As one of my favorite gurus, Yoda, counsels, “Do or do not; there is no try.” We must first clearly and firmly determine to make something happen before it can become reality. This sentiment is echoed by motivational speaker and life coach Mary Morrissey, who likes to say, “Everything is created twice–once in the mind and then once in the physical world.” Will you make a clear determination to be healthy in 2019? Why is it so important to take this mental step?
Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice. In holistic healing, it is understood that our physical health cannot be separated from our emotional, mental and spiritual states. Disharmony in or between any of these parts of ourselves can lead to dis-ease or a state of poor health. By making a clear decision we want something to happen, we are halfway there.
DOING THE HARD WORK
Next we need to re-assess the way we view pain and physical symptoms. For example, instead of running to the medicine cabinet to rid ourselves of discomfort at the first sign of a problem, it’s important to take a beat and acknowledge the symptom first. Just like any other relationship we have in our lives, we must try to understand what is at the heart of the discomfort if we are going to keep it from reoccurring. It may be reflecting deep internal conflict, tension, anxiety or disharmony. It is certainly trying to help us learn something about ourselves. By taking the time to do the hard work of self-assessment, we can uncover the cause and take steps to resolve the symptoms at their core. Making complete transformational health changes are next to impossible without engaging the mind’s influence in the process.
CHANGING YOUR MINDSET
The third part of the process is understanding that we are meant to be healthy and happy despite our past health history. The mind and the body are in constant communication with each other. The body perceives the universe through the five senses and sends messages to the mind about it. The mind then interprets the perceptions according to our beliefs, which are often based upon our past experiences. Finally, the body reacts in the way that it feels appropriate. Shakti Gawain in her bestselling book, Creative Visualization, notes “If the mind’s belief system (on a conscious or unconscious level) says that it is appropriate or inevitable to get sick in a certain situation, it will signal the body accordingly, and the body will obligingly manifest symptoms of illness.” What might this look like?
- A woman believes that it is inevitable or likely she will get sick if she is exposed to a communicable disease. Her child comes home from school sick, and the mother immediately begins experiencing symptoms.
- A man dies of the same disease as his father and at approximately the same age.
- An adult who grew up in foster care as a child gets sick in order to get love and attention.
- A husband conflicted over a presentation at work that he feels is unethical gets sick or has an accident to resolve the situation.
- A working mom won’t allow herself to relax unless she is sick.
- A father of five represses his feelings of overwhelm and eventually dies of cancer because he cannot resolve the internal conflict between his emotions and his belief that it is not okay for him to express himself.
While there can, of course, be physical imbalances that create health conditions, the mental and emotional contributions to physical ailments cannot be ignored. Determining that it is natural and acceptable for us to be healthy despite environmental conditions and past experiences is an important part of the overall process.
THE 3-STEP PLAN
- Determine that you deserve to be healthy. WRITE IT DOWN!
- Internalize that you CAN and WILL be healthy no matter what by practicing daily affirmations and creative visualization (Yoga Nidra)
- Take the necessary steps to support your new belief system by eating right for your body type and following a healthy daily routine. Note: this will become easier when your mindset cooperates.
And one more thing….Be patient with yourself throughout the process. You aren’t shooting to reach a short-term diet goal here, but rather a transformational long-term lifestyle change. There are bound to be mis-steps and course corrections along the way.
Enjoy the process as you make 2019 your best (and healthiest) year yet! And if you need assistance, contact Positively Ayurvedic for a consultation, personalized treatment plan and ongoing guidance. Namaste!
The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at email@example.com.