Updated: Jul 14
Out of all the things I want to write about, I felt like this was a good place where to start.
As a society, we're currently at a crossroads. And I don't mean this to sound like I believe that we're worse off than any other generations before because I truly do believe that every generation is faced with challenges that are ad-hoc to the collective levels of consciousness at the time required to solve it. This meaning, every social problem we face is meant to elevate our collective awareness and educate our society on a new way to thrive.
It takes about five minutes of watching cable tv to find a T-Mobile or AT&T commercial advertising just how connected their phone networks have made us - I unfortunately cannot agree to disagree on this. While our mobile devices have certainly allowed us to connect with those who are physically far away, this illusion of connection has also quietly severed the connection with those and that which is around us and just as concerning, it has damaged our connection with our body and our mind.
I believe that every problem regardless of whether it is a social, health or environmental stems from a level of disconnection. Allow me to expand on this —
Disconnection from the body
— do we try to understand the root cause or do we simply medicate and mask the symptoms so as not to feel?
Disconnection from our bodies looks like chronically masking symptoms with temporary "solutions" rather than listening to the body's way of communication through symptomatology.
Dis-ease just as the etymology of the word describes it, is a state in which the body as a whole is not at ease and therefore is activating an immune response in the form of a symptom.
Although I am not here to deny the existence of conditions that are activated through genetic code, I certainly believe that a majority of the conditions modern society is deeming as "chronic" are the result of nocive epigenetic habits. Meaning, habits we have learned and have adopted from the environment we are closest to. For instance, if you frequent an environment of people who regularly smoke, chances are you will either take up on the habit yourself or you are more likely to experience passive smoker health conditions than you would if you spend more time in other social circles where there is no smoking involved.
It seems as if we reduce the fate of our health to our genetics, while gravely neglecting the role of our personal habits.
I believe the debate should not be so focused on nature v.s nurture but rather the power of reactive vs. proactive healthcare. We are living in a medical world that heavily focuses on reactive medicine - on extinguishing fires rather than preventing them in the first place.
I recall one experience where I was talking to a close friend of mine and she expressed that she would either experience extremely painful periods that lasted for a long period of time or no periods at all for months. Subsequently, when she visited a gynecologist to obtain guidance, she was met with a simple solution: contraceptive pills. Following the recommendations from her primary healthcare physician and ignoring the blaring alarms her body was providing her, my friend began this treatment - and while some of her symptoms decreased in intensity, her underlying condition worsened eventually leading to a more severe condition called PCOs. This is not to say that the doctor specifically was a bad person or that my friend doesn't care about her health - this would be a serious oversimplification that only leads to finger pointing and guilt. This example is only the representation of a culture that encourages masking symptoms through the overuse of mass produced over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, a lack of personalized medical treatment and escapism (avoidance).
How do we regain the connection with our bodies?
— mindful movement
— listen when your body is giving you signs that it is tired or un eased
— become conscious about engaging in "escapism" practices like binging tv, alcohol, mindless social media scrolling, binge-eating, avoiding, etc
— experiencing symptoms are the body's way of communicating, not of attacking you
— create a routine that prioritizes habits that enhance your health and allow you to perform as you need to
Disconnection from the Earth
— Is our lack of appreciation for the living and breathing earth we live in have anything to do with the climate crisis we’re experiencing?
Never before in history have we lived in such an artificial environment. We spend most of our time indoors surrounded by EMF from our devices, screens, wifi as well as artificial lights and little to no movement.
How could we have any appreciation for something we have little to no real interaction with?
I'm aware that part of living in a modern society requires spending a fair amount of time in front of a screen. However, connecting back to the earth doesn't have to be complicated nor time-consuming. It can look like taking a morning walk at your local park and grounding onto the earth by touching the trees or briefly walking barefoot on the grass. It looks like learning how to grow and care for your own house plants and herbs - this is one being one of my favorite ways to connect to nature because it doesn't require much time from your day and it gives you a deeper understanding of how to care for different plants plus a sense of pride when you get to use the herbs or veggies that you've planted. It can even be as simple as getting sunlight first thing in the morning and/or finding little moments throughout the day to take a brief break and spend some time outside.
I believe that once we nurture appreciation for the earth and find ways to connect with it, becoming more involved in ways to care for it suddenly become not only a priority but also a habit.
Disconnection from Food
— Is there any level of discernment that you’re applying to the food you’re regularly consuming? have you ever stopped and asked yourself if the food you habitually consume is helping or negatively affecting your health?
The disconnection from our bodies has in large part come as a result from our disconnection from the food we consume. And by this I don't mean whether you are vegetarian or keto or carnivore - but whether or not you are conscious of the role that food plays in the state of your health.
