Today’s topic is not about how much you know in terms of your knowledge and education, but how you’re able to apply this knowledge for your patients.
My Conditioning as an Immigrant
We really don’t question anything in our educational system. Personally, as an immigrant to the States, I used to believe and assume everybody else knew exactly what to do. All I ever wanted was to fit in, not stick out like a sore thumb, not be somebody who had an accent and couldn’t speak English.
It meant everything to me to pretend like I belonged here in the States. Not somebody from Korea who was fresh off the boat and very different from my peers. Having said that, the educational system really did teach me how to think in certain ways. I think the older I get, the more I realize my interpretations of my experiences.
I was 11 years old when I immigrated. At the time, I entered the fifth grade, and I spoke no English and had no knowledge of the culture here! But I remember all the songs in the 80s because that’s what I grew up to. A lot of the things that my friends were familiar with, such as all the bands, music, and cultural things were exposed to me at this time. I quickly caught on and learned the words to the songs.
We’re Taught To Stay In Our Lane
However in my mind, it was mumbo-jumbo in my head. I had no idea what the words meant. Fast forward to today, I still don’t know sometimes. When talking about the Beatles, music, cultural things, etc. I don’t really recall much because at the time, I was busy pretending to feel like I knew things, but I really didn’t.
I believe this same concept applies, especially in our educational system. As somebody who’s been in school for most of her life (45 years), I know that knowledge really doesn’t help patients. Only applied knowledge does. My quest is really to train as many Functional Yoga Medicine Practitioners as possible and teach them to treat their patients from a place of mentoring. Having conversations that no other practitioners are having.
Everybody has blinders on, trying to stay in their own lane. They’re defensive of whatever dogmatic ways they were trained, which causes them to have blinders on. This prevents them from letting the light in, and integrating different disciplines and systems on behalf of the patients because we ourselves have to play by the rules. We have a scope of practice that we have to respect. There are so many different ideologies, trainings, and certifications. Having had so many certifications and having learned so many different disciplines, I now am able to come before you to tell you how messy our health system has truly become.
Functional Yoga Medicine aims to encourage practitioners to think outside the box and truly aim to put the pieces of the puzzle together in a cohesive way that allows our patients to apply the knowledge and tools in their lives.
The last thing that we should be doing is perpetuating a sense of dependency. If I’m being blunt and honest, I believe we as practitioners are serving our egos rather than serving our patients. We always want to be better. We want to be better educated, but secretly, if you’re being honest with yourself, you feel inadequate.
You feel you don’t know enough, or you feel you’re not good enough. You feel like an imposter. It seems like you don’t deserve to lead your patients because your patients are always asking questions about contradictory information. If you’re really being honest with yourself, you don’t know how to address this contradictory information.
It’s a hot mess in the realm of the internet. I think there’s plus sides to the technological development and progression, but then there’s also downsides. Everybody who’s somebody can say anything on the internet, and it now becomes an opinion. I just want you to really consider that and make sure that you, as a practitioner, start tapping into your inner knowing of the healing experience you want to create for your patients and clients. And the truth is that you can’t do this work from theoretical understanding. It’s not about another certification or another methodology. Also, it’s not about another dogmatic way or viewpoint.
Specialization and Compartmentalization Keep Us Stuck
We are able to open the doors to different disciplines and understand that holistically we have to work from the greater whole, not focus on the bits and pieces. We should aim to get outside of the compartmentalization. Compartmentalization and specialization, in my opinion, produces this self-importance if you will. There’s always a title that we’re after with every certification we get.
Long ago, I started to move away from this because I realized that the more I learned, the more I needed to connect the dots, and really nobody was doing that. As many of you know, I have a Psych degree. I also have a nutritional degree and a physical medicine degree. I am board certified in functional medicine, yoga, pilates, energy medicine, and acupuncture. I’ve studied the gamut of health related disciplines from East to West. And even in each of these disciplines, there are different sectors.
It’s as if people get so tied up with a specific dogmatic way. They are keeping themselves in a box, and they do this to keep themselves safe. But what you start to realize is that the human experience is messy. There are so many variables that we can’t contain. We must start to open the doors and finally try to put the pieces of the messy puzzle together in a way that makes sense. But more importantly it’s about Self-Empowered Healing. Not a system that promotes dependency in our patients so that they have to continue to pay us.
Empower Your Patients To Step Into Their Power
What are you trying to do with the work that you do? I don’t care if you’re a yoga teacher, a medical doctor, a physical therapist, etc. No matter what degree you have, the foundational principle is that we are human beings having a human experience, and our interpretations of the world (our perceptions) largely dictate our past, present, and future. It dictates how we think, the choices we make, and the results we create in our lives.
It’s not about the complicated sciences of what we eat. Whether you’re vegan, plant-based, keto, paleo, or paleo autoimmune, or anything else that you want to title it. Get away from structuring, compartmentalizing, and specializing and start to uncover and pull the pieces together.
This is so that we can empower our patients to really step into their power and understand that healing is an inside job. We want to encourage that our patients and clients are able to switch from the inside to really trigger the healing. You must start from the inside, as no amount of superficial “doing” and dogmas that you and I learn as certified practitioners can do more than scratch the surface.
Moving Away From The Trends
What patients “do” will only get them marginalized benefits. And I know that many of you are secretly feeling this void. You want to learn more. If you’re a yoga teacher, you want to learn nutrition, ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, etc. If you’re plant based, do you do this because it’s what’s best for you or because it’s trendy?
