A healthy lifestyle addresses all of the aspects of our lives that contribute to our ability to thrive physically,socially and psychologically. No stone should be left unturned. These three components of our lives are integrated. They support each other, inform each other and work together as a unified whole that is the cornerstone of true health.
As you already know. I am a stickler for efficiency when it comes to health and healing power tools (strategies, techniques). I am a believer in the acronym KISS: keep it small and simple. So anytime I find a tool that is not only safe, effective and efficient, but addresses more than one of these crucial areas of our being at once. I incorporate it into my way of life. One essential power tool that I discovered over 30 years ago and have been committed to for over 20 years is the practice of meditation.
Meditation practice addresses the physical body through relieving stress and resetting the sub-conscious, life maintenance faculties of our being, in the way that you re-start your computer after a minor crash.
Meditation teaches us patience and to pause the constant ego chatter that prevents us from truly hearing and connecting beyond our own self interest, without becoming a slave to tribal, common senser standards of right and wrong.
Meditation also acquaints you with that part of your self that is quiet, non-judgmental and most important enduring. The part that is always and forever in the here and now, which is all there is. Making this acquaintance is the key to mind health and to tapping the wealth of the psyche.
Here is another simple meditation practice you can begin today.
- Find a comfortable, quiet space.
- Sit erect, but not tense on the edge of your seat.
- Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly (your chest and shoulders should not rise and fall).
- Mentally scan your body from head to toe for areas of tension and release them.
- Now, begin counting backwards from 100. Counting one number for each inhalation and each exhalation.
- If at any point you lose count, return to 100. Do not become frustrated. Losing count is normal in the beginning. It too shall pass.
- When you arrive at 0, just sit quietly and listen. Just listen.
- After 5-10 minutes, very slowwwly open your eyes.
- When your focus fully returns to the outer world, slowly stand and end your practice.
Run this experiment for 28 days (four weeks) and keep a journal of your experience during the practice and of new things you notice in your physical, social and psychological life since beginning the practice. Come back and share with us your findings.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!