Author: Mary Westley
I came across this picture a few months ago and have been waiting for an opportunity to use it – and this is it. It reminds me of those times in my life when I have felt a little bit manic…well maybe a lot manic…actually, the truth is I used to feel like that most of the time. I get tired now just thinking about how I used to live, although at the time I thought I was ‘fine’.
In my bygone Human Resource Manager days I used to work with a delightful woman. She had a great big heart and couldn’t do enough for everyone, although she felt it was her responsibility to try anyway. She had her finger on every pulse and a reputation for getting things done. If you asked her how she was, she would nod her head up and down a little bit too quickly and say ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’. If you listened carefully you could hear a slight shrillness in her voice and a touch of desperation.
The underlying reason why we are getting sicker is because we are disconnected from our bodies and usually don’t know how we really feel. I have never heard this expressed more appropriately than one of my clients describing what it was like before we worked together.
“I also didn’t feel like I knew I had a body, except when it was in pain, and then I would go and ask someone else what was wrong with me. I didn’t question why I was in pain or why my body was not functioning the way it should. I was never taught that I had a body that needed consulting”.
This blew me away when I read it…”I was never taught that I had a body that needed consulting”…if that isn’t an indication of disconnection I don’t know what would be.
Today we often don’t see or hear the warning signs that enough is enough, that something in our life isn’t working for us. These often start out as small annoyances that over time become the norm. We say “oh that’s just me” or “that always happens“, when our bowels are a bit stuck, or stomach bloated, or we are experiencing joint or back pain, or have a headache or can’t sleep well…and the list goes on. These are actually the first signs of disease, or ‘dis-ease’. Signs that something is interfering with our bodymind working as it is meant to. That it is out of balance.
If we don’t make the connection between the way we eat and live, and our symptoms or we do, but are attached to that and don’t want to change, the remaining options are to either ignore the symptoms and ‘soldier on’, or to take something that will mask them. The myriad of pills in pharmacy’s, and even supermarkets now, is an indication of what most people choose. If we continue doing whatever is causing the imbalance, over time the symptoms will progressively increase, often over years, and low and behold one day we go to the doctor and we are told we have…………..(fill in the space).
The Ayurvedic understanding of the disease process is something I will explore more fully at another time. It is sufficient now to get the message that it starts with how we eat and live, how we live includes our thoughts and feelings. Put simply by one of my teachers, Dr. Robert Svoboda, “it is the little things that we do every day, or don’t do, that determine our health and wellbeing, or lack of it”.
Another of my wonderful teachers, Dr. Claudia Welch, adds another dimension when she suggests that, “when we have a physical or mental symptom, the question to ask is NOT what should I do or take, but rather, what is it in my life that is causing this to occur”.
Disconnection is also evident in our relationship with Nature…or lack of one. Actually, it is impossible not to be in relationship with Nature, because we are part of Nature, in fact we are Nature. So if the relationship is a given, the variable is how comfortable and positive the relationship is. When we live in a way that is aligned with Nature’s laws and rhythms then we feel healthy and well. When we don’t we don’t, it really is that simple.
Nature is not a fad and does not need improving. She knows what we need and how we need to live. She grows what we are meant to eat when and where we are meant to eat it, i.e. seasonally and geographically. She arranged for the lights to turn on and off at the appropriate time so we can sleep while our body is cleaning and repairing itself. She gave us a body that miraculously heals itself, and I believe, is capable of healing any imbalance, IF given the right terrain – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
So the upshot of this is we are getter sicker because the way we live and eat is distancing us further and further from Nature’s Laws and rhythms. Just because we can live outside them or manipulate them, doesn’t mean it is in our best interest to do so. Nowhere is this more evident than todays statistics on the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and heart conditions.
In Part 3 I will explore our body’s tolerance levels and Nature’s remedy for overindulgence.
Plus you might like to have a look at our next Living Ayurveda and Yoga course in June 2016 – an opportunity to experience living in alignment with Nature’s Laws and Rhythms.
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