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As I see it,
there are two ways that health can be an obstacle to living life
fully--either we get an illness or disease or injury that makes it
difficult for us to get the most out of every day, or we don't take care
of our health, and we suffer because of our negligence. While the
first problem is definitely important, the second one is the one we have
the most control over, the one that's in our hands, so to speak.
suffered from a debilitating disease, and believe me, I'm very grateful
of that fact. Any one of us could contract such a disease at any
time, and I always appreciate my good health. I can walk, run, use
a keyboard, do pretty much anything I want to at any time, and I believe
it's important that we're always thankful for such abilities when we
have them. On the other hand, I've read many articles and I've
seen many web sites by and about people with horrible diseases who say,
over and over again, "get everything you can out of life--you don't
know when it will end." They're not wallowing in self-pity;
they're trying to encourage others to enjoy life. The difference
between them and many of us is perspective--they've learned to
appreciate life, while most of us take it for granted.
difficult problem to overcome, in my eyes, is the person who doesn't
take care of his or her own health. We are given an absolutely
fabulous machine to take us through this journey called life, a body
that can do so many things that it's almost scary.
When I think of
the billions of components that make up my body, the constant
functioning of the neurons and synapses and muscles and tendons and
lungs and heart and other organs, I'm astonished at the beauty and
complexity of our bodies. And I do think about such things
often. I find that the more I keep myself conscious of such
things, the more beautiful my life is.
But so many of
us take this machine for granted. We abuse it, we treat it badly,
we don't give it what it needs, we give it too much of things we
want. We run it too long without rest, we don't give it enough
exercise, we ignore the many warning signals it gives us. It's an
absolutely unbelievable gift, yet we treat it as something we bought as
an afterthought in a dollar store.
We could get
into a great discussion of psychoanalytical discussion as to why
people do such things to their bodies, but I think it's much more
important to look at why we shouldn't. The benefits of not smoking
have been strongly and consistently documented, yet millions of people
continue to smoke. They aren't taking care of the beautiful body
they've been giving--in fact, they're consistently filling it with
carcinogens and other poisons. Can they be living life fully if
they're treating their bodies this way? Many smokers would tell
you yes, they are getting the most out of life, but I have to say that
I'd tell you differently--they're not. And I tell you this from
experience, having grown up around many smokers. They go through
mood swings and withdrawal symptoms many times a day because of their
addiction, and most of them don't even realize it. They don't
realize that they treat other people differently at different times of
the day, depending on when they had their last cigarette. Smokers
with children are sabotaging their own children's future health, and
conveniently ignoring that fact. They constantly face a need that
can be fulfilled only by lighting up a stick of tobacco--they need the
outside stimulus to maintain their equilibrium, and they're completely
unable to face life by themselves, on their own terms, without outside
help. You can't be living life fully if you depend on burning a
plant and inhaling the fumes for your stability.
Then there are
those who don't take care of their bodies either by not exercising
enough or by overeating, or usually a combination of the two. I've
spoken in depth with many people who fall into both categories, and I've
yet to find a person who feels satisfied with him or herself--there's
always something they want to change, and once they make that change,
then they'll be happy. They're not living fully in this
moment--they're waiting for that undefined moment in the future when
things will change and everything will be fine. Others don't eat
enough, abusing their bodies in an effort to be as thin as possible,
their health be damned. Others work too much, eating a very poor
combination of foods that sabotage their entire system with too much fat
or sugar or cholesterol.
This isn't an
effort to point fingers or attack people who mistreat their bodies, but
more an effort to reframe what's going on. If someone wants to
smoke, that's their business, and they have every right to do so.
But they must be aware of what they're doing to this beautiful gift
they've been given, and they must be aware that as long as they smoke,
they won't be living life to the fullest possible extent. They
face far too many limitations--caused by the cigarettes--to be able to
get the most out of all that life has to offer. The overweight
person won't be able to climb the mountain and see the view from the
mountaintop, nor will the drug user. The underweight person won't
have nearly enough energy to do many of the things they'd be able to do
if they ate a diet that was sufficient for their energy needs.
Nobody has to be perfect--but it's important that we keep our gift in
the best condition for our needs as possible.
You have a
wonderful machine as a body that can do things that we don't even
notice, but that make life a beautiful experience. Keep it
healthy; treat it well. Healthy people have a stronger sense of
self, and have higher self-esteem. As a result, they treat others
differently, and they face challenges with more confidence and hope for
positive outcomes. You are a beautiful gift to the rest of us, and
we want you to be happy and fulfilled, and we want you to be able to do
whatever you wish to do, without the artificial restraints of an
begin neglecting my health (and believe me, I do), I just have to read
an article by someone with a chronic disease or see a person in a
wheelchair who will never enjoy the thrill of running on a chilly spring
morning to make me realize that I'm not doing what I should with my
gift. How are you treating the gift that you've been given?
poorest person would not part with health for money,
but the richest would gladly part with all his or her money for health.
Charles Caleb Colton
There are lots of people in
this world who spend so much time
watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.
time will come when the work of the physician will not be to treat
and attempt to heal the body, but to heal the mind, which in turn will
the body. The true physician will be a teacher; his or her work will
keep people well, instead of trying to heal them after sickness.
Ralph W. Trine
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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|Health is the
soul that animates all the enjoyments of life,
which fade and are tasteless without it.
