I want to reflect on the role of individual fear, despair, and the need for control on our health.

I am coming to believe that fear may be the biggest toxin on our health. The need to control our lives and environments leads us away from the trust and wholeness (the root word for health.)

If this is true, I have a challenge to improve health.

Trust that the events happening in our lives are happening for our growth.

For the next week, accept all that happens without judgement and let it be (as the Beatles told us in their song many years ago.)

Once you can really let things be, you will find yourself staying in the present or NOW much more easily (remember present is a gift.)

This approach automatically slows down the busyness of our brain and lets our heart and intuition guide our view of ourselves and world. (As an aside, it is interesting that busyness and business are closely related words.)

As our focus changes from the past and future to the present and from our busy minds to our hearts, we can for the first time really see and experience the miracles that surround us each day.

These experiences have a deeper and richer texture when we are truly in the present.

The sun on our face. The breeze that rustles the trees. The sounds of nature. The radiance and vibrancy of our children, friends, family, and our world.

This challenge is not one of deeper concentration or quieting the mind.

It is simply accepting what is. At a deep level.

It is saying that on the river of life, we choose to flow with the current, not against it. That we deeply accept the flow of our lives, for trust, safety and love are the key ingredients that lead to us to wholeness and health.

Thus, change and time may not cause our body to disease, it may instead be our resistance and fear to them.

Our resistance to seeing our lives as great adventures with good friends.

Our resistance to accepting and loving ourselves, each other and our world as we/they are.

Our resistance to the natural unfolding of our lives.

This resistance comes from fear. Fear breeds the need to control. Fear and control drives ego. Activating the ego leads to us seeing the world as threatening and dangerous. This frame drives separation, despair and scarcity, which reinforce fear. Separation and deep fear drive us from wholeness, causing disease.

Maybe health is nothing more than deep love and gratitude for our lives and the ability to trust the unfolding of our lives without fear.

This approach opens us to each miracle we are blessed to experience.

To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour. –William Blake

We are all blessed.

Deeply experiencing and savoring each blessing leads us to wholeness and unity.

This is heaven on earth. This is the foundation of health.

Almost heaven.


  • Clay B. Marsh

    Chief Health Officer, West Virginia University

    Clay B. Marsh, MD, is West Virginia University’s chief health officer, and serves as a member of President E. Gordon Gee’s leadership team. As WVU’s vice president for health sciences, he oversees five health sciences schools and three health campuses.