Good doctors know that almost every dysfunction, every disease, has a root cause.
And in the world of Functional Medicine, root causes are addressed by either (a) adding things in that are missing or (b) removing obstacles that are getting in the way.
Most of us are very comfortable with the idea of “adding in.” Whether that means adding in certain nutrients with a healthier diet or adding in a product, supplement, or even a book to learn something new.
Removing is different though, very different. It’s tougher to practice, it’s tougher to embody, and it’s often highly undervalued.
The idea that removing something from our lives will help us grow feels counter-intuitive. Removing is associated with the words “less” and “loss,” and it seems strange that letting go can make us more whole.
And yet, sometimes removing is exactly what’s needed.
I wanted to use today’s newsletter as an opportunity to quickly remind you of the power of removing, and how it can be used to simplify your life (and mine too), especially when we feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
Most information coming to us is designed to constantly leave us feeling overwhelmed. The marketing, news, and social media we’re exposed to daily is often intended to create a void in our lives that leaves us with at least one of these primary feelings:
- “I’m not doing enough.”
- “Everyone else has it figured out, but I don’t.”
- “Maybe this product or thing will finally fill the void or help me get rid of the pain.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve the circumstances of our life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and feel better. But when that wanting gets out of balance or becomes insatiable, that’s when we step into feeling overwhelmed. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can mindfully step back and tap into the power of removing.
Every week on the Try This Newsletter, we’re going to feature a different protocol that anyone can try to improve their own health. And, as you’ve seen, the protocols often feature new ideas, new commitments, new products, and even new routines. A lot of the weekly newsletters will sound like a good idea, something you might want to explore. But it’s important to remember that you can’t do them all, nor should that even be the goal.
My highest hope for you as a reader of this newsletter is this: I want you to be deeply inspired and informed by my weekly emails, but also know when to pull back and give yourself a little break from taking on something “new” in your life.
And I’m not just talking about my newsletters or podcasts. I’m talking about any information or content that you come across. There’s a place and time to focus on adding in the new. And there’s a place and time to pull back and focus on removing or recommitting to the old.
If you can slow down every so often, take a step back and tune into your gut intuition, like you are doing now, I promise you that you’ll know when to do what. And if the answer doesn’t come right away, be patient and give it some time. Remember that your subconscious mind is always working in the background, even when it doesn’t look like you are making progress.
So, in the spirit of today’s topic, I’m not going to leave you with any specific protocol. Instead, I’m simply going to give you the same reminder that I give myself:
It’s okay to take a break from trying something new. It’s okay to take a pause from consuming new information. And it’s okay to slow down.
In fact, sometimes that’s exactly what we need to bring true peace and progress to our lives.