Ok, here’s the thing, I guess after being inspired, or perhaps awakened by the wisdom of my family, some amazingly wise women I’m working with, writings by Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton, I am finally getting around to picking up from where I derailed, and I mean deeee-railed ! I am working to move from being a frozen heap of emotional wreckage to a vital person who moves and does things for optimum well being for myself and others.
I’m using the words well being because my entire ‘mind body me’ has a near repulsive reaction to the word ‘health’ these days. It’s become a cultural icon that is so inversely distorted in meaning and significance to our lives. There are constant referrals to healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, and healthy this, that and everything while attention flows and grows promoting just the opposite - unhealthy. America ranks 50th, yes, five zero, on the list of healthiest countries in the world despite the fact that we spend more money per person on supposed ‘health care’ than any other country ! What we truly have in America is a disease care system, not a health care system. Our medical model earns billions of dollars from people being sick, not healthy. We don’t actually focus on creating true vitality, we mostly focus on putting band aids on symptoms and disease that result from a poor self care lifestyle. It is promoted by a food industry and big pharma that serve one purpose - to make money for their shareholders - THEY HAVE NO INTEREST IN PROMOTING HEALTH AND WELL BEING. It’s also promoted by the fact that eating a jelly doughnut every day will not exhibit immediate detrimental effects (unless you are diabetic), it’s a cumulative process.
And there are SO MANY factors involved in all this: political, social, economic, etc. - thinking of it is enough to make my head swirl like a scene from The Exorcist. It’s very complex.
Some say people won’t take responsibility for their own health because, well, people are lazy. I think there’s much more at play here. I believe one of the factors is lack of awareness on the part of many to the importance of what we put in our mouths. Life in America is consumerism, the pursuit of happiness, very busy lives, lots of multi-tasking (which is the exact opposite of mindfulness), hours spent using technology, advertising, and other culturally ingrained ideas and activities that all take place without much personal forethought, analysis, research, or deliberate decision making by the individual. I hope my words are not provoking defensiveness; my intention is not to accuse or blame, for life is difficult, complex, and SO, SO BUSY. There’s SO MUCH TO LEARN about so many things and only so much time. How many of us who put a piece of chicken in our mouths know that: the animal has had its beak removed, been injected with growth hormones which causes its breasts to grow so large that it cannot walk because it topples over, has been raised in a shed with no windows so that it never gets any sunlight, is never outdoors, is so crowded in with other chickens that it can’t move around and steps constantly in its own feces, is not outside to eat the bugs that chickens eat in nature but rather fed grain, and then given lots of antibiotics to try to counter the disease that results from these abusive living conditions? Many chicken farmers become sick just from caring for the animals in this manner. Why do we think eating the meat from sick, drugged animals will have no effect on us?
Why do we spray pesticides that kill the earthworms (which nourish and enrich the soil) and negatively impact the bees and the butterflies, and on and on…...haven’t even discussed feed-lot cattle, plastic particles that stay in our bodies……... Why do we think we can toy with, mess with, and destroy nature without negative impact on the ecosystem of which we are a part? We humans are mammals. We are animals. We are part of nature, not above it, and in my opinion the most destructive of all the species, not the most superior.
So - after all this I need to mention that food is not the only factor. We also need to consider and pay attention to ‘how’ we eat, sleep, move, love, and have purpose to our lives.
Living during a pandemic will hopefully allow time for reflection and motivate people to love themselves with good self care; BECAUSE vibrant, thriving humans are less likely to die from the current virus which we believe originated from bats in Chinese wet markets. Bill Maher does a great job of pointing out our hypocrisy as we eat animals that we have abused. I hope you’ll watch his video and seriously consider making food choices that can and do make a difference to your personal optimal well being. Disease interferes with joy in living.
I remember reading that when someone asked - why should I take care of my body? - the answer was - Well if you don’t, where will you live?
Thank you, Bill Maher!!!