by Dr. Cailin O'Hara, DACM, LAc, Dipl OM
Think about someone you love.
Do you think they deserve perfect health? Happiness? Everything their heart desires? I’m sure you do. I bet you want to see the people you love most absolutely thrive. I bet you can imagine them at their very best, totally joyful and living an incredible life. Close your eyes, and take a minute or two to imagine that.
What about you? Can you see that for yourself?
How would your life change if you believed you deserve perfect health?
Deserve is such a tricky word. For many of us, it implies that we have to earn something, we have to do something, we have to be worthy.
According to what standard, though?
When it comes to ourselves, we can make a lot of excuses and a lot of exceptions at the expense of our health and happiness.
I’ll explain some of those ways in a moment.
First, I’ll ask you…
What if we prioritized our own wellness like we do the health of our children?
What if we prioritized our own wellness like we do the security of our finances or the caliber of the work we do?
What is it that you value the longevity and vitality of most?
Is it you or something else?
In all the healing I’ve experienced personally and in the healing I facilitate for my patients, it always comes back to this: you come first. If you want to thrive, be well, and find the satisfaction of enduring joy, you have to prioritize YOUR longevity and vitality over all else.
How can it be that we don’t think we deserve good health?
See if any of these statements describe you...
These are some of the thousands of ways that, on a daily basis, you block your innate vibrancy and wellness.
I know this because I’ve done it, I see you do it, and I’ve learned what happens when we stop doing it:
One moment at a time, we can stop all of the self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, self-hate, self-neglect, impatience, negativity, anger and fear. We can create new mental, emotional and physical paradigms for ourselves- ones that actually support us unconditionally.
Think about it like this...
Even in the worst of conditions, we survive. We are a wildly resilient and adaptive species. But as amazing as that is, it doesn’t have to be so hard.
It doesn’t have to be about survival.
You deserve perfect health. What that looks like may be different for all of us. But one thing is true for everyone- you can either create the space to heal or create barriers to it. What are you choosing?
by Cailin O'Hara, MAcOM, LAc, Dipl OM
My health was in a downward spiral. No doctors had answers for me. I felt lost at sea, searching for light.
Some part of me felt terrified and hopeless, while some higher aspect of me knew I could heal and was on a mission to get me safely to land. So, learning about how my intention could influence my reality, including my health, was exhilarating.
It was the most empowering concept I had come across on my healing journey. In 2011, I was reading Deepak Chopra’s “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” at the time. I then dove into every book and resource I could find about how we create our own reality.
I spent years trying to understand it- the cause and effect of how our thoughts and feelings create our personal reality. As I worked with it, my health began improving. Everything did, actually. It may seem esoteric, but it’s actually quite simple....
1) The thoughts you think directly influence your health.
Think of something scary, and you’ll feel how your body responds. Think about something peaceful, and you’ll feel your body relax. This is SUCH a complex relationship of so many physiological processes occurring, but all you need to do is feel it happen. You influence how you feel, emotionally and physically, (aka your HEALTH) by what you think (and intend).
The more I focused my intention on how I wanted to feel, how I wanted my health to improve, the more it started to actually happen.
2) The way you feel directs your decisions and, ultimately, your actions.
We use logic and emotion to make our decisions, which are generally informed by past experience and what we believe to be true. So, if a) we believe something to be true, b) we feel it to be true and c) our past tells us it’s true, then to us, it’s true. (This is where subconscious beliefs can wreak havoc.) What this means is that we can change the direction of our lives (and health) by tapping into feelings and beliefs that better serve our intentions.
When I began changing the way I thought about things toward a more positive note, guided by my intention to really heal, then my feelings about things shifted, too. I began making different decisions for myself and my healing. I began having different, and better, outcomes. I was gradually led down a very different and far more healing path… right to Chinese medicine and acupuncture, actually, which had the exact medicine I needed to heal for REAL.
3) The decisions you make and the actions you take, which are informed by how you think and feel, create your entire life.
Years ago, this was hard for me to wrap my mind around. It felt like A LOT of pressure to do everything just right so I could heal and have the life I wanted. But it’s not that complicated, actually. What is your intention, right now? What do you want for yourself?
As I got really clear about what I wanted for myself and intended for those things to become true for me, they did. I was able to take my health into my own hands, so to speak, and feel my way toward what I needed. I learned self-trust. I learned body-trust. I learned how profoundly connected the mind is with the body and how they are continuously influencing one another every second of every day.
We are not in a perfect-feeling world. We can’t live unaffected by the pain and suffering here. But we CAN reclaim our personal power. We CAN heal. We CAN create a healthier mind, body and life. Your intention is the starting point of everything. Once you get clear on that, the doorway to what your heart seeks will open.
What kind of improvements are you seeking in your life?
Do you let others or your own past experience dictate how/when/if you will have what you want?
One quote from the book still repeats in my mind often:
"If you don't value your own worth, no one else ever will."
Whatever you’re working toward- relationships, goals, career, health, emotional balance, etc.- think about why you want it, what it means to you and how it aligns with your values. Really reflect on that. And know that you’re more than worthy of all of the good that will come to you. If someone doesn’t like you, oh well. If someone tells you you’re not good enough, that’s their issue. Be your own best friend, trust your process, and don’t lose sight of what you want to create in your life.
It’s what you’re here to do.
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“Why do you so earnestly seek
the truth in distant places?
Look for delusion and truth in the
bottom of your own heart.”
(Fact: Instagram accounts dressed up in fancy branding do not equate to truth or to your healing.)
You see, I’ve got a thing for truth.
I have the feels, big time, for authenticity.
Total Bullshit, except...
(aka, I moved in with my mom in my 20s because my healthcare was more expensive than rent)
I used to look for someone or something to take away my symptoms.