If you ever read the labels on most mainstream food products, the great majority on that list will be industrial hydrogenated seed oils (which did not exist prior to the industrial revolution and used to be considered "toxic waste" until they were introduced to the market in soaps, food and as cooking oils) incredibly high levels of sugars and processed ingredients we can't even pronounce. Unfortunately, most of these ingredients are only aggravating the obesity, diabetes and metabolic dysfunction problems that the western world is currently experiencing. Using discernment to move past the mass marketing is crucial in a time where misleading health claims in everyday products are ever proliferating.
As mentioned above, here are some of the important ones to look for:
— Hydrogenated seed oils:
Palm, sunflower, soybean, safflower, canola oils. These are byproduct waste that wasn’t invented until the end of the Industrial Revolution as a cheaper way to cook but not necessarily a beneficial one.
— Added sugars: disrupts your gut, increases inflammation and glucose spikes, low energy, cravings and brain fog as well as feeding candida overgrowth which leads to a series of hormonal issues like PCOs amongst others.
— Natural flavors: there's nothing quite natural about them and more of a loophole way to say preservatives that are going to be very difficult for your intestines to digest leading to bloating, constipation and inflammation.
I am aware that we are currently saturated with new miracle diets and complex major lifestyle changes that promise to make all the difference - and although I do believe that there is a time and place for more complex biohacking practices (especially for people who are experiencing more serious chronic health conditions) more often than not, it all boils down to making small daily changes. What most of these diets have in common is eliminating seed oils and added sugars while slowly reintegrating more fiber. This means, when grocery shopping give priority to foods around the perimeter of the store (fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, eggs, yoghurt) rather than the middle (processed foods, chips, boxed cereal, cookies, soda, canned food).
Dr. Mark Hyman, a renowned functional medicine doctor has a small rule when it comes to food "If nature made it, eat it - If man made it, leave it".
You will soon find that by making small shifts and creating a more conscious connection with food you'll begin to notice big changes in your levels of energy and will therefore be inspired to take on bigger changes.
Disconnection from each other
— We're not rooted in competition, we're rooted in connectivity.
In a simplified way, the second law of thermodynamics says that any system that is left in isolation increases its entropy. Entropy is often referred to as a gradual decline into disorder or chaos. And although I am not particularly savvy in the realm of thermodynamics, I do believe that this law can also be applied as an analogy to the effects of disconnection within the human system.
Time and time again, studies have shown how disconnection from family and community are at the root of addiction, anxiety and even more serious medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and obesity. This is not to say that there aren't many other underlying causes to this conditions, but I believe we can all agree that it is harder to be a productive, healthy person when you feel emotionally disconnected from your environment.
In a time of incredible technological advancements and cultural change, I believe that the unifying theme comes from the understanding that we are not rooted in competition but rather that, we as humans are rooted in connectivity. It requires us to strip off the scarcity-based belief that there is not enough abundance to go around for everyone. Embracing connectivity requires us to let go of the illusion of separation that isolates us and embrace a new form of thinking that understands that
whenever you win - I win & whenever I win - you win too.
You will find that connecting with others becomes easier when we abandon judgement and we leave our preconceived ideas of others at the door. Eliminating judgement from the equation means that we become aware that judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances and that if you were to be in the exact same position as that person, chances are you would've done the same.
Only then will you find that you can never hate someone once you truly understand them.
Disconnection from Source
It is through conscious connection to everything around us that we realize that at all times there’s a creative force at play. We begin to feel this immense sense of thankfulness because we get to feel it and experience it. And therein, in the perception of the experience lies the true key to happiness.
Dr. Zach Bush once said that if you can only come to trust what you can physically see with your eyes, then you are now trusting 0.0001% of the universe and believing that constitutes the whole universe.
It is not so much about whether you belong to a religion organization, but more about regaining that connection with something bigger than yourself while also realizing that you are part of it.
I recall hearing someone say "if the app is free, then you are the product" and this made me think about how there is a relentless fight for our attention. The online world is one where there is a constant fight for who gets more views, likes, engagement and all of this because attention can and is being monetized. We are led to believe that more is always the option, there is always something we are lacking. I don't mean to say that someone should go off the grid and not consume any kind of media - but rather that it is now more crucial than ever before to make use of discernment.
Discernment is oftentimes aligned with a gut feeling, our innate ability to be able to tell when something doesn't seem or feel right. Trust that feeling because the more you trust it, the stronger your connection with it becomes.
Today I kindly urge to consciously practice being present and observe what is unfolding around you - you might find an opportunity to help someone, you might think of a new solution for a problem you've been too busy to even think about, you might think of a fun activity with a loved one or even just some time to think where your mind is not being constantly bombarded with flashing five second videos.