Last week I asked you to think about the following question: “Is there a connection between my relationship to creating and my physical health?” This week I’d like to continue our discussion by providing you with some tips to help you deal with any mysterious physical ailments that may be plaguing you. Many creatives appear to be burdened by inexplicable ailments that defy diagnosis. What can you do if you find yourself in such a situation? Here are four tips.
1. Because the underlying biological cause of a physical ailment can be very hard to discern or pin down, it can prove difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis—or any relevant diagnosis—from Western medicine. At the same time, an accurate, relevant diagnosis may still be possible. Countless individuals have happened upon the proper diagnosis after repeated misdiagnoses or missed diagnoses. If you have the wherewithal to get medical help and if you haven’t gotten too frustrated and discouraged—and especially if you have some intuition about what may actually be going on—continue on the journey to a proper diagnosis.
2. While you are making that effort to discern the biological bases of your chronic ailments, if there are any such bases, take care of your health in ordinary, obvious, but still often hard-to-accomplish ways. Learn how to reduce your stress, change your circumstances, if you can, so that your environment and your life produce less stress, sever or minimize toxic relationships, reacquire hope by, first, identifying your life purposes and, second, by living them, get your rest and your exercise, and above all endeavor to think thoughts that serve you and rid yourself of thoughts that produce anxiety, negativity, and hopelessness. This is a lot and beyond what most people can actually do. But maybe you can prove the exception and do a better job of taking care of yourself than most people do.
3. Accept that there is a mind/connection and that what ails your mind will ultimately ail your body. Currently not creating may be one thing that ails your mind but you may be suffering from other psychological conflicts and pressures as well. Your formed personality, formed in part by any childhood traumas you experienced, may now prove to be your enemy and, as such, can create and sustain physical illness. Your challenge is to upgrade your personality by making use of your freedom and your remaining available personality to turn yourself into someone more like the person you would like be and more like a person who doesn’t create illness and distress. Is this transformation anything like easy? Of course not. But you can set that transformation as your target goal and any progress you make in that direction will pay dividends in terms of your emotional wellbeing and your physical health.
4. Engage with your creative work, even if you find it hard, even if you doubt its value, and even if it makes you anxious. Avoiding it is the bigger problem. If it is in your heart to create and on your mind to create and if you avoid your creative efforts, that is bound to produce a toxic environment internally, one that is likely to cause or contribute to physical problems. If creating is no longer one of your life purposes—if you have really shed it from your system, existentially speaking, and have made peace with that change—that is one thing. If you have really accomplished that feat, then not creating will not make you sick. But if creating still matters to you, then not creating is a toxic choice.
I hope that these four tips serve you! Good luck in implementing them.