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What is an antidote for our current state of affairs? On the eve of the presidential inauguration, I am wondering about this.

Clearly, we need to metabolize our shadow.

Personal consciousness or unconsciousness is added to the collective.

We are seeing the collective shadow come to life as we prepare for a new presidential regime.

I have had rich conversations with so many of my patients about the dissonance between what we want and how we behave. Our actions and behaviors many times are out of alignment with what we intend for our future, our families, community, and country. Our behaviors that lack integrity or consciousness, especially those where we behave poorly towards ourselves are small examples. Some of these behaviors are habitual, imprinted since childhood by our families or society. If the over-cultural normalizes them, we feel they are ok.

One such behavior that pervades our society is sacrificing our time and life energy to make and acquire lots of money. Society has assigned value to money. The more we have, the more worth we feel. This is an extrinsically assigned value. It is not intrinsic. Furthermore, it does not make us happy. It does not bring us joy, contentment, or satisfaction. It actually causes stress. We are even willing to sacrifice our health to acquire money. In the medical system alone, this has become the goal at the cost of patient care. Most systems operate from this distorted value. They operate from the shadow. This behavior is unsustainable

Self-Love was never taught to us.

This is where we must begin.

We MUST learn how to express love to ourselves — finding balance to rest and regenerate, performing even small acts of self-care exhibited in how we nourish and feed ourselves, soothe and take care of ourselves in healthy ways. Anytime we have the opportunity to act authentically, even if it opposes the over-culture, shifts what we add to the collective.

How many of us struggle with these acts of kindness towards ourselves?

If we are unable to behave in a kind and loving ways towards ourselves, we add self-neglect and shame to the collective. It grows the collective shadow.

Remember This

The only way to change what we have created is through our behaviors, first towards ourselves than others.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Then and only then, will our world change.

We all need to wake up and do the hard inner work of living consciously.

Our complacency has contributed to the collective shadow.

We can no longer be complacent. We can no longer adapt to what is normalized. We must align our intentions and our behaviors with integrity and we must snap out of the malaise of adapting to what is normalized and rethink it to transform it.

We must shift what we have assigned value to.

What we have valued is a grand illusion.

We must use our ego’s to serve our hearts.

The time for living this way is at hand.

If we want a different reality, we must create it.

©January 2017 Kalpana (Rose) M. Kumar M.D., CEO and Medical Director of The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine, Pewaukee, WI. Website: Author of Becoming Real: Reclaiming Your Health in Midlife. 2011, 2014 Medial Press

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Evidence Based Integrative Medicine