You’ll wake up for about 25,000 mornings in your adult life, give or take a few.
Even though they can’t all be magical Disney sunrise song bird mornings on the beach, it turns out many of them can.
And there’s definitely ways to improve and start your day that are important for overall health, wellness and happiness.
They’re simple, easy to do, and done earnestly will truly elevate your life.
Let me give you a recent personal anecdote.
A few months ago I was having some health issues that were hard to address. Although they felt like one thing, the area of the pain suggested that the problem could be a huge host of things, none of which I was comfortable with exploring in any conventional way aka probing, drugs, surgery and the like. I saw one puzzled doctor after the next. I was poked and prodded and my blood drawn at every turn. I was suffering big time, and I was scared that I may have no solution. On MD #4, I was putting my shoes on and asked her the question, ” What do you think it is?”
She adjusted her glasses, reached into her lab coat for a pen and said, “Well it could be anything. Cancer…”
After that the room kinda started spinning.
My dad passed away from cancer just over a year and a half ago, making that pseudo-news particularly alarming. No one wants to hear those words as a doctor’s stab in the dark. Nothing will quite ruin your day like being told you might have cancer, no matter what your background with it is.
After a few moments I collected myself and tried not to panic or go to a bad place with this. I did my best NOT to google (too much) and I tried to stay off the news or dramatic TV shows for any amount of time. Instead, while battling this pain I had no name for, I dug deeper into my personal health and conscious. I started re-learning and connecting with my body… and what followed was drastic.
Anyone can feel that the mind is filled with bewildering floods of thoughts that are extremely difficult to pin down. Psychologists often use the term “stream of consciousness” to describe how the mind flows, but recently brain researchers have found not a stream, but cascades of brain chemicals. Unlike a stream, they have no banks, but flow anywhere and everywhere they please.
A huge issue that I first dealt with in trying to gain control of my pain, moods and emotions is that I was focused on:
“I don’t want the Pain.” instead of
“I want the Control.“
These may seem like two ideas with almost no difference, but learning that they worked as separate entities – and why they worked– was essential to my healing.
1. Take The First Step
The first step is to Ask yourself: Am I truly trying to be healthy/be a better person/live a better life?
Most people will automatically say YES, of course! Why else would I have read up to this point, you dingdong?
Well, I tell ya… back in the day, thinking about “changing my life” was actually really… very scary.
For me – and actually, for most people I speak with – changing your life means a tremendous shift, a great value assessment, a complete 360 in what I was willing to accept and do and be. It was a change in where I was going to live, what I was going to do with my life, who I’d be willing to keep company with, how I would sound, speak, and treat others. This meant – although I didn’t know it at the time – becoming a completely different person. Getting totally uncomfortable in even normal every day behaviors that I didn’t used to think twice about. The way I carried myself, my opportunities, my voice inflections, my approach, and my behaviors, shifted gradually with my thought patterns.
In this case, it involved accepting and constantly seeing my body and mind as a gift and an opportunity, instead of a nuisance, and giving daily thanks for what I have. Shifting my mentality from sickness to health. Seeing and feeling comfortable instead of frustrated and trying to rid myself of the pain. I had to begin…
Accepting good thoughts instead of bad ones.
Accepting what is happening instead of what I want to be happening.
Focusing on what I want instead of what I don’t want.
These thoughts have all changed my life.
2. Accept It (Dammit!)
Being sick, being emotionally immature, being dependent on drugs or being in pain provides us an opportunity that a lot of people find comfort in: to be lazy. To procrastinate. To put off our goals and dreams until tomorrow. This laziness is truly the hardest thing for people to give up, because healing is work, and it’s truly all mental. You’ll never make a permanent, lasting change to your actions unless you change your ideas, no matter how badly you want to heal.
Healing means having no more excuses. Nothing less.
And, to point out the biggest and most universal discourager to you right now: True Healing is quantum, which means it is invisible. You cannot see yourself healing. You will notice little things, or some loved ones may point things out to you, but it does not happen overnight. There’s patience required, which will be a problem for a lot of people.
