I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to my own health and wellness.

You’ll rarely find me taking drugs.
OTC or otherwise.

And while others can be found researching the latest sale on Gilt, I’m usually buried nose deep in information about everything from adrenal fatigue to the paleo diet to the best green powder for my smoothies (for the record it’s HealthForce Nutritionals’ VitaMineral Green).

I’ve been a proponent of holistic healing in my own life for more than 12 years.
I’m not sure why. But it fascinates me. Endlessly.
My address book is filled with ND, DO, and L.Ac.’s. And a select few (in-the-know) M.D.’s.

Ayurveda. Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbalism. Energy Healing.
Homeopathy. Reiki. Aromatherapy. Reflexology. Family Constellation Therapy.
You name it.
I’ve tried it.

I hadn’t taken an antibiotic or other “Western” drug in more than 8 years (give or take).
Until last week.
When I got a big lesson in humility (with a hefty dose of steroids on the side).

After being sick for nearly a week (and with no relief in sight), I gathered my pride and asked my guy to take me to the local Urgent Care Center.
Right before the Doc walked in, I calmly told my man – I’m NOT getting shots. And I’m NOT taking drugs. Period.
He nodded sweetly.

Then the doc walked in.
And promptly tells me I’m inches away from pneumonia. And that I’ll be getting a shot of antibiotics AND a shot of steroids ASAP. Followed up by five days worth of additional meds at home.
I was upset. Self-righteous. Frustrated. Angry even. Nervous.
I can’t take these drugs. I mean . . . I don’t even take Advil!

But in my feverish haze, I swallowed my dogmatic pride and took care of business.
And 24 hours later, I started to feel human again.

I learned a pretty profound lesson from this experience.

Be open.
Be open.
Be open.

It was humbling to come face-to-face with my own stubbornness and arrogance.
I realized that I can be pretty closed off when it comes to things I think I know.

And I often believe I “know better” much of the time.
I can be quite the little know-it-all.
Even downright dismissive.
Eeek. No bueno.

I’ve often been this way about things like the over-diagnosis of ADHD, the infant mortality rate and factory farming.
All good things to feel strongly about.

But I never want to be that girl.
Sure, I want to be The Girl Who Knows (yeah baby!).
But never at the expense of being closed off to life, possibilities, or options.

I want to remain open.
Educated and informed, yes.
But still, wide open.

Open to what I don’t know.
Open to the mystery of life.
Open to receiving help.
Open to childlike wonder and fascination.
Open to the unknown.
Open to pain.
Open to joy.
Open to vulnerability.
Open to love.

Because the minute you cease to remain open, you cease to truly live.
click to tweet this!

The one sure-fire way I have of opening myself up?
Works like a charm.
I list everything that I can think of that I’m grateful for.
And just like that, my closed door swings wide open.

This week I’m grateful for: my health. eric. striped shirts. breath. family. a-ha! moments. love. the ability to vote. curiosity. clean water. electricity. NYC. western medicine. hot baths. YOU.

In the spirit of community and opening this up to a larger conversation . . .
Where in your life have you closed yourself off? Do you ever find yourself feeling self-righteous about your beliefs or ideas? Where can you serve yourself a slice of humble pie?

Tell me, what are you grateful for this week?





P.S. A few of you had asked, so I wanted to let you know ~ I made it out of NYC safe + sound, just before hurricane Sandy.
My heart is heavy knowing the pain + suffering everyone is going through back East.
One of my favorite sites, Tasting Table, put together this great list of links + ways you can help.
Please click through. Donate. Volunteer. Give. Help. They need us.

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  1. You just know what and how to say things, Stephanie! First, I’m glad to hear you’re doing better. Second, I’m grateful for both holistic and treatment-oriented medicine. They are two sides to the same coin, and I respect both very much. Third, I’m grateful for my good health, a supportive husband, fresh air, opportunities that I’ve been given throughout my whole life, and my little kitty companion.

  2. I am like you in some ways when it comes to the medical establishment, keep them away from me, I don’t want anything to do with me or my children. I worked my way from relying on the medical establishment, to holistic medicine. I know that when it comes to trauma, I want a professional MD, but for everyday colds, and preventing medicine, I am going to continue to rely in my intuition.

  3. I can relate to your experience. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been so passionate about a particular perspective that I’ve totally closed out other options . . . only to find myself learning to be open the hard way. I’m not so rigid anymore :).

  4. We’re very similar Stephanie! I think I knew that already 🙂 Im experiencing this now, as Im about to have a baby. I’ve learned so much about the benefits of natural childbirth but I also know that if you know what hits the fan, I have to be flexible and open to medical intervention. I can’t just expect things to go the way I hope they will in my head, no matter how much I’ve learned and researched on the topic! Must try & stay open! xoxo

    1. Oh Liz, we are definitely kindred spirits. 🙂
      I feel your conflict and will be sending you lots of love and good wishes for the birth experience you desire! In life, but especially in the giving of life, being open isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential. I know you will show up with open mind, body and spirit for your new little one. xo

  5. You bring up such a beautiful point Stephanie – that nothing is “good or evil,” but our minds can certainly make it so! Like you, I’m ALL FOR as natural, organic, and holistic as I can get! But if I had tried those options and was still “stuck”? I would “re-open” the idea of something different and go where the healing is!

  6. What a great lesson! I can really relate, I try to take very little OTC stuff. And I’m going to try the powder your recommend! Thank you!

  7. I so relate to this, great post!
    I am grateful for the pears I’ve been getting recently, my healthy, got-my-back body, and the time and space I have to focus on me.
    I’ve been lurking for a bit, love your site!

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