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Does It Take A Crisis To Transform?

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Does It Take A Crisis To Transform?

Awhile back I did a webinar with Dr. Sara Gottfried about my next book Mind Over Medicine, Pink Medicine, and self-healing, and according to Sara, “It was epic!”

During the webinar, I mentioned my Perfect Storm (when my dog died, my brother wound up in liver failure, and my father passed away from a brain tumor, all within 2 weeks of me giving birth to my daughter). My Perfect Storm was the catalyst for a major life overhaul that led me to sell my house, quit my job, move to a new place, start Owning Pink, and go through the self-healing journey that led me to surrender to my calling to help lead the Pink Medicine revolution.

And in my experience with patients, it’s often a crisis like this – a health crisis, divorce, loss of a loved one, empty nest, career crisis, etc – that launches us, often against our will – onto the self-healing path that results in major breakthroughs and personal transformation.

I said that on the webinar, and Sara said, “But isn’t there a way to make that transformation without waiting for the crisis?”

I thought about it and said that, in my experience, it usually takes the crisis. We just don’t seem motivated to preventatively make big changes in our life that benefit the quality of our health and lives.

But Sara pushed me on it, and then I realized that this resistance to making big change in the absence of crisis might just be me! Before my Perfect Storm, I was firmly entrenched in a life I had worked hard to earn but which wasn’t making me happy. I had the meaningful career, the six-figure income, the house on the ocean, the vacation home, the boat, and all the other trappings of “success.” Yet, I lacked vitality. I wasn’t happy. And I certainly wasn’t healthy.

I was so numb in my life and so out of touch with my body and my intuition that it took the drama of my Perfect Storm to wake me up. But I realized after talking to Sara that it doesn’t have to be this way.

I do believe you can achieve whole health and vitality without crisis - but it takes listening to the whispers of your Inner Pilot Light before the Universe has to THWACK you over the head in order to get your attention.

What Is Your Inner Pilot Light?

Your Inner Pilot Light is that bright, sparkly, 100 percent authentic, intuitive part of you that shines with wild abandon and never dies out. It’s that inner healing spark within you that rocks – that BOULDERS, really – and that never gets extinguished, no matter how rough life gets. Call it your intuition. Call it your highest self. Call it your Buddha Nature or your Christ consciousness. Call it Captain Crunch, for all I care.

But please, my dear, call on your Inner Pilot Light for guidance, confidence, affirmation, and a sense that you can heal yourself – and do ANYTHING you choose to do in your life.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other 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 grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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11:06AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

For myself as I think... Moments of power to remember we are totally in a place of power and that we can/will handle it. Life is throwing things at us that we can handle, and Life is forcing our hand to temper ourselves as a blade in the heat, its an opportunity to evolve and mature, not always easy and if we fail there will probably be a next time so don't beat ourselves up. We will all go through fire, no one on this earth gets free and easy passage, not the Dalai Lama, not Jesus, not Quan Yin not Martin Luther King etc. Absolutely no one who is/has evolved etc. There are lessons to be learned. Struggle can be an opportunity and find the key to laugh at adversity. In these times, if we are not paying attention, and if we aren't standing at the edge we may be only be just using up Oxygen, not to worry many days and times offered through life to accept death and change as transformation, let go of the edge get in the stream as the hopi say we are all in this together.

6:41PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

For most people; YES!

9:01PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Health workers investigated over serious crimes
Julia Medew
February 17, 2012

pls note this

HUNDREDS of doctors, nurses and other health professionals were found to have worrying criminal histories that prompted investigations last year.

In its annual report for 2010-11, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency said criminal checks on 52,445 health professionals found nearly 3000 or 6 per cent had some kind of criminal history. Of those, 449 had committed offenses serious enough to potentially affect their registration.

After national boards investigated these matters, the report said the registration of 40 health professionals was impacted by their offenses, with one psychologist refused registration.

Read more:

11:46AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

Always took a crisis to make me change....which I hate BUT later glad I did .

10:19AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

I try to listen. I'm listening and making some big changes in my life right now, and although it didn't take a crisis to get me to this point it might look a little bit like a crisis now.

A book I would recommend to people looking to make some positive, non crisis-induced, changes is Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project". I just listened to an audio version read by the author and it's about her year long experiment in self improvement.

10:24PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

It does not take a crisis to transform, although our habitual thoughts and feelings are often so entrenched that it is a crisis that is the force strong enough to bend the bars of our conditioning.

Transformation is only ever a thought away.

I think it is an unsafe model to suggest that 'the universe' teaches us through pain, and that if we do not listen to whispers, we get crisis. This is a variation of the 'illness as punishment' myth that has harmed so many people.

Insight that leads to change cannot be produced but can be made more likely through forms that take us to stillness (whether that is meditation or going for a walk for you).

In the end, transformation comes from insight and insight is only a thought away, not necessarily a crisis away.

Best wishes,


9:18PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

This is really helpful. Thanks.

8:49AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Sometimes, it really does take a crisis to transform. Even if the crisis had no ties to my very being. When someone touches you, even someone who you have deeply admired and has influenced you, passes away, a transformation in yourself occurs. It has to me! One for the better and I'm always looking for ways to outdo myself. As Kathleen K., has said, "Crisis or Simply Experiences?" In my case, a crisis.

10:22PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

"Inner pilot light"? I just don't know why or how this stuf gets swallowed by the gullible.

9:52PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

Well, the sages of the world have been trying to tell us this for centuries. Like one wise, old Indian shaman said "people are lazy". She nailed it

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people are talking

Right off the bat,, I don't eat the first 5...

Thank you for sharing this useful information. *_*


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