Do yourself a favour. Each day become a little healthier, little fitter, little happier and a little freer. “Those who are careful in little things everyday draw great strength and light from life,” says the Master.
It’s the little things we do that allow clean healing winds to sweep through our world, keep it a cool, fresh, verdant green and prevent it from turning into a dry, airless, burning desert.
Take the pill. For example, recently, Vijay felt his heart palpitating. On checking his blood pressure, he found that it had shot up to 203/110. He immediately got into a hospital.
Strong medication brought his BP down to 150/90. Being contemplative by nature, he reflected on what could have caused this upset. Everything was going well in his life. There were no issues, nothing to be worried about.
Survival is history. Living is today. And living well with simple little practices is wisdom.
Then it hit him. He’d had a complete check-up just three weeks ago. All his valuations and parameters were perfect, the doctor assured. Vijay felt good too, full of all’s-well-with-the-world feeling. He was so buoyant that he forgot to take his BP medicine regularly from then on! That was it. That one little everyday act of swallowing a pill would have saved him days of discomfort, worry and fear.
For strength. Annie went through a similar experience. Diagnosed with spondylitis, she was taught some exercises to strengthen the muscles of her neck, spine and shoulders. After a month of diligent exercise, she felt her normal healthy self again — free of pain, she could move her neck without that terrible twinge. She stopped exercising and the pain re-surfaced within four days.
We forget, but life does not. The mistake lies in our thinking. At some level, we have decided that medicines and exercises enslave us. See it another way: they ensure that whatever the ailment in our body, we are not enslaved by it, we are not tied down by it, we ride it and rise above it.
Exactly as Vijay and Annie had done earlier. When we take medicines and do exercises with this new awareness, we learn that medicinal and therapeutic aids are there to serve the health and life in us — to enable and not enslave. So, shift your thinking to: “I choose to use these tools for my well-being.”
Inflammatory foods cause inflammation in the brain and lead to depression.
A space called grace. To choose is to drop all resistance. To drop all resistance is to open yourself to fresh, new possibilities. Like Bharat who limped into the doctor’s clinic and said, “Doctor, my knee hurts so much; I can hardly walk.” The doctor said, “How old are you?” And Bharat said proudly, “98!”
The doctor sighed and said, “Sir, I’m sorry. I mean, look at you. You’re practically a hundred years old and you’re complaining your knee hurts? What did you expect?” And Bharat said, “Well, my other knee is 98 years old too, and it doesn’t hurt.” Like Bharat, when you carry no resistance in you, you place yourself in grace — a space of healing possibilities.
It is about thinking and doing the right little things regularly so that you never sink into illness via anger, resentment, jealousy, self-pity, depression, beliefs and lifestyle factors.
Most of us erroneously believe that life is about survival. The fact is: we have already survived the day we were born and took our first breath. Survival is history. Living is today. And living well with simple little practices is wisdom.
- Walk/cycle for 30 minutes; stretch for 15 minutes — experience definite positive biochemical effects that stave off depression, cancer and heart disease. Exercising is like downloading a healing app from the cosmos into your body.
- Meditate for 25 minutes with a guided meditation CD. It gently soothes away creases in our attitude. A mental fist opens out enabling you to widen your area of acceptance. Complexities collapse and a simple awareness lights up your insides.
- Choose anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammatory foods cause inflammation in the brain and lead to depression. A 2015 Canadian study showed that the severity of depression depended on the degree of inflammation in the brain. Avoidable foods are: the gluten in wheat, the omega-6 in cooking oils and sugar. Safe foods are: berries, tea, coffee, rice, grapes, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, chocolate, sprouts, nuts, fresh raw vegetables and fruits. Please experiment. Find out what works for your brain.
- Sleep restfully. Think restfully. Do your work restfully. Conduct yourself and your relationships in restful harmony. For harmony to pervade you, you need to be in a deep state of acceptance. The world of acceptance is full of light, vigour and wisdom. Forgoing self-assertion brings wholeness, energy and fullness to life. Acceptance has no boundaries — like the vast endless sky, it covers all space. When I see laughter in a child and a child in the laughter, when I see you in me and me in you, my thoughts, emotions and energies flow as one. There are no divisions. This is deep acceptance. It happens when I lay down my demanding little self without any sense of loss or accompanying fear in any situation. That is why there is so much ease, so much beauty and light, such pure harmony and perfect health in complete acceptance.
- Let only happy, healing, soothing thoughts hum inside you everyday, all day. Don’t allow “I’m stressed,” or “I’m unwell” to cross your mind or be expressed by your tongue. Words like ‘stress’ can become self-fulfilling, says Seth Swirsky, a clinical psychotherapist. “It can set off a cascade of chemicals — epinephrine and cortisol — in the body and neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel completely stressed out. Our hearts beat faster, our breathing becomes more rapid, our blood pressure rises, we can’t think straight and are filled with fear and anxiety.” In short, be mindful how you think and talk. Square your shoulders, straighten your back and bless yourself with, “I’m fine,” “I’m good”. A wise person told me, “There are many ways to sing.
The song of the mind is positivity, the song of the senses is beauty, the song of the heart is love and the song of the soul is purity.”
When you fill each day with your own melodious songs, with your soothing whispers of wellness, with your sunny, smiling habits, you will walk forever in healing light and be young forever.
The writers are authors of the book ‘Fitness for Life’ and teachers of the Fitness for Life programme.