What is the difference between Heaven and Hell?

April 30, 2010 by EMiller
Filed under Ask Dr. Miller

Ask Dr. Miller: What is ‘Wellness’?

In our culture, we commonly think of ourselves as being “sick” or “healthy.” Generally, we define “sick” as having some sort of signs or symptoms of a disease (pain, swelling, fever, loss of function). We then tend to define health as simply being the absence of these signs and symptoms.

The concept of “wellness” recognizes that this is an inadequate way of looking at things. Wellness looks at the positive dimensions—a person moving toward wellness is gaining strength, reserve capacity, feels joy in life. Wellness indicates not only the presence of health, but also the ability to withstand the stresses that might otherwise lead to illness.

Ask Dr. Miller: What is the Systems Approach?

A friend asked me the other day what I was talking about when I referred to the Systems Approach.  Well, along with a shift in perspective from the Newtonian-Cartesian viewpoint, in a Systems Approach we begin to see the many things and experiences we have as not quite so separate. We notice that there are general patterns of organization that appear again and again in our experience. The pattern of veins flowing in from the hand toward the arm very much resembles the veins on a leaf, which in turn resembles the way the tree’s roots feed into its crown.

The same pattern can also be seen when looking down from an airplane at all the tributaries to a stream or river. If you look at a diagram of the Army, showing the path that information might flow on from a private in the field to a general back at headquarters, you’d see the same pattern. In one case, the flow is through human flesh, another past plant cells in a tube made of plant cells, and another is formed by the rocky banks of streamlets, or by soldiers and their communication devices along the chain of command.

Each of these is a different system, but the branching structure reflects a single basic pattern, which appears in each of them.

When we tune in to that aspect of the world that looks at similarities, rather than at differences, we are beginning to take a “systems approach” to the world. The study of systems may be called “general systems theory.” This approach to understanding recognizes two sets of counterpoised concepts that are crucial to understanding systems, yet are seldom explored in other approaches. They are emergence and hierarchy, information and control.

Health and Peak Performance require homeostasis and balance of our inner systems.

(Watch the Video Podcast at bottom of this post!)

The Interplanetary Healer
We imagined what it would be like to an interplanetary healer, a cosmic physician who came along and found a planet in such disarray, with the beings capable of the most love destroying the environment for all living things through their fighting.

We introduced the idea of Second Order Change, the kind needed to shift what would happen our interplanetary healer could not fail but see that the world was operating far too often from the perspective of the Old Paradigm – creating superficial lives of competition and , conflict. .. He saw mankind being controlled by the machines it had created – originally meant to enhance their lives, the dominance of the digital world was resulting in exactly the opposite – that the old science fiction plot of computers and robots taking over

Healing Is Identity and Balance
We touched on the definition of healing as a clear awareness of/sense of identity and the ability to bring balance. The two together create what is called integrity (look up synonyms). This balance takes place in the context of two forces – not opposites, but a complementary pair of forces that are responsible for and allows us to see, react, and respond to a situation as black or white, to differentiate, to discriminate, and has the energy of the fragmenting. The other is an energy that tends to create wholes, that focuses on sharing, connection, community, functionality, and healthy relationships

The History of Life
In a world of harsh polarities, we saw how the carbon atom brought into being the fundamental notion of “sharing for mutual benefit.” From simple organic (carbon bearing (molecules, it extended itself into the formation of the first living cells, then excessively drew together cells, then organs, then systems to function as a whole under a sensitive and wisely programmed nervous system. This brain was then honed, through the millennia, to enable the organism to act in harmony with the environment. We looked at how this same energy draws individuals together to be in close relationship – in families and in larger elements of community.

The Dark Force
We discussed this primal energy and contrasted it with its evil twin, the energy of fragmentation, separation, conflict, dominance, and violence. This approach to the world became of great importance to life when predatory animals evolved, and it is a way of being that that we humans have inherited as well.

Old and New Paradigm

We talked about the Old Paradigm as the excessive use of a certain kind of reasoning – where excessively analytic, discriminating, prejudiced, often disrespectful, contemptuous or conflictual – that manner of relating that is so common through us between individuals, organizations, in the community, as well as in national and international politics – the bipolar approach.

