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Making Meaning of Things

heart-energyOne of our deepest yearnings is to make meaning of our world and our circumstances. Most of us, especially in chiropractic, are constantly on the lookout for the underlying cause of just about everything. Or should be. “Why did that patient do that?” “Why are my numbers down?” “What accounts for this? Or that?” “How come?” “Why?”

And if we can’t determine the real cause, we’re quite resourceful in coming up with something to explain our circumstances. These are typically the economy, the weather, the time of the year and a handful of other convenient explanations. The problem is, other practices don’t seem to be similarly affected. Your December numbers suck. Their December numbers soar. Your summer numbers tank. Their summer numbers explode.

That’s the problem with our inclination to make meaning out of our circumstances. We’re often wrong. And when we are, but base our actions on the incorrect conclusions, we’re often worse off.

That’s because we imagine the real world is more real than the unseen world of the spirit.

This observation came to me after receiving an email from a chiropractor who expressed his dissatisfaction with a service we provide—the same service that produces rave reviews from countless hundreds of other chiropractors who receive essentially the same service.

I admit that my tendency in the old days would be to try to “win over” this unconvinced customer, imagining that his observation meant that our service really was substandard or inferior. I’d ignore the history of delighted customers, making this isolated case my new reality.

I bet you’ve done the same thing after an off-handed remark or a skeptically-raised eyebrow from a patient. One patient expresses frustration or disappointment and that’s the patient you focus on—even taking them home with you to discuss at the dinner table!

Whether it’s merely “stink’n think’n” or some deeper character flaw, I think many of us who serve others as caregivers or small business owners are tempted to respond in this way. It’s especially unhelpful and overlooks the unseen world of spirit, energy and intent.

Without getting too metaphysical or woo-woo, allow me to explain.

First We Are Spirit

The unseen world of the spirit accounts for much. The spirit world is larger, more significant and more real than what we can detect with our five senses. I know that’s not politically correct for some, but those readers left us several paragraphs ago.

There are two types of spirits. Positive and negative. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of being around both. Ignore this, depending, let’s say, solely on the words in an email and you’ll miss the whole show. Same adjustment, but when received by a patient in a pool of anger, fear or frustration, it produces a different response than a patient in a field of love, appreciation, gratitude and hope.

Ignore the spiritual state of a patient and you’re bound to get snookered into defeat and disappointment.

Everything is Energy

The monitor on which you’re reading this uses energy to create these letters you recognize as words. That’s not the type of energy I’m talking about. The energy (both yours and those you interact with) are far more subtle than that obtained by plugging your computer into the wall. The energy I’m talking about is the nuanced signature of your heart (not your brain), the most prolific generator of electromagnetic fields of your body.

Your heart is the seat of your desires, wishes and your secret longings. Your heart is either generous or lives in scarcity. Your heart is soft or it is harden.

Imagine two identically prepared meals. One is consumed by someone with a “me versus them” heart. The other with a humble, how-can-I-be-of-assistance servant heart. Same nutrients, but a far different physiological response because of the energetic difference between the two diners.

It’s not the food. It’s not the adjustment. It’s not the service. It’s the recipient.

Your Attention to Your Intention

It’s practically a cliché that what you give your attention, grows. Focus on scolding, confronting or rehabilitating those who miss their appointments, and you’re sure to get even more of them. Surrendering your attention to lack is sure to create even more lack—because your thoughts, worries and dreams have power. Hold these in your mind long enough or frequently enough and they are sure to manifest.

Is your intent to serve? Or to be served? Do you have the faith required to sustain you as you act on the spiritual truth that ONLY as you help others get what they need, you will get what you need? Ignore this principle, and others, and patients can tell you’re in it for you rather than them.

How does all this end? What meaning have you attached to this experience you call life? Nothingness for eternity? Or an eternity mastering the harp? What is your intent? If your objective is to get by until you die, you’ll probably make it. But if your intent is bigger (I hope it is), then you’ll want to take a more eternal view of things. Your call. But I do know this. Everyone around you can tell what you intent is. It’s not as hidden as you think. It can’t be detected with the five senses, but rest assured it can be detected. And it affects how things work and how willing others are inclined to contribute to your cause.

The meanings we assign to the actions of others produce some of the greatest suffering imaginable. It may be one of the best examples of a subluxation created by “autosuggestion,” mentioned by D.D. Palmer over a century ago.

Before you blame yourself, your technique or create some other way to diminish yourself by attaching an inappropriate meaning to a circumstance, make sure you consider the state of the other person. It could be them, not you.

Comments (4)

Jason Harrison:

Your message couldn't of come at a better time. We all know a majority of what you've mentioned, but how often do we forget the big picture and focus on small, mundane, insignificant things? Too often! Thanks for putting things in easy to understand terms that allows the reader to ask...what must I focus on because I'm probably not having the present time consciousness that I should; for the patient to receive the best I have to offer.

Dr. J, Fishers, IN

John Jarolimek:

Thank you for the life-changing reminder! How far I wander from remembering and living these truths.

John J


Brillianter? Wow! Could this be even more brilliant than your usual fare? I really love the direction that your thought processes have taken over the years. While I have only been in practice 29 years, I could not agree more with Tom. Thank you for the timely reminder.
yours in service,

Tom C.:

Thanks Bill.

This is beautiful and liberating. As a DC from a "scientific" school and well aware of the rather allopathic direction of our profession lately, these MMM's are healing balm.

A knowledge of this truth is key to the "take no credit, take no blame" that allows true healing to flow from healer to healed. One can only extend the peace one has. It seems attachment to results and approval(!) tend to negate a lot of the "something extra" that really does exist. I have struggled with this most of my 35-year practice life. But when I surrender those attachments, practice is a joy and flow and peace results and I feel like I’m in tune with a palpable if invisible force. It takes courage to step into it but feels great when allowed! (I was just realizing before I read this post of yours how often I let the negative few overrule the positive many!)

Have been experimenting with seeing before me not a BODY but an energy field resonating with conscious and unconscious stress, but also resonating with the "power that made the body and also can heal it." In that field I think most of us have seen results that confound our linear minds, and it’s this result or possibility that keeps me excited and dedicated as a DC.

How can I presume to control many years of a client's accumulation of negative beliefs, toxic cellular memories, and traumas and stresses mechanical, chemical, emotional and spiritual? But there's no law against us extending the power that created the universe and touch others with a love that has no limit and can release the limiting energies! So we don't exactly know what we're doing and what effect we have. Neither do any of the other healing modalities.... even the symptom smashers.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with making a living helping others overcome mechanical pain. And I’m discovering there’s nothing wrong with "conspiring" with something divine to heal the human spirit. I think it’s more rewarding to intend both, for sure, and to serve without attachment to... anything!

Thank you so much for being a constant beacon to this higher purpose!

Tom C.

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From February 25, 2011 8:03 AM

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