What is Health? Part IV: Social Health (a.k.a., Spiritual Health)
Preface note: In this forth installment of the article, “What is Health”, as per many historical wise people’s instructions, the terms “brother” and “sister” are used to describe people and forces upon which all of us depend for survival, nourishment, and growth.
The way we treat our brothers and sisters, and the way our brothers and sisters treat us, creates cultures of health as well as cultures of disease. The extent that we influence others, and the extent that we allow others to influence us, directly affects the extent of health and disease conditions in our immediate contact culture. Likewise, the way we treat our animal, insect, and plant brothers and sisters, as well as the way we treat our brothers and sisters of the air, earth, and water, directly influence our collective health and disease states. Either we all move forward together, in growth and diversity, or we all collapse together in disease and decay. It’s just that simple.
This is not news to any of us. All the great peace leaders of all time have told us so. We need go no farther than the (real) teachings of Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Abraham, Plato, Socrates, as well as the mythological teachings of cultures worldwide to know that humanity has always understood this simple truth.
These same teachers of truth, peace, and health live, breath, explore, create, and teach us now in our culture. They are the voices of inspiration, compassion, and hope. They are the activists of consideration and thoughtful choices. They are the givers and teachers of tools that make us all better friends and family members to ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters of all creeds, species and elements.
They are the broad, long thinkers, the broad, long lovers. They are as easy to find as the lady on the sidewalk setting aside the morning appointments in order to help an injured pigeon. They are as quiet as the parents who read labels at the grocery store to make certain the ingredients in the food and products they buy are safe for their children and the environment. They are as close as the cat or dog in your home who knows when you are sad and comes around to cheer you. They are as near as the friend who sat with you for hours when your heart was broken. Their teachings are as available as the first page of Google when you type in the keywords, “peace leaders in history.”
Everyone carries around some form of emotional baggage that they have acquired from some unhealthy person or persons. The brain seems to retain a vast amount of negativity with no problem. If you are fortunate enough to have been born into a nurturing, supportive environment with parents who taught you compassion and a loving appreciation for all life forms and their struggles, then call me. I need you to guest blog for me. Most of us, however, have to struggle day by day with the compelling voices of fear, anger, despondency, hopelessness, and agony.
It is very easy for us to be cynical and defensive. Sadly, it is useless to deny that we are in a collective soup of strife worldwide. Those of us trying to spread our personal vision of perfection are easily frustrated by seemingly ignorant people who insist upon a vision different than our own. Worse, it is easy to persuade those who are steeped with anger, pain, and fear to follow a course that promises easy relief, even if that course leads to even greater fear, pain and anger, as well as self-righteousness, vengeance, thoughtlessness, and destruction.
It is much more difficult to persuade those who seek relief from physical and emotional anguish to follow a slow, rocky course of cooperation, patience, compassion, and open-mindedness. Yet these are the steps that nature follows in order to create wondrous variations of life and love. If there is one lesson that you must garner about the acquisition of health, is that you must follow the ultimate example of the processes of life: nature.
Nature’s expression of universal intelligence shows us that it is the actions we take day by day, minute by minute, hour by hour, that determine the course of our lives. Occasionally she presents the Earth and its in habitants with abrupt, drastic changes, like erupting volcanoes and tsunamis, but in her infinite wisdom she has created a species with the consciousness to understand past, present, and future consequences, and she has endowed this species with the intelligence to weather such changes through right living, planning, consideration, compassion, and love.
That didn’t come overnight. That took time to develop, and it is still developing. We call her Mother Earth because we come from her; but also we, among all other species, were gifted with the qualities of caretakers for our brothers and sisters of all kinds. We are at the point now when her children – us – must stand up and take the lessons she has taught us through her example and, through compassion, love, and the awareness of our interconnectedness, prepare ourselves and our earthly environment for our budding adulthood. We are the creators of peace and war. We choose compassion or apathy. We choose love or malice. We choose whether we all move forward into marvelous, adaptive, collective life, or fall into disrepair, disaster, and destruction.