Think health, talk health,
visualize health and better health will be your reward.
can find examples of how little we value ourselves everywhere you
The signs on the front of the convenience stores where Stephen
lives in Florida
tell the story. Beer, ice, bread and milk are the
The order of the words varies, but beer and ice are
two of the
top four staples for sale. If we were all taking
care of ourselves,
wouldn't the convenience stores compete for our dollars
with signs that read "Fruit, Vegetables, Bread, Milk"?
who think they have not time for bodily exercise will
later have to find time for illness.
witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us
Each patient carries his or her own doctor inside him or
They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our
we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to
go to work.
contention is that as long as you have other faculties--the emotional,
psychological, intuitive faculties--you haven't lost yourself or even
diminished yourself. Don't be ashamed when you're physically limited
or dysfunctional; don't think that you're any less because of your
In fact, I feel I am even more myself than I was before I got this illness
because I have been able to transcend many of the psychological and
emotional limitations I had before I developed ALS.
Health is not simply the absence of sickness.
so necessary to all duties, as well as the pleasures of life,
that the crime of squandering it is equal to folly.
is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
that the body is the temple of the soul. Those who
mistreat the body tend to mistreat the soul within. Observe vital
health laws, such as exercise, healthy diet, and self-control.
Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor
material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health.
Mary Baker Eddy
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of the most unfortunate things that has come to us through what we
call "higher civilization" is the killing of faith in
our power of disease resistance. In our large cities people make
great preparations for sickness. They expect it, anticipate it and
consequently have it. It is only a block or two to a physician; a
drug-store is on every other corner, and the temptation to send
for the physician or to get drugs at the slightest symptom of
illness tends to make them more and more dependent on outside help
and less able to control their physical discords.
During the frontier days there were little villages and hamlets
which physicians rarely entered, and here the people were strong
and healthy and independent. They developed great powers of
There is no doubt that the doctor habit in many families has a
great deal to do with the developing of unfortunate physical
conditions in the child. Many mothers are always calling the
doctor whenever there is the least sign of disturbance in the
children. The result is that the child grows up with this disease
picture, doctor picture, medicine picture in its mind, and it
influences its whole life.
|Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a
bolt out of the
blue. The ground is prepared for years, through faulty diet,
overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject's
when at last the illness suddenly shows itself, it would be a most
medicine which treated it without going back to its remote causes, to all
that I call "personal problems."
There are personal problems in every life. There are secret
"People do not die," a doctor has remarked. "They
Your health is bound
to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite
of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at
brings you nothing but misfortune. Our nervous system isn't just a
it's a part of our physical body, and our soul exists in space, and is
us, like the teeth in our mouths. It can't be forever violated with
not physical or material but is spiritual. Behind the normal
habit of mental and physical action lies a Mind consciously alive
with the Life of good--active with the activity of the spirit.
William R. Miller
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Look to your
health, and if you have it, praise God, and value it next
to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we are
capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy.
avail the largest gifts of Heaven,
When drooping health and spirits go amiss?
How tasteless then whatever can be given!
Health is the vital principle of bliss.
If anything is sacred the human
body is sacred.
For millennia, shamans and witch doctors made no
between physical, emotional and spiritual healing. To them, all
symptoms were signs of something awry in the individual's
relationship with the larger universe of spirits and animal powers.
It is a
religious duty to maintain health. Eating and drinking, sleeping
and waking, and exercise not outside the province of religion. They
are as much a part of it as prayer and worship and daily work. They
vitally affect temper and temperament and the way people look at
the world. A healthy body makes for a healthy soul. It is
essential to the finest and fullest kind of life.
Robert J. McCracken
throughout the world are doing great damage to themselves
by holding sickness-producing attitudes compounded with defeat,
fear, guilt and hatred. Obviously a most important technique of good
health , especially mental health, is to rid the mind of unhealthy
Bernard Baruch said, "Two things are bad for the heart: running
stairs and running down people." This is true not only of the
but of the entire physical being.
Worldwide Laws of Life
of success in life is good health; that is the substratum
of fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A
person cannot accumulate
a fortune very well when he or she is sick. That
has no ambition, no incentive, no force.
you want to enjoy health, start this very moment to cleanse
of all wrong thinking and rid it of
every thought except the
thought of LOVE.
James B. Schafer
Our ignorance in
attaining health lies chiefly in
not knowing what to put in
I can love everything--the trees, the land, the water, my
men, women, and children, and myself--the more health I am
to experience and the more of myself I am going to be.
we begin to trust ourselves more, the body begins to renew
and becomes healthy and filled with life energy.
health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say
opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you
and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune.
is not caused by something you don't have; it's caused by
disturbing something that you already have. Healthy is not something
that you need to get, it's something you have already if you don't disturb
upon thousands of persons have studied disease.
Almost no one has studied health.
want to be healthy, do not imagine so vain a thing as decrepitude.
Make your body perfect by seeing perfection in it. Transient
with lotions and external applications is foolish;
the work must be inner transformation.
|It is widely
recognized that being negatively sensitive about one's
health through worry-imagery and pessimistic self-talk can make
and keep one sick. What is not so widely recognized, however, is
that being positively sensitive about one's
health--"listening" to the
body, avoiding damaging influences, imagining and directing healing
energy, visualizing perfect health, and so on--can make and keep
one well, as an increasing number of people are discovering, some
of them through curing themselves of "incurable" illnesses.
The Te of Piglet