A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words – with a Few of the Words

Please note: Universal Medicine courses are not weight loss courses, they are about the possibility that we can make more self-loving and self-nurturing choices in our day-to-day lives. Weight loss is often a natural occurrence when these choices are implemented in daily life as can be seen from the photos Rowena and Jonathan Stewart have sent in below.

It is worth noting that from an Esoteric perspective, there is no ‘perfect body weight’ to achieve, only a shape that is most natural to you, and which can be allowed to be and take shape, as a harmonious and loving relationship with yourself is embraced and then embodied.

In April 2006 we attended a new complementary health workshop to broaden our professional healing skills, but not to address our own health issues. What we really met was…

Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and discovered that:

  • Self-love is ok
  • Looking after yourself deeply is part of life
  • We can make loving choices that not only help oneself, but also all others in the process

BEFORE Universal Medicine

BEFORE - Rowena and Jonathan before meeting Serge Benhayon and going to UniMed courses (January 2005)
Rowena and Jonathan before meeting Serge Benhayon and going to UniMed courses (January 2005)

AFTER Universal Medicine

AFTER - Rowena and Jonathan after meeting Serge Benhayon and going to UniMed courses (June 2012)
AFTER – Rowena and Jonathan after meeting Serge Benhayon and going to UniMed courses (June 2012)

The Words Behind the Pictures

The evident changes in the pictures have not come about from the intention to lose weight. Nor were we overweight from overeating. All of it was and is because of lifestyle choices.

In 2006 and in the years leading up to it we had, as successful complementary health practitioners, been making informed and rational choices to support our health and well-being that was above the average of society in general. But we were in denial of the truth that we:

  • Were overweight from consuming foods and drinks that our bodies could not tolerate
  • Made work more important than our health, relying on caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods to alleviate our general state of anxiety and exhaustion and boost our energy levels
  • Arrogantly believed that our way of living in general not only supported our well-being but was beneficial for us
  • Were very judgemental, stubborn and argumentative
  • Tried very hard to fix Rowena’s health issues of painful periods and endometriosis, migraines and bouts of depression (which we both experienced) with kinesiology, but which in truth only resulted in burying them further into her body
  • Gained our sense of worth from what we did and identified strongly with our profession

In the 6 years that have passed it is not that we have eaten less nor striven to lose weight. When we attended the Universal Medicine workshop in 2006 it was with the sole intention of furthering our professional skills.

Instead, we were presented with a different way of being. This has led us to make different choices not only about our food but how we approach our work, sleep routine and life in general.

This has resulted in:

  • Relinquishing comfort eating, caffeine and alcohol in favour of addressing the underlying emotions and to feel the effects of the foods we eat
  • Taking responsibility for our emotions, actions, choices and communication
  • Being willing to face our unresolved hurts and issues, instead of burying them
  • Discovering Jonathan’s sense of humour
  • Putting our health first, learning how to love, nurture and care for ourselves and consequently how to love others in the process
  • A dramatic improvement in Rowena’s health
  • Rediscovering that our self-worth is inside ourselves and not in the things we do
  • Losing loads of weight without meaning to
  • Beginning to have an inkling of the true meaning of joy and harmony
  • Being committed to just being ourselves in whatever we do

This, and more, is a work in progress. We can still get grumpy and irritable but by learning to be honest the disharmony is less and less frequent. Instead of compromising by finding solutions we now seek resolutions. Life is not about how one looks but this is how we look after 6 years of living a self-loving way.

It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.

We have learnt a great deal from what Serge Benhayon has presented in the workshops, presentations and books but mostly from the example LIVED by Serge and the whole of the Universal Medicine staff and students. Thank you Serge for inspiring us to choose a far more joyful, harmonious and loving way to live.

by Jonathan & Rowena Stewart, England

Further Reading:
Before and After | UniMed Living
Everyday People in Livingness

337 thoughts on “A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words – with a Few of the Words

  1. There is so much in this blog. So many of us ‘think’ we are doing all the right things, yet are not at all because we are living from ideas about what healthy looks like rather than feeling from inside. Most of us also lack the key ingredient to start to make these huge changes in our lives. That is love from within and knowing who you truly are

  2. This is such an inspirational blog, we can get caught up in the illusion that we are doing the right thing, but when we look at our health in truth and from our body, we can see the truth that is being presented. One thing I have come to understand is no matter what, our body does not lie and it tells us the truth of where it is at. I have found it to be so supportive in listening to my body and by listening I have begun to take more care of myself and to self nurture, self love and self honour myself. This has transformed my life at so many levels. I have begun to connect to a deeper level within allowing my body to surrender and feel the deeper level of stillness. The power that you feel within when you feel the connection to your stillness is amazing.