Nature created our expression of life over time, and it was never a steady progress. It was always filled with periods of expansion and contraction. It is the way of things. Similarly, our lives are never a slow, steady, continual process of expansion. We cannot grow and change into excellent beings without periods of trial and challenges. That is the way of life in all its forms. It is okay to experience periods of struggle. The lesson is that we have each other to help out during these times!
Social health begins with each individual body. If we learn to love our personal gifts and challenges, and to be patient and compassionate with ourselves during the challenging times, we can express the same to our brothers and sisters everywhere, and together we will express social health like the world has never seen.
In Part II, Physical Health, I presented the example that when we have a flu and get mildly feverish, achy, fatigued, and often vomit and have diarrhea, and that this is an expression of health. An expression of health is not always a cheerful expression. Sometimes we have to go through trials in order to be stronger, smarter, and healthier on the other side. Our immune system needs these challenges to work effectively.
If our immune system overworks – i.e., destroys the body in order to destroy the internal virus – that is not an expression of health. That is an expression of disease. If we suppress our immune system with toxins, bad lifestyle choices, and lack of caring about ourselves, those viruses will find our weakness and destroy us. That is also an expression of disease. No parasite can live on a host that dies. No body can live without the will of the mind.
Likewise, when we face our brothers and sisters with challenges that we see, and we express love, compassion, thoughtful decision-making, helpful persuasion and collective cooperation, we create an environment of healthy progress. The body moves forward through the collective will of the people.
If we let our base emotions of fear, anger, hatred, selfishness, apathy and impatience rule our relationships and we persuade through lies, physical and emotional torture, and hate-bating, we all fall together. No parasite can live on a host that dies.
So let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start with what we can do every day in order to achieve long-lasting physical, mental, and social health. We start with our choices we make for ourselves every day, every minute.
Here are the nice steps to perfect health in all its forms.
Dr. Claire’s Nine Essentials of Good Health
Get 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep. If necessary, take in a 45 min-1½ hour day nap.
Don’t skip stretching! Stretch/Exercise 4-5 times a week (for stretch examples, go to fitzpatrickspinecenter.com and click “Events and Links”).
Proper Inner and Outer Environment
Eat small meals the size of your fist 5-6 times a day (every 3 hours). Lean protein, low glycemic veggies and carbohydrates, good fats. Add whole food supplements, digestive enzymes, amino acids, and probiotics; food quality isn’t what it was 100 years ago.
Eat food grown and raised locally. Know your farmer! Choose supplements carefully. Soap, lotion, beauty and cleaning products: If you would hesitate to eat it, don’t use it!
The health benefits are astounding. Make sure your spine/neck is in a straight line. Breathe deeply into your belly. Pay no attention to head chatter. Start with 5 minutes a day. Work up to 30 minutes a day, twice a day.
AT LEAST 3-6 hours a day spent in conscious pursuit of your bliss. Yours to choose. If your work is your bliss, all the better for you!
Straighten your spine, chin forward, tuck in, roll shoulders back and down, unlock your knees, point big toes forward, and breathe from your belly — not your shoulders.
Brush and Floss!!!
When food gets stuck between your teeth and gums, it decays. That bacteria can be toxic. You can decrease the chances of everything from the common cold to a heart attack by brushing and flossing twice a day at least.
Drink 8 Cups of Filtered Water A Day
Not tea, not coffee, not soda, not Poland Spring, not Crystal Lite, not milk…CLEAN, FILTERED WATER!
Get your spine checked regularly for subluxations and have them removed so that your body has the best opportunity it can have for a healthy expression of its nervous system. As a famous chiropractor once said, “Align the spine and mind with the Divine and you’ll feel fine!”
In the following blog posts and in my upcoming book(s), I will cover specific examples and methods that we can all use to easily incorporate these nine steps to perfect health into our lives. In the meantime, if you found these posts on “What is Health” valuable, share them with our brothers and sisters and ask them to subscribe to my mailing list so that they can be informed of all the happenings and events at OptimysticLiving. Please sign up yourself and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions and ideas. We are all in this together.
Which of the nine steps do you regularly incorporate into your day right now?