The New Paradigm introduces a concept that does not exist in the Old Paradigm logic – just as atomic explosions cannot even begin to be accounted for when we examine the world through Newtonian mechanics. It is the idea of there being systems that depend for their operation on wholeness, integrity, sharing, relationship, harmony, acceptance, and Love.  We examined how often the root of our problems comes down to our overuse of this way of looking at things.
Systems, Wholeness, and Self
We explored the notion of systems thinking and wholeness. The commitment to creating balance within, developing inner attunement, is an important preparation distributed leadership

We practiced some imagery for attuning to our senses and imagination, and especially meditation for being more present and relaxed. Presence and Acceptance are the first two steps of global healing I discussed in my book.

I have included a video podcast of the event for anyone who missed it and is interested in joining us on April 8, 2010. Check out the video invite HERE .

(The Video Podcast below is rather large so please be patient while it loads!  If the image doesn’t show up right away please pause and wait a minute or two.  OR you can CLICK HERE to subscribe to my ‘All Dr. Miller Podcasts’ channel via iTunes. IF THIS VIDEO IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU, please consider listening to the . I hope you enjoy!)

A rough edit of Steps 1 & 2 of Personal and Global Healing as presented by my Workshop/Lecture Series Healing Yourself is Healing the Planet, Seven Steps to Personal and Community Transformation .

Watch the Video Podcast of Session 1 HERE !  (fast internet speeds needed) You can also CLICK HERE to subscribe to my ‘All Dr. Miller Podcasts’ channel and listen in iTunes, podcatchers etc…

April 2, 2010 by EMiller
Filed under Our Culture on the Couch

This song was performed at Session 1 of Healing Yourself Is Healing the Planet, Seven Steps to Personal and Community Transformation.  To find out more and to REGISTER for Sessions 2 & 3 visit DrMillerEvents.com

This is an excerpt from Dr. Millers Workshop/Lecture Series, Healing Yourself Is Healing the Planet, Seven Steps to Personal and Community Transformation.

To find out more and to REGISTER for the event visit

The Dark Force and New Leadership (video excerpt)

This video is an excerpt from Dr. Miller’s Workshop/Lecture Series, Healing Yourself Is Healing the Planet, Seven Steps to Personal and Community Transformation.  To find out more and to register for Sessions 2 & 3 visit DrMillerEvents.com .

Air date: April 1 st , 2010 11am (PT) at OpenMindRadio.com

Rebroadcast April 5th, 1pm  (PT)

John W. Travis, MD, MPH, completed his medical degree in Boston and a residency in general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently founded the first wellness center in the US (Wellness Resource Center, Mill Valley, CA, 1975) and is founder and co-director of Wellness Associates, a not-for-profit educational foundation, as well as the author of the Wellness Inventory Online ( wellpeople.com ), and the Wellness Workbook ( thewellspring.com ).

Realizing in 1991 that how we raise children has far more influence on their later wellness than other any factors in our lives, he expanded the focus of his work to include infant wellness. Along with Meryn and eleven world experts in birth and child development he co-founded The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC.org), which fosters individual and planetary wellness through changing the norms of how babies are born and treated in their early years.

During the last decade, he has focused on bringing together all aspects of wellness within the concept of Full-Spectrum Wellness , where the focus is on interconnectedness, both throughout all the stages of the human development, from conception to death, and within all levels of the environment around us—from inside our skin to the whole planet.  He summarizes 36 years in the wellness field with the expression: “The currency of wellness is connection.”

He lives with Meryn and their daughter, Siena (16) in Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia.

Travis Contact Info:


The Wise World of Women

As a kid I often found girls more interesting to play with. Boys were more fun to play sports with, but when it came to their habits of picking fights, and treating others harshly I much preferred the habits of girls. I liked singing, dancing, the smell of spring flowers, and the color of autumn leaves.

I liked many of the games girls played, because everybody seemed to be included, and it wasn’t about who won or lost. (I must admit that changing dresses on the dolly got old after the first couple of times, however). There was a way of being inclusive that was far less often practiced among my male acquaintances and relatives.

(Sometimes the guys would call me a “Faggit” (sic), and though I didn’t really know what that was, I knew they were intending it as an insult).

Girls, of course, grew up to be mothers, and the boys to be soldiers, firemen, lawyers, and surgeons. The spirit of inclusiveness that girls were learning in the games that were provided them, the behaviors that were socially sanctioned were excellent preparation for the endless patience, loving, and willingness to nurture that would be required to provide the proper physical, emotional, mental, and social environment for an infant. The patience, dedication, and loving kindness that seem part and parcel of so many women is far less common in males.

