It Wasn’t Working. It Never Did.

By Terri Pena MD

It wasn’t working. It never did work.

I have not been here – silent on social media – avoiding being online and distant from the greater conversation.  

I have been doing the minimum. 

It was the minimum because inside I was churning and changing. My world, our society, and any certainty I felt was blatantly feeling the same thing, triggering my state of churning and changing.

The rearranging, letting go and grabbing on, it was a shifting, an emerging takes a lot of energy and mind and soul space.  

Frankly, all of this is still going on but here is what I’ve come to believe: how we are being – our thinking, feeling and doing – all of that stuff makes us, well us – must change. 

Acknowledge The Trauma 

So much trauma is involved – some new, lots of it old – but how we were handling it (which BTW is and was very minimally and tenuous) no longer can get us by.  

It shows up and will continue to show up as burnout, anxiety, depression, irritability, eating and drinking way too much with too much of the wrong things, obsessing with an idea or thought, sleeping like crap or sleeping all the time, focusing on only ourselves, hiding, keeping silent, hiding, anger and despair.  So many feelings

“When we have the courage to walk into our own story and own it, we get to rewrite the ending.”

Brénè Brown

Are You Well? 

There is a serious lack of Be-ing well – again, not a new thing – but we can’t hide from it as we typically and habitually do. No, I do NOT want to go back to normal. Normal was not good for us. Last year has cost us thousands of lives and continued suffering. COVID means almost 2.7 million dead world wide and almost 550,000 in the US.* The stark and undeniable connection between lifestyle and risk of death and suffering is highlighted in this pandemic (once again, not new information!) – obesity, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, smoking – pretty much all of these are outcomes of our choices, our everyday, mundane choices we so easily brush aside as inconsequential. 

Being and Doing Our Best At Being Well

How we be well has to shift. Don’t look for the government to do this or your insurance company. Pharma won’t do this either. The power is in you. 

We – that is you and I – have to do things differently. We have to think, believe and feel differently about what health is and what is our story and how do we change our stories to one being and doing our best at being well. 

It will take knowing ourselves, our mind and emotions. It will take knowing our bodies, what makes it hum and what creates drag. It will take playing the infinite game** of being well. A state where everyone deserves and experiences the wonderful amazing state of vitality and presence that connects and fuels who we are and what we make out of our lives, relationships, and society.  

Defining the infinite game – this is what was acutely churning and changing in me this past year. In reality this has been going on for a long time as I’ve struggled as a physician treating and helping my patients, but like many things this past year, the need to find a frame to act from was accelerated and intensified. 

Is this my mission? Maybe. But this is my message.

You should be able to live your best and be your best so that you can do what you are meant to  do, live a life you were meant to live — unhindered by suboptimal functioning of the mind, body and spirit. 

Practically, this shows up on how I reorganized my practice with a reach that goes beyond one-on-one and face-to-face with groups and online programs. 

I want you to think well, feel well, and be well. 

Do you need help getting there? I’m here to help. 

* as of 3/16/21

** Nod to Simon Sinek’s The Infinite Game



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