Double Take

'When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you – George Harrison

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The Fly

Rowena J Ronson revisits a classic shocker and finds a lesson we can apply to our journey through life.

The FlyWhile watching again David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), after nearly 30 years since its release, the gory bits did still have similar shocking effect. But what struck me the most this time, and from the perspective that I now have as a health practitioner, was the idea of teleporting through life and amalgamating with the matter with which we come into contact.

We are all too familiar with the expression “You are what you eat”, but even with that knowledge, how many of us are truly conscious and mindful of what we ingest? And even those of us who are aware, cannot truly know what is in our food unless we eat raw and local from a trusted supplier. The same goes for our experiences in life. They touch us, inform us and make us who we are, from our childhood and throughout our existence. Those positive and negative reactions to life’s mixed bag of celebrations

and traumas, create corresponding receptors on our neurons and influence us emotionally, and even hormonally, for the better and for the worse – much, indeed, like a marriage.

Even our thoughts, which originate from within (coupled with our conditioning), influence our molecules, which in turn either empower us to make informed choices or undermine us to energetically create dis-ease. The more aware of what we are letting through our permeable boundaries, on all levels, the healthier our life’s journey becomes.

The Fly invited me to be curious about what I want to gather and travel with in my own bespoke telepod, and how my choices will influence me short- and long-term, in our blending.


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Blue is the Warmest Colour

Rowena J Ronson delights in the total intimacy of one of 2013’s most emotion-packed movies.

Blue is the Warmest ColourI happened to see the trailer of the new award-winning French film Blue Is The Warmest Color and those few moments were enough for me to immediately book a seat and take myself off to London’s old and characterful Phoenix East Finchley for what I experienced as three captivating hours of complete, intimate and delicious indulgence – and in a really good and totally unforgettable way.

There is something about Adele Exarchopoulos who plays the lead character of the same name, with such natural refinement, I simply could not take my eyes from her. In this complete sharing of Adele’s vulnerability, writer and director Abdellatif Kechiche’s patience and daring left nothing to my imagination, and for that I am very grateful. I could take myself completely out of the equation and surrender to what seemed to be a very real observation of a young and curious innocent, discovering herself in all ways.

For me the substance of the film lay in the exquisite coupling of the uniquely beautiful actresses (Lea Seydoux plays Emma) and their formidable director, allowing us to follow them throughout their journey, excitedly, passionately, intensely and, above all, completely naturally. From sleep, through meal-sharing, to long shots of orgasmic love-making, to heartbreaking emotional releases, you can’t help but feel the essence of Adele with you for many hours after you leave, and then some.

Not for the closed-minded sexually, or on a first date(!), but do go and share this accomplished piece of art with a close friend in whose company you will not feel embarrassed, and perhaps leave a space or two next to you the other side! Blue is indeed the warmest colour.

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Cast Away

Rowena J Ronson draws parallels between the movie Cast Away (2000) and the lives of all of us 

CastawayI see many patients who have been living out their own version of Cast Away; they are lost at sea, on an isolated island, with no hope of ever returning to anything close to their normal existence. That place is a lonely one, each day feeling very much like the last, with only the self to rely on for everything and in every way. Each day is solely about survival. But in that basic realisation lies the answer to seeing the light. By working just on surviving, we can take the first small and necessary steps to build the foundations that will enable us to move forward.

The film Cast Away offers us hope that despite the journey, and how challenging it is for us, finding coping mechanisms makes the process more manageable and even life-saving at times, when we can perceive no light at all, not even a flicker. And those coping mechanisms can actually give us the inner strength necessary, in time, to cast us off our own proverbial island, and on to our own individual journey back home, even if it is riding a rough sea for a while. But along with the dynamis of movement, comes hope and potential for healing.

One such coping tool that Tom Hanks’s character, ironically named Chuck Noland, used was to visualise the love of his life, creating his temporary ‘purpose’, to get off that island and reunite with her. And to facilitate this, he sketched her picture on the wall of his cave, to remind himself daily of where he wanted to be in the future, once the time was right for him to venture out. He also found a friend, where there was none, a face made of his own blood, imprinted on a Wilson volley ball. He used his friend as a reflection of himself, someone to whom he could express his fear, his longing, his desperation, someone to always be there for him unconditionally and whenever he needed. And here lies a good lesson for us all. To find that friendship and strength within ourselves is a courageous step but one that is worth the work, the leap of faith, the belief. When we can truly offer the strength we give to others, to ourselves, then we are the best friend, to ourselves, we can ever be, especially when we are feeling so alone that whatever support we are offered doesn’t seem to help.

And within the creation of that inner strength, there lies the potential for healing and coming out of the darkest recesses of out minds. We do not know what lies ahead on our journey to heal ourselves. We might find ourselves at a crossroads, much like Hanks did in the closing scenes of the film. But as he said, ‘I was sure I was never going to get off that island, I was going to die there, totally alone.’

