Some time ago we talk about diet, pH balance, and adjusting the environment of one’s body. Transforming our bodies from a toxic underground akin to the New York Hood, where police fight a losing and endless war against nefarious thugs who threaten to overthrow the entire ecosystem, to a growing, balanced environment where the cells in your body are nourished in their natural states and genetic structure isn’t mutated abnormally (which is the source cause of all Cancer).
One book, although seemingly written for the valley girl and the soccer mom, balls up these philosophies into a single book called ‘Crazy, Sexy Diet’, written by Kris Carr. Her backstory is an interesting one; she was diagnosed in 2003 with a rare and incurable stage IV cancer. She launched a campaign against the cancer, and absorbed as much about diet, cancer manipulation, and the truth about how our bodies operate, as most scientists, in probably a third of the time. She hasn’t done the traditional treatment and her Cancer is stable and controlled at last report. You can find out more about Kris Carr at her website.
From a physiological perspective, creating a hospitable environment in our bodies sounds fundamental when you think about it. For thousands of years, we’ve only had the earth’s produce to sustain us. Meat wasn’t always available and our bodies naturally found balance between the two kinds of foods (plant-based and animal-based). It only makes sense that the more we selfishly augment our food for commercial growth without an eye on the nutritional repercussions (the 50s-80s are to blame for this), the more toxic it is for our bodies. Eating food that’s got chemicals in it is no different than breathing air that does. You wouldn’t choose to breath in smog or exhaust, right? Believe it or not, that’s actually a choice that people make every day (See: SFCA, NYNY, and many other large cities who have a perpetual air-polluted cloud over them).
The great news is, even if you don’t decide to adopt 100% of the book’s ideals, you’ll see improvement. Hundreds of studies done from institutions all over the world agree that the body, when offered the chance to recover and thrive in a health environment, always recovers very quickly despite its’ damage, so long as that damage is capable of healing. More good news: Most of the ‘damage’ caused by bad diet decisions and poor body maintenance can be reverted very quickly, so long as the environment you introduce it to is a happy and healthy one.
Let’s talk about chemicals that our body produces. Have you ever wondered why we feel emotions? Not spiritually or mentally, but chemically, as an organism, what do emotions serve? Of course, fear drives us away from things that may eat us, happiness drives us towards things that we like, but consider this: A University of Pennsylvania study reported that emotions are a two-way street to your body’s natural responses to physical changes. What that means is.. if you’re unhappy with your body, and you feel sad about it, those emotions will actually make your body less capable of sustaining itself in the state it’s in. Conversely, if you are happy with yourself, then your body will naturally try to sustain such a physical state. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” — or more simply put, happiness begets happiness, so being happy makes you happy, which makes you happy, which makes you happy. Happiness is the way.
But something has to start that chain reaction right? Enter a positive mind, a healthy body, a productive and fulfilling lifestyle, and giving yourself time to perform regular true, honest inventories of yourself in order to assess your state. I mentioned Thich Nhat Hanh earlier; he’s a Zen Master who has written many books. Two of my favorite are Peace is Every Step and Peace is Every Breath, both of which offer methods for introducing meditation and mindfulness into our daily lives. This is not a religious book and, in keeping with Buddhist philosophies, is highly readable even if you are not a Buddhist because Buddhism isn’t a religion in the traditional sense; it’s a path of spiritual guidance and a way of learning and teaching.
Facing ourselves can be hard. There are many psyche-blocks we have designed to dissuade such an event. We have justifications and reasoning for how we treat ourselves or how we think. We have dodges that blame or accuse others, that deflect inspection under the guise of mental pain or what-have-you. But when you give yourself time — even just 10 minutes — to sit quietly with yourself and observe the contents of your mind as if watching a movie or looking through a crystal ball, you’ll find that your mind wants you to talk about things and show you things that you have yet resolved. It will ask you to observe them and you should — don’t push them away. When they show up, breath and listen to your breath with your awareness. Say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know there are tensions I must face. Breathing out, I let those tensions go.”
When we nurture our bodies, cherish our spirits, respect the Self, and embrace our minds, all as if they were a small child who we want to protect, we find ourselves in a profound state. A state that allows us to face any fear because we know we have the tools to negotiate it. A state that allows us to reconcile our anger, to step away from our emotional responses, and to fill ourselves with positive thoughts and joyful compassion. Spend 3 months like this; sitting with yourself for a few minutes a day. You will notice profound differences and you will give yourself a gift that will last with you for the rest of your life.
Image from The Science and Adventure of God