Health-sustaining choices

It is no longer just a personal matter. The choices we make to sustain our individual health have repercussions in the world. Of all the industrial nations, the United States’ health care bill is highest, reflecting not just out-of-control drug costs but rampant obesity and addiction. Our economic crisis is the result of decades of choosing consumerist addictions to soothe the emptiness of our lives. When we are pushed to work more and more to line the pockets of already billionaire CEO’s, the meaningfulness of our labour can seemingly only be soothed by using that money to buy things. Feeling left-out of the American dream, we plunged head-long into debt, buying houses with perilous mortgages, just to own a piece of the shrinking rock. We lost ourselves, lost sight of the true meaning of freedom: not freedom to possess, but to be self-sustaining. This freedom from coercion is now a long-lost dream, as anyone with crushing debt knows. When you are in debt, you are not earning for yourself, but for the bank. Then work is not a spiritual practice nor a creative expression, but slavery.

Enslaved people, disempowered people, tend to make poor choices. In an effort to soothe the constant feeling of unease that such an economic situation promotes, addictive behavior flourishes. Food, sex, mind-numbing or stimulating substances, buying, over-work, everything becomes out of balance in an effort to feel compensated. Excess costs. Making decisions towards health and away from addiction, debt, overwork, depression, can seem impossible. In a state of addiction, we lose touch with our emotion, we lose touch with our body, and therefore, we lose touch with our soul.We must begin to make decisions as free from compulsion as possible. To begin the ascent from such desperate places necessitates returning to the body.

Take a few minutes every day to pay attention to your body, not by walking on a treadmill watching tv, but by sitting with your limbs, organs, flesh, breathing, acknowledging with gratitude this stupendous embodiment of your soul. Be with, for, and by yourself.

Cultivate a closer and more immediate connection to food sources.

Be aware of buying as a way to fill emptiness.

Touch the earth every day.

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, without judgement.

Cry.

Choose to recycle.

Care for a plant.

Turn off the news. The world longs to be seen by You, unmediated by anyone else’s interpretation.

Serve someone with graciousness ever day.

Notice the people who serve you, and acknowledge them. Look into their eyes.

Before you eat even the littlest thing, give thanks for all that went into its making, and give thanks to your body for transforming it into you.

Awareness is the transforming agent. Acknowledging the interconnectedness of all of us, of all creation, fosters a sense of awe. Rather than being daunted by the response-ability this awareness will foster, let us all come down to Earth from the tower of our minds into the vast ocean of compassionate Heart. Understand that the life force that pulses through you IS you. Live from that place. The health and well-being of our planet depends on each individual’s own relationship with their body. How can it be otherwise? We are from earth and are the body of earth, conscious. What we eat, how we consume, what our relationship is with the plants, animals, air, and water that supports us, IS our practice.

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