Hello Friends. I’m so glad to be here with you today. This last week has been a challenging one for me personally. I won’t say stressful because my future self doesn’t want to subscribe to the negative thought. My 90-year-old father was hospitalized for pneumonia, so I’ve been in Charlotte with my parents as he recovered. Regardless of your age, pneumonia can be serious. But at 90, it can be even scarier for both the patient and caregivers. It’s funny how when you think you’ve got everything figured out and things are running smoothly, life will throw you a little curveball to get your attention. The road to any recovery can be long and hard, whether it is pneumonia, covid, or recovering from a broken bone. So today’s podcast talks about our body’s innate desire for balance and healing and our mind’s desire to skip the hard parts and just get a quick fix!
Your body is a never-ending construction site. Each moment it is building, creating, removing, and repairing cells. This activity is based on the food you eat, the activities you do, and the thoughts you think.
I’ve been driving back and forth between my small town and Raleigh for years. For the last twenty years, there has been some form of construction or another along the interstate, and now it’s extended to the road I use connecting to the interstate.
Each time a section is completed, I’m grateful for the time savings it’s afforded me. Then I reach another section under construction along with the inevitable delays. I think to myself, when will this construction ever be complete? Just like road projects, some form of construction is always happening with our bodies and our minds. It’s part of the growth process, and we are no exception.
We want that quick fix when we are unwell or challenged by our health, weight, living situation, or whatever it might be. We want to get past the hard parts as quickly as possible. We don’t want to wait. We want to snap our fingers and have everything be as we desire, like right now. The good news is the body wants the same thing. It’s constantly working towards balance and equilibrium and incredibly resilient.
On the other hand, the mind can be a tough nut to crack because the mind finds security in sameness. Whether it’s the body or the mind, all repairs and rebuilds take time. Some rebuilds and repairs are longer than others, but they are constantly happening.
Regarding the body, studies have shown that even short-term intensive holistic programs (operative word intensive) and mind-body healing practices (operative term practices) can lead to significant progress and sustained increases in well-being. The key is consistency. Day by day, we need to add things that promote healing and remove the harmful things. Creating momentum is what we learn within the membership at True Basis Health. The clarity to move forward with consistency.
It was just the beginning of the journey when my dad was released from the hospital. Equipped with antibiotics and a breathing exercise device, he still had a long way to go to repair his lungs and body. The doctor managed our expectations and said it could take weeks to months due to his age.
Did you know that bed rest results in significant skeletal muscle atrophy? Apparently, even for elite athletes, each day on bed rest can take up to 3 days to repair. As such, physical therapy was recommended to help my father regain his muscle. I must give a big shout-out to Bart and Olga at Fysical Therapy and Balance Center. Surrounding yourself with a healing team and giving your body the necessary tools can speed up recovery.
One day my dad was wobbling around and had to have help getting out of his chair. The next, he’s on a supported lanyard walking over obstacles, building back his core strength, and getting cheered on the sidelines with the assurance that he is exactly where he needs to be in the recovery process.
What became crystal clear this week is that health isn’t just an absence of illness or symptoms. It’s about vitality. It’s about well-being. It’s about being self-sufficient. It’s having the joy to appreciate life and the lightness of being to know everything will be alright. It will, with time, get better no matter how uncomfortable the current moment is. Every experience is here to teach us and help us grow.
So, what causes us to get sick? Illness is caused by disruptions and flows to energy and information within our body. To get well, we need to restore the flow, and that is done through several practices. In The Restore Roadmap, a signature course offered through True Basis Health, we break down the basic pillars of health and the lifestyle approaches to improve physical and emotional well-being while reducing stress. This is so important because – get this – science shows that 90-95% of disease is preventable. Yes, 90-95%. To me, that is amazing. Understanding that disease, as we know it, is actually the final expression of toxic accumulations in the mind-body physiology allows us so many options to remedy the situation before actual disease manifests.
A lot of the work in The Clarity Club and the information I speak about in The Restore Roadmap and on this podcast has roots in Ayurveda. Having been certified by the Chopra Center as a Perfect Health Educator and Meditation Instructor, I’ve had the chance to see the significant impacts certain practices can have on well-being. What surprises me is when I tell people about Ayurveda, and they say what is that? Or, they just politely nod with a blank stare.
Since we are talking about preventing illness and fixing health today, and Ayurveda is all about prevention; I thought I’d share a little bit about Ayurveda so the next time you hear someone reference it, you will be fully on board and hopefully remember me 😊
Until recently, conventional medicine assumed that disease is the same in all people. On the other hand, Ayurveda, one of the oldest holistic healing systems, places great importance on recognizing each person’s unique qualities and experiences, so it is highly personalized. Kind of like our fingerprints are all unique. That extends down to every cell within our body.
Ayurveda is also very clear that our health is impacted by more than just our physical body. It addresses health from the standpoint of our environment, body, mind, and spirit. I think of those Russian wood stacking dolls where there’s a smaller one inside when you open one up, and each one you open is another smaller one until you get to the smallest. Just like the stacking dolls getting smaller and closer to the center, the layers of life are like that. The environment, down to our physical body, the mind, until you finally reach the soul level.
Like little layers working inward- essentially everything impacts us. From the air we breathe, the food we eat, to our thoughts. I love how things come together because just last week, we were talking about the places, spaces, and people that impact us or our extended body, aka environment. Today it’s like we are going a layer deeper into the layers of life and talking about the physical body.
When you look at the physical body, what’s so amazing is it basically regenerates every three months. Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.” Just as the river changes, so are you. Each moment cells are dying off, and new ones replace them. Over time entire organs change out. The liver you have today is not the same liver you had as a teenager.
Just like our body, our mind and perceptions change. Every day we have new experiences that shape us. This is so powerful knowing that everything is in a state of flux. What’s even more empowering is knowing how to use that state of flux to our advantage. I’ll give you a hint, and we’ll talk about it in a future episode, but one way to use it to our advantage is to embrace change.
Anyway, I want to address two points regarding “fixing” our health and getting beyond the quick-fix mentality.
Point 1: Eliminate Illness By Treating the Underlying Cause
Things aren’t always as they seem. It might surprise you when you have a condition and get down to the root cause. For example, today, autoimmune conditions are on the rise. Ayurveda considers the root cause of autoimmunity to be poor metabolism. Poor metabolism can be triggered by poor diet, digestion, and circulation. When we have a poor diet and weak agni, or digestion, toxins build up in the system when circulation is compromised. Then it’s this vicious cycle of inflammation and pain.
In Ayurveda certain foods are selected to treat the underlying cause, stimulate digestion, and promote the safe and gentle release of toxins. As this happens, inflammation is reduced, and pain is decreased. And it goes beyond food. It is also essential to identify the role of stress, anxiety, and fatigue and how they impact inflammation and then identify healing practices that can reduce symptoms from the level of the mind.
All this to say that when trying to get that quick fix, it means looking at lifestyle, activities, diet, recent stressful events, beliefs, your dosha, or mind-body type) and only then proceeding with treatment. And this can range from herbs to diet changes, exercise, meditation, psychotherapy, and coaching. Ayurveda uses everything to help a person heal.
I’m reminded of a story where a personal physician of Buddha was charged with finding stuff that couldn’t be used medicinally. After he researched, he reported that he couldn’t find a single substance that didn’t have potential therapeutic value. When used appropriately and in moderation, everything can be healing – from plants to minerals, even going out and enjoying nature – the sun and sand. Does anyone want to head to the beach right now? It’s just about having the wisdom to know what is right for you.
In a Clarity Club video, I shared my challenge with a vitamin d deficiency and the recovery period. This last summer, I went for my annual physical, and my numbers came back all normal. The doctor asked if I was still taking a daily supplement, and I responded no. She asked, “Are you spending a lot of time outdoors?” And I’m like, “Yeah, look at my tan. Plus, I spent two weeks juicing, and spinach has a ton of vitamin d.”
Everything you do is an opportunity to practice the thought or mantra “I am building a new healthy body”. And if you’ve had a tough day and want something that won’t advance your health goals, consider asking yourself, “Is this food or activity promoting health or disease in my body?” Bringing awareness sometimes helps you make a better decision from the place of your higher self. And this leads me to point two – The Mind-Body Connection.
Point 2: The Mind-Body Connection
For every event that occurs in the mind, there is a corresponding event in the body. Sages taught if you want to know what your body will be like in ten years, look at the thoughts you are having today. Oops. How many of you are cringing right now?
You can work out, eat right, and have all the best face creams, but if your mind is spinning stories that aren’t serving you, you’ll have enough wrinkles to hold an 8-day rain😊 So, what kind of thoughts are you having? What kind of thoughts do you want to be having? And do you know how to get there?
The mindset work we do in the Clarity Club relieves present-day stress and helps increase longevity. I read an article about work-life balance or, as I like to say, life-work balance on Inc., where they shared a 30-year study showing embracing an optimistic mindset is a major predictor of longevity. Eleven to 15 percent longer lifespans, to be exact. What’s so interesting is that 75% of it can be shaped and learned!
Happy thoughts trigger good hormones, little hits of dopamine that make us feel good, and they put us at ease. By contrast, stress and overwhelm result in cortisol, leading to inflammation and other issues in the body. This is why it becomes so important to manage and reframe our thoughts. Dan Millman said, “You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.”
Ayurveda is a great practice for helping balance an imbalanced mind and creating a lifestyle that is kind, passionate, and nurturing of your well-being. Taking time to build yourself up and focus on happy thoughts that trigger positive hormones can help you overcome negative thoughts and feelings.
This whole “quick-fix” mentality – when your mind is telling you that you “should” be better now. Or you “should” have accomplished such and such by now. Look at those thoughts. Anytime there is a “should” or a “need to,” there’s probably some belief in there that needs deeper probing.
I told a friend the other day that life is like a pendulum that swings from one extreme to another. We have to know the bad to appreciate the good. But we don’t need to get stuck there when it’s terrible. The pendulum swings, and it will swing back. Just remind yourself of that. So many of us stay in “neutral” because we don’t want to experience discomfort. Changes we can make to improve our well-being allude us because we run from that discomfort. Headache, digestive issues, skin irritation- pop a pill, but we never look at what caused the problem. We just want to get back to “normal,” even if it’s not a sustainable normal and we are just masking symptoms instead of addressing the root cause.
All of us will have a time when our health is challenged. Know it is natural to seek a quick fix, but sometimes the quickest fixes come when we eliminate the illness by treating the underlying cause and we bring in the mind-body connection. Remember, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to healing. Each action creates momentum.
Just like in physical therapy, it may be hard to get up and moving at first. But when you do, each step becomes easier and easier. This applies to the food you eat and the thoughts you have too. Keep working towards your goal because your brain and muscles begin to fire together each time you do and they begin to solidify your new healthy identity.
Until next time I’m wishing you wellness and reminding you that the body can and will heal quickly if you provide the right tools and mindset. If you need help or guidance, please reach out, and remember to give us a review for this podcast.
This is Micah Signing out.