Lissa Rankin, MD, is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of “Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself”. She is on a grass roots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.

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The “Space Between Stories”

25th July 2016

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Are you feeling lost? Uncertain? Adrift? 

This week, I experienced a trauma that collapsed my story of self, yet a new story has not yet emerged. Charles Eisenstein calls this “the space between stories.” Many of us are in this space between stories right now, when you feel lost, ungrounded, dislocated, as if your roots have been pulled up and you’re not quite sure where to land. Everything you thought you knew — about yourself and the world — is now in question. Even our systems — the medical system, our political systems, the education system, the banking system — they’re in the space between stories too. We know the old way is falling apart, yet the new way has not yet been born.

As Charles writes in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible: “So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there. It is frightening to lose the old structures of security, but you will find that even as you might lose things that were unthinkable to lose, you will be okay. There is a kind of grace that protects us in the space between stories. It is not that you won’t lose your marriage, your money, your job, or your health. In fact, it is very likely that you will lose one of these things. It is that you will discover that even having lost that, you are still okay. You will find yourself in closer contact to something much more precious, something that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal, something that no one can take and cannot be lost.”

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Let’s Practice “White Magic” in 2016

21st January 2016

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

About five years ago, things that seemed like miracles — things my mind couldn’t explain — started happening around me. Patients were having “spontaneous” remissions. Synchronicities were unfolding around me as if I had been swept up in some current of magic. Spiritual superpowers were awakening within me, bringing with them gifts and powers I didn’t know I had access to.

At first I was fascinated — in awe — and I played with these spiritual superpowers, which the yogis call “siddhis”. My entire view of reality was shattered. Things that should have been impossible were happening with regularity. At first, they were happening in waves of what I called “quickenings.” These quickenings lasted about two weeks and then a few months would pass before another quickening happened. Then, after a very mystical experience in January 2014, the mystical events became my new normal. I could no longer deny that reality was not as it seemed to my scientific, rational, materialist mind.

When I told Byron Katie about some of the events that were happening, she said, “Lissa, they’ve always been happening. Only now you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”

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11 Ways To Be A Proactive Patient

6th November 2015

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

As I wrote about here, too many patients hand the power of their health over to physicians who they believe will fix them, and then if the doctor fails to cure what ails them, they get frustrated and feel like helpless victims of bad luck or bad genes.

But studies show that being proactive about your health not only results in better health care; it also strengthens your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms and helps your body fend off illness.

Your body is your business! Even though most of us doctors went to school for over a decade, ostensibly so we’d know your body better than you do, nobody knows what’s best for your body, mind, and soul as much as you do. Your body is your business because you are the gatekeeper of your mind, and it’s your responsibility to protect your body from the poisonous effect toxic thoughts, beliefs, and feelings have on your body’s physiology.

There are many ways you can be an empowered patient, but here are a few tips for taking the power of your health back into your own hands.

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Dating on the Spiritual Path

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Except for a few short term bursts of relationship, I’ve been mostly single for two years after twelve years of marriage ended in divorce, and jeez, things have changed in my dating process since last time I was single. My old list of “What I Want in a Partner” has mostly dissolved. Gone are the “wears boxers,” “likes green,” “great legs,” “enjoys hiking and skiing,” and “financially secure” items on my wish list. I’ve had to add some terms I hadn’t thought it necessary to add when I was younger, like “Not gay, married, living internationally with no chance of a visa, or expecting me to conceive another child.” Having attracted every variety of unavailable man, I’m realizing I need to get specific. “No prison inmates, polygamists, or monks, please!” And living in Marin County, I’m also realizing that I need to qualify that, while I don’t judge anyone who chooses such a lifestyle and I can certainly see the appeal of it, polyamory isn’t my cup ‘o’ tea. Been there. Tried that. It just doesn’t feel safe or stable to me, and it’s a lot of emotional work. Perhaps I’m just not enlightened enough, but my polyamory experiment left me concluding that my heart is just too tender and needs the gentle nest of what I’ll call “open monogamy” in order to open up all the way to the levels of intimacy I desire and am capable of giving.

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Do We Really Create Our Own Reality?

27th October 2015

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

There’s a school of thought in spiritual circles that ascribes to the idea that everything that happens in our lives — the blissful things, the growth edge things, the horrid things — all happens with purpose. This spiritual teaching suggests that everything reflected in our lives is the result of our conscious or unconscious desires, and that when things aren’t going our way, it’s because the blueprint of the subconscious actually desires the very thing we think we don’t want. In other words, we may believe that we want to meet the love of our life, or we may hope to have the cancer cured, but if someone were to muscle test us or read the subconscious mind intuitively, we would discover that at the level of the subconscious, we’re actually terrified of falling in love because of a past heartbreak, or the cancer is meeting some core need for rest, connection, or freedom from a toxic job, for example.

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18 Signs That You’re Here to Transform Human Consciousness

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

For many years now, a lot of people have been talking about “The Shift,” this mysterious transformation of human consciousness that is supposedly underway. Ever since the end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2102, New Age types tend to twitter away about the evolution of the species, the revolution of love, and other hopeful but fuzzy seeming changes in what it means to be human. I want to take a minute to help us all ground this floaty notion a bit.

