Yesterday I had the good fortune to present my message to a group of high school seniors in a friend’s English class. The group was completing a unit on Don Quixote, and my friend, knowing I had a lifelong fascination with Man of La Mancha, thought I might have something to add to the discussion.
It was pretty special. I started out presenting a few magic tricks and mind games to capture their attention and break through the haze. Kids nowadays (I hate starting a sentence that way) are comparatively unimpressible, what with all the screen time and overstimulation; but even the most jaded and skeptical among them eventually open up after you’ve blown their minds a few times.
Once I had their attention, the next thing was to introduce the core theme of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, and my life; that we are all remarkable, wonderful, potential-filled beings with limitless possibilities for joy, health, creativity and contribution, yet we’re all blocked to some degree by mental programming; a hypnotic hold from our past which can be released, allowing us to be remarkable.
Don Quixote awakened love and appreciation in others by holding fast to his quest: to treat everyone he met with respect, dignity and admiration. Ultimately, it was impossible for even the most broken individuals to withstand the onslaught of love without succumbing and elevating their view of themselves. Their souls were literally healed by the relentless, unwavering kindness of this strange man. Regardless of his seeming insanity, his light was stronger than their darkness, and in the end it won.
As I introduced this notion, I watched each kid carefully for signs of recognition, relief, or hope. I wondered as I spoke how possible it was to reach through the firmly-held belief systems that these kids had already accepted as reality to awaken them to the truth of their own potential. So many of them were clearly damaged, shut down, and hopeless. I knew from talking with my friend how several had been emotionally or physically abused and lacked even the smallest shred of self-esteem.
My job in the classroom was to be Don Quixote to them. My secret mission while speaking and entertaining was to project love and respect to each of them; to never reflect back to them the false version of themselves that had been reinforced for years by their parents, teachers, peers, and selves.
The angry-looking kid and the scared-looking kid and all the bored-looking kids were embraced equally without reaction on my part. I just kept opening to them, appreciating them, acknowledging whatever small contribution they were willing to make, and “getting them” in such a way that my love was irrefutable.
Did they all open up and transform before my eyes? That would have been pretty cool, but I didn’t go in expecting that. What I did see, though, were tiny shifts. I saw some of them sit up a little straighter, share a little more, dare to express a tiny bit of emotion, make eye contact, and even smile. For one very sad kid, a tiny smile was the equivalent of a standing ovation.
What was most gratifying about yesterday’s experience was the realization that what I was doing was healing; not covering up the symptoms or ignoring the cause, but acting directly on the barriers to optimal physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Does that sound familiar?
This is the essence of chiropractic. Removing barriers to the manifestation of true health. While practitioners focus on the removal of physical barriers, treating subluxation, I’ve since moved on to mental barriers. Since leaving chiropractic practice almost two decades ago, I’ve continued to focus my efforts on healing, but now I do it through laughter, astonishment, and hypnosis. I’ve become a mental chiropractor, treating mental subluxations.
I’m always mindful of the holistic philosophies that guided my actions when I was running my practice in Vermont years ago. I continue to ask myself, what are the blockages to the expression of Innate Intelligence? How can I support the transformation of individuals and organizations by finding those barriers and bringing them down? And what more do I really need to do once those barriers are dismantled?
As it turns out, very little indeed. Much as a brief adjustment will often create rapid and permanent changes in one’s physical health, exposure to the process I bring often produces instantaneous, spontaneous healing; a release from bondage and to freedom. And, just as that adjustment has little regard for the length of time the problem existed, so does the response to my “hypno-love” thing have no bearing on the longevity of the issue it resolves. It doesn’t matter if someone has been living in fear their whole lives. A mental adjustment can irrevocably change that in an instant.
As a chiropractor, you know how gratifying it is to produce lasting change by removing interference that’s plagued a patient for years; trusting the power of the body to heal itself. I too get to feel that same gratitude, knowing that I’m an agent of change; that I don’t have to force a new viewpoint on somebody, but instead “adjust their minds” and trust that what comes forth will be greater joy, happiness, compassion, creativity, and success.
As I now begin to move back into the world of chiropractic as a speaker, I hope to be able to support you in your quest for greater self confidence, efficiency, and resilience. I also hope to be able to share tools with you that you can use with your patients to support them in their growth and healing.
And, as you face all the challenges of practice, may you be Don Quixote for yourself and your patients. May you live by The Quest; to dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe. And for your sake and the sake of those you serve, may you continue to “try though your arms are too weary, to reach the unreachable star.”
Humanity needs you!
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