Writings

Health


As we're digesting the hang over symptoms of Christmas the question of health starts to sneak up and the approaching New year is traditionally the time we choose to move towards new resolve, and grab the subject of health by the balls.
Health
These days of plenty when I've indulged in all the holiday goodies and chosen to watch cartoons with Iomi instead of sweating on the treadmill or mat, serves as a reminder of the necessity of health, cause I'm feeling it.
The older I get, the more my body reminds me of how fragile it's complex ecosystem is. I remember when I, as a twenty something year old overdid it, which happened a lot. Days or nights, or days and nights, of excess could very easily be exorcised by just a few hours of extra sleep, a brisk walk to the nearest coffee shop and strong cup of java latte.
It's a very different scenario now. I can no longer get away with overindulging without feeling the repercussions in my body. Just like my old Toyota needs more maintenance to keep up it's performance, this aging body asks for more detailed care in order to keep functioning.
It doesn't help of course, that I throughout my life have taxed my body a lot. I have been an overeating, vomiting dancer, a serious experimenter of different kinds of highs, an avid smoker and was for many years one of those people that eat with complete disregard for nutritional content.
So I have moderately or intensly, depending on the season, abused my body in many ways.
With the help of my meditation and yoga I have uncovered some of the reasons why I was so hell-bent on self destruction, and now I am trying to soften the impact of those years by treating my body kindly.

When we think of health, usually words like detox, exercise, colon cleansing and vegetables come to mind. And even more so as we're approaching New year's. The tantalizing prospect of starting from Day 1 again gives us extra fuel to get that membership to a health club and try those new and improved diets and products, that with their promise of reversing time and damage make us feel hopeful again. This of course can be a great way to get back on the health train, but since I'm now, through circumstance and history, dealing with the issue of health as a slightly more pressing matter, I'm seeing that it needs to be approached from a much wider perspective.

In the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Health (in human beings) is described as "The extent of an individual’s continuing physical, emotional, mental, and social ability to cope with his environment", suggesting a more intricate state of being that needs to be looked at from more angles. It extends beyond just juicing and cardiovascular training. It involves looking at the big picture.
A good place to start is by examining where the habits that rob you of health and well being come from. I'm not only talking about smoking, eating, drinking or not being able to get off your living room couch, but also the ones that lie underneath, like stress, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, denial, insecurity, self punishment... those feelings that steer you towards whatever habit that provides temporary relief.
Through this more complete health check up, that doesn't only involve the medical, your patterns will emerge. How feeling lonely, incapable, ugly or fat makes you take certain choices and actions. You get to know yourself and what makes you tick a little bit better, the mystery of why you can't quit smoking or feel compelled to roam the fridge in the middle of the night, is revealed. And once it's out in the open, once you've acknowledged your shady stuff, it feels a little bit less dramatic, maybe even humorous, and from there the process to change that dislike of yourself and the non healthy choices that stem from it, can begin.
So, as we now, on the cusp of this new year, make resolutions to get healthy, let's look at the big picture of what health is, and let our resolutions include cultivating a more loving, and more healthy relationship to ourselves.

 

 

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