Ring the Dinner Bell (Jul 1991)

This is a healing journey
This is a sacred path
A path that leads us inward
To dance the sacred dance

This is a healing journey
We walk it one by one
Each woman and each man alone
To the sound of the distant drum

This is a healing journey
It winds a stormy path
Through fear and joy and anger
Sorrows from the past

Life is indeed a healing journey ...if you want to know the rest of the words to this wonderful song you can hear it sung by BC's very own Ann Mortifee. Many thanks for this expressive music of thoughts for understanding death and disease.

The front cover is a photo of me making a little music, ringing the dinner bell with an old gong that was found by my dad. You could hear that gong for miles and the wonderful tones made announcing meal times easy: we lived on a 160 acre farm and there was no telling where all 10 people might be at any given time. We homesteaded at Rosswood, just north of Terrace, on the way to the Nass Valley and the unique Lava Beds.

Writing this column every second month is part of my healing journey. I do enjoy it, but at the same time, it takes a lot of time and concentration. My focus in putting out ISSUES and this column is to share information with you, so that your journey will feel a little less lonely and a lot more supported. Your journey may not be any easier than mine but today there are many knowledgeable and qualified practitioners available and willing to guide you in that eternal search for health and happiness.

Modern medicine, limited as it is with time and knowledge, should be used as a tool, not a crutch. Rather than depending on doctors to tell us what our body needs, we need to get in touch with our own body ourselves. Health is very complex and there are at least 3000 variables that can create any given condition. We must view dis-ease as a gift for getting us in touch with our inner selves. My observation is that most humans need to be taught by pain. I know that pain is a great teacher but so too is intuition. My goal is to be in better health when I’m 60 years old than when I was 20, for I was not born with perfect health.

Have any of you realized that all the great teachers on health and awareness first become involved for health reasons? I remember many years ago talking about nutrition with a lady who said to me, “I used to read Adelle Davis but when she died of cancer, I figured her method of understanding health wasn’t worth knowing.” What an incredible misunderstanding!

My own journey towards better health started twenty years ago and I’m still searching for the answer. I’m involved because my stomach is extremely sensitive. I’m still not sure what threw my body out of balance but every day I learn a little more and weave that knowledge into the overall picture. Food combining is fascinating. Ayurveda, the ancient health science of India, and the Five Element Theory from Chinese medicine are both incredibly informative sciences that make sense and can teach us simple ways to understand how food, nature, and emotions all affect our health.

Proper digestion is the key to good health, for without it the body doesn’t get the needed building materials. So here are a few tips that I’m sure you have heard before but are well worth repeating.

...Slow down...stop whatever you are doing and thinking when you eat..your body only performs one task well at any given time. For me, that was a tough lesson to learn. I was used to eating on the run, nibbling at my desk or grabbing just half a meal. Sooner or later poor eating habits catch up with you and you reach for the Digestive Aids which confuses the stomach.

...Make 30% of your meal raw vegetables, the enzymes will help to digest the cooked food you consume.

...Eat till you are 80% full: leave room for the stomach to swirl and churn the food.

It takes time to drop old habits and enforce new ones and it would take more pages than I have available to tell you all I have learned. Besides, your journey is different from mine and so are your problems. The key is to learn to listen to your body, especially to that subtle, quiet voice that can guide you to your teacher or healer.

One of my big breakthroughs came when I went to a naturopathic physician about 7 or 8 years ago and he told me I was addicted to peanut butter. I couldn’t believe he was right! How could this perfect protein food for kids be causing me problems? It was a very tough month but I learned to go past the peanut butter jar without putting my finger in it. Later, I read that peanuts are one of the hardest foods to digest. Since then I have given up meat, cheese, eggs and most dairy products for the same reason. It was a slow process, and I did it one item at a time. Today I feel better and have proven to myself that needing animal protein in your diet is a myth. John Robbins' book Diet for a New America explains it all.

Our bodies can only take so much abuse before they start to break down. So if dinnertime give you a pain in the belly, start your search. The answers are out there and knowledge, however gained, is a great gift. I thank the universe for giving me the opportunity to discover the complexities of my own body and the time to share my journey with you.

It’s time to get committed and be taught skills in preventative medicine where we maintain our health instead of destroying it through ignorance and then asking our doctors to rebuild it. Most doctors have few skills in that department