Well-being by Pam Slowick

We feel the deliciousness of this well-being whenever we feel gratitude, appreciation, and love, or when we experience clarity, the excitement of a new idea, enthusiasm and contentment. In fact, every moment that we feel good, we allow that healing energy to flood over us. And every moment that we feel less than good, perhaps a little ornery, frustrated, overwhelmed, guilty, angry, or judgmental, we separate from that source. Disease, or dis-ease, is the dis-allowance of ease, the disallowance of well-being. In reality, there is no source of illness, only a source of wellness, and it is up to us as to whether it flows or not.
   Human kind is trained from birth to categorize "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong," "desirable" or "not desirable." But instead of appreciating the diversity and focusing on what is desirable, we isolate the undesirable and give it our full attention. Since that which we put our attention on grows most in life, we might question where our attention falls and whether it best serves us there.
   In 1964, notable writer Norman Cousins was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an excruciating and debilitating disease that attacks the connective tissue and fuses joints together. His spine was deteriorating and he could hardly move his jaw to speak. Given a one in five hundred chance to live, Cousins began to research the harmful effects of stress and negative emotions. He decided to take responsibility for his own treatment. He discontinued his pain medication and began laughter therapy, watching comedies and reading humorous books. Within four months he returned to work full time! Later he experimented further to determine the effect of inner feelings on the cells of the immune system. He took a blood sample. Then he visualized a peaceful world with people loving and respecting one another. He followed this with another blood sample, and the result was remarkable. He found an average of 50% more immune system cells in the second blood sample, B-cells, T-cells, cytotoxic cells! Merely thinking of well-being had dramatically stimulated the immune system!
   I believe our cells are in constant dialogue with the universe. They ask for life energy and the universe yields. "Ask and it is given." Perhaps the only time a cell does not receive what it needs is when we get in the way and pinch off or close down the pipeline to source. By our attention to whatever makes us feel less than who we really are, we shrink, contract, and close off to love, to life, to all that is wonderful. It is said that worry is a prayer for that which you don't want to happen.
    The beauty about this realization is that it is self-empowering. The only thing in life that we can truly control is our own thoughts, where our attention falls. The power comes in the decision to select different thoughts and therefore a new reality.
   So the next time you feel to gossip or criticize, find something to appreciate instead. If you are feeling bad, try to reinterpret the scenario. Offering another the benefit of the doubt is much gentler on the physiology than blame. And if it is just too difficult to be positive, then distract yourself; watch a movie or take a nap.
   There is tremendous wisdom in the adage " follow your bliss."  We all need to spend more time doing those things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. Paint, sculpt, play music, take a walk, write, sing, play in the garden, pet your cat, hold a baby, laugh, have lunch with a friend,bake cookies and share them, smile at a stranger, go barefoot, exercise, and above all have fun!  Reprioritize, and determine that beginning today you will engage in something fun everyday.
   The first step to maintaining or regaining health is claiming it. And the commitment to well-being is one we must make with every thought. The more we choose well-being, the easier it is to make that choice again. So why not spend 10 minutes each morning, before getting out of bed, to bask in appreciation for all the good in life, and then observe in awe how the day unfolds.

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