  3. Our bodies reflect the care we have for ourselves, and although we are convinced it is about the food we eat, perhaps the food comes second, and first is the care (or lack thereof).

  4. Recently I have become aware of just how much of our weight issues and bloating can be related to emotions such as when we absorb energy from others or try and protect ourselves and not even so much about what we eat. Since attending Universal Medicine I lost well over 20k without directly trying and have stayed at a very healthy weight consistently for many years. This is because I have dealt with and healed a lot of emotional issues and do not react or take on others people’s stuff in the way I used to. What I eat and how I exercise has also changed as a consequence of my awareness and loving way. In the past I used to try and lose weight by directly tackling what I was eating and that never worked and anything I lost came straight back on and sometimes even increased. Huge thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for showing me such a very simple, joyful and healthy way of living that works!

    1. There is so much to be appreciated here on realising how emotions can harm and how often it is the core ingredient of the hurts we carry.

  5. Wow what an amazing transformation. Just look at the pictures, the body doesn’t lie, just feel the difference it makes to us when we consistently take responsibility to make choices guided by our bodies.

  6. I love the transformations you have both experienced… extraordinary beyond measure. You are both living evidence of the power of choosing a way of being that is in itself medicine.

  7. A great example of weight loss that have gone deeper than the physical level. How often do we add self -care and see-love to the diet menu?

  8. Every time I see you two, you are looking more younger, more healthier and more full of joy. You are both shinning examples of what our life can be like when we commit, take responsibility and listen instead of overriding our bodies. What more can be said, the pictures say it all.

  9. My favourite parts of this transformation are the discovery of Jonathan’s sense of humour and the dramatic improvement in Rowena’s health. The playfulness, joy and vitality of your relationship is a testament to all you present here.

  10. When we focus on what we do to as our main source of self-worth we are utterly dependent on the outside world feeding us our sense of self which is if we are honest in today’s world is quite unreliable and inconsistent.

  11. “Relinquishing comfort eating, (caffeine and alcohol) in favour of addressing the underlying emotions and to feel the effects of the foods we eat”
    By comfort eating we create a downward spiral as we dull ourselves more and more and cannot feel anymore what is truly beneficial for our body to be vital, healthy and joyful.

  12. There is no such thing as perfect and I can completely relate with what you have shared about life and the way we live being a form of medicine, this is so true and also what I have learnt from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. It is not about being ‘fixed’ or striving to a place where we can be ‘better’ both of what I tried to do and of course it doesn’t work its like pushing yourself upstream in a river .. very hard work that goes nowhere because it is not true and goes against the natural flow! With weight yes food and drink of course have an impact on our body if we eat unhealthy foods the whole time especially sugar and alcohol this will definitely have an effect on our weight but we can also become bloated and overweight from taking on other people’s emotions, absorbing life instead of observing it which while I am writing this still know I have a little bit of work to do in this area. Great to see the after photos of you both, WOW the difference is HUGE and really lovely to hear the personal things you have shared of what has unfolded for you both like finding Jonathan’s sense of humour and a dramatic improvement in Rowena’s health. Gosh it also goes to show how people in the so called ‘health’ industry do not lead healthy or truly loving lives themselves, this again I can relate to from my past. With Serge Benhayon this is the complete opposite and so inspirational he truly lives a life that is dedicated and committed to deeply loving and taking care of himself the whole time as he knows how he lives has an affect on another. Now that is what I call living responsibly!

  13. I am struck by the openness and willingness you both had to stopping the never ending trail of self improvement when you felt the truth of who you are. No need to find solutions only the possibility of taking responsibility for one’s own choices, very inspiring thank you Rowena and Jonathan.

  14. What is beautiful about Universal Medicine is how much absolute change you can register on an after-image in the knowing that what brought you there was not following an image on how you have to look like.