I used to follow certain diets, demonize foods, seek perfection.
I used to think there was one answer that would solve my problems.
I used to think I was lost and that someone else needed to find me.
I have since learned that was all total BS... except the lost part.
I was definitely lost.
Lost in negative belief systems, lost in fear, lost in giving away my power, lost in other people’s opinions, lost in a web of a lack of self-compassion, lost in past trauma, lost in physical pain, lost in exhaustion. It wasn’t that I needed anyone else to find me. What I needed were legitimate healers and inspirers to help me WAKE UP, reconnect with myself and set out on the true path back home to me, my power, my light.
No One Saves You
1) Healing doesn’t have to be complicated or precise
...although, that doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes total hell and other times complete bliss. It does mean, however, that you don’t need to drop all of your money on fancy contraptions, supplements, claims, etc.
2) No one ever saves you
...you are your own healer. All of your power to heal is actually WITHIN you; it’s most likely just dormant. Find inspiring people that light you up and help you activate the epic-ness that you are. Before you know it, no matter what your symptoms or struggles, healing begins.
3) Everything you seek is already within you
...this is actually the quest you’re on. You’re searching for your way back home to yourself, your health, your truth, your inherent worthiness, your love. Everything you’re looking for- the relationships, the feelings, the experiences, the well-being- is actually the act of you discovering and reclaiming parts of yourself. You are looking for familiarity in your outside world because that is how you find yourself. Why? Because the truest resonance that you seek, that feeling of total alignment and joy- that is who you are.
Let’s keep things simple.
Let’s keep things true.
Let’s look for what feels good to us.
Let’s resist the urge to categorize things as the “perfect” diet/method/trend/supplement/etc.
Don’t give your power away.
Don’t believe in things outside of yourself over the truth that’s within you.
I promise you, from one soul to another, it is YOU that is the perfect body/being/image.
The thing is, it’s up to you to believe it.
“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.”
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
Investigating your truth connects you with who you really are, which then starts flipping on the switches of your innate ability to heal.
Uncovering your truth is your greatest medicine. It is alignment in the most perfect sense of the word… alignment with yourself at the soul level.
Truth as Medicine
And… how does this relate to your truth?
No one will honor your truth or your worth if you don’t.
Truth as Home
Truth-telling unlocked me in many ways, dove me deep into my vulnerability and helped me to start moving out all of the internal clutter and baggage I’d been carrying.
When you turn your attention to those things, miracles happen.
They say home is where the heart is… and your home, truly, exists within in you in your deepest truths.
The Journey of Becoming
“Not a perfect soul, I am perfecting. Not a human being, I am a human becoming.”
When you’re feeling well, you can participate in life, follow your ambitions, you name it. When you’re not feeling well, it can become a struggle to live the life you want to live. And if you're not feeling well, you probably have some kind of diagnosis that is to blame... anxiety, depression, fatigue, hypothyroidism, IBS, heart disease, fibromyalgia, degenerative disk disease, arthritis... the list goes on and on and on.
I believe this is a very important concept to consider when you’re on any kind of healing journey. As the quote above describes, we are in a process of becoming. You weren’t who you were last year. You aren’t who you will become. And this, of course, also pertains to your health.
So why can a diagnosis become a problem?
Let's look at how the journey from well to unwell often unfolds:
Each of these diagnoses has a certain set of symptoms and diagnostic criteria; each has a specified treatment protocol; and each has a projected treatment outcome. Some diagnoses are relatively easy to treat, but many are not with conventional medicine. Why? Because everyone is different! The cause and effect process that creates disease and symptoms is an intricate web, and it can be challenging to sort out specifics and find answers.
What are your diagnoses? How do they make you feel about yourself?
1) Diagnoses can feel depressing. Your life has become limited in some way. Your relationships may be impacted. Your future may begin to look different. The treatments available may be limited or risky.
2) Diagnoses can feel overwhelming. You develop countless questions and some will never have answers. You undergo extensive tests and/or have to take a number of pharmaceuticals. It is hard to understand what is happening and how to “fix” it.
3) Diagnoses can feel disempowering. “How did this happen? How can I help myself?” We can wind up feeling like a victim of our physiology or life experiences that co-created our disease/illness/symptomatology.
And this is just to name a few.
But I approach any diagnosis in a different way...
Why You Are Not Your Diagnosis
Principle #2: There is no singular pathway to healing. The road is up and down and winding, full of unexpected turns. As you embark on a healing journey, you learn that there is much more to you than your diagnosis and that there are many avenues to explore to help you heal.
Principle #3: Healing is not one-size-fits-all. We all have differences in our physiology and psychology that influence how we respond physically, mentally and emotionally. (Standard treatments for diagnoses generally don't take these differences into account, and thus, you may not feel better.) If you learn what makes you unique, you will discover that you are much more complex than any diagnosis... and that within those complexities lies your innate ability to heal.
Your being is constantly adapting and evolving. Whatever your diagnosis may be, it is what is happening at this current moment in time. And if you are in a constant state of change, a state that is influenced by just about everything, then the argument is that you are not your diagnosis. Who you are now is not who you were a year ago, and thus, it is not who you will be in a year.
Be your own source of hope on your healing journey.
You are not a victim of your physiology.
You are not your diagnosis.
You are an ever-changing being on an ever-changing path of becoming.
Keep going. Keep searching for answers.
In time you will find that hidden within your symptoms and struggles are the very answers you seek.
Interested in working with Cailin?
Your first consultation is free.
Dr. Cailin O'Hara, DACM, LAc, Dipl OM, is a nationally board certified Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, herbalist and coach. She is based in Phoenix, AZ.
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