Awakening Humanity : A New Prescription for Health
Nov 24, 2013 01:11PM
By By Dr. Michael B. Finkelstein
I’m evolving as a doctor—I know it. And this evolution is largely in response to our collective need for healing that goes beyond the mere fixing of our aching physical bodies. I recognized this need when I saw that the prescriptions I was writing didn’t fulfill my patients’ quests for genuine health, the type of health that makes us feel fully alive.
And we’re in this boat together, as the Buddhists would say. Unless we’re all doing OK, none of us really are. We are waking up to this fact, and more and more people I meet along the way are looking for the path that brings it all together: not just “mind-body-spirit,” but the entirety of life, its full experience and expression.
For many, the trek is not an easy one, because mental and physical pain really exist. But suffering is optional, and the way around it is for us to reconnect with the true meaning of our lives—individually and collectively, and together. This new, global, holistic community is developing rapidly, and since you are reading this now, I imagine you are part of it, or thinking about joining it.
Years from now, history books will reflect how our actions toward our present concerns determined our future. An author friend of mine, Carter Phipps, wrote in his book Evolutionaries that never in human history have we, as individuals, had such an opportunity to make change through personal responsibility. Each of us will make many decisions in our lifetime; indeed, we are constantly faced with choices—too many, at times. But this is cause for celebration, if we can only seize the moment and lead ourselves and our fellow travelers to our fullest potential, all together.
You might find this philosophy of collectivism odd coming from a doctor. But this truly is a matter of health, especially when you consider that the Anglo-Saxon root of the word health means “wholeness.” Our highest calling in our quest for health is to extend outside of ourselves and reconnect with all that lives and all that is.
This is not about abandoning the body. (Here is where I don’t necessarily agree with some of the Eastern traditions that consider our physical senses an illusion.) I feel there is deep value in our sensory capacities, and we have them for a reason: to learn from our sensory experiences, especially the painful ones. The trick is navigating the course between our egoistic demands and cravings and the ecstatic release of the same. Without one there would not be the other, which is why I feel the need, as a practicing human, to keep my eyes—which I’m thankful to have—on both.
So go to the gym and make friends there. Keep your physical body in shape and, at the same time, witness the imbalance that you will see running next to you, and use it as a guide to stay in true alignment with your principles and your higher calling. Reach beyond the image in the mirror to something more practical: how do you use that body to serve other humans in their quest for greater health and vitality? And don’t forget about the man or woman inside that body, and the heart that needs something more than the oxygen coursing those arteries you care so much about.
This is all about connection. Bring your awareness to encompass the entirety of life, and wake up to the sunrise tomorrow with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective and a heart filled with wonder at the potential of it all.
That’s my prescription.
Dr. Michael B. Finkelstein is the Founder and Medical Director of Transcendence at SunRaven: The Center for Holistic and Skillful Living located at 501 Guard Hill Rd. in Bedford, NY. For a free fifteen minute consultation, send an email titled “NAM Appt.” to [email protected]. For more information visit DrMichaelFinkelstein.com. Call 914.234.6646 to schedule a private appointment.