Boundless Health

Kathleen KarlsenI wasn’t super strong as a kid. In fact, I got sick a LOT. I wore special shoes because one foot turned out. When I was only three years old, I had drops put in my right eye every day to paralyze it and make the other eye work harder. That was the cure for having a “lazy” left eye. I stuttered a bit and had terrible allergies. I had pneumonia in grade school and five years of allergy shots. I was ill so often that my tonsils were removed in hopes that I’d get strep throat less often.

As a teenager, I started to get interested in healthy eating. My attempts at making whole wheat bread became the butt of family jokes. “Don’t feed that bread to the ducks, Kathleen! They will go straight to the bottom of the pond!” By the time I reached high school, I ran on the track team (until I got injured and had surgery for that) and played tennis regularly, but I always felt tired. I also got braces to straighten out my teeth and glasses to wear when driving.

By my early twenties I had chronic throat infections (for which I had sinus surgery). I got a horrendous case of mono and a bladder infection that left me debilitated for a year or more. And that was just the physical! I’d been through several highly traumatic situations and my emotional world was likewise volatile at best and desperate at worst.

Now I am decades older and grateful to be in the best health of my life. It’s not that I don’t ever get sick or feel tired, but years can go by without even a cold. In addition to a disciplined diet and regular exercise, the secret I’ve discovered is that there is an energy, a source, that is the real fount of youth. I’d call it God, but that seems to be a political problems these days. Perhaps prana or chi are better options.


That energy is always flowing. Achieving health seems to be more a matter of removing the blocks to that flow than acquiring a particular physique or athletic skill set. Those blocks are largely emotional and psychological. We can figure out exactly why we have those blocks by looking at the patterns in our physical bodies and understanding their symbolic nature. This is a huge responsibility, but also the ultimate liberation.

Once you start to understand the connections between your health and the experiences that you have “embodied”, you become the master of your fate. The rest is child’s play. Lifting weights or running or dancing or swinging a golf club or whatever it is that you love to do becomes a joyous expression of gratitude and fun and a deep love of life.

We embed our experiences and emotions in our physical bodies. I use journaling and meditation and visualization and other tools to go as deeply as I can into the patterns that are expressing in physical form as health or illness, strength or weakness.

Besides diet, exercise and an understanding of health psychology, some of my favorite tools for healing are chanting (see Music page) and essential oils. I like essential oils because they are right at that edge between the physical and the non-physical. They are volatile, meaning they evaporate readily.

Essential oils have impacts on many levels from easing sore muscles and keeping skin supple to serving as vehicles for spiritual intentions. Incense and oils have been part of religious rituals as far back as we know in history. I personally use them morning and night daily and sometimes in between. I never liked commercial perfumes, but I can use essential oils liberally. My goal is to share what I have learned so far with others and to keep expanding the boundaries of what is possible in my own life.

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