Think about it, what if you had a partner you lived with. Things were going fine for a while, no problems. Then suddenly they decide not to communicate with you. Oh, but you love them, I mean really love them, so you let some time go by.
Three months goes by, you are concerned but you do not want to crowd; more time goes by. Six months later, they decide to communicate with you. They say to you, “ok we can communicate, but only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7 to 8:30pm”, because that is all the time their schedule will allow. Then they say, “When we communicate, we can only communicate about what I want to communicate about”. What kind of relationship would that be? Would it be harmonious, comfortable, at ease?
On the other hand, what if you and your partner live together, and you come home to find they have done something that you don't like. You'd probably say, “Honey, I don't like when you do that."
They reply, "Oh, I’m sorry - OK"
Nevertheless, the next day you come home, they’ve done it again. So you say, “Honey, I don't like when you do that - so please do something else.”
They say, "Oh yeah – OK."
However, the next day you come home, you find they have done it again. You say “hey, I don't like it when you do that so please don't do it”!
They say, "Oh yeah – OK."
Nevertheless, the next day you come home, you find they have done it again. What kind of home would that be? Would it be harmonious, comfortable, at ease?
There is a belief that terminal dis-ease is the Spirit trying to leave an uncomfortable house. Moving from ill health to wellness involves growth and change. Pain or illness guides one through the door of discovery, getting them in tune with their inner Self. At some point in every ones life pain and discomfort is inevitable, there will be pain and discomfort to heal and move toward wellness or there is pain and discomfort to remain in the state of dis-ease. Western medicine focuses primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. When taking a step back and looking at the paradigm for health and wellness in today’s “sophisticated” world, there are basic understandings of natural harmony that our modern society absolutely fails at instilling into our psyche. I recall visiting Switzerland some years ago, my friend, and host during this excursion, worked as a Shiatsu therapist in a local Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). I was fascinated to understand their concept of an HMO. Apparently, it was a requisite for its members to have at least one body-therapy session per week, whether that be Craniosacral, Massage, Shiatsu, Reiki, etc. it didn't matter; it was a requisite to look after your own body; to take responsibility. I thought about how natural that was, how correct. Then I look around our society today in the USA and see how normalized medication and surgery are; the quick fix. It’s easier not to take responsibility, after-all, in our “civilized” world, who has the time? The Eastern thought is that there is an energy circulating through the body, which need be kept flowing and in balance, in order to stay healthy. Dis-ease arises when the flow of energy either stagnates or becomes excessive, creating an imbalance of the Five Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood). The way classical Chinese medicine was practiced in "the old days" was such that a patient would visit the doctor and receive whatever treatment was necessary (i.e. acupuncture, tui na, qigong etc.), they were given their herbs and their exercises; homework so to speak. So long as they did their part and remained healthy, they visited the doctor as instructed and paid him promptly. However, if they became ill, the doctor would be required to make house calls at no charge.
At some point in everyone's existence, the Universe asks the question: "Who is going to take responsibility for your wellness?" Most people turn to the world outside themselves for answers, happiness and even knowledge. Its unfortunate that we are living in a time when the average person does not even know where their organs are, let alone how they work or how they relate to psyche and consciousness. Therefore, when the Universe does ask the almighty question, one is so ill informed, unprepared and overwhelmed that they have no choice but to turn responsibility over to a “higher authority”. We did not come with an owner’s manual but we do have a lifetime warranty for recuperation.
Exactly where the discomfort is, or precisely how much pressure to apply, no one else knows; each of us is our own best doctor. Our mission, as fully functioning human beings, is to discover our methods, practices and exercises that put us in the place where we allow our recuperative energies to flow. Happiness, health and well-being do not come from someone or something outside and illness and discomfort is often an indication of growth, a turning point, which is usually positive.
