Friday, January 13, 2012

Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing

(Images taken in Cypress, Greece, © 2008 Katie Newbold.)

In 2005 two close friends and I traveled back to Venezuela. We’d lived there together a few years previous and had been taught a richer way to live and a deeper way to love. We missed our dear friends, and we were also ready to take our life’s adventures into Canaima to sleep in the jungle for a few nights and hike to Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world.

One Sunday during our trip we were sitting in the chapel of Las Brisas in Maturin, and the Sunday School lesson was on the Word of Wisdom. (Click here to read a previous post explaining the Word of Wisdom.) The teacher was outlining what the Word of Wisdom counseled us on food and what substances aren’t so great for the body. A man in the back raised his hand, made a comment, and then ended by saying, “The Word of Wisdom doesn’t address food combinations, though. Eating rice with pineapple isn’t good on the stomach,” mentioning some other bad food combos I don’t remember. My two friends and I rolled our eyes and whispered to each other, “Who is this crazy guy?” We obviously knew better because we were American with modern medicine and common sense, right?

Well come to find out, this man actually does have a foot to stand on, as many of you may know. Just yesterday, actually, I spoke on the phone with a university about their PhD program in holistic nutrition. The woman told me that the school nutrition program is based on an alkaline and acidic diet, and I told her how by following an alkaline/acidic, 80/20 eating pattern I was able to eliminate a lot of my rheumatoid arthritis pain. She told me that in this program I would learn how improper food combinations can spike RA pain even if I am eating an alkaline diet. Ah-ha. 

I have to admit that there have been many moments in my 30 years on this planet where I’ve thought I’ve known more than another person or that my way was better. I still find myself falling into that category time and time again. Except now I’ve adopted some of those very same outlandish beliefs I once snubbed and am on the other side of the table now. It's been a long humbling road, but I’d like to say I'm now at a place in life to be open to more, if not all, possibilities. It's so freeing! I'm much happier this way and much more guided. I seem to receive answers to my prayers much easier now too, because before if an answer wasn't in my line of vision, it didn't exist or couldn't possibly be my answer. No wonder we start thinking God doesn't hear us.

In January of last year my dear friend Andrea challenged me in the best way possible. She asked me what it would feel like to be open to everything. To let go and be guided and be open to every possibility, not clinging to what is familiar. One year ago began my quest to be “open to everything and attached to nothing,” and it has spurred my healing process one hundred fold. If I’d remained in my box of what was familiar and comfortable, I would’ve kept getting the same results—illness, stagnancy in life, a limited perspective, and the same level of faith.

In the many books I’ve read that tie negative emotions to physical illness, the overlying emotional cause of rheumatoid arthritis is being rigid and trying to control the details of life. By initially taking on that challenge to open myself up to everything and let go of familiar ground, I was literally paving a path of healing in that very act! Being flexible and open is still a struggle for me, although I’ve made so much progress in the last year. Recently I’ve been going even deeper within myself to cut off limiting beliefs and better understand why I feel a need to be rigid, controlling, or a perfectionist, and all I can say is I’ve never done anything so difficult in my entire life, but I’ve never been so close to my Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if no one else understands what we’re struggling with, He does and He will always be right there with us to ease our burdens and feel our pain. 

(Images taken in Cypress, Greece, © 2008 Katie Newbold.)

1 comment:

AMiller said...


I am reading your posts. I feel pretty healthy, but this is giving me good insight into possible ways to be healthier. Thanks for all the posts.