  15. There is certainly more at play than what we are willing to see when we overeat, eat comfort or junk food. When we are willing to address the underlying cause of our eating behaviours our body weight then begins to adjust naturally. When I feel the urge to overeat I know there is something I have been and am avoiding.

  16. “It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.” Such a simple way of expressing such profound changes that are evident in the photo and felt deeply.

  17. You should do a 2017 after photo that will once again blow everyone away like these photos have! You have both just kept on transforming and committing to life and are a constant inspiration to so many.

    1. Good point Aimee – there are alway further, amazing and profound changes in students of the Universal Medicine community from when their photos were taken previously, even if only a year or so ago. An indelible record and confirmation of the power of true love and the Ancient Wisdom Teachings when lived on a daily basis.

    2. This is a great testament that true health, vitality and beauty is not dependant on targeting the external appearance and photo-shopping, it is the way we live, our relationship with ourselves, with people, with life and the world we live in.

  18. Committing to life and introducing a foundation of self-care and self-love allows the body to discard that which does not belong to it, creating space for our bodies to return and align once again with the natural flow of the universe.

  19. I found for me the link between my weight and the emotions I carried from things that had happened to me. I would carry a lot of things that had hurt me or shocked me in the past and they were still very much alive in my body from day to day. As I began to look deeper into these my weight became steady, in fact it’s pretty much been the same for the past 3 years. Before Universal Medicine I would have fluctuations of weight up and down and I would never keep to the same weight for long periods. Weight loss hasn’t been in my mind or what I intended but I saw weight changes from how I was with myself. How I treated myself, the care and consideration I offered myself at any point. I was amazed what my body was carrying in it from the years gone by and I wouldn’t have even been aware of this without Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  20. Making life all about work has been a big factor in my life. I made my life about work to seek the recognition and approval I so desperately craved from those around me. I can still fall into this behaviour feeling racy with a tendency to push through and then find myself not eating properly but I am becoming aware of it in my day. With awareness I choose to respond differently by taking a rest or I take myself outdoors and go for a walk.

  21. Rowena and Jonathan there is the most profound change to be seen in your before and after photographs – there is no doubt that the choices you are making have significantly changed your health and wellbeing. A deep and lasting self healing.
    “It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.”

  22. There seems to be much more to healthy weight than just the food we eat. The emotions, the unresolved unexpressed issues all build up and affect how we feel about ourselves and this in turn would affect what we reach for in the food we consume. From speaking to one or two people they have expressed that how they feel about themselves does impact on their body and the weight they carry and I wonder from this if there is much more to weight loss than just the obvious calorie surplus or deficit.

  23. Those pictures are worth a thousand words – the message couldn’t be any clearer; it is truly amazing what happens when we become honest and take responsibility for our choices: only then can we change how we live and how our life is.

  24. It’s a completely different way of life when self loving choices become our foundation, instead of trying to lose weight to alleviate low worth or meet a body image ideal, or being “healthy” based on what an outer authority deems this to be. Each body is unique and the process of listening to and supporting ourselves via the body and what it communicates can lead to a true state of health and wellbeing because it’s from the inside out.

  25. Life is about constantly evolving. It is a stark contrast to how I used to live a life of comfort choosing what I wanted and allowing the pictures to sustain my way of living. My life did not flow – it was a mess in all areas as Rowena and John have contested. How soon did that change when I took hold, and continually do as this is evolving and a for-ever-deepening relationship with self, of how, I loving want to be treated, and, what is needed around me to restore the same ill-consciousness and behaviour. “It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR lifestyle has become OUR MEDICINE.” It is worth choosing to have a life about evolution – constantly seeking what is next and enjoying how life can flow beautifully inline with the plan on what is needed next.

  26. This point you raised stood out for me: “Arrogantly believed that our way of living in general not only supported our well-being but was beneficial for us”. It is amazing how opinionated and defensive we can be about our harmful ways even when our bodies are very clearly giving us messages that the way we are living is not working.

  27. This article opens the question as to how much does our lifestyle affect our health? From what is shared here, greatly. So, therefore how much can each one of us support our communities and medical facilities by simply supporting our bodies? We all are responsible for the dire straits we find our health services in.

  28. Being committed to being ourselves.. what would the world be like, if we lived like that, instead of the versions of ourselves that we think we need to be, or the commitments that we’ve made to everything else outside of ourselves, and put above actually being ourself?

