The Kids’ Corner: “I am not going to Harvard…. I am going to plant corn.”

The Woman Who Chose To Plant Corn

Not long ago, a Diné (Navajo) friend of mine, Lyla June Johnston, sent me a one-line e-mail: “I am not going to Harvard…. I am going to plant corn.” Her statement signals a profound divergence from the path she’d set out on when she was an undergraduate at Stanford University. She is choosing instead to learn the lifeways of her culture, to become fluent in her language, to relearn traditional skills, to be intimate with the land. The dominant American culture does not encourage such a path.

We’d talked about it before, her decision to take a prestigious graduate course at Harvard. The usual themes came up: the doors that might be opened, the credibility that might be turned toward a good cause. I remember observing how common it is to adopt the values and mindsets of the environment in which one is immersed—to become a creature of the very system one sets out to subvert. We appreciated the toxicity of the story: “See, a Native American woman can make it big, too, and go to Harvard.” Toxic, because it celebrates the very same system of status and privilege that has marginalized the worldview, culture and value system she comes from.

It is often said that people like Lyla are role models for others of like background. Role models for what, though? For being bribed into complicity with the oppressor? For joining the world-devouring machine? For sacrificing local relationships and culture to the melting pot? Certainly, Lyla could rise high in the world symbolized by Harvard; she could become a professor herself one day, teaching young people anti-colonialist thinking. Nonetheless, all that instruction would be happening within a container—a classroom inside a course inside an elite university inside a system of higher education— that implicitly contradicts all she would want to teach. Her students would be thinking, “Sure, but in the end she is benefiting from the system too.”

Then there was the matter of a Harvard degree opening doors. The question is, doors to what? To be sure, many people today are more likely to listen to a native woman who also happens to be a Harvard Ph.D. than to one who “only plants corn.” The door to the prestigious conferences, the think tanks, the halls of power would be closed. (Or so it would seem. Actually there are back doors to such places.) And that would be a shame— if indeed such places constituted the fulcrum of change in our society, if indeed such places are where the important things are happening. Certainly, what is happening on Wall Street and in Washington is more important than anything that goes on in a cornfield, right? Certainly, it is the people of talent and worth that get to rise to positions of power, and those of lesser gifts and lower cultural development who must settle for the fields, the hearth, the humble realms, right?

Wrong. What we see as the locus of power in the world is an illusion, born of the theory of change that our cultural beliefs dictate. It is one kind of revolution to enter the halls of power with the intent to turn them against themselves; to (paraphrasing the Caribbean- American writer Audre Lorde) use the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house. It is a deeper kind of revolution to recognize the limitations of those tools, and to know that change might originate in the people and places we have seen as powerless. Lyla and the many people I meet like her no longer believe that the smart people at Harvard and Yale are going to find the answers and fix the world; therefore, they no longer seek admission to the elite club of world-fixers.

Lyla’s decision is also a sign of changing times. In past generations there were a few who overcame inconceivable obstacles to go to college, to make it in the White Man’s world. Their presence there was an affront to a ruling ideology that considered them part of an inferior race. Their achievements helped to unravel that story, both in the eyes of white people and, more importantly, in the eyes of those of their own culture they inspired. Today, though, elite institutions salivate over people like Lyla, because their presence buttresses a new, more insidious story: a story of “equal opportunity” and “diversity” that obscures the ongoing systemic oppression of minorities, and ignores the demolition and absorption of their cultures into the dominant monoculture.

I am not saying there is not important work to be done within the institutions of power. I am only saying that such work is no more urgent than the work that older cultural frames validate, but that ours does not. Nor would I condemn anyone who chooses to work within the system. Some of us have gifts that are well suited to that work. But let us not overvalue what goes on in the halls of power; let us not blindly adopt the metrics of success that the establishment offers. It may very well be that a sense of purpose, play and life keeps you in the system—or it could be its ubiquitous bribes and threats. We can all tell the difference when we are honest with ourselves.

