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Why? Anger? Vision? (Energy?)

We had the good fortune last week to attend two excellent and diverse presentations, each given by someone we know, both of whom we regard as friends. The good fortune therefore, is not just the content of their talks, but that we have such impressive and gifted friends.


This post puts the spotlight on the first of those, Mitali Deypurkaystha, The Vegan Publisher. Mitali is energetic, motivating, inspiring, generous and well, lovely. In short, she helps people with vegan / plant-based and / ethical businesses to become published authors.


This was a Vegan Business Tribe event which made it all the more appealing to us as we're members. There were plenty of 'takeaways' from Mitali's presentation, even for those of us not yet intending to write a book. For me, the big 'takeaway' was something I've clearly thought about for a long time (I had immediate answers), but formalising it makes it clearer and more potent.


Mitali recommends that all her prospective author clients consider three questions:

What is their 'why'?

What is their anger?

What is their vision?

Of course, these questions also apply to anyone whose driving force for their business is ethical, supportive of life, welfare, justice, natural health and well-being. It seems fitting, therefore, that I spell out my own answers, as much for myself as for anyone who wonders why Graham and I have chosen more 'upstream' work when there are far easier ways of earning a living.


Why?

I was totally bowled over about 20 years ago by the power of a change of diet to resolve the endometriosis I had, and eliminate the need for a second round of surgery for it. I wanted to shout about it. I still do, especially in light of other such successes for myself and others, not least my husband, Graham, whose almost lifelong excess weight gradually ebbed away solely as a result of adopting more or less the same eating pattern as me. Another dietary shift much later helped me through post viral chronic fatigue. But I had to look elsewhere to respond to the breathlessness I experienced after I contracted Covid. This was when I discovered that my breathing was dysfunctional. It was as plain as the nose on my face (pun intended…why not?) that if my breathing was sub-optimal then one or more aspects of my health would inevitably be challenged. I fully overcame the breathlessness by retraining my breathing, my sleep started to improve after 3 decades of Insomnia and the underlying anxiety that had become the background 'noise' in my life slipped away. And of course I wanted to shout about it!


Anger?

I thank Mitali for this one especially as I'd never included it in my previous contemplations, in fact I would have considered it negative, and yet it's there and it feeds my passion. I just have to use it effectively. I've been angry for years at modern medicine: I ultimately resolved a health condition by eating better. The medical response (which I accepted without question when I was unaware of other options) was to slice me open, as my local hospital didn't have keyhole surgery back then, and then to follow it up by putting me in temporary menopause using high dose injections of synthetic hormones! There was never even the slightest mention of food, or other aspects of the way I was living. Graham was told by his GP at age 11 that he was obese and he needed to lose weight. No further advice. He was 11! I didn't even attempt to speak to a medical professional when I had chronic fatigue, I knew by then that they had nothing to offer; I wasn't deficient in any of their pharmaceutical resources, no-one ever is and for chronic conditions, this limited response represents an enormous and criminal failure. (I did say I was angry, plus certain other family experiences have emphasised this more than I care to say here). I never expected to feel these same emotions all over again, but reading James Nestor's best-selling book Breath, and realising I had my own breathing issues sent me into orbit once more: Why had I never been told about this? Why didn't they know how fundamentally important correct breathing is? After all, they measure it as one of the 'vital signs'! The answer of course, is that it isn't part of medical training, just as nutrition isn't. I scoured UCAS’s medical school entries one year just looking for evidence of nutrition input only to find the best offering was a short-term elective and even then not at all universities. Again, I'm going to use the word 'criminal' in respect of breathing advice from the medical world since the detrimental effects of dysfunctional breathing, especially on children, can be profound and damaging for life: restricted airways, poor facial development, and even sleep apnea and cognitive impairment! So yes, I'm angry. We pay into health care systems that, in their current state, will never respond (w)holistically to you and your chronic conditions. You won't get the best possible treatment for a chronic condition because they generally only have pharmaceuticals and surgery in their toolbox. It's a sad state of affairs when the most you can hope for is the 'best' drug prescription, or the most up-to-date surgical treatment. And where the former is concerned, is the drug they've chosen for you really the best there is, or simply the newest, the one whose patent has not yet run out meaning it's the profitable option for the business that sells it? My anger has spread beyond medicine in recent years; a little more on that later.


Vision?

Easy. I want to tell as many people as possible that there are other options which may well enhance their lives. I know from personal experience that taking charge of one's own health (possibly in partnership with a medical professional), affects many areas of life. The realisation that each of us is not a collection of separate bits to be treated independently of each other, the fact that we're part of nature, the relevance of our social (and biological) connectedness plus that of our relationship to the world we live in and all its inhabitants...all of these are life changing and life-enhancing. I literally cannot think of a better way to earn a living.


E for Energy (my addition)

I didn't add the letter E for the sole purpose of generating a memorable acronym, although my mind does appreciate it. It's a means of emphasising the importance of how and where I channel this energy, after all, some of it comes from anger and as I said earlier that anger has spread. It now encompasses large swathes of the food industry, and other industries that usurp valuable resources, factory farming, the use of animals for food and other products and at times, even myself for being so slow to recognise that the categorisation of animals as loveable pets or commodities, is nothing more than a deplorable strategy to facilitate vastly differing treatment of sentient beings, all of whom have the capacity to experience fear and pain. I've referred to it as anger, but sadness is probably more appropriate here. So my task must be to put my energy into my vision and the emotions often regarded as negative, anger and sadness, must only fuel my passion and not grind me down or make me bitter. I can, and do, align myself with others whose vision is akin to mine. This is a reference not only to Graham, but also to my spectacular plant-based nutrition educators, Drs Rick and Karin Dina, to internationally acclaimed breathing expert and trainer Patrick Mckeown, to the inspirational members of the Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and to the many members of the Vegan Business Tribe who are on a mission to make the world gentler, kinder and more compassionate through the work they do. I'm grateful to them all for having the courage to live purposefully in a world where even good and positive intent has been corrupted through ignorance and the quest for convenience in a stressful culture at best and overt, self-serving greed for profit and status at the other end of the spectrum.


If you have a 'why' for what you do, is there anger propelling you forward? What's your vision? I'd love to hear it.


~ Annette Henry



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Rüdiger Seidel
Rüdiger Seidel
May 15, 2023

It was good to read your thoughts about health and the disadvantage of the health system.

To find the best possible treatments to illnesses is not easy. I have several chronic diseases for over a decade . As being vegetarian some typical malfunctions don't occur in my age but it doesn't heal the diseases I have.

Our economic system doesn't allow the best possible treatments for everyone but only for a few who can pay for the best.

Autodidactic helps me only a little because I am not sure whether this would be the right treatment for me. And feeling pain most of the time doesn't make me strong to work on the best solutions.


All the best for you…

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Annette
Annette
May 15, 2023
Replying to

Hi Rüdiger,


Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and to comment on it. You're right to raise the challenges so many of us face, from knowing what to do for the best to the economic considerations which can be a factor even if you're not pursuing a medical course of action (it's a tragedy that whole natural foods are often more expensive than their highly processed counterparts).


You won't be surprised to hear me suggest that maybe one dietary step further might be useful, ie to progress from vegetarian to vegan. I don't mean to say that this would miraculously resolve your health challenges, but emphsising whole plant foods puts less strain on a…


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