  29. The biggest thing that supported me to lose weight was learning to not absorb other people’s emotions. I used to walk around like a sponge taking on all sorts of things like another’s sadness etc. I learned from Universal Medicine to observe and not absorb and once I understood this the weight just naturally fell away and has never been an issue since.

  30. Everyone has a natural body shape – this is something that I had never considered before Universal Medicine. The current understanding is that food is the greatest enemy to our body shape but I have come to realise that it is every thought, belief, ideal and unresolved hurt and issue that has informed my shape and weight. They are sitting all over our bodies. This has exposed the evil in much of what society feeds us about who we should be, how we should be and the credentials we should aim for. There is much here to be considered.

  31. To me it is all about really connecting to that amazing delicate and tender body of me that in turn made me take truly care for it. Without this connection I would still be in the same disregarding relationship with it I lived before I found Universal Medicine.

  32. As the beginning of this article explains, Universal Medicine never talks about weight loss. What it talks about is self love, and if the end result of applying the overarching principle of self love to one’s life is the loss of excess weight then that is fantastic, but it is actually not what self love is ultimately meant to “achieve.” Rather the point of healthy eating has a much deeper purpose to the esoteric student. For whilst it is definitely about honouring true physical needs of the body, it is ultimately about creating a body that is more sensitive to feeling the energetic fact of life, and about creating a body that can hold the vibration of fire, or God’s light.

    1. Absolutely Adam, and as the sensitivity is heightened, that is what we have to choose to be OK to feel again. The food that dulls that sensitivity often bloats us. Holding more fire in the body supports us in every facet of our lives so well worth saying yes to that fire and support next time the choice to dull it comes round again.

  33. Self love may seem to be a narcissistic impulse. And the truth is to a certain extent it is as it suggests – all about self. But the problem with understanding true love, which actually has no self in it at all, you must first be able to apply its living principles towards oneself, so that you actually live it. For true love is a vibration, and an energetic vibration, not something you can give to another, or share, or actually keep for yourself, and it is by virtue of truly living its qualities that you inspire another to connect to the same quality of being that innately resides within themselves, although perhaps dormant and yet to be activated. And so, self-love is actually the mental process that is the bridge between love-lessness and true love, for it is the putting into action certain ways of living that create the movements that in themselves then make it possible for true love to be connected to.

  34. ‘It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.’ Well said, thank you for your sharing your amazing transformation – you both are living miracles of what’s possible when we make our life about love.

  35. You have shown that weight loss is not just about losing weight and that losing weight alone does not change our lives. It comes down to the quality of living and the choices we are making that really make the big difference

  36. I can absolutely testify for these two, they are amazing, it’s interesting as I have found out on weight over the past year an it’s not from eating more it’s from holding onto something. It’s almost like I use it to protect myself, as a guard, when all it’s doing is dulling me.

  37. Often when we see weight loss in people there is still a marker of holding back and not letting go of aspects of their life that we can still mask after the physical weight has disappeared. What has been interesting to observe here is the difference in the eyes and the facial expressions where there is a level of letting go for all to see not only in the weigh department but also of the beliefs and ideals that can keep us from sharing our true qualities with the world.

  38. The pictures really do speak for themselves, you look more ready for life in the 2nd one, more responsible and more engaged. Serge Benhayon did the same to me – he asked me if the level of love and care I was bringing to another was equal to the amount of love and care I brought to myself… tumbleweed moment. It is not about weight loss but there are SO many positives to bringing more responsibility about the way we live into our lives.

  39. We are capable of enormous changes in ourselves when we connect to the divine spark that is within us. The more we live true to the impulses of that divine spark the more our natural beauty and gorgeousness shines through.

  40. ‘Discovering Jonathan’s sense of humour.’
    Interesting that when we change our lifestyles the body can be more open and able to expressing the truth of who we are – from there, our uniqueness, lightness and playfulness can be naturally let out from within.

  41. It is always great to remember that the way we live is actually our medicine, so if we live life in accordance to our being life is good medicine and when ignore the natural signs our bodies are communicating to us makes life bad medicine.

  42. I love seeing this before and after because it is a testimony to the power of true medicine. Serge Benhayon talks about medicine as the way we live and this feels to me to be so true as how we live either heals us or harms us.