Who can know the effects of the story of The Woman Who Chose to Plant Corn? What I do know is that such choices operate levers of power that are invisible to our culture’s Story of the World. They invite synchronicity and induce the unexpected. They bring us to places we didn’t know existed. They create movement in a new direction, whereas abiding by the conventions of the dominant system merely adds to its inertia.

We are done with a world in which the logic of power is more important than the corn. When enough people live by that, the powerful will make different choices as well, acting in their role as barometers and channels of collective consciousness.

Please do not mistake Lyla’s choice for an exercise in ideological purity, as if she wished to avoid the taint of power. A better explanation is that she knows that Harvard is not where the action is. There are other paths to walk that are no less important, and it is crucial that someone walk them. I see more and more young people seeking them out today, from within the dominant culture and from its margins. They are walking out of our civilization’s Story of the World; some are not even entering it.

The best and brightest are abandoning the ship, and even those who remain aboard are participating half-heartedly as they sense the inevitable shipwreck. Eventually even going through the motions of complicity becomes intolerable, as our hunger to live a meaningful life draws us towards a new and ancient story of interconnection, interbeing, and social, personal and ecological healing. Yet few of us are free of the programming of our youth, our indoctrination into the values of the system; therefore our exit can be messy, subject to hesitation, relapses and diversions. As Lyla told me more recently, “While I know intellectually why I am doing this, I am still so brainwashed it is hard to really know it from my body.”

When I say I hope that many others follow Lyla’s example, I do not mean to offer her as an ideal of impeccable integrity. Like many of us, she has no map to follow into this uncharted territory of our civilization’s transition; she has only a compass and, if my own experience is any guide, it is a wobbly one at that. It points towards a healed and just world, and guides us into its service. When enough of us follow it, however imperfectly, we will cut new trails leading out of the maze that entraps our civilization.

AUTHOR // Charles Eisenstein

Information provided by Dr. Dan Yachter, D.C., D.A.C.C.P., Elevation Health Lake Mary

This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #49.

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My Headaches and Neck Pain Are Gone Thanks To Chiropractic Care!

I used to get headaches almost every other day and have some pain in my neck every now and then.

Before coming to Elevation Health, I thought chiropractic care was just to relieve pain in your neck and back temporarily. I had no idea of the benefits of all the different machines.

I’m loving it here. After starting, I have learned so much about what chiropractic care really does for the body. I have seen and felt the changes. I no longer get headaches and my neck pain is gone.

Give it a try, you will feel the difference. It’s truly amazing how much better you feel after coming in.

Jon Musgrave


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The Kids’ Corner: If It’s Not Food, Don’t Eat It!

No-Nonsense Guidelines for Creating an Eating-for-Health Lifestyle the Whole Family Can Enjoy

When Brenda first started nutrition and health coaching she was depressed, overweight, extremely fatigued, had hypothyroidism, and severe PMS— among other things. In addition, her 11-year-old son had daily headaches that brought him to tears and frequently prevented him from playing; her 14-year-old daughter had dramatic mood swings and an attitude that was “unbearable” to live with; and her husband had debilitating digestive and eliminative disorders.

Brenda knew that making dietary changes could be beneficial to your health. She was skeptical, however, as to whether doing so would work for her and her family and the many problems they were facing or not. She reluctantly sought nutritional consulting only because she was concerned about the increasing number of medications they were all taking, and the fact that matters were getting worse, not better.

Although skeptical at first, Brenda was delighted when, in just a few short weeks, she began to see significant improvements in her and her family members’ health. She had been able to stop taking all but one of her medications, had lost excess weight, had abundant energy, and was generally beginning to feel much better.

In addition, the excruciating headaches Brenda’s son had experienced his entire life completely stopped. Her blossoming teen daughter’s emotions had balanced out and she was “almost pleasant” to be around. And, her normally resistant husband was developing an enthusiastic curiosity about the changes taking place in the household cuisine, as his digestive problems had begun to subside as well.

What did Brenda do to achieve such dramatic results so quickly? She simply began to switch from the low-quality, chemicalladen, processed food she had been feeding her family for years, to higher quality, additive-free, natural food she bought at the local health food store. She also began to include a couple servings of fresh produce into their diet each day.

