Do What You Love and Health Will Follow

There is a current popular idea inspired by the work of Marsha Sinetar and others that if you follow your heart’s desire in your work or career life, then money and success will naturally follow. This is a very valuable concept that we would like to expand on based on our experience with the relationship between people’s lives and their health. We have found consistently in our helping patients achieve optimal well-being, that if a part or all of you is dissatisfied with the type of work you are doing, you will probably get sick in one form or another. Chronic work stress and frustration or the inability to find your life work can cause any kind of health problem from recurrent colds to cancer. Because we are always trying to
help people heal at the deepest level possible, we have found ourselves engaged
quite frequently in our own form of career counseling in which we guide them in discovering what they truly love to do and empowering them to go ahead and do it. So many of us have unfortunately accepted the idea that work is drudgery and that they simply have to put in 8 hours a day at something they hate. We want to tell you not only that it IS possible to change what you’re doing, however
drastically, so that your work is really in alignment with your higher self and
your mission, but that it is essential for you to do so if you want to achieve excellent health.

If you find yourself calling in sick a lot, or wishing you could, or if
you keep wondering what you would actually enjoy for a living but can’t seem to
figure it out, this article is for you. Boredom, worry, deadlines, a bad boss,
and too much work with too little income can all cause the kind of stress which
results in physical, mental, or emotional symptoms. Doing a job that you feel
is beneath you or which makes no use of your inherent talents and abilities can
lower your self-esteem and increase your doubt and self-criticism. Feeling
stuck or dead-ended in a position with no hope for advancement is one of the
most difficult places to be. As long as people feel hopeful that a better
future lies ahead, they are willing to put up with some stress now, if the
eventual payoff seems big enough. But when there’s no apparent hope of escaping
a bad situation, many people subconsciously choose poor health or even death as
a way out. It is socially acceptable to avoid work if you are sick, and there
are other benefits like sick pay, being taken care of, receiving extra love and
attention, having more time to yourself and getting to rest and relax. If you
fail to make a conscious choice in the direction of improving your work life,
your bodymind may make the choice for you. This may result in some kind of
imbalance or disease process which you would not ordinarily be interested in
having, and which may cause a lot of suffering and disability. It’s much
better to enjoy your time off when you are well, rather than “enjoying” poor
health through sick time.

When you decide to be active in changing your life and work, however,
remarkable changes can occur. Recurrent, long-standing and even “terminal”
illnesses can improve dramatically or simply disappear when you get in touch
with and accept the vision of what you truly want for yourself. We recently had
a wonderful experience with one of our patients who has been signifi-

cantly depressed by the past year due to a divorce. She suffered from terrible
self doubt and feared that any job she might attempt would end in failure and
embarrassment despite the fact
that she was a talented landscape architect. We guided her to dialogue with her
self-critic and her terrified child who confessed that, underneath all the
mental self-battering, they really
loved her and wanted her to succeed. She committed herself to making at least 8
job phone calls the following week. She came in beaming a week later, having
been shocked to find that she had
been offered a fantastic job in her field doing just what she wanted. Since she
was still quite fearful of failing at her new job, we spent time strategizing
as to how she could feel most secure and have the greatest likelihood of
success. She’s doing great!

Remember to be open to receiving messages as to when it’s time to quit a
job you have in the present. Carole, 32, came to us complaining of acne
rosacea, a red rash covering the cheeks and
nose. The rash was quite obvious and embarrassing to her. Through hypnosis, it
became clear that she held considerable anger and resentment towards her
employers and needed to quit in order to become healed. Another patient, Carl,
an insurance manager, was promoted to a new job in a territory with which he
was unfamiliar. Even though he was quite competent in his field, he was
continually humiliated by his employees who challenged his newness and lack of
managerial experience. The continual blatant slurs on his abilities shook his self-esteem
to its roots and
resulted in a flareup of rheumatoid arthritis he’d had years earlier. He was
bound and determined to stay in the job, no matter what. It was clear to us
that in order to heal, he would
need to let go of his pride and change jobs, but he was unwilling to do so and
his arthritis worsened.

