The notion of ’embracing our comfort and discomfort equally’ will likely seem quite odd and eccentric to most, to say the least. In reading about it, I am only asking that you allow yourself an open and objective mind – as in these arts (Tao Chan/Ming Chia – the Bright Beautiful School of Thought), it is viewed as being a very important concept – which when utilized in practical application, is a significant key to realization of ‘true health.’
As individuals, we often develop a way-of-being, a way-of-life, without utilizing definitive levels of strategic thinking. We do make choices – commonly we do decide what we like and do not like, albeit it seems that we are often unaware that our choices are what make up our way-of-life – a way-of-being which will largely dictate the quality of our health and well-being throughout our lifetime. Many of our choices are rooted in an often unhealthful desire for immediate gratification (though to be fair, this is not unusual – in fact it is quite frequently the norm). Modern societies are quickly evolving, becoming more and more complex – as are the temptations: some of these things are (more) evidently unhealthful, and some not-so-evidently so. Notwithstanding, too much of (almost) anything can be a bad thing. New ‘toys,’ new tastes, new fun, can be very tempting and catering to our seemingly innate desires, though often such things can distract us from what is truly important. If our health and happiness are not rooted in strong foundations, then all we may have are our “new ‘toys,’ new tastes, and new fun.” (And such superficial stimuli can quickly become old and boring – prompting the desire for more and more – which may be, after all, the ‘grand plan.’)
Obviously, we are all born into a given culture, and each culture is made up of an intricate web of customs and values. Without culture, we as individuals would be unable to survive. Even so, it is equally obvious, that not all of the intricacies of culture are healthful. Some cultures seem to thrive more than others, and the least healthful ones sometimes disappear – not unlike that which occurs when we as individuals depart this life earlier than necessary.
Is it too much to ask, that we learn to routinely ask ourselves, how healthful do we want to be? Is it unreasonable to view such a practice as a ‘true responsibility?’ What would the world be like if this would become a cultural norm? And what does this have to do with ’embracing our comfort and discomfort equally?’ The answer is that we can, with our ‘eyes wide open,’ mindfully and strategically make difficult choices – choices which are healthful, yet initially at least, provoke discomfort and necessitate self-discipline. Using significant self-discipline as such, unto itself, can be quite uncomfortable.
Intrinsic, central to the ages-old traditions I speak of herein, is the notion that all emotional, physical, and spiritual illness is prompted or made worse by a way-of-life which is inclusive of unhealthful nutritional practices, a lack of necessary mobility/exercise, and the inability to inhibit unhealthful levels of stress and anxiety. For all of us, it is likely that evidence of this point is in some fashion displayed in our lives each day. The scientific research which supports this outlook on nutrition, exercise, and stress is undeniable, yet it is extremely difficult to enforce healthful change and sustain it. It seems too easy to go with what is comfortable, versus choosing to work really hard at what is uncomfortable. Our culture more and more seems to be promoting the notion that ‘if it isn’t easy, then forget it.’
What would life be like, how different would our world look, if we learned to better and better see that, it is our responsibility, each moment, each day, to make the world a better place. How different would things be if we better and better embraced what is likely the most difficult of things, e.g., ‘true heath through true responsibility.’ This is all about true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. We CAN learn to play the part of a less and less blemished witness, witness to our treating life, TRULY so, as a living loving art form, vs. getting permanently stuck on stagnant plateaus which can be like a living death.
Getting stuck in a spirit of craving, desire, and fear of healthful change is a frightening thing, but we CAN move on to a more healthful spirit of love, compassion, empathy, and maybe most important, true forgiveness. It CAN be a spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace. We CAN realize that we are ALL much more in the same common boat than we often think and act. It IS the right thing for the right selfless sake, SO quite inclusive of being humble unintentional role models.
If there is a Heaven, a key to the universe, even a sixth sense, they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom, and once again, needing less and less to hide behind. If we embrace and nurture this notion, we may learn to better and better catch glimpses of a so-to-speak existence, where there is no time, no space, no distance…where all is known. Once again, nothing to hide behind. Oh boy! — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)
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