For too long now, we human beings have abdicated responsibility for our health and for our own illnesses. As youngsters, we believe everything we are told by our parents, our schools, the community, our friends and our religions. We are shaped like clay from childhood and the personality that shows up in adulthood is a result of all our conditioning. Naturally, as children, we don’t think too much about what beliefs we are asked to conform to, but as adults, we need to. As mature human beings, we have the mental tools to distinguish between the ideas that nourish both us and other people, and those that don’t. The trouble is, practically all of us just cruise along acting out our unchallenged beliefs, and only when our lives go to pieces or we get horribly sick, do we start to wake up to ourselves and begin asking the right questions.
Today, we need to really think critically about what we ALREADY subconsciously know about health and the body (people like me just alert you to your own inner knowing). Deep down we all know that eating the right food isn’t the complete answer to our problems, and neither are proper exercise or clean living conditions the solution to all our ills. As I point out over and over again, good health requires a combination of all these things, the most important aspect (and often the most ignored) being our attention to the quality of our thoughts and ideas.
I learned only this morning that an aunt and uncle of mine, both in their early seventies, are quite ill. My aunt has rheumatoid arthritis, and can barely get around, and my uncle has a serious heart condition for which he has had numerous surgeries. These are people who for the last forty five years have followed a macrobiotic diet, drunk pure bottled water, declined any type of caffeinated drinks, avoided sugar or artificial sweeteners, refused salt, restricted their intake of over-spiced foods, done different types of yoga, taken every type of health tonic and pills, and preached the gospel of healthy living to anyone who would listen. According to the beliefs that we are brought up with, the two of them should have been those kind of seventy-somethings that I saw when we went trekking in Nepal, embarrassingly fit people who charged up and down steep mountain steps in no time at all, leaving us fifty-something ‘youngsters’ to catch up with them some five or six hours later. Instead, my aunt and uncle are two people who are now struggling with the effect of years of bitter thoughts directed at family members, rigid ideas about the way people should live their lives, and ideas about their superiority over others. They took care of every facet of their health except their ideas.
Every person reading this has a similar story to tell; stories of people who ‘defied the odds’ in one way or another in terms of their health. There are those who smoke forty cigarettes a day and die at age eighty, others who don’t smoke at all and die of lung cancer. Then there are those who DO smoke and DO get cancer and we shake our heads and say ‘smoking causes cancer’, as if smoking was the MAIN culprit. My point is this: Wake Up to the Truth. Become aware of your whole self; your body and your mind. Take responsibility.
And when you encounter ill-health, take charge. Go to your doctor or natural healing practitioner and get a proper diagnosis. Take your prescribed medication. And most importantly, begin an investigation of your thought processes. Following these steps can be of help, though once you begin, your own natural impulses will guide you and reveal the answers (though it might appear so, this is not an academic exercise; this is simply one that is designed to make you aware of your inner life and one that encourages you to begin listening to the stories that exist in your mind).
STEPS IN DIAGNOSING YOUR UNHEALTHY THOUGHTS
STEP 1: Identify the system of the body within which your illness is located. e.g. Severe earache: located in the sensory system.
STEP 2: Tune into the type of discomfort that is presenting itself. e.g. A kind of painful throbbing sensation, it ‘moves along’ as if it is travelling, kind of like electricity moving along a copper rod. It feels like throbbing impulses.
STEP 3: What does your analogy ‘electricity moving along a copper rod’ remind you of? What answer resonates most with what is happening in your ear? e.g. Waves. Energy moving in waves. Sound waves.
STEP 4: What other parts of the body are affected? e.g. A nerve runs to the teeth, they hurt a little.
STEP 5: How do they hurt? Describe the discomfort. e.g. It hurts when they grind together naturally.
STEP 6: What function does grinding of the teeth perform? e.g. It digests food.
STEP 7: What uncomfortable events are happening in your life at the moment? e.g. My husband is facing work issues. The company he’s worked at for twenty years are down-sizing; they’ve asked him to relocate to another city really far from here. The other alternative is to stay in this town and look for another job, but work is scarce…
STEP 8: How did you feel upon hearing the news? e.g. It was the last thing that I needed to hear. My brother and his wife and kids have only just moved to this town to be near us. I haven’t spoken about it to my husband since he broke the news, I’ve been so upset.
STEP 9: Where do you see the link between the illness and your thoughts? e.g. The news was painful to hear.
STEP 10: And your teeth? Think in terms of the Digestive System. e.g. I still can’t digest the news.
STEP 11: How can you adjust your thinking processes? e.g. Try to embrace the news with grace. Talk to my husband about it all. Listen to all the options; offer some options. Try to accept that life changes even when we don’t want it to. Things happen for a reason, even if we don’t understand what the reason is in the beginning.
This is a just the start of your journey to identifying your beliefs. In the beginning, it will not always be easy. Getting a doctor’s full diagnosis often helps, because you can see clearly exactly what is physically wrong and then feel your way through the rest using the questions above, or your own adaptation of them. Often, serious illness itself generates a lot of emotional expression, and in its own way brings us what we need to know about ourselves. Focused introspection using these steps is not always necessary.
Getting in touch with our body, mind and soul brings us the gift of wholeness. Just listening to ourselves is the first step towards real self-love, and a giant step in the healing of the collective soul of humanity. With that, I leave you in love! Till tomorrow….