There are numerous things we could be doing at any point in time to improve our health. Exercise, taking deeper breaths, eating more vegetables, spending more time in nature, and taking the time for gratitude are a few. So why don’t we do these things? We make excuses like time, money, or life getting in the way. Today, I would like to address another often overlooked factor. Self-worth. Self-worth is the first step towards self-love and caring enough about ourselves to take care of ourselves. Taking care of yourself means you care about yourself. It means that you know you deserve to feel better and to be disease free and happy.
The first time I meditated was not by choice. It was my first year of acupuncture school and I went into it with my very western mind. I had no interest in working on myself I just wanted to get my 4.0, my degree, and begin my career. I had no interest in becoming some New Age weirdo. I was very good at judging others and when I look back at the unhappiness that caused me, I cringe.
The school and the very nature of Eastern Medicine had requirements beyond my grasp at the time. I had to learn to walk the walk if I was going to talk the talk. I was supposed to be centered, present, and happy so I could give the best treatments possible and lead by example. My eyes rolled.
Sitting in the classroom with a teacher telling me we were going to meditate exasperated me. I was poised and ready with my notebook and pens and they wanted me to sit with my eyes closed, or stare at a candle, or listen to music, or do Qi Gong. I was paying thousands of dollars for this? I thought it was a waste of my valuable time. I loved the “I should” game back then and so while they told me to breathe in and out, I sat there thinking … I should be studying anatomy, studying point location, practicing with other students, making index cars, or doing my laundry.
They say there is no wrong way to meditate but I disagree. If you are not ready to take on meditation, if you are going to sit there and think about what a waste of time it is, you are doing it wrong. I know because that is exactly what I did for longer than I care to admit. Then, when I finally became interested in learning more about it I would sit there and think about how I was doing it wrong because I didn’t feel like I was levitating or having any major breakthroughs. It took me three years to really figure out that meditation is not about striving or putting yourself in a position you do not what to be in. It isn’t even something I have to do because I am an acupuncturist and all the other acupuncturists are doing it. Meditation is a tool, a process, and a learning experience. However, first mediation has to be something that you’re open to and actually want to do.
There are spiritual, physiological, and psychological benefits to meditation and now that I have invested some time in it I can tell you it is worth some investigation. There are also numerous ways to do it. I have been to meditations where you listen to rock music, soft music, guided imagery talks, singing bowls, body scans and sit in silence. I have been to food meditations, laughing meditations, screaming meditations, and crying meditations. I leave all of them feeling better than I did when I walked in. Finding the right way to meditate for you is important. For me, sitting in an uncomfortable yoga position for four hours isn’t something I am willing to commit to, especially after I tried it. However, ten minutes a day sitting in silence or listening to soft music is enough to help me start my day from a state of peace and helps me to stay present and focused. I have found the right way for me and I hope this writing encourages you to explore for yourself. Books, CDs, articles, classes or even videos on YouTube just might help you find the right way for you.
Do as many things as you can today that will make you happy. Do as many things as you can that will make you smile, laugh, or feel joy. I know its a workday, but you can fit it in. I share this picture because looking at it makes me smile. I picture myself on the coast, watching the waves, hearing the way they move and breathing in the ocean air. We can find happiness anywhere and everywhere we just have to learn how to look through the right lenses.
Then don’t buy into it…
We live in a culture that prioritizes certain things. Money above all followed by work, important titles, looking the part, fancy jobs, fancy cars, big houses, and degrees on a wall. The draw of the superficial can be tempting. So we must reinvent for ourselves to choose something better.
We can create our own culture. We can choose what we want to prioritize. We can choose what is valuable to us and find others that feel the same.
Maybe your culture is painting, friends, music, good wine, laughter, love, and hula-hooping. Maybe your culture is dark chocolate, cupcake decorating, giggling, and laser tag. Don’t be afraid to let what is really important to you be really important to you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or feels, it matters how you feel. It doesn’t matter what society will think because society has created a culture that doesn’t make people feel good. . .And that is just silly! We all deserve to feel good all the time. We all deserve a culture that lifts us up and whose goal is happiness for ourselves and others.
The current culture thrives on disagreements, fighting, fear, and drama. If you don’t believe me, watch the news or a reality TV show. You must have the courage to create your own culture. A culture that makes you feel good about yourself and others. A culture that chooses to applaud life’s rewards instead of competing for them. A culture that knows there is enough for everyone. A culture that values love, happiness, and cooperation over stuff.
If I happen to go into your house or into your office or anywhere you might have this particular piece of technology it will take about 1.5 visits before I casually ask you to throw it away or blurt out “Did you know that microwaves destroy up to 97% of the nutritional value of your food?” So I will try to keep this short because the details can be overwhelming. I will tell you simply that the research strongly points to cancer causing effects, a decrease in the nutrient levels in your food, and biological effects, including nerve problems. I stopped using those cancer boxes long ago. It doesn’t take long to heat food up on the stove or to use the toaster oven instead.
I will share from The article Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell the following:
Ten Reasons not to Use Your Microwave Oven
Based on Swiss, Russian and German clinical studies
Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term, permanent, brain damage by “shorting out” electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].
The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in micro-waved food.
Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating micro-waved foods.
The effects of micro-waved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent] within the human body.
Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all micro-waved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down. (Especially B, C and E vitamins)
The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in a microwave oven.
Micro-waved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This has been a primary contributor to the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in the United States.
The prolonged eating of micro-waved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
Continual ingestion of micro-waved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
Eating micro-waved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.
For more information please read the article you can find by clicking the link below: