What happened to all the SEESAWS? Was it the bruised knees, bleeding chins or sore behinds that brought their demise? It must have been the lawyers fueled by angry parents with sobbing children. This momentous removal was necessary to protect from playground injury. On the downside, we lost a valuable educational tool when seesaws began to vanish from our neighborhoods!
Much more than just a childhood thrill ride, the seesaw teaches us the secret to optimum health and freedom from disease. To uncover the lessons of the seesaw, many questions must be answered and truths understood. Our health is fully dependant on our belief system, knowledge and actions.
What is health? As stated by the World Health Organization, health is:
"Optimum physical, mental and social well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
According to the Vatican at the time of Pope John Paul:
"Health is a dynamic tension towards physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony, and not only the absence of illness...
In chiropractic, we also equate good health as proper functioning within a flexible range of balance. Good health is present when one is able to adapt his/her physiological and mental state to the demands of the internal and external environment. All definitions value the understanding that there is more to health than just feeling “normal.” It’s all about FUNCTION and ADAPTATION.
Does good health come from the outside? It is truly an inside job. The source is within us. It is primarily from the CHOICES that we make regarding how we think and act. We are in control! This concept is EMPOWERING!
Our level of health (and happiness) is an accumulation of our habits/choices! It is the balance between good and bad. Too many bad habits/choices cause a teetering too heavily to one side… tilting us into sickness and disease. Good choices and habits rock us over to health and happiness.
What about factors that are out of our control? Many inevitable factors exist that also weight the seesaw towards imbalance. Grouped under what is termed in chiropractic as “destructive survival values” are the following examples: pollution, allergens such as molds, radiation from the sun, genetic tendencies, exposure to weather and the body’s continuing need for cellular replenishment. Although these factors may be out of our control, we have the power of counteraction by choosing thoughts and activities that bring us back into harmony.
Where do we start? Begin by inquiring and listing:
- What are my good habits/choices mentally and physically?
- What are my bad habits/choices mentally and physically?
We need many good habits to counterweight the unavoidable factors discussed above. List answers to the questions, and see if your seesaw is balanced or slightly tilting towards optimum health and happiness or sickness and despair. In reality, this is a dance… teetering slightly back and forth as our life swings forward.
Next month’s article will further explore specific categories of our habits/choices. It will be aimed at exploring strategies for the creation of greater wellness. By taking responsibility and realizing that we are where we are because of OUR choices and habits, we can finally jump off the merry-go-round of illness and unhappiness. Now is the best time to remove our heads from the sandbox and tilt the seesaw towards abundant health and joy
In last month’s article, we took a recess to run around the playground of health. That’s because our health balances like a seesaw between greater wellness and happiness and illness and despair. The tip of the balance depends on the choices we make. Because no one can score on a playground unless he or she can see the goal, we make our best decisions when we have a clear picture of our health goal: “the perfect me.” Once that vision is ensconced in our minds, we are ready to make choices that will tip our balance toward optimum health and happiness.
You don’t need to go outside on the asphalt to do this. You can do these simple exercises in the playground of your mind. To aid in visioning “the perfect me,” start by sitting quietly and imagine who you have to become to be healthier and happier. Create a clear sight of how the “BEST” you appears. What are you doing? How do you look? How do you feel? To aid in this process, answer the questions that follow. Again, your responses should reflect the PERFECT you in your mind’s eye. Answer from your heart!
1. What is the level of my self-confidence?
2. How do I react in challenging situations?
3. What is my capacity to love…others and myself?
4. How calm do I remain throughout the day?
5. How deserving am I?
6. How often do I need to meditate or sit in prayer?
1. At what level do I choose foods that nourish my body?
2. How much time do I make to create nutritious meals?
3. How often do I eat vegetables and other whole foods?
4. How much do I need to eat to feel comfortable at the meal’s end?
5. At what degree do I feel happy and whole regardless of what I eat?
6. How easy is it for me to eat an occasional treat without feelings of guilt?
1. At what level do I recognize the value of regular exercise?
2. How much exercise do I have to perform to support the optimum health?
3. What activities do I find enjoyable… walking, yoga, the gym…?
4. How easy is it to prioritize my life’s activities to include a fitness program?
5. How good does it feel after a fulfilling workout?
6. At what age do I see myself still exercising?
1. How easy is it to fall asleep at night?
2. How refreshed do I feel in the morning?
3. What is the best time for me to go to sleep and arise?
4. What activities prior to bed support my best nights sleep?
5. How many breaks do I need to take during the day to maintain a good energy level?
6. When do I need to wake-up in order to have sufficient time in the morning?
1. How respectful am I to the people in my life?
2. How are my listening skills?
3. How realistic are my expectations of other people?
4. How much nurturing time do my relationships require?
5. At what degree can I step outside myself to view my interactions with others as a third party would?
6. How connected do I feel to other people?
To best tip the balance of the seesaw toward wellness and happiness, use the above visioning exercise in two ways:
1. Create and display affirmations.
Take your answers and rephrase them into affirmative statements. Read them each day. Some examples of affirmations may sound like:
“I fall asleep easily each night and awaken refreshed and energetic!”
“I feel abundant love for myself and others!”
“Walking five mornings each week is an enjoyable part of my life!”
“I find ample time to nurture and enrich my relationships with those I care about most!”
2. Act as “the perfect you” would act.
When faced with a specific choice, first ask yourself what “the perfect you” would do. For example, when viewing a menu or when at the grocery store ask, “What would ‘the perfect me’ choose to eat?” When sensing conflict, you may ask, “What would ‘the perfect me’ say at this moment?” Once you have “the perfect me” answer, USE IT!
Later, feel free to add more questions to each category and add other categories. Read your affirmations daily and update them periodically. This will enhance and strengthen your expression of “the perfect you.”
With a crystal clear vision of your goal on the playground of health, the best choices will be easily made. Your seesaw will tilt heavily toward optimum health and happiness. SEE IT and BE IT, and let the joy pave your way on the playground of health for the rest of your life!