This is where I want to bring your attention. We tend to follow the trends. We look outside of ourselves for answers. It’s almost as if we’re puppets, being told exactly how and what to do. Social media controls us in this way really well. It sucks our attention away from ourselves to dictate exactly what we ought and should want. And all the ideas that are set forward now become our ideal. When really, these ideas have nothing to do with what I truly want from the inside.
So it’s time to really level up and really address the unseen in our patients and clients. The unseen includes your roots/your foundation, and your identity of who you are. Reflect upon your identity and ask yourself, “is this really who I am? Or is this something that I’ve learned to be?”
Powerless Health Technicians Vs Powerful Health Mentors
If we’ve learned anything last year, it’s that the educational system is a failing system. Also, the medical system is a failing system. We cannot stay dependent. We need to train patients to be self-empowered. You and I need to be Powerful Health Mentors, not the disempowered, powerless health technicians that we’re taught to be. Whatever methodology you follow or certifications or degrees you have, you know that if you look at different health practitioners, they’re all technicians technically doing the same thing. With highly advanced degrees, we might argue that they make good money, but they’re required to see a certain amount of patients in a given hour or a day.
Ophthalmologists do this and so do Endocrinologists. They all do the same thing. Plastic surgeons, internal medicine doctors, etc. They’re all doing the highly educated technician work with higher pay, but they don’t think outside the box. They do what they do because that’s what they learned to do. They do the same thing, day in and day out. Each practitioner within each discipline learned a certain way of doing things. But in the greater scheme of things, we’re all technicians doing the same thing over and over again.
Getting Out of Our Comfort Zone
We service clients and patients. But is what we do really impactful? Is it changing how our patients show up, or is it creating more dependency? We already have a system that’s not working, but nobody wants to talk about it because it is scary to step outside of our comfort zone. I started off talking about how I was an immigrant and I came to the States when I was 11. I assumed everybody else knew better than me because I was new to the States. All I wanted to do was fit in, whether it being trendy with fashion, how I needed to behave, whether I was a bad girl, good girl, smart girl, whatever. I was going to make work.
The last thing I wanted was to stick out like a sore thumb. The more we learn, the more we are conditioned. We are taught to listen and stay in our lanes. If we veer off and show a little bit of interest or ask questions, then we’re frowned upon. This used to be something that was so negatively charged in my head because I was a very strong headed little girl. And when I wasn’t obedient or I asked questions, my parents would just roll their eyes.
What Are You So Afraid of?
Because of this, the interpretation I made was it was bad to not follow the rules. In the same way, many of you are trained to follow the rules. We don’t want to break the rules for fear of what? Judgment, failure, success, whatever else. We don’t want to break the rules because of the unknowns. It’s so much easier to be on a path that’s already paved, doing the same thing over and over again. I know there’s a different breed of people that want to think outside the box, but they’re not able to be courageous enough, or they feel they don’t know enough, understand enough, or know exactly how to begin.
I know for many of you, you have one foot in and one foot out. But it’s time to really stand for something, stand for what you believe. I’m talking to those of you who feel that whatever work you’re doing is sucking the life out of you every day that you live and show up for your work. You’re not making a difference in the lives of the patients. You feel insecure when asked certain questions by your patients. And you know that knowledge and all the theoretical things don’t change or transform the patients for the better. Only applied knowledge does.
Creating More Impact
If you’re here, I know you want to do something that’s practical at the root level, at the unseen level, to help your patients really re-identify how they’re BEING, not just change what they’re doing. You want to really help them let go of past limiting beliefs so they can step into their power and realize that they’re the creators of their health, their wealth, and their relationships. We all have the opportunity to step into this power to have an abundant life.
We’re taught to do certain things. I’ve spent most of my career scared of stepping outside of this box. I have many boxes – I used to call myself a jack of all trades but master of none. People used to make fun of me because I was not specialized in any certain area. But I realized that’s not how I want to live my life.
Looking at the WHOLE Picture
Psychology is important. Nutrition is important. Physical movement is important. Mindfulness is important. All the things that heal are at the root, but the most important thing for everybody is the identity you hold by which you live your life. Are you a powerless health technician taught to do the same thing, expecting different results?
You can either live your life as a powerless technician, doing the same thing. Or you can be willing to become a Powerful Health Mentor to your patients. As a Powerful Health Mentor, you really equip patients to become Self-Empowered Healers. Because at the end of the day, you want to do work that matters. I believe if you and I come together to really help as many patients become Self-Empowered Healers and shift from dependency to independency, from powerless to powerful, from disempowered to empowered, we would make this world a better place.
There would be peace, world hunger would disappear. You and I can really hold hands together and solve real-world problems that impact the world at a deeper level. This movement is about creating a new generation of Powerful Health Mentors. Never minds all the didactics, all the theories. Instead, let’s come together to really make a difference is the work that I’m talking about.
Come and Join Us
I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be hosting a Functional Yoga Medicine Workshop, which is completely free, starting June 28th. Join our private Facebook group called Functional Yoga Medicine to continue to have elevated conversations with other like minded practitioners. You can find me on Instagram, Dr. Connie Jeon. Subscribe to this podcast, and spread the word to think outside the box about the work that you do. Stop staying in one lane. Stop living in your limiting beliefs.
Start to think outside the box. It’s time to really shift our identities to a powerful position that you and I deserve to be. To step into our power and stop leaking our power away. Having inner knowing is much more important. Stop this puppeteering work. But let’s define health and wellness in the way that our patients need, but it starts with you and me.
So really applying the principles to evolve and grow, and commitment to all the things is necessary for us to step into our power. This requires us to come together courageously to hold hands to do work that matters. It’s my mission to reach as many of you as possible.
Thank you so much for reading. I’ll talk to you soon.