09 Jun The Secret to Controlling the Universe: You Can’t
We don’t need to know everything about life in order to live. We can eat without understanding digestion, breathe without understanding respiration, and maintain a healthy biome whether or not we know the definition of “biome.”
I gave birth, but my brain doesn’t know how to grow a baby.
I make a yummy Mexican scramble for breakfast but I can’t actually make an egg (and I have raised chickens).
You weren’t born with the ability to create gravity. You stay stuck to the earth’s surface without even trying.
We rely on the intelligence of the universe every day and take it for granted. And yet we imagine that we control our environments and bodies — a false sense of control.
You have seen health and medical advice shift — often from one extreme to another. It seems like every few years health and wellness research contradicts the previously held “truth.”
… fat was bad? Now it’s recognized as the crucial backbone of hormones.
… red meat was the devil? Now it’s all paleo and you can even buy paleo chocolate bars filled with beef protein.
… carb loading was recommended before a workout? Now we know about gluten intolerance and that carbs can actually slow some bodies down.
This doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to improve your health or your life, though you really can’t control outcomes.
Why not defer to the wisdom of your body and the universe?
The truth is that the body often heals despite our best efforts. In spite of the arsenal of antibiotics we experiment with. In spite of all the things we try and abandon and then retry.
You are probably familiar with the saying, “If you treat a cold, it will last for about 14 days; without treatment, it will go away in a couple of weeks.” This is a “thing” because it still holds true (with and without a bunch of interventions — natural or not).
We didn’t create the processes that are universal to life, but I see more people interfering with them than supporting them. Yes, there are things that require intervention — broken bones, a bacteria or virus that has overcome our immune system, acute situations like heart attacks, etc. I absolutely support the use of modern medicine but think it has created a disconnect.
The disconnect is that we are no longer confident about allowing our bodies to heal from most of the stuff we cycle through as kids and adults — colds, flues, rashes, barf bugs, etc.
I have done scientific research and had it published in prestigious scientific journals. (Cool, right?) And the things we studied and the results we published are only one itsy bitsy, tiny fleck of truth in a sea of UNKNOWN.
Even when we intervene successfully we are tinkering with a most complicated and eloquent system, the human body. We are a culture of control freaks and we feel scared to let nature take the lead.
There is a place of balance. Parents can both embrace the magic of childhood and the MYSTERY of the universe.
Here are some simple tips to combat fear, impatience and over-reaction in you and your kids. The next time one of you is down for the count, try one of these:
- Talk about, discuss, point out and defer to the intelligence of the universe: “Look at how your scab gets smaller every day. That’s your body healing.”
- Teach your children: Awe. Patience. Observation. Instead of giving your kid a pill and telling them, “This will make you feel better,” remind them that feeling like crap is part of the process of returning to health. (This doesn’t mean you can’t help them feel better with love and attention!)
- When they are sick, talk about how it’s like hiking. It starts slowly, always has a period of intensity going toward the peak, and then you get to come back down the hill.
This framework will serve your family for a lifetime! Kids who grow up observing their own bodies will be well-equipped to take on uncertainty and growth without feeling a need to medicate at the drop of a hat. This gives them power and choice instead of control.
If you want to learn even more about how to create an empowering framework for family wellness, sign up to be on the Early Bird list for my upcoming course on teaching your child the mind-body connection.