Where does one begin and start the journey towards real health and happiness? I think the journey needs to start with the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clean environment and water. Without these one would just struggle to survive and real health and happiness will be just a dream. In Canada we are blessed and most people have these basic needs met.
When the survival is ensured we need to be free of disease and this is what I do in my office most days, try to keep my patients free of disease. I have been thinking for a while that just being free of disease is nowhere near the optimal health and happiness we are capable.
“Optimal health and happiness”, what exactly is it ? It is probably best to start by stating what it is not. Optimal health and happiness is not having a fantastic muscular body free of disease and having a smile on your face all the time, rather it is something to do with having enough energy, being able to do things you love without pain or discomfort, being able to make lasting relationships, being able to love and be loved, being able to be free of irrational fears. It is being content, being able to negotiate through life ethically, compassionately and with ease, it is eating the right foods, it is about keeping active and exercising, it is to be in the right company that will nourish your soul, it is about having right thoughts, it about seeing reality as it is, its about making commitments, its about having good habits, its about being grateful, its about helping, its about accepting help, its about having good concentration, its about being able to see and live with your own thoughts, its about touching and holding your loved ones, its about appreciating nature and beauty , its about feeling beautiful inside even when on the outside things are tough, its about having a beautiful mind, its about connecting , its about being curious, its about listening to your heart and not just your brain, its about being comfortable alone by yourself, its about having enough rest , its about protecting yourself from information overload and noise, it about having spiritual life , its about having faith and about much more..
It seems that the happiness doesn’t come from external goods but rather it is cultivated over lifetime. To look for happiness outside oneself is a useless endeavor. We will talk more about this in the future posts.
Quotes without comment: -
“ We do not acquire or preserve virtue by the help of external goods, but external goods by the help of virtue.”
Aristtotle, Politics, Bk. V11, Ch.1 (4th cent. B.C. )
“If you are in good emotional health, you should be able to respond appropriately to whatever situations you encounter: to feel appropriately happy about good forture and appropriately sad about bad, to be able to feel appropriately angry or frustrated about the state of the world and the annoying behavior of others and to let go of these feeling once you’ve acknowledged them. It is important to remember that our moods are supposed to vary through both the positive and the negative regions of the emotional spectrum………..It is near the balance point that you will find resilience, contentment, comfort, and serenity.”
Andrew Weil MD, Spontaneous Happiness Ch.1 page 19 and 21
- We’re at the beginning of unraveling (iamnotshe.wordpress.com)