Welcome to a new week! I learned some interesting things over the weekend that I would like to share. Firstly, if you haven’t heard of Brené Brown, then it’s about time because she is amazing! She is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and shot to fame in 2010 with the TED talk below about the importance of vulnerability – it now has over 11 million views so join the crowd and check it out. It’s awesome.
I thought it was important to discuss her research here because of an important point she makes – that we are the most in debt, addicted, obese, and medicated adult cohort in US history. We try to escape from the struggles of life – to numb emotions (with eating, not eating, purging, drugs, sex, spending, working, etc) instead of really feeling them and the associated vulnerability. Then after we numb ourselves and get chronically ill, we want a quick fix. The bad news is that it isn’t that easy – a pill won’t solve these deep-seated issues, which is why there is so much chronic disease despite billions spent on pharmaceutical fixes. This numbing of our emotions is the root cause of so much dis-ease, and at W Cubed we are about identifying and addressing root causes so that true healing can occur.
The good news is that Brené has continued her work and she has a new book out called Daring Greatly, which I can’t wait to read. I learned about it on Oprah’s Lifeclass show yesterday and during the episode, Brené described how she arrived at the title. It is from the speech below from Theodore Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly (emphasis mine). So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt, “Man in the Arena” Speech given April 23, 1910
26th president of US (1858 – 1919)
Daring Greatly is about showing up, being seen, being vulnerable, trying your best, connecting with others, probably getting kicked in the pants, but knowing that YOU were brave enough to show up. So go for it, people! As Brené mentioned to Oprah, the greatest tragedy is living a life in fear, and near the end, wondering, “what if…”.
On a different but related subject – The American Cancer Society is a joke.
Why can’t the ACS use their billions to research and learn how to solve the deep rooted emotional, spiritual and physical causes of dis-ease, like we discussed above? Or research the efficacy of inexpensive natural remedies, whole food diets, de-toxing, stress reduction methods, emotional health, mindfulness? Instead they are going to stick with the radiation/chemo approach which is beneficial to Big Pharma, and may remove cancer cells in their current location, may cause more in a new location because that’s what radiation does, and likely won’t prevent a recurrence because the underlying issues have not been addressed.
My theory as to why this is -> our political process has been co-opted by Big Business, so whatever works for the bottom line of Big Corporations is what we have to live with whether it is in our best interests, or not. Big Pharma, Big Medicine, and Big Foundations make billions from our chronic illnesses, so best to maintain the status quo and not really cure them. What to do? First and foremost is educating yourself about the state of the world around you so that you can make informed decisions which ARE in the best interests of your family. Reading a blog such as this is a good start – there are many books, blogs, websites, organizations, and non-profits that are dedicated to offering a different perspective about how to eat REAL WHOLE FOOD and live A BALANCED LIFE. A big example is learning to live honestly, vulnerably, and whole-heartedly as Brené Brown teaches. Read all of the above as if your life depends on it because it actually does, folks.
And in conclusion…“The question is – have I learned anything about life. Only that human beings are divided into mind and body. The mind embraces all the nobler aspirations, like poetry and philosophy, but the body has all the fun.” Another classic from Woody Allen, from his flick Love and Death (1978).