See if any of this sounds familiar:

Do you have a vision of some aspect of a more beautiful world, and you know it’s your sacred purpose to help bring it into being?

Do you sense that something is out of alignment in the world, and you want to be a part of the solution?

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Occupy Medicine, Anyone?

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The Lineage of Medicine

The current medical system requires most doctors to sell their souls. Doctors are called to the lineage of healing that is as old as our species, much as priests are called to the priesthood. They endure a decade’s worth of traumatic medical education that leaves them with PTSD. Then they enter a system that asks them to violate their ethics. It goes against their very ethics to be expected to see 40 patients per day. It goes against their ethics to have to spend so much time filling out paperwork or entering data into a computer that they don’t have any time left to listen to the patient. It goes against their ethics to betray the sacredness of the doctor-patient relationship.

When I was still seeing patients, I often went home and cried because I knew how much more I could have offered to my patients if only I had had more time with them, time to sit at their bedside and hold their hand, time to be present with their pain, time to really appreciate the honor it is to have a front row seat on life and death.

Continue Reading – Occupy Medicine, Anyone?

5 Tips To Help You Recover From Perfectionism

By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Perfectionism can be a real joy killer. If I had been too afraid to appear imperfect, I might have stayed in two unhappy marriages or kept a job that was sucking the life out of me.

Perfectionism can also be a barrier to intimacy, as well as a potent form of self-sabotage. If I had been committed to trying to give a perfect performance in front of a live studio audience, for example, I might have missed the chance to giggle and connect with the audience the way I did when I flubbed up my words and exposed my imperfections. They might have wrongly assumed that I had it all together, when the honest truth was that I was terrified to be doing something so far outside of my comfort zone.

But, as soon as I let go of the expectation of perfection in myself, my whole body relaxed. I could be imperfect! And I would still be good enough…

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Meditation as a Self-Healing Tool

By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The body is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off with thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. This is great news, because it means, in essence, that you can heal yourself. But how?

One of the many simple ways you can flip on your body’s self-repair mechanisms is via meditation.

What Does It Mean To Meditate? defines meditation as “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation,” but I prefer Harvard professor Dr. Herbert Benson’s definition. He defines it as “Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity while passively disregarding everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and returning to your repetition.” With this definition of meditation, anything can be a meditation – not just sitting with your eyes closed in the lotus position, but walking, making art, cooking, shopping, dancing, driving… whatever.
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The Critical Thing Your Doctor Needs to Know – and Probably Doesn’t

By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

From time to time, pain grips Anna’s belly so severely that she has to excuse herself, hide in the bathroom, double over on the toilet, and dab herself with lavender oil to try to keep from puking. The first time it happened, she called her best friend, who took her to the emergency room, where they poked, prodded, scanned, and examined Anna, only to dose her up with morphine, shrug their shoulders, and send her home with Vicodin and a referral to a gastroenterologist.

But then it happened a few days later. So Anna made an appointment with the gastroenterologist, who sticks a scope up Anna’s butt and slaps her with the label of irritable bowel syndrome. Anna tries a few medications, as well as some dietary changes, but the pain actually gets worse. When she tells this to her gastroenterologist, the doctor refers her to a gynecologist, who performs laparascopic surgery on her and diagnoses her with endometriosis. The gynecologist recommends a drug called Lupron, which puts 32 year old Anna into temporary menopause, but when Anna tries the Lupron, her hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, and night sweats are so severe, she decides the belly pain is less traumatic than the menopausal symptoms, so she stops the Lupron.

Continue Reading – The Critical Thing Your Doctor Needs to Know – and Probably Doesn’t

How to Make Your Body Ripe for Miracles

By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

You may know that your body is brilliantly equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infections, retard aging, and generally keep your body healthy. But did you know that these self-repair mechanisms can be flipped on – or off – with the power of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind?

It’s not New Age hocus pocus. It’s simple physiology! Here’s how it happens for the nerds among you who, like me, like to understand how things in the body work.

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Why Playing Small Is Just Your Ego

8th July 2015

By Lissa Rankin MD Guest Writer for Wake Up World

When most of us think of the idea of the ego, we think of words like “egotistical” or “arrogant.” What most don’t understand is that the same ego that leads people to boast, self-inflate, name drop, and preen around with self importance can manifest as just the opposite. When you wallow in self-doubt, act like you’re not good enough to belong, self-flagellate, or otherwise diminish yourself, that’s not humility. It’s more ego.

So what do I mean by ego? I’m not talking about the Freudian definition that breaks your psyche into the id, ego, and superego. I’m also not talking solely about the part of you that tries to make you superior to others. I’m talking about the part of you that thinks it is separate from Oneness/The Universe/All That Is. This illusion of separateness may lead you to believe that you’re distinct and not connected, and because of this illusion, your ego will try to make everything and everyone either “better than” or “worse than” you.

Continue Reading – Why Playing Small Is Just Your Ego