  43. What an incredible story. Many people see losing weight as the ‘end goal’. Your story shows that the most incredible transformations start with a simple choice to be honest and loving with ourselves.

    1. Great point Leonne. I am discovering and witnessing more and more how our body shape is the end result of the choices we make, reflecting the degree of love we hold for ourselves. And as you say love being at the heart of all great and true transformations.

  44. The choices we make in he way we live are reflected in our body. When we honour our body as a vehicle of true love then it reflects a lightness physically and energetically.

  45. “It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.” A gorgeous example of how one movement towards responsibility for one’s life choices can bring such vitality and love back to the body. Truly awesome thank you Jonathan and Rowena.

  46. This is a mind boggling transformation of two lives and the amazing thing is that I know of literally hundreds of similar transformations all of whom would credit the teachings of Universal Medicine for the changes to their lives.

  47. Many people loose weight but if we just look at the fact someone has lost, and in some cases, and incredible amount of weight, we don’t see what else has truly transformed or what hasn’t really. With Rowena and Jonathan they took a big dose of ‘this is who I am’ and have been letting it out ever since.

  48. Fabulous testimony to Universal Medicine and to you Rowena and Jonathan! . . . “It is through OUR choices and endeavours that OUR LIFESTYLE has become OUR MEDICINE.” . . . I love it! Love the photos also as I have not seen you for years I may not have recognised you!

  49. With the support of Universal Medicine and lifestyle choices I too have seen huge transformations of many that have rid themselves of the ideal and beliefs of dieting by choosing quality living. So often dieting relates to dropping the weight and looking at the physical aspect only, but what is often buried is the root causes that not dealt with lead us back on the merry go round of weight gain time and time again.

  50. Discovering that our self-worth was not found in the things I did or achieved was not only a huge turning point in my life but also very liberating from the insatiable drive that was running me, to succeed or achieve in order to feel a sense of worth and value. I now realise that who we are within is already valuable to no end, and when we live in connection to this quality we then understand that true fulfillment is available to us in every moment.

  51. THIS is the REAL DEAL. No doubt about it! All those fads, dieting trends, beliefs about foods and what’s good and not so good and the best diets and all those other health crazes do not ask for any responsibility what so ever. They do not work simply because they do not deal with the root of the issue. Universal Medicine’s teachings offer a way of being that is naturally responsible and not just practically but to our every energetic intent as it comes from an understanding that all we do impacts on all no matter what. This is what makes living this way so simple and so powerful yet equally very empowering and gorgeous.

  52. Your story shows how if we do live in a way that is not true it is actually poisoning the body energetically and that is physically seen in many different ways but most often in bloating and gaining weight. That is for a part why by letting go and choosing a more true way of living often also leads to weight loss as the poison is not constantly added to the body.

  53. There are so many modalities, forms of treatment and therapies out there that promise and proclaim that they do so much or are beneficial – when the truth is when we find that it is these that don’t work it exposes that the actual need that is driving a quick fix or solution is the real problem. For there is much healing in simply accepting what is happening to ones body and moving in healing steps accordingly.

  54. ‘we can make more self-loving and self-nurturing choices in our day-to-day lives. Weight loss is often a natural occurrence when these choices are implemented in daily life ‘ And there is consistency, with no weight fluctuations as a beautiful, steady rhythm is embraced in life..

  55. Being a fashion stylist, the first thing that I picked up on your before and after photos is that when you were living in choices which did not truly support you there is a certain sense of style which accompanied it. The clothes from the before picture conveyed a sense of lifestyle which feels more removed from life and more individualistic, and in the after photo the clothes conveyed a feeling of much more being in life. But more than just clothes, the before photo feels more lonely and the after photo the joy is very apparent.

  56. Pictures really do speak a thousand words… what you both reveal now Jonathan and Rowena is The Livingness in action and glory – the simplicity of making self-loving choices and what that then brings about to our physical body (and to so much more.)

  57. There is no ‘magic pill’ in life…but there is real magic in learning to be more truly self-loving. Jonathan and Rowena are evidence of this fact…as am I. I too have lost a significant amount of weight, not because I have been dieting, but because I have made more loving choices for myself. There are many other benefits too – but what it comes down to for me is that I am choosing to be ever more of who I innately am – and this is a wonderful thing.

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