded out because you do know”. Serge Benhayon
Living with Factor A or from your essence is:
How do we get to A?
“Through lifestyle changes and taking responsibility you can avoid being a statistic.” Serge Benhayon
The Magic of Factor A
“Suddenly your friends respect your choices. They feel connected to you, they treasure you, they open up to you. You become that person they can trust. You become a person that allows another to not be in nervous energy and to simply be themselves.” Serge Benhayon
This sounds mighty good. What else happens?
We have ‘true production’ in corporate work. The A Factor makes you more productive without the sugar and caffeine.
Children feel empowered to make their own decisions when Factor A is nurtured.
You start to feel a level of consistency in your energy and are able to truly meet people and not be drained.
Life is Medicine – An Experience to Take to Our Every Day
People from all walks of life came together to understand the idea that Life is Medicine. What we unravelled together – with the ever-loving support of Serge Benhayon and the four modalities presented – was obvious that Life is Medicine is no grand concept or ideal at all. It is without a doubt the truth of how it is.
By understanding that Life is Medicine we are empowered to make the change we wish to see in the world – not from a place of hopeful idealism or maniacal activism (or even calm solitude) – rather from our essence. So simple, it almost seems too good to be true. But as Serge and the audience proved (at The Table of Consideration) it is indeed the answer to all our woes – both societal and internal.
One thing was clear talking to others about the event – we are all in this together. We are all responsible for changing the current state of play of the escalating global health and wellbeing issues. We are all healers by way of our movements and our inspiring choices. As gorgeous, loving, open and wise as Serge Benhayon is, what is most remarkable about this generous man is his ability to present the truth without an ounce of hype or attachment to anyone getting it. Serge lives Life is Medicine. You can see and feel that in all he and the other practitioners do – how they walk, speak, move, embrace, greet you – everything comes from holding the power of responsibility to support Life is Medicine for the all.
Imagine if we all lived each moment as if it were not our last but our eternity? What if we used our own inner knowing alongside esoteric modalities, movements and rhythms to fine-tune our health rather than the temporary relief or band-aid solutions we are using today?
Imagine if we all lived life as if it were our medicine. How precious would we treat ourselves and others? How much more open and understanding would we be with others if we knew each word/action/thought would impact our brothers health as well as our own?
And this is what Life is Medicine is really all about – sharing another way of living that, simply put, feels super yummy. Life is Medicine was all about sharing ways that do actually work. The proof was in the glorious, glowing, joy-full bodies that walked out of the Novotel Manly that day on April 3rd 2016. But imagining it is futile. The point of Serge’s whole presentation was you have to feel it. You already know it, now live it. The very best medicine out there? Live from your essence. Nothing more, nothing less.
Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2013 - http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960692-4/abstract