The Shoemaker Has No Shoes
A funny thing happened on the way to work today. I realized that
even though professionals preach health and well being, they
might not have a clue how to get there. The old saying that the
"shoemaker has no shoes" comes to mind.
Recently I have experienced several situations involving
healthcare personnel supposedly in the business of holistic
health. They purport to teach health and well being strategies.
In all situations, projects were planned and commitments made.
Individuals expressed desire to achieve the goal, but were
unable to follow through. They become irritable and defensive
when questioned. They respond with excuses and complaints
stating that they have too much to do and not enough time to do
it. They admit that they have been neglecting family and other
important parts of their life. It's somebody else's fault. They
play the victim. Yet they continue to see no contradiction in
telling others how to run their lives, which foods to eat or not
eat, which herbs to take, which supplements to buy to stay
Unfortunately, I see this all too often. Perhaps you do too.
Healthcare professionals often focus on one way to achieve
health, and ignore the rest. They focus only on diet or
exercise, supplements or new age options. Or they become so over
involved in caring for everyone else that they forget about
themselves. They forget about the dangers of chronic stress
resulting from life problems and lack of balance. Stress kills.
Professionals who preach health on a daily basis, can let
themselves become so busy and so stressed that their own health
is at risk. But they don't stop long enough to see it.
These are usually good people with wonderful hearts and positive
motivation who tend to focus on others and ignore caring for
themselves. But, what kind of models are they? Over time, stress
takes its toll emotionally and physically.
When you travel by air, the flight attendants tell you that if
you have small children and there is an emergency, you must put
your oxygen mask on first, before helping the child. Why?
Because if you have no oxygen yourself, you aren't much use to
Similarly, if healthcare professionals do not believe that
managing their stress, balancing their life, and improving their
health and well being is important, how can they teach this to
others? Research is pretty solid on the fact that stress kills.
Chronic stress is a major factor in most chronic illnesses
including fibromyalgia, heart disease, arthritis, migraines,
gastrointestinal problems, cancer and more. If we do not model
self-care, how can we preach it? Sadly, healthcare professionals
rarely preach life balance either. They aren't even aware it's
missing, in their lives or in the lives of others! Self-care is
seen as selfish. Women especially feel guilty as long as there
is one poor soul anywhere that might benefit from their help.
These professionals end up with clients dancing just as fast as
they are. They send their clients out of their office with the
same expectations, limitations, and frenzied lifestyle as they
themselves have. They never even notice. They're too busy.
Health care professionals, wake up! People depend on you.
People's lives depend on you. Until you prioritize, balance your
life, reduce stress, relax, and get real, don't expect your
clients to. Their denial parallels yours. As long as you stay on
the merry-go-round, they will stay. As long as you run around
like a chicken with its head cut off, they will.
Many health practitioners and wellness experts are sorely
lacking these days. All have their own agenda. Diet and exercise
are the main focus it seems, followed by a few candles and some
yoga. Eat this food and avoid that and everything will be fine.
Workout three times a week or more and you will be healthy. Add
a yoga class to your already busy schedule and you will be ok.
Few take the whole person into consideration even though they
say they do.
Let's face it, who do you think is healthier? A happy, laughing,
stress-free person who eats cheese dogs in a white bun with
chips on the side, or someone who eats only organic foods, no
dairy, meat or white bread, takes supplements daily, and is so
stressed that they bite everyone's head off and have no time to
enjoy their life? People in great shape drop dead every day due
Learn to solve the problems that precipitate your stress. If you
have trouble knowing where to start, hire a life coach.