We live in a rapidly changing tech-age where it is hard to keep up with all the changes going on around us. Add to that that there are more people in business for themselves, or in other words, more people trying to get our attention and our money. I will be transparent and say that I am guilty, too. I do give a great deal away, but like you, I need to make a living and as I love what I do, I’m here to convince you that my value, at least at times, will be immeasurable. Having said that, let’s get to the crux of this article. Like our children, who need to hear lessons over and over before they “get them,” or like when we have to practice something over and over before we even come close to mastering it, we also need to “get back to the basics,” and learn all over again, how important things like staying hydrated, regular exercise, proper sleep, and so on, are. I’ve been seeing challenges in people, recently, that bring me to add the following to your list: Solitude, Forming Intention and Creating.
1) Solitude; spending time alone, regularly, avoiding technology and having a peaceful point of focus or activity. That might be reading, meditating, walking, exercising, sitting, philosophizing, organizing, cooking, etc. Silence is key. No radios, phones, TVs, etc.
2) Forming Intention is the next key. This is about identifying wants, needs, cravings and using reason and discernment to choose what is best for you and then create a path towards achieving this. Utilize visualization as well as recruitment of any help you will need; physical labor, experts, reading material, emotional support, etc.
3) Creating is a vast category, but its energy is so often wasted, especially the younger generation that has become so tech-focused. Not to discount the creative energy that surrounds this industry, but there is nothing that compares to learning a skill and mastering it over a lifetime. Especially one that leads to other forms of positive creation. Hobbies and their related skills are being passed on less and less. Creating has endless categories. Here are some of them: Music, Art, Woodwork, Inventing, Gardening, Landscaping, Photography, Writing books or poetry, story-telling and so on. It takes creativity to start a business, at least some businesses. We have to use creative energy when we raise our kids! Our creative energy is called on when use our imaginations. We can create through great discussions. Have you ever had such a great talk with one or more people that left you feeling inspired? Now, back up to step 2 and when you create with intention or bring these two qualities to everyday activities AND teach and model these to your kids, your friends and co-workers, watch the productivity around you soar!
Why write about this? What is the significance, especially where the challenges I mentioned above, exist? First, they are keys to health, both the existence of balance in our busy lives, and second, many people resist when words like meditation are brought into play. The bottom line is: We need down time, rest, adequate sleep, time to think, a break from stimulation, etc. A body and mind without these key pieces are ones that are beaten down and often an adrenal system that is stuck in fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system overload). On top of this, the challenges I mentioned involve collective sensitivity to one another’s anxiety, fear, anger, etc. We are a sick society and one that is producing less and less. This is the sign of a society in decline. It is no longer enough to hold up an index finger and shout “we’re number one!” In truth, we aren’t even close, anymore. Leisure, entitlement and a whole lot of what I mentioned above, in my opinion, are keys to why we’ve sunk near the bottom in healthcare and education, just to name two important categories.
So, next time you or your child says: “I’m bored!” Get those creative juices flowing and think of activities you can do together or separate. One of the most important decisions made about my daughter was that she’d always have at least an hour a day to be alone. She would be placed in her room (or whatever environment was deemed safe, at the time) to play (no technology), rest, read, color, think, etc. As adults, we sometimes fail to honor that little voice in us that says: “I need time for me!” Mature couples take solo vacations, or solo spa days or walks in the woods, alone. Make a study, craft room or other such sanctuary and spend time there in silence.
I would also recommend enrolling yourself and/or your children in a class or group that is something other than sports/exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I think that exercise and sports are very important, but so too are opposing energies. Learn a skill. I will be offering some of these opportunities very soon.
I’m in the process of securing a special space where I may do workshops with small groups. Stay tuned by going to our website at www.yourbalancedpath.com and sign up to receive notifications. If you are on Facebook, LIKE our page at www.facebook.com/metrowesthealth and you will be made aware of classes and other special events.
Paul Gerst L.Ac is an Acupuncturist and Natural Health Practitioner of 23 years and is co-owner of The Balanced Path Wellness Center in Medway, MA. Call 774-283-2726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule or ask questions.