It is our belief that each of us has a personal and/or a larger mission or
purpose for their life which we can discover and fulfill, and that we find our
greatest satisfaction and excellent health when we are actually living in
accord with our purpose. How do you go about discovering what your purpose is?
The first way is to take a look at your natural talents, interests and
abilities. What do you do well? What is easy for you? What makes your heart
sing with joy when you do it? How do you really look forward to spending your
time? If you didn’t have to work, what would you do? What is the most fun for
you? Honest answers to these questions will put you on the right track. Answer
them for yourself by writing the answers down right now. Now close your eyes
and let yourself relax. Go on an inner journey to visit your higher self. One
way is to imagine riding an elevator higher and higher until you come to the
place where your higher self lives. When the door opens, there is your higher
self, waiting to love and guide you toward your purpose. Take this opportunity
to ask any questions about your life, purpose and mission for this lifetime.
Your higher self knows your purpose and can guide you well. When you return
from your journey, be ready to put that advice into real world changes in your
work and lifestyle. We often do this visualization with the patients who come
to us, and the results are profound. People discover what they had consciously
forgotten about why they are really here, and what they have chosen to be and
do in this life.

Begin by creating a vision of your ideal work. See the kind of work, the
environment supportive of that work, the wonderful people you would be sharing
the work with, those who would benefit from your work, and the contribution
which your work would be making. If money weren’t the primary issue, and
enjoying your work was, what would you really like to do? How could you turn
your favorite pleasures into income, legally that is? Here’s an idea from Phil
Laut’s book, Money Is My Friend. Make a list of your ten favorite
pleasures, activities that bring you a sense of fun, joy and satisfaction.
Pick one that either produces a product or service from which you could receive
income. Something that you would look forward to doing when you wake up in the
morning that would bring other people something that they really needed or
desired. When you produce what other people truly need or want, they are more
than happy to reward your efforts handsomely. Now commit yourself to doing that
activity until you make at least $100 from it. If you can make $100 while
enjoying yourself, why would you ever want to do what you hate, just for the
money. For example, if you like photography, take lots of pictures, select the
best ones and sell them, to friends, galleries, magazines, at street fairs,
shows and on the corner. Whatever it takes. It helps to select an activity that
you not only like a lot, but that you are also good at. People will want to
purchase a product or service produced with joy and love. Your enthusiasm for
your work will help you naturally sell the product of your creativity. In this
way, money shows up in your life without a struggle and with a great deal of
joy and pleasure. Wouldn’t it be great to feel excited about your work, and to
share that excitement with others?

Taking an honest look at whether your current work is right for you can be
enlightening but involves risking. We can guarantee that, despite the initial
discomfort and insecurity and taking
a leap, you will undoubtedly be happier doing what you love. One of our
patients, who is 39 and a single mother, has had a very well-paying management
job for the last 8 years which has amply
supported herself and her daughter. Now, having dealt effectively with her own
alcoholism, she
finds that she is surrounded in her work by “sloppy drunks”. Because of the
tremendous jumps in her own consciousness and self-esteem, it is clear to her
that she needs to leave her financially secure job. She has decided to do do
exactly what her inner self has dreamed of-and open a beautiful flower shop.

Sometimes people may do work which inherently isn’t financially
profitable, but which produces such help for others or joy in other people’s
lives that it is well worth whatever it takes to do, like working with
handicapped, poor or ill people, and helping them grow, solve problems and have
greater happiness. This kind of service-oriented work can contribute a great
sense of meaning or purpose to your life, and the internal pleasure can be
ecstatic! Few people who really commit themselves to service ever have to
worry about receiving what they need for their own survival. Prime examples of
this approach to life can be seen in Mother Teresa and her followers, Gandhi,
Martin Luther King, Albert Schweitzer and others who selflessly dedicate their
life for the benefit of others. It is important to remember that prosperity
occurs in the heart as well as the bank account and that a high-paying job may
not bring you ultimate happiness unless it’s in harmony with your own

It is extremely important that whatever work you do allows you to feel
good about yourself.