And since the world we live in, the one that is hurtling blindly towards unthinkable catastrophe, has been created by men, it is no wonder that the values predominant in how businesses, countries and cultures treat each other are far more reflective of the themes of conflict, dominance, and abuse that form the subtext and infrastructure of boys’ games. This is unfortunate in the extreme. After all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that unless we, as a planet of people, shift to a paradigm of inclusiveness, one that focuses on nurturing, supporting, and inspiring wholeness, respect, and Love, we are going to destroy our very way of life, if not life itself.

We all see this, but we are all in the thrall of our media and propaganda that have utilized the tools of hypnosis to convince ourselves that we are helpless in the face of “the big guys,” lacking the power to change things, and basically worthless as individuals and members of our society. We barely show up to even vote!

Someone said that men and women are simply eggs and sperm with an attitude. Men are the “go getters,” involved in a “zero-sum game.” Life is a race, a struggle, and the only thing that counts is to get there first – there is little thought as to what comes next. After the sperm reaches its mark, its body dies, and only a few strings of chemical molecules remains to be completely absorbed into the nucleus of the waiting ovum. Like college boys on a date, all that counts is, “Did you score?!” The worst thing is to not win, “second place is just the first loser.”

The male notion of “Winning is not everything, it is the only thing” is quite different from the female attitude of inclusiveness. Eggs don’t fight with each other. The only desire of the ovum is to take in and nurture that precious gift in the head of the sperm – then to continue to nurture the combined nuclei so that it can grow into an ever expanding family of cells and organs that soon becomes an embryo, and then an infant. This same attitude of inclusiveness now guides the adult female to protect her pregnant stomach, to endure any level of pain to give birth, then to devote herself to the selfless care of the newborn and its inclusion in the family.

Likewise, this same spirit of what I think of as the Deep Feminine nurtures the family, and is satisfied only when the family is whole and infused with peace and love.

So why is it so painful a criticism to be labeled a “sissy,” “mama’s boy,” or “wimp”? Is it not excruciatingly obvious that what we need is for the world to discover the magic that empowers this remarkable faculty and spread it throughout the land?

Instead our world punishes it, we suppress it in our women until they develop psychosomatic illness, depression, or crippling anxiety. We keep them out of the boardrooms, and except for the occasional symbolic female senator, keep them out of positions which give them power, unless they prove themselves capable of being as cutthroat as men.

Yes, this energy, although at the center of the feminine nature, can be distorted and perverted, primarily through the use of abuse and fear, and made to submit to energies as cruel, greedy, and narcissistic as those of any Hitler or Madoff.

And, of course, there are innumerable men who, through their life experience, brought forth this energy of the Deep Feminine in every bit as powerful a form. Indeed this is present in all of us. And it is present in the deep unconscious of our culture.

Alexander Pope said “the proper study of mankind is man.” Perhaps the direction we need to go in is better indicated by “the proper study of mankind is woman.” Certainly the study of man’s pursuits of competition and conflict has reached some kind of diabolical zenith in the creation of atomic weapons, terrorism, and the greed and narcissistic autism that fueled Enron, Madoff, Credit Default Swaps, and our current “Economic Armageddon.”

An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Excerpt from Our Culture On The Couch, Seven Steps to Global Healing

Remember, as in Buffy St. Marie’s song, “The orders come from far away no more – they come from me and you, and you and me . . .” ( http://www.youtube.com/user/EmmettMillerMD?feature=mhw5#p/c/6BBCA7C24B0D2206/11/VGWsGyNsw00 )  It is we, you and I, who are now deciding which of our primal forces we focus upon. And now, during Women’s History Month, is perhaps the best time to start. Perhaps there are some clues there as to how the desire to nurture, support, and love can survive and bring peace, healing, and collective wisdom to bear on the sorry state of our world.

Here are some suggestions for exploring some of the ways women have been able to bring this kind of wisdom into our world:

Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton, a pioneer American teacher, nurse, and humanitarian.  She is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Barton )

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the U.S from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, FDR, , and became an advocate for civil rights an internationally prominent author, speaker, politician, and activist. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt )

Julia Ward Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Written in 1870, it was her reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level. She is also, curiously, the author of the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Ward_Howe )