21st Century medicine focuses a lot on tracking down solid disease-causers and eliminating them, but most of your mental and physical healing does not work that way. But as long as you are trying, it has been scientifically proven ( <– that is worth a good click!) that you will see a difference.
Let’s be real: Nobody knows you better than you. The frustrating reality, as far as medicine is concerned, is that we already know that the living body is the best pharmacy in existence. It produces painkillers, diuretics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antibiotics & indeed, makes them much, much better than they come in pill form. (Read more about this here!) The dosage is always given on time, the side effects are minimal or non existence, and it’s part of a stream of built in intelligence that is almost effortless when in proper working order.
This therefore means that intelligence is not just mental – it’s everywhere in our bodies: our cuts heal without us thinking about them, we react to a hot stove before we have the chance to feel the burn & our bodies process and digest food that helps us grow and thrive without a hitch each and every day.
Learning how to tap into that process – instead of masking it or fighting it – is the key to becoming our most perfect selves.
3. Learn The Rules
People who can turn anxiety into excitement, turn tragedy into prosperity or turn dis-ease into meaningful opportunities to heal are ahead of the game.
There are certain unchangeable laws in the Universe, and they don’t come in pill form. Take Gravity for instance. Despite your “Karma“, despite how you treat others, when you drop something on the floor, Gravity doesn’t decide that because you’ve been a very good person, it will suspend it’s laws so that what you dropped does not hit the ground. It makes no distinction between if you are a good person or a bad person. Thoughts, like gravity, have real weight and real gravity as far as our mind-body connection is concerned. These laws do not get suspended for ANY thoughts (<– that link is also worth a good, strong click!) – not even short term bad ones. Wishing someone ill, discouraging yourself, cursing yourself for being sick, any kind of envy, even road rage, is not only a waste of your time – it is poisonous for your cells.
A good analogy – and my favorite example – is Music. Let’s say you are watching a pianist play some Mozart. Where is the Music? You can find the music on many levels – in the vibrating strings, the trip of the hammers, the fingers striking the keys, the black marks on the paper, or the nerve impulses in the player’s brain. But these are just codes: the reality of the music is invisible, beautiful, and tangible without ever being part of the physical world. Your thoughts, though never part of the physical world, are having an affect on your body at all times.
Like Music, the body doesn’t have to get rid of it’s molecules altogether to change, or mask them with drugs: it only has to learn to re-form them into different chemical patterns. We are constantly building patterns to look through that tell us what is real: this does not stop for a moment ( presumably, until we die.) If we see the pain, there is pain. If we don’t, the pain is gone.
4. Shift Your Focus
When you focus on the Pain – even when you focus on not wanting the Pain, you are giving the Pain the Power. This is true for your mental as well as your physical state. This truly took a really long time to sink in for me personally, so I’ll type it out once more: It’s true for your MENTAL as well as your PHYSICAL state. Focusing on ANY kind of pain – even if you feel completely justified in doing so – even if you feel so wronged you are sick to your stomach – even if it seems impossible to ignore – is hurting you.
There is only one cure for this, and that is Coming Back To Yourself.
Coming back to the body, learning yourself, spending time in silence and really feeling what is going on between your cells is an essential part of a healthy development. This is not something anyone has ever taught me, and truthfully it’s something I really need to constantly remind myself of, encourage in myself and the people I keep close to me. No one ever taught me that sitting beside a stream could heal my emotions, that taking a walk was essential to my back pain disappearing, that taking time in the morning to stretch and talk to my body could be life changing in fighting cancer and disease. But I’ve learned it, first by opening myself up to the idea, then by trying, then by being earnest, then, truly, by watching miracles happen in my life.
5. Remember Who You Are
We already know that the human fetus develops by remembering and imitating the shape of fish, amphibians and early mammals. This Remembering is something we carry with us throughout our lives. Nature is your healer, because Nature is you. And honestly, we live in a world of mostly dead matter. We surround ourselves with dead things – dead houses, dead furniture, dead mechanics, dead food. Urban life is Nature’s worst enemy. When we have found Nature, we have found Medicine. Not only are all of the pills you have ever taken for anything derived from something natural, you came from (and will go back into) the Earth, regardless of what you choose to do with your body after death.
