Stay Connected to Your True Values

Stay Connected to Your True Values
Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here.

I am at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece where the columns of statues of six women remind me of the story of Lysistrata. For thousands of years there have been many performances at this theater of Dionysis. And Lysistrata would have been one of them.

Imagine you are an Athenian woman in 403BC and you are about to watch a comedy here by the famous playwright, Aristophenes called Lysistrata.

The story is about a woman named Lysistrada who took it upon herself to come up with a creative plan to end the 25 year long war which had pitted the Pelopennesian cities of Greece against each other.

Her plan? To convince the women of Spartus, of Thebes, and the other cities to withhold sex from the men until they ended their fighting. While resistant initially, they eventually agreed – and while they were offering a bowl of wine to the Goddess of Reconcilliation they heard the sounds of the older women who had joined them in this plan who were capturing the Acropolis.

The Acropolis was the fortress that housed the financial treasury of Athens. With this take-over – there would be no funds available to continue the war. There is a scene where the decrepit, misogynistic old men start fires and try to smoke out the old women – but they just laugh and pour water on their fires – eventually defeating them and dousing them with icy water.

Through-out the play there were 2 choruses – the voices of the older men and the older women that sang back and forth, and there were funny sexual antics on stage between the men and the women – where the […]

A tale of healing

A Tale of Healing
Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here.

I am at the theater of Epidaurus, the epic healing center of the world.

Imagine it is the year 400 BC, and you are an Athenian woman in Ancient Greece seeking healing. In your lifetime, you have witnessed some amazing things – the ascension of the Athenian empire, the establishment of democracy, the medicine of Hippocrates, the production of Oedipus Rex, the call to know thyself by a philosopher named Socrates, the building of the Parthenon.

But, you have also seen this golden age collapse in the horrors of war that pitted Peloponnesian cities against each other. You have experienced the agony of a plague that has killed too many family and friends. You have grown weary of your values being disregarded, your truth being silenced, dismissed, or ridiculed. You long for a place where your battered body, frantic mind, and tortured soul can heal from the onslaught of the chaos all around you and the turmoil inside of you – a place where you can find peace and restore your health.

You decide to go on a journey towards recovery. You make the pilgrimage to the Aesclepian, the great healing center of Epidaurus, to turn a corner on your reality; to experience your life in a new way. It’s amazing that we can still retrace the steps of the Ancient Greeks who were seeking treatment, and see what they believed was essential for healing.

We can imagine what it must have been like to ache for healing and wholeness, and make a pilgrimage like that, because we know what it feels like to long for recovery, to turn a corner on our reality, to experience life in a new way. […]

Use your curiosity; not your judgment

Use your curiosity; not your judgment
Hello, Dr. Anita Johnston here.

I am in Epidaurus, Greece, which seems like the perfect place to tell you this story.

Once upon a time, high up on Olympus, the gods and goddesses gathered to create a new creature for earth – a woman. “A woman! A woman!” they said excitedly. Let’s name her Pandora, which means “the gifted” and “the all-giving”.

Athena, the goddess of wisdom, breathed the life force into her, and gave her a soul, which contained the wisdom of the ages for guidance and creativity.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, stepped forward and said, “I will give her the gift of beauty and vibrant sensuality. She will have uninhibited sensual desire, and a captivating beauty, which will allow hearts to open in her presence.”

Apollo said, “I’ll give her music. She will be able to give and receive joy through song and dance as she celebrates life itself.”

Hermes, the messenger god, said, “I’ll give her the ability to communicate. She will be able to listen without judgment, and use her words eloquently, and speak her truth clearly, kindly and honestly.”

Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods, began to fashion a body for her using water and earth; creating a three-dimensional container that was strong enough to serve as a vessel for her consciousness. He said, “I will give her the three dimensions of height and weight and depth.” He began to forge a dazzlingly beautiful body with gorgeous curves and rounded features, the likes of which had never been seen before – a woman’s body.

When Hephaestus had completed her body, Hera (interestingly enough, the goddess of marriage), gave her a most interesting gift, which she placed in the very core of […]

>