The following is a speech I gave recently at InspireDunedin in New Zealand. I was one of dozens of speakers from around the world who came together to discuss topics such as wellness, community, the planet, among others. It was an incredible experience, and one I would definitely do again. All proceeds from the event went to The Sophie Elliot Foundation, an incredible organization for the prevention of domestic violence.

I am a practitioner of Ancient Healing Arts, a holistic healer and a practitioner of Chinese Medicine. Being a healer was not my first choice. I actually wanted to be a spy. A woman of mystery. So I settled for the next best thing. Marketing, International Marketing. What I found was that it was actually about selling people more stuff. Interesting, but not necessarily fulfilling.

Looking back, all roads lead to where you are. And I believe it is not accident that we are here now. You bought the tickets. And I took the plane. It’s not random.

I believe that we are here, on this planet, at this moment, for a purpose. This may be uncomfortable for some of you, and challenge your beliefs about health, healing and spirituality. Just notice what shows up for you. For me, I have to ask myself if what I was doing was fulfilling my purpose. So ask yourself, is your purpose to be sitting in an office, toiling, and waiting for 5 o’clock. For me the answer was no.

I did not find this path, the path found me.

I want to talk about health and how optimal health, is part of finding your purpose. The thing is, optimal health is not so clear. What I’ve noticed is that we have adopted a disease model, a broken and fix model. This is where we think of ourselves like machines, out of a factory our fate and function preset. some of us even have an expiration date.

I’ve also witnessed this in my own field in chinese medicine. It has morphed into that broken and fix model and turned into standardized treatment and a dilution of its potency. Health and healing are a dynamic process, a transformation process.

I want to share a story. This is about a man who came to see me with back pain, he could barely stand up. The first thing he said to me was that he didn’t think I could help him. Every year, for ten days, he would have this back pain and nothing could change that. But I knew I could help him and I told him so. If we could get his back pain to diminish in nine days, we both agreed this would be progress. So I treated him.

Later that evening he attended a show. It required him to sit for several hours, not good for back pain. When he stood up, his back pain was gone. This was an opportunity and an opening to a new healing transformation for him. He could get better and he did get better.

From the perspective of the ancients, they believed that optimal health could be attained by practicing the Tao, also known as the Way. They understood these principles of practicing the Way as the transformation of the energies of the universe. From physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual levels within us. These words are beautiful and they are poetic but what I’ve come to understand from these texts are that they are literal in meaning and truth.

I look at health on four levels of health consciousness.

The first is curing a disease. This is really that broken and fix model. It’s a band aid. It really doesn’t talk about health, or connect you to finding your purpose.

The second level is about prevention. This is about not getting sick or keeping you from sliding back. This is about the status quo. It is not about being in your best health, nor is it leading to your path of purpose.

The third level is about a long and healthy life. This is about being in your best health at every stage in your life, it’s alignment. This is on the path of purpose.

The fourth level is about longevity and purpose. That is taking that long and healthy life and connecting it to something greater, finding fulfillment and meaning in this world. This is also a whole health perspective.

The man that was in my story. He had to shift his awareness of what was really possible for him and move beyond his circumstances and immediate experience to connect to something bigger. His own power.

The third level of alignment is about connecting to that power. It’s about the cultivation of the power of life. And your unlimited health potential.

I want to tie this all together so that the fourth level of health is very clear. In the story, the man, his pain was creating all kinds of problems for him. He wasn’t even able to enjoy a walk. It was literally sucking the joy out of everything that he did. And when he got better he was able to do all the things that he couldn’t do before.

What I want to leave with you, is to have this perspective to connect all those good feelings to something greater in your life. That unlimited potential is what the ancients understood as transforming the energies of the universe.

The healing you seek is already inside of you.

It’s up to you at this moment to unlock it.

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