When we talk about health we think about our ability to function well and independently for a long period of time. We think about our physical body. We know that our body is a complex mechanism that consists of skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, and many other important systems. For the body to work well all the systems need to be in balance.
To continue our discussion, let us first agree upon the major issue: health is good, health is natural. health is a gift and a right. This article is not on philosophy or theology. That is why I won’t be focusing on such things as the causes of sickness in this particular writing. Yet is is very important for believers to know that God’s will is always your ultimate health and well-being. Believing otherwise can slow down the process of healing and may negatively influence your body.
Of course, God’s ultimate goal is your well-being on all levels: wholesome and holistic. This writing will concentrate only on physical and maybe slightly on psychological health, but spiritual health or the health of your soul (if you believe in one, or mind if you believe in none) lays as the foundation of these. Goodness did not create misery and agony. Who did? As with sin, it is very much important to know, that regardless who particularly our religious tradition blame as the founding father of all evil, most of the times we create our own misery and the suffering we encounter is very often our own fault.
Regardless who you think created these bodies (even if you share an opinion that there was no creator at all whatsoever) let us agree upon this: our bodies have the system and the ability to realize that there is a problem within them, and they have the inner ability to fix this problem or heal on their own.
What is this ability to realize that there is a problem?We usually sense or feel that this or that organ or part of the body hurts. When this happens, we know that something needs fixing or adjusting. This capacity to realize what is going on in the body is not intellectual. It is a different type of body-mind intelligence that is called sense. We sense or feel pain or pleasure, we do not need to intellectualize about it.
Let me tell you this: modern man has somewhat lost this innate capacity to sense. It is not sharp in him anymore. We need to go to the doctors and see the blood test results to find out that we are dehydrated. Really? Or at times we see parents reminding their children to put on or take off some clothes: “You are hot; you are cold…” Won’t a child know? At least let us agree on this: that state of ignorance is not normal for humanity, it cripples us. So what is wrong with us?
A lack of common sense literally and figuratively is a great part the cause why our bodies don’t heal themselves so well anymore. A lack of this ability to sense goes against our natural ability to heal ourselves. So, first step towards healing is understanding oneself. I do not mean intellectually, I mean intuitively, instinctively. The first step towards healing is feeling!
What does it mean to feel? When I say feel I am not talking about a touch. I am talking about a certain type of listening to your body that will bring you an automotive feedback. You listen to your body with attention and care. When we speak about senses we usually refer to the five sense organs. The feeling I am talking about is not like that. With which of your five senses do you feel pain or discomfort? This discomfort is usually located inside your body. The 5 senses are directed outside. How do you know that it is your hand hurting and not your leg? Do you need special tools to tell you or do you simply know? Now, how bout knowing what is wrong on the inside? Can you distinguish with the same ease if it is your blood pressure that is too high or too low, whether it may be your heart rate, or may be the blood sugar dropped or is higher? Do you need measurements to tell you this? Why can’t you use the same mechanism you used that allowed you to distinguish whether it was your hand hurting and not your leg?
Have you ever heard people saying “there is something wrong with me?”How come we came to the point that we do not really know any more what exactly that is? where does this separation from the body come from? If something got inside your eye, what would you do? Will you take your hand, maybe water and come up to the mirror? In any case, I relieve you’d try to pull this thing out. You hand will almost automatically come to rub your eye, right? Why can’t we react similarly to discomfort caused by or to our inner organs? Or can we? I do not mean that we will take our hand and rub inside our bodies.
Yet have you heard that you can lower your blood pressure with the help of some simple breathing techniques? Or that you can lower your anxiety level and even control severe panic attacks completely? And you do not need to be a doctor and diagnose yourself to do this. If you learn to calm down and relax, most certainly your inner organs will start functioning properly on their own. A great number of our sicknesses are caused by stress. Others are caused by the lack of exercise and poor diet.
Let us stop treating stress as something positive. Ease is positive. Stress is negative. We need a certain type of intelligence to learn to operate daily with ease. We also need to practice. But when we practice healthy approaches to life, what exactly do we practice? What is this type of intelligence that can help us leave our lives healthy and with ease and how can we practice it? this type of practice is very different from any other type of practice. If we practice driving a car, soon driving becomes our second nature, and we start to drive automatically. So we can say that usual practice results in automaticity. The kind of practice that is needed for healthy living is just the opposite. what we must practice is alertness, openness to new experience, wakefulness, being totally present…
If we teach ourselves to be totally present every moment of our lives that quality of our alertness itself will be our helper and our healer. Let us talk about his quality a little more. On one hand it sounds almost miraculous. On the other hand it sounds confusing. What is it? It actually is a simple quality we all have. Some has this quality more developed than others. All humans have it. Animals can pay attention to what is going on around them very well, but they cannot do it on demand.
If your hearing is good, then you probably have no difficulty hearing the sounds in your room and outside. Yet only when you choose to do so on demand, only then do we start talking about this special quality. This quality has been called by different names but the names can sometimes confuse us more that having no names at all or having different names. What we need to understand clearly is that we need to practice paying attentive on demand.
So, what do we need to pay this attention to? Well, in real life, actually, to everything. In case of physical health – to your physical body in general and to very element of it in particular. But when we talk about practicing the quality of attention, we start with simple things. Let’s start with our five senses and practice paying attention to their objects one at a time. For example we can find an object of hearing that is some sound or that other and practice listening to it for two, three, five minutes in a row. You will immediately notice that doing so is not easy at all.
This quality will not automatically solve all our problems at the beginning, especially because at the beginning it will not be very strong, but with practice you will surely notice how it can help you recognize things you had never paid attention to before.
And interesting thing about this quality is that it pacifies or calms down every problem without even fighting it. It gives you feedback, insight, helps you to solve problems both easy ones and hard ones, and helps to come up with unexpected decisions. You’d be soon surprised what you’d start noticing. Not just more noise or that you are too hot or too hyper but also that you became mad, jealous or upset for no reason. And please, tell me this, if there ever is any good reason to be mad?