On Health & Wellbeing

Health is one of our most precious commodities. The World Health Organization defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (W.H.O. 1998: 1). However, many of us go through experiences in which our health is challenged – temporarily or for longer periods of time. Journeys with chronic fatigue or pain, stress, pregnancy loss or complications, auto-immune disease or cancer affect us on many levels.

I therefore see health not as a state, as the WHO definition implies, but as an ability to work with and adapt to health concerns we face. This of course includes learning to take care of our body in a new way, physically, emotionally, mentally, and more or less conscious, spiritually as well. These dimensions will always receive attention and be included in whatever work you will do with me.

Shamanic paradigms distinguish between curing and healing. Curing is when a specific condition is fully improved as if it it never existed. This is of course not always possible. Still, healing can happen, when the condition is viewed in a more holistic way, and a new balance is found in terms of living with this condition. 

It is important to consciously engage with a specific illness trajectory, should it emerge. This includes becoming aware of the first symptoms, embarking on a journey of finding help, receiving a diagnosis, explaining this to loved ones and potentially dealing with changes in social and professional circumstances, and of course the ‘healing’ trajectory and integration of the experience. If you are experiencing a specific illness trajectory, please keep an eye on the Mapping Your Healing Journey workshops. In the meantime, I offer 1:1 sessions as well, fully tailored to your needs, to empower you through whatever health-related journey you are experiencing. This can be useful at any time, during, or even long after your experience, to help integrate and make sense of it on a deeper level.

Aside from having dealt with debilitating work stress on a long-term basis, I live with an auto-immune condition that regularly causes pain and exhaustion. In 2019 I also came very close to dying after an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. In all these circumstances, various combinations of my (13!) practices have helped me to cope with and integrate these experiences, to find the most optimal way forward. They allowed me to take an active stance in my own healing process, which I learned requires ongoing attention and dedication. I would be delighted to accompany you on your own journey to find the most optimal practices for you.

Reference

Huber, M. & Knottnerus, et.al. (2011) ‘How should we define health?’, BMJ, 343.

W.H.O. (1998), ‘Health Promotion Glossary, PFD file’, World Health Organization http://www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/hp_glossary_en.pdf. Accessed 5 May 2011.