Taking a walk cannot hurt you, sitting down and meditating in silence cannot hurt you, waking up in the morning a little earlier and doing some yoga cannot hurt you, which is why I think that it seems to scare so very many people. It sounds too easy. It IS too easy. And for some reason, we still want a pill-fix, not an intuitive one.
6. Keep Calm
I encourage you next to treat yourself as your best friend & be kind to yourself. This will mean something different for everyone. For example, for me it means spending time in meditation, having silent time, reading, creating art with others, sharing my creations, listening to my body, keeping negative thoughts & people OUT. It means eating well, joyfully, mindfully and nourishingly. I spend a lot of time finding real peace, learning myself, finding what I enjoy: and doing it. I enjoy exercise, am off of all pharma, I take my Vitamins, I do my very best to treat my friends and loved ones and family the way I want to be treated, I live in a tranquil place, I listen to my body, I accomplish my goals, I don’t go out if I’m too tired, I forgive myself, etc. Some of these may seem very small or not very insightful, but they’re things I’m really proud of. Taking responsibility for who I have become, and being proud of that person, is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.
For some reason, it made sense to me once upon a time that medicating – that putting something inside my body – was the solution to subduing or controlling my mind.
But I was never encouraged to use my mind to control my body.
7. Take Responsibility
I speak with a lot of people who are so caught up in their job, their pain, their exhaustion, their emotional instability, or their anger and anxiety that they make no connection between how they feel mentally and how they feel physically. These are the people who are so often sick, battling allergies, struggling with relationships, feeling trapped, struggling with anxiety, are on medication for ailments that doctors have said are chronic. They’re willing to discuss with me why they’re on a bunch of medication, or in an unstable relationship, but they’re not willing to discuss the root of it, or how they plan to change it TODAY.
And I always find the same thing: they are taking no time at all – not even FIVE MINUTES A DAY – to learn themselves. They think it’s entirely unimportant, that their pain is permanent, and “is something they have to live with”. They think that their poor relationships are not negatively affecting their health. For years I believed all of these things – and far more detrimental things – about myself, and could not be convinced otherwise, even by people who already knew what I know now about learning your body. Boy, do I feel foolish.
Appreciate your time, your health and take pride in who you are. If you’ve stumbled upon this and gotten this far, chances are you’re very privileged & blessed, and willing to open up your ideas about yourself.
I had a friend who is moving recently ask me what I got rid of when I moved from NY to LA – what was hard for me to discard, what I wish I’d kept, etc.
I said that honestly, I left a lot.
Both of my guitars, all of my books, all of my furniture… and that in leaving so much, I wasn’t extremely prideful about what I kept. I ended up misplacing a lot of what I wish I had carefully stored away. I didn’t see the care and opportunity in what I owned. I’ve since learned my lesson (my recent pack/move was practically painless and very carefully done!) and my advice to her was to pack what she is proud of, and then analyze the rest. At the very least, you’ve put things in perspective. But it got me thinking: that is a great message to carry throughout life:
Take Pride In Who You Are
Do What You Are Proud of First
Take Time for Things You Love
Give Thanks for What Makes You Happy
Whatever is left can be handled accordingly.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live life half-heartedly. There’s a perfect person inside of you waiting to be well and glowing and fit and healed. I promise.
As for the end of my story, within days of that scary doctor’s visit and armed to the brim with my new commitment to wellness, my pain had disappeared completely. Although I did a few follow up appointments, it was hard to pinpoint the cause without any pain to speak of, and I have since received a clean bill of health. I have proved – to myself – without a doubt – that I hold the key to my own personal health and wellness. And I am the only person who needs to be convinced. 🙂
Photographer: Tim Kothlow
*Brought to you in sponsorship with Prismsport