This book will help you celebrate life and cultivate the ability to find good in your experiences, no matter what. This is the wisdom that has helped the Roma survive when the entire world was against them. When someone has nothing, is sick, is mistreated and there is no help on the way, what can be done? As it happens, there is a great deal that can be done. One open and lively smile, eating something wonderfully nutritious, and focusing on something, anything that will bring hope, are all abundant riches. I’ve been through extremely miserable and difficult times in my life and I consciously chose to focus on the one or two things that could get me through the worst of my days.
I find great inspiration in the Romani way: being bold, passionate, and full of energy. We know how to dance when we are miserable. Dancing is not only for a rare and special celebration, what a silly idea! Dancing is for when you cannot stand the pain of life one more minute, any Gypsy can tell you that. Have you ever danced when you were sad? Have you ever danced when you were angry or hurt? When was the last time you threw your head back and stamped your feet? Promise me that you will try it. Promise me that you will experiment with the ideas in this book so that you have a real experience of Gypsy magic.
Unfortunately American life is too normal, too good even when it is bad, and most Americans are inclined toward too much of a good thing, which turns out to be bad for you.
What passes for normal life is eating at fast food restaurants, liking a job just well enough to be trapped by it, and not enough of the important things to feed your soul. There is too much passive entertainment that really isn’t very entertaining or engaging, but after a while we become too desensitized to be discriminating or demanding about anything. When Americans get sick we take pills rather than try to get to the root of the sickness. When we get depressed we don’t grieve and wail and get it out of our bodies, when we are angry we do not shake, and when we are dissatisfied we don’t act bravely to take a risk and change our lives, we take even more pills.
A Gypsy can tell you that there is wisdom in the idea of moderation in all things, including moderation. An occasional too much of something can be a celebration that is good for the soul. But taking drugs or drinking alcohol to numb the pain you feel or to artificially generate the excitement that is lacking in your life, will not make you feel safer, more joyful, or truly alive. There is a way to be in a higher state without alcohol or drugs. Only what is real will feel real to your soul.
I’m taking a bold risk in writing this book because I believe that the secrets of wellbeing need to be shared much more freely than they were in the past. For too long the things that were sacred were held closely by a few people who wanted power over others. In this century we are growing to understand that the greediness of secret knowledge is over. This is a time when good ideas about the health of our bodies and the planet need to be shared within all of the human family. We need each other to survive and thrive. We are all each others’ neighbors in this global community. I will share what I know about health, resilience, and well-being with you and I know that I will continue to learn from other healers throughout my life with a spirit of humility.