He was so desperate that he even tried to take control of his life by planning its ending and he said ‘that is when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket, I knew somehow that I had to stay alive, somehow, I had to keep breathing, although there was no reason to hope, and all my logic said that I would never see this place again (home). So that is what I did, I stayed alive, I kept breathing, and one day that logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in and gave me a sail. And now here I am, I am back in Memphis talking to you, I have ice in my glass, and I have lost her all over again (his purpose for coming home). I am so sad that I don’t have Kelly, but I am so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I have to keep breathing because the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide could bring.’ There is always hope.

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Rowena J Ronson sees the movie Rush (2013) and wonders where you will draw your line… 

imagesRon Howard’s new film Rush (2013) reminded me of how I so do not live for the adrenaline rush.

In fact, just watching Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth play Niki Lauda and James Hunt preparing for their Formula 1 races and revving up themselves and their cars, made my own psychological foot weigh heavy on my imaginary brakes.

I could feel my line, and I was uncomfortable with their crossing it. I didn’t feel sick, like Hunt did pre-race, I just felt a great big ‘no’ inside me, holding me back from self-destruction.

But with great admiration, I watched how these two superstar sportsmen inspired each other to achieve the very best they could, and in exchange, in time, receive each other’s ultimate respect.

Rush will take you on a very real and human trip and will put you in the “no limits” driving seat, with daring beyond fear, and a focus to be truly admired.

And it might even give you a clearer awareness of your own desire for “the Rush”, how you feel about risk-taking – and perhaps also where you draw your line.

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Rowena J Ronson analyses the movie WWZ (2013) with a focus on the health of humanity….

Spoiler alert!

WWZSo our next world war will be an inside job, according to Hollywood 2013. It will not be caused by economics, politics or religion. It won’t be sparked off by a dictator, and it will not involve racial discrimination. No one will be immune, except, ironically, the sick and vulnerable. Nature will deliver her ultimate comeuppance for our continued disrespect for our internal and external environments, and the multitude of signs we choose to ignore daily. We will lose the war to viruses, and the narcissistic delusion that humans rule the

planet will at last be over. Nature will regain her equilibrium and secure continued ‘life’ on earth.

World War Z really got me thinking. The ingenious idea that a virus can mutate so intelligently that it can literally take over a person’s will, when pondered upon, is perhaps not so ingenious at all. Viruses are way more clever than we humans give them credit for; this human ignorance prevents us from living in constant fear (not a productive way to live), but I suspect that even if we fully saw the threat, we would still choose to believe we are invincible anyway. We continue to ignore our future environmental peril, opting for a far from adequate band-aid approach to sustainability, and we have always plastered over and suppressed our health issues, so why buy into the idea of viruses threatening to dominate the world and ultimately destroy humanity?

In WWZ, the Israelis are applauded – unusually so – for their wall-building prowess. They understand about preventative tactics and protecting themselves by raising their immunity and building resistance. Unfortunately they ignore the laws of susceptibility. Even, we assume, knowing the carriers of the virus were attracted by noise, they can not keep themselves silent within the Walls of Jericho, and put themselves at risk when praying and singing takes priority over safety. The predator cunningly wises up, as they always do, and develops communication “as if one”. With the cohesive synergy of a team, the virus can climb higher than the wall, and the Israelis are consequently vulnerable again, with no second chance for survival.

Observing the virus through the fisheye lens of a UN employee/“detective” achieves useful insights not gleaned by the scientists’ zoom

The virus seems to be disinterested in those whose systems are already compromised by a pre-existing diseased state. In this case, looking at the bigger picture and with an open mind, gives a clearer perspective, compared with focusing on the cellular minutiae.

So what is there to learn about disease in the 21st century from this mass media message? As a modern-day health practitioner, I work as if I were a detective, looking at a person’s wellbeing intensely and holistically. This means that all symptoms are investigated on all levels – mentally, emotionally and physically – and the dis-ease state (the totality of a person’s symptoms, individually expressing themselves to illustrate where they are out of balance) is examined and treated “as if one”. Much as the way in which the disease state created by the virus and expressing itself through its human host in WWZ acted “as if one”. Cure, healing or rebalancing from a dis-eased state in a person – allowing them to be no longer susceptible – is then achieved with one medicine which acts on the person’s own healing mechanism (their will, if you like, which was demonstrated as being “taken over” in the film) to re-establish their healthy equilibrium.

All living organisms since the birth of our planet have worked in balance and in opposition with each other. Plants and animals are always in relationship, often competitively, always opportunistically, but ultimately successfully in terms of the bigger picture of evolution. So what about the relationship between viruses and human beings? We know that many chronic diseases are said to be caused by viruses – multiple sclerosis, cervical cancer and AIDS to name a few. And we all experience the viruses that cause respiratory and digestive acute disorders in our health regularly – if we are susceptible. And we also know that viruses are mutating and evolving, along with all other life on earth. So is WWZ a real possibility for the future of the human race? And is our current suppressive, mechanistic way of treating our health with multiple drugs prescribed, one for each symptom, without consideration of the bigger picture and the long-term impact on our health, ultimately creating our inevitable downfall?