How to Find Your True North - Lessons From Innovators - Parsley Health
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How to Find Your True North – Lessons From Innovators

February 28, 2019

I just got back from California, where I had the chance to attend Health 2.0, one of the most important health care tech conferences in the US.

(For my musings on tech and other very nerdy things, follow me on Twitter, where I tend to sound off on this stuff, sparing my Facebook and Instagram followers!)

I was at Health 2.0 this year to moderate a panel on innovative tools for connecting health care providers with their patients at home, something I’m proud to say we do already at Parsley by offering video visits, phone visits, and unlimited email contact.

But the best part was getting to listen to some of the amazing content.

Chelsea Clinton spoke on behalf of The Clinton Foundation about how technology can empower women globally, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy spoke about personalized, precision medicine being the future of health care.

But to me, the best talk by far was by Dr. BJ Miller, palliative care physician at the innovative Zen Hospice Project, whose spring TED TALK went deservedly viral.

Dr. Miller reminded us that we have a health care system designed around diseases, not humans.

And he brilliantly pointed out that health care’s mission needs to be expanded to helping make life not just less horrible, but also more wonderful.

Finally he reminded us that being human is a sensory experience.

Our senses – smell, touch, sight, sound, taste – are impulses that bring us into the present moment, and that even when we are not well or even dying, we must for ourselves, and each other, create the physical and psychic space to live all the way to the very end, even if we have just one sense left.

So what does all of this have to do with Parsley Health, and what does Parsley have to do with finding your true north?

Well, in Functional Medicine, which is what we practice at Parsley, we are not just focused on managing your symptoms or getting your diagnosis.

We do those things, but we are also focused on you as modern human, whose ability to imagine, create and experience well-being, is equally important.

I see a lot of people – women and men – who feel nearly guilty about spending time, money and energy on their well being. They’re focused on work or family, and wellness is an afterthought.

And yet, when they work with me and our health coaches, it’s like they suddenly have the permission they needed all along to tap into ALL of their senses and explore how they feel.

That simple act of attention and asking yourself the simple questions like – What am I eating? How am I moving throughout the day? What symptoms am I having regularly? How is my mind lately? – is a radical and transformative thing to do.

Asking these questions is like a gateway drug to tuning in to yourself, your life, and your true feelings. And from there, the only limit to what your life can look like is your imagination.

This is the process of finding your “true north,” which I define as the direction in life that is essential, inherent, and unique to YOU – a direction and intention that guides your day to day actions, that will lead you to wellbeing, meaning, and happiness.

I can’t tell you how many people have started working with us and have left bad jobs to find new ones, have enrolled in nutrition school, have ended unhappy relationships, or who have begun the work of forgiving themselves for what life has looked like so far, in favor of refocusing on what life could look and feel like from here out.

As BJ Miller points out, at the end of your life, it’s easy to suddenly see what really matters.

At Parsley we suggest having that conversation now, and making the rest of your life a journey to finding it.

Want to work with us? Work one on one with an expert Parsley Health Coach where you tap in to your digestion – and your intuition – deeply.

Or join as a medical member – we would love to work with you. New York and California residents can work with us 100% virtually. Everyone else on the medical side must see us in person at least once and then all visits can be virtual.

Parsley Health is the only medical practice that leverages personalized testing with whole body treatments.

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