We encounter so much within our lifetime: television, radio, news, sports, rhetoric, information, people, ideas and inspirations. What inspires us, the information we gather and the people we allow into our realm, in relation to how much we are exposed to, is quite minimal when you really think about it. The choices we make, sometimes consciously sometimes not, in the end, all have their significance within our perspectives of our true self, our destiny so to speak. In that respect each experience, each person, each inspiration acted upon, defines our realities and our expectations. They are an acknowledgment of self, a confirmation of one’s existence, necessary in defining and being in harmony with our Universe. Each day we are granted, we must arise and accept our realities as they are. All we can ever hope to influence is now - today. With discipline and directed efforts, we carve, shape, mold and define our expressions of self and the quality of our lives. Without those directed efforts, our existence could be equated to that of a weed growing in an open field, whose existence is just as organic and just as valid as that of a rose. But then, it's not a rose.
Cultivating body wisdom encourages self-reliance, which demands at the very least, the recognition that all one needs to know lies within Self. Unlike simple understanding, which is one dimensional, where the intellect is engaged in order to comprehend yoga, martial arts, Pilates, Dance class or other practices, realization is three-dimensional. It is the simultaneous comprehension of the body as a whole entity – externally, energetically and internally. Healing and the cultivation of a conscious deliberate life lies not in what is known and understood, rather it is what is constantly practiced.
What I think, is my mind – What I feel, is my heart – What I do, is my life.
Concept: if you have a seed, a tomato seed, a flower seed, it does not matter. If you put the seed in fertile soil, give it sunshine and nourishment, it will discover its potential and grow towards its fulfillment. We are always more potential than we are actual. Actualizing our potential is growth; a step toward life, the unknown. To do otherwise is… well, otherwise. Let’s just say it only feeds dissatisfaction. And so it is with everything, especially a consciously considered life, joyous living and self-realization. Create a fertile environment, plant seeds and potentialities grow; self-fulfillment is inevitable.
So here’s the big secret:
When you feel good, It’s not because the world is right…
It’s because your world is right!
Granted one person’s bliss could be another’s hell. What remains absolute however, are the three aspects of human existence that can be consciously and consistently cultivated to make your world right.
There is a saying in the Yellow Emperor's classic on Chinese medicine that goes:
7 bites of food = drop of Blood and
7 drops of Blood = one drop of Qi (Vitality).
7 drops of Qi = one drop of Jing (Vital Fluids) and
7 drops of Jing = drop of Shen (Spirit / Mind)
Digestion and elimination facilitate the transition from food to Blood; conscious breathing facilitates the transition from Blood to Qi; restful sleep facilitates the transition from Qi to Jing; and the transition from Jing to Shen is facilitated by ones personal practice. So there it is, internal, energetic and external:
Digest and Eliminate – Breathe and Sleep – Practice.
Monitoring and adjusting these most basic cycles is the first step toward cultivating well-being on every level; if we have an idea of what is going on inside, we can begin to manage what is going on outside.
There are only two times during our existence that we are perfectly "balanced", prior to birth and upon our demise. The reality is being healthy is a dynamic process that is constantly in flux, adjusting to our external and internal environments. How our mind and body works together determines our psychological and physiological processes and clearly affects our equilibrium.
Equilibrium is defined as:
A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system - mental or emotional balance; poise
Disease is defined as:
A condition of ill health or malfunction in a living organism - any disordered or unwholesome condition
Balance is defined as:
A state of equilibrium or parity characterized by cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces
Homeostasis is defined as:
The ability or tendency of an organism to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes
American Heritage Dictionary
The diagram below attempts to illustrates equilibrium in a state of constant change, moving through balance into homeostasis then again through balance and into homeostasis.
We can all relate to (A) in the diagram, those unfortunate times when we've experienced a sense of dis-ease. Likewise, most of us can relate to (B), those moments of centeredness and clarity usually resulting in some peak experience. We are limited only to what we have learned within our lifetime to maintain homeostasis. Ideally, (C) is a more apt illustration of the equilibrium we would like to permeate our lives.
Cleansing, building, faith and creativity facilitate clarity and strength. Clearing out all that impedes self-awareness and conscious realization of who we are, what we are doing here, and the doing means getting on the life side of life rather than the death side; stepping into life and the self we’ve only dreamed of; in reality there is nothing else, nowhere else; only here and now.
Gratitude, Bliss, Truth, Faith, Compassion, Communication and Love are all-important! Change is the essence of life.
Please feel free to post any comments, questions or concerns.