How can this be so? This is because the most popular brands of processed, packaged chemical-laden foods (pseudofoods) so widely consumed today, are injurious to the body. Aside from the obvious diet-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, few people realize that poor nutrition in general, is the primary cause of all chronic dis-ease, including depression, fatigue, headaches, arthritis, sinus problems, digestive disorders, and more.

Food Matters

Like Brenda and her family, an increasing number of people are becoming aware of this relationship between diet and dis-ease and revamping their diets. Following is a brief overview of five Eating-for-Health Guidelines that can help you and your loved ones stay, or get back on the road to health—no matter what’s ailing you!

1) If it’s not food, don’t eat it! The very definition of “food” is that it is nourishing to the body. Consequently, anything that is not nourishing to the body (pseudofoods containing refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, and chemical additives such as MSG, artificial colorings and sweeteners, etc.) is not food—don’t eat it! And if you do, wait a long time before you do it again so your body can recover.

2) Eliminate or relegate stimulants to rare occasions. Stimulants or extreme foods send the body’s chemistry soaring out of balance causing a variety of symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, attention deficit, irritability, and weight gain. Stimulants include: sugars and other refined carbohydrates (high fructose corn syrup, white refined flour, etc.), refined salt, caffeine, and alcohol. Less stimulants equal more health, more energy, better attitudes, and fewer colds and flu.

3) Eat an abundance of whole, fresh, natural foods. Anything that comes in a box, can, or package is a processed food (with the exception of some unprocessed brown rice or legumes, for example). Whole, fresh, natural foods (preferably organic) such as produce, meats, fish, poultry, whole grains, legumes, and seeds are always the best choice for your family. When you do consume processed foods, natural brand foods are best, as they do not contain toxic, chemical additives.

4) Account for food allergies and sensitivities when making wise food choices. The most common food allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, corn, etc.) are notorious for causing a host of conditions, especially in youngsters, including digestive problems, diarrhea and constipation, sinusitus, recurrent ear infections, learning disabilities, and more. Most people today are allergic or sensitive to one or more of these foods—and most don’t know it! Follow a basic elimination diet to learn which foods may be affecting you or your family.

5) Account for ailments when making wise food choices. There isn’t any condition in the body that can’t be improved by improving your diet. As you start improving the quality of your family’s diet, you’ll all start feeling better and improve the overall quality of your health. Also, learn which foods exacerbate or improve any specific conditions in order to give each individual every opportunity to heal.

When applied consistently over time, these five Eating-for-Health Guidelines produce “amazing” results as Brenda can attest. It’s miraculous what the body can do when fueled properly—energy is restored, excess weight is shed, body systems are regenerated, moods and emotions become balanced, disease is reversed, and headaches, and nagging symptoms in general, disappear.

To help your family regain equilibrium, start with the basics: if it’s not food, don’t eat it!

The Standard American Diet

In America between 1980 and 1997, the average per capita consumption of major food commodities per person, per year included:

  • red meat
  • dairy products
  • ice cream
  • 53gallons soft drinks
  • fats and oils
  • 39gallons alcohol
  • wheat
  • 24 gallons coffee
  • sugar

US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract 1999

AUTHOR // Kelly Hayford, CNC

Information provided by Dr. Dan Yachter, D.C., D.A.C.C.P., Elevation Health Lake Mary, FL

This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #11.


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The Kids’ Corner: Peeling Back The Wellness Onion ~ It Takes Time!

As holistic practitioners, we are wellness investigators who must use who, what, where, when, why and how to help clear a path for optimal wellness to emerge from a client’s story. In training, we are often cautioned against going to the “why” well, but I find that most information comes from asking such questions. It’s the hardest question to answer, because it is a statement of interpretation rather than of fact. I find, however, that how we interpret events creates our habits more than the events themselves.

My clients inform me about human nature, holding up a mirror in which I can see where in my own life I have exhibited similar behavior. If a client tells me he wants to change and then comes up with excuses, I ask where in my life I have done the same. I am in the tenth year of my wellness journey, and it reminds me that I have hit similar pitfalls as I’ve moved through the world.