Fred, A 48 year-old man recently came to us specifically for our style of
career counseling. He was a former computer programmer turned truck driver and
described the feeling of satisfaction and responsibility her experienced after
having loaded a huge truck with valuable merchandise, knowing that he was
trustworthy and would deliver it safely into the proper hands. He described a
much more tangible type of job satisfaction than he had previously as a
programmer. He came to us because he wondered about soloing in his driving as
opposed to sharing the driving with his wife whose company he greatly enjoyed
because he wanted more personal space. We led him into the future so that he
could experience the two different options and see how he would feel about it a
year later. It not only became clear that he would much rather continue driving
with his wife because if he drove alone, he’d push himself straight through and
burn out, but also realized that, in either case, he’d be bored with truck
driving after a year. He found the session very valuable and felt fine about
finding something else he enjoyed doing when he did tire of driving.

Another of our , Barbara, is a 42 year-old actress and singer turned
housewife and mom. Her self-worth was severely shaken when neither she or her
husband, a film producer, could find work in their profession after moving to
Seattle from L.A. Her unhappiness manifested itself in a uterine fibroid and
bleeding. In her darkest moments, we encouraged her to spend some time every
day singing, even if it were in the shower. It is very, very important to
continue to see yourself doing just what you want to, even though it may not be
manifesting at the moment. As hard as it is for all of us to remember, the
Universe does have its own sense of timing. Barbara hung in there, at
times unemployed, at other times baking chocolate chip cookies for a living.
She recently got a wonderful part in a local theatrical production and is on
her way up again.

If you feel caught up in the ratrace of life with no way out, look for
examples of people who have been able to create a life that works for them.
Thousands, if not millions of people have created excellent health, satisfying
work, good incomes, and fulfilling relationships for themselves. You can too.
Learn from the example of other’s success. Find out what they did, what was the
process that brought them success, and see if it works for you too. Successful
people are more than happy to share their secrets with others. Who do you
admire? Imagine stepping into their shoes for a day. How would things be
different? Talk to people who are already successful at what you would love
most to do and learn from them. You don’t have to start from scratch. Whatever
would bring you the most joy has probably been done by at least one, if not by
thousands. You will do it in your own unique way, but build on the experience
and success of the people who are already happy and successful.

How does doing what you love create health in your life? When you feel
positive about what you are doing, there is a literal increase in the number of
white blood cells and other factors which make your immune system function well
and protect you against illness. Endorphins, opiate-like substances produced in
the brain when people are happy, create a physiological sense of pleasure and
well-being. People who are happy, simply feel better and have a much greater
chance of being healthy and curing disease. Norman Cousins, who recently spoke
in Seattle, beat two life-threatening illnesses through the power of humor and
laughter, and in the process created a whole new career for himself as the
chief proponent of curing illness by laughing. He has enjoyed himself right
out of the hospital all the way to the bank. You can too.

“That’s all right for Norman”, you might say,” but what about me? I’m
stuck going to work everyday to a job I hate”. To go beyond being stuck,
imagine the possibility that you could have it your way, that you actually do
deserve a break today. But you have to create the opportunity by giving a clear
message to yourself and the universe about what you would love to do and create
a commitment to settle for nothing less. Then find out what the first step
would be toward what you want and take it. Be ready for your present
circumstances to dissolve as new opportunities present themselves. Even though
you may have false starts and setbacks, keep doing the next step that seems
obvious to you. Keep moving with the vision of your success in front of you,
and you will soon find yourself doing what you love and enjoying the rewards of
satisfaction, enjoyment and excellent health.

Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic and
homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for Homeopathic
Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of
The Patient’s Guide to
Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment of ADD
and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at (206)

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Written by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND MSW

Explore Wellness in 2021