While I was establishing goals for the 2013 year, an article by Deepak Chopra titled, “The big idea(s) for 2013: A Critical Mass of Consciousness” caught my attention. As I read further, I realized that a goal has a better chance of being successful if it is in concert with the efforts of others. Chopra successfully makes this point when he states, “Our world right now is in a state of worrisome turbulence and chaos. If we are to achieve any measure of success in creating a more peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy planet, it will require more than the participation of governments and businesses. We’ll need a critical mass of consciousness on the part of the people.”
Let’s look at one aspect of this larger goal: a planet full of healthy people.
The goal of helping create a critical mass of consciousness (awareness) about health and the importance of this goal to each individual is very timely when considering how health care options are determined. Timely, because by January 2014 almost every individual in the United States will be mandated to buy health insurance or pay a fine.
This collective health awareness will need a critical mass of people who have found alternative and traditional therapies that work for them, and regulators who make them accessible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the new health care law is confined to traditional Western medical practices, and modeled after existing delivery systems, Dr. Andrew Weil’s comment in the documentary Escape Fire, “We don’t have a health care system, we have a disease care system,” may describe our future.
Another issue is how patients will be treated, both mentally and physically. Do they need to take more responsibility for their health instead of routinely turning to the medical community to manage their lives through drugs? How do we achieve a critical mass of consciousness in this area?
Dr. Lissa Rankin urges, “The solution is not more tests, more drugs, or more procedures. The solution requires physicians to spend more time with patients engaging in the art of healing and educating patients not just about diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, and taking vitamins, but also the other factors. To be wholly healthy, you need to do more than care for your physical body. It’s also essential to be healthy in your relationships, your work life, your creative life, your spiritual life, your financial life, your environment, and your mental health.”
As regulators tackle the task of identifying therapies that should be available to the public under the ACA, there needs to be the recognition that the whole person – physical and spiritual aspects – must be addressed. Many studies show that health care must address the spiritual needs of the individual as well as the physical.
So my goal this year is to start with big intentions and resolutions. I know from past experiences that it may be easy to become discouraged and shift to smaller and personal goals, but I’m going to work to stick to the big issue, because an awareness (consciousness) on the part of the public is developing about the importance of a different type of health care – one that includes the use of alternative medicines (especially prayer and meditation) and the accountability of the individual.
My health care goal is not separate from the critical mass of awareness on the part of all, and yet I must stand alone in my belief as to what manifests healthy situations for me. I recall a time that I engaged in setting a big goal by relying on prayer to meet my spiritual and physical needs. I was in the military service at the time and I was assigned full time to prayerfully help army recruits with their physical and spiritual needs. I saw how important Bible-based study and prayer were for a healthy and stable emotional lifestyle on the part of inductees. It continues to be my goal for 2013 to promote an awareness (consciousness) that encourages the effective use of prayer and meditation as alternative medicines in resolving health issues. As the concept of health care broadens to address the needs of a population, a critical mass of awareness will result.
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