In my personal and clinical experience, the whys that prevent progress in health become deeply revelatory. Peeling the onion from the outside in, they are:

It’s too hard. My biggest mistake as a clinician is assuming that people who come to see me are motivated to change on the spot. When I embarked on self-discovery, I collected a ton of theories without trying any out. I knew in my head that things should be different— yet I did not implement anything. After 25 years of forming habits, the mountain seemed too big. I needed more messaging to contradict the lifetime of information I had already ingested before I could enact changes. Otherwise, it was “too hard.”

I have no willpower. Once we get past the “too hard” stage, we discover that the few things we’re trying to change call to us louder than before. Ask my parents how long I lived in this conversation. Ask my wife, too! If something unhealthy was nearby, I was drawn to it even though it would make me sick. To me, this part of the conversation is not about willpower, but about the pervasive messages we receive via advertising. Most advertised food products have health-negative results— processed foods, fast foods, sodas, candies, snacks and sugary cereals. Repeated ads passively assault our brains for years, starting when we’re really young. It isn’t our willpower that keeps us from change, but the constant messaging.

I’m not worth it. If we make the effort to enact small changes, something might keep us from going all the way. Maybe we fall back into old habits or see an ad— which we now know is geared toward sabotaging our wellness goals—that triggers an old craving. The difference between following the less-trod path and heading in the opposite direction comes down to feeling worthwhile. The “I’m not worth it” conversation is one we might live in for months. Throughout our lives, someone might have contributed a spirit wound that made us feel “less than.” Enough spirit wounds can convince us that indeed we have little value. If we don’t see ourselves as worthy, then why make beneficial changes? Upon hitting this revelation, through the use of the other W’s and the H, we can get down to answering why this is so, and hopefully find ways to repair that damage and advance toward greater well-being.

Nothing makes me happier as a clinician than the moment the client sees how they have come to view themselves as unworthy. Often so ingrained into our beingness, these feelings of unworthiness need a bright light cast upon them. Upon revelation, a person’s healing begins, because we cannot return to not knowing this characterization exists. It no longer invisibly haunts us; it has a name, and can be addressed. The rate of change varies after the revelation, depending on how deeply the spirit wounds cut. But change does happen.

Although I’ve been studying holistic health and improving my wellness for a decade, my unworthiness discovery emerged this year. After introspection, I understood why I felt that way, addressed the spirit wounds, and began to make changes that asserted my worthiness. I have felt grounded and at peace ever since, simply because I decided I am worthwhile.

We all are.

AUTHOR // Chris Webb, MS

Information provided by Dr. Dan Yachter, D.C., D.A.C.C.P., Elevation Health Lake Mary


This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #36.

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Deadly Aggressive Cancer Gone!

Prior to receiving Elevation Health, Mike’s medical doctors had administered 2 sessions of chemotherapy in an attempt to destroy a rare form of deadly cancer known as pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The doctors gave him only 4-6 months to live.

After the second session, Mike decided to walk away from the chemotherapy and adopt a natural healing path, which included Elevation Health chiropractic adjustments (removal of subluxation) and healthy lifestyle changes like improved diet, ingesting limited amounts of only organic meats, vegetables, and fruits, vigilant food label reading, exercising, and a program of detoxification.

90 days later, Mike’s cancer was gone. HE IS HEALED! This has been substantiated and thoroughly documented via advanced medical diagnostics.

Mike’s success was made possible by following the Elevation Health system of healing to the letter. The major breakthrough came from receiving powerful truth delivered at the blockbuster workshop events, of which he attended all.

He is an exemplary student, fully committed and engaged in living the Elevation Health Core 4 healing program. Mike is alive today because he put his full trust in the POWER THAT MADE HIS BODY TO HEAL HIS BODY! The doctors of course can’t explain how the cancer “disappeared”.

Information provided by Dr. Dan Yachter, D.C., D.A.C.C.P., Elevation Health Lake Mary


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