We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s easy to assume that folks should do the right thing, but it’s not always so easy. We are a product of our upbringing and follow what we have been taught. For some, that’s as far as it goes. For others, it seems to be a progression of learning and changing. I hope that you fall into the second category. Staying stagnant in this changing society of research and new information may cripple your life in more ways than one.
Here in the west, we view the human body as a machine. As a matter of fact, my late husband often referred to me as a machine. What he meant though was that I was able to keep going and accomplish a lot in a day's time. I am, by far, no machine.
This body, the machine, does malfunction from time to time. Too much stress, not enough exercise, unhealthy relationships and poor nutritional choices eventually have consequences on our machine. So what do we do? We make an appointment with the doctor, explain our problem. We leave with a prescription of some sort and an appointment for a follow up. When our body starts to deteriorate or become diseased, more medications or surgery is recommended to keep the machine moving. Parts are replaced with new parts or worn out parts are removed. This is what we know. This is what we have experienced. This is what we do.
On the contrary, in the East, the human body is thought to be more like a garden. Have you ever had a garden? Do you just throw some seeds on the ground and hope for the best? I hope not! A garden has to be planned. The soil is prepared and the seeds properly planted. The garden is then tended to by removing weeds, cultivating the ground so the plants will grow. Watering and sunshine are also a valuable part for the plants to thrive. At the end of the season, the gardener is able to reap a bounty of tasty vegetables that brings a joy and satisfaction. In the same way, if we were to garden our bodies, we will be able to benefit from the rich rewards.
Shouldn’t we then look at our bodies in the same way as the gardener? Rather than waiting until something breaks, perhaps we should consider tending to our body like the gardener. Getting the necessary balance in our lives by having nurturing relationships, work that we enjoy, a spiritual practice, and moving our bodies each day will give us a frame to build on. Tending to our bodies each day, much like the gardener, will allow us to know ourselves better than anyone else. Cultivating growth, weeding of stress, giving valuable nutrients will allow the body’s immune system to be on guard and fight off diseases.
What will you do differently today to cultivate a healthy life experience for your and your family? A health coach may be able to help you get started. This is a person who is a bridge between you and the medical system. Someone who can help you reach your health goals by actively listening and engagingly supporting what you want to achieve.
Health bite: Choose to grow your garden