Holistic Medicine Part 1: Rebuilding Pillars

January 2022 by Sandy Yanez

The start of a new year is meant to be a time for reinventing oneself and living by mantras like “new year, new me.”

But what if, instead of completely changing our ways and attempting to be someone we aren’t, we merely repair the pillars that have lost their strength?

The belief that we should suddenly start living an entirely new lifestyle the minute the clock strikes midnight is not healthy for our mental wellbeing. Neither is setting long-term goals without any structure or progress markers.

So, rather than fully redesigning ourselves, how about we take modest, manageable steps toward mental freedom? The best method to increase actual mental productivity is to develop habits and routines with care.

How to reclaim your power in 2022

  1. Nurture your most precious relationships
  2. Cleanse your mind, body, and spirit
  3. Liberate yourself form fear and befriend courage
  4. Rewrite unhelpful narratives
  5. Set and endorse healthy boundaries
  6. Process difficult emotions

Of course, a new year is not a prerequisite for change: power and control can dwindle at any given moment, and you can reclaim it at any given time. But sometimes, just the idea of a fresh beginning can just give us the motivation we need to take action.


Changing Your Narrative

If you want to change your life, you need to change your narrative – how you see yourself and your meaning of life. Your life narrative integrates your past, perceived present, and imagined future. All three co-exist at the same time, at least in your mind. Stories that create your reality. They shape your perception of what’s possible and what is not.

We are the creator of our own story. For some, this story is clear-cut. It drives them and is how they spend their time and energy. For many others, the story is clouded, damaged, or seems outside their awareness but is often easily seen by others. They may be seen as the victim, the martyr, the one that thinks things will work out for the best, or the one that braces for the worst.

Your narrative is constructed by the stories and actions of those significant to you and who has served as a role model, who also influenced us with their own personal philosophies of life (both positively and negatively). Your personal experiences, values, events, and relationships also make up your narrative. Our story becomes the lens through which we see life’s events, our connections with others, and what we may anticipate of ourselves and life in general.

Your narrative is continually evolving and changing based on the experiences you are having. You know the facts about your past cannot be changed, but the story you tell yourself about them can change. It changes when you see them differently.

Unfortunately, most people are not consciously aware, or they mindlessly go through their day-to-day life instinctively, and as a result, they often shape limiting stories based on the emotions they are experiencing. Your entire identity and view of the world is a meaning, a story. The question to ask yourself: Is this story serving you? Is this the story you want to tell?

Through The Looking-Glass: Self Exploration

Most people live in a way that they always see what’s missing, not what they have, not what they can do. What we tell ourselves is what we believe; more so, it becomes who we are. We limit ourselves by deciding we can’t do something before we even try. We say or tell ourselves that we are too old, not

good enough, this is silly, good things don’t happen to me, this is the way it is, and I can’t do that. Stop limiting yourself! As a result of these limiting beliefs: fear, pain, and suffering move to the forefront of your awareness, resulting in avoidance of anyone or anything that might cause you to re-experience those emotions.

These self-destructive behaviors may be an unconscious attempt to protect yourself from having another experience that would reinforce the story of why you aren’t able to be, do, or have what you desire in life. These unconscious drivers are what we call unresolved emotions. They have been repressed from earlier experiences, and they are what create unconscious limiting decisions that keep you stuck in the same old story, month after month, year after year.

Taking The First Step  

You can start by looking at how you interpreted your past experiences. The way you interpret the situation will either empower you or cause you more self-destruction. You always have a choice in how you interpret events.

Rewriting your narrative requires an honest look at where you blame other people or circumstances for the way your life has turned out. Do you hold past grudges? Live in anger or bitterness because something or someone in your past did not work out? Ask yourself what you learned from that person or situation? Did you grow in a positive way or sink down into a pit of despair?

There are opportunities to grow with every challenge presented when you choose to learn from them. For instance, an abused person can learn from the experience that they are a victim and live a life in fear or learn that they are resilient, wise, and a survivor. It’s all in how we look at it.

Going Deeper

  1. Think of an experience that has negatively impacted your life.
  2. List the benefits, opportunities, and learned experiences that could come from that experience.
  3. Think about how you currently view the cause of the experience. Now, rethink the cause. Could it be possible that there’s more to what happened than you initially thought?
  4. Think about how this experience, your view of this experience, shaped your life and the way you see the world. Do you feel or see it differently now?
  5. Think about how that negative experience shaped your identity and how you see yourself. Then, ask yourself, how did I grow? What strengths or opportunities have come because you went through this? Now, how will your future be different because you’ve learned from this? What have you committed to doing and being because of what you’ve learned?

As you become more adept at finding the opportunities in every challenge, you will begin to look at past experiences in a new light, and you will begin to rewrite your story. Take time out on a regular basis to remind yourself that you can always take steps to change your behaviors, your path, and even your life. When we forget we have this power, we tend to feel stuck. When we remember that we have the power to change the trajectory of our narrative, we feel strong, hopeful, and happier overall.

This is the first article in the Holistic Medicine series. Plant Family Therapeutics wants you to live your best life, and that means healing the whole person. Cannabis is an amazing natural medication that can aid in your holistic care. Follow along as new articles incorporating cannabis open areas for deeper healing of the mind, body, and spirit.