Why should you care?
The purpose of this post is not to boast about my accomplishments, although I am quite happy to reach my goal, the purpose of this post is to open your mind to the possibility that sickness is not mandatory. Yes, becoming sick is a part of life that we have all accepted, and it happens even to the best of us, but it can often be avoided with some simple changes to your daily routine. Recently while listening to my instructor’s presentation he made the extraordinary claim that he has not been sick in over 3 years, and I believe him. If I can reach the one year milestone then why shouldn’t my teacher be able to reach the three year milestone?
I frequently write about “optimal health”, but I rarely stop to define this term. It is easy to imagine how the average person could benefit from the knowledge I share with you here at Sattvic Planet. The topics I write about are relevant to people suffering from obesity, lethargy, depression, pain and other common ailments, but what of the people who consider themselves to be healthy? If you are already jogging, drinking your smoothies, and eating your salads, is there anything for you here? If you think that getting sick a few times every year is normal then the answer is most certainly yes. Imagine all the time wasted lying in bed and feeling miserable; time that could have been spent having fun, relaxing, or being productive. The definition of health varies from person to person. Is health simply the lack of disease? Are marathoners healthy? Are people who take daily vitamins and supplements healthy? Are people who strictly drink soy milk healthy? It may surprise you that the answer is no in some cases. With so much conflicting information available today I don’t think that many people really know anymore what good health actually looks like.
How you ask did I survive 12 months in this hostile world without becoming sick? Did I use copious amounts of antibacterial soap and home cleaning products? No, in fact I avoid those as much as possible. Creating a sterile environment by using harsh synthetic products is highly overrated in my opinion and likely creates even more problems by exposing you and your family to toxic chemicals. Listen, when I know a sick person is nearby I definitely try to avoid contact as much as possible, but the most important factor in remaining free of sickness is to have a strong immunity, not a strong antibacterial. For more information on the benefits of bacteria, see Fermentation Nation (sauerkraut recipe)
The secret revealed
Last week I asked, Do you want to know the secret to abundant energy, weight loss, and looking attractive? I then revealed that there is no secret; there is no magic pill or superfood that will instantly produce these results, or prevent illness. You develop a strong immunity by eating a proper diet and following a daily routine. In addition to diet and lifestyle, the most important factor is to avoid stress, and be aware when the stress reach a critical level. Of course we can’t always avoid stress in our lives, but if we monitor ourselves closely we begin to notice when our body sends us messages. Listen to those messages! Perhaps you develop a headache from staring at the computer all week, maybe you feel lethargic from a week of poor sleep, or you are frustrated from mounting financial and relationship problems. When you begin to notice those messages pay attention and make some changes because your body is saying that if you don’t then sickness is coming. People often tell me they don’t know why they got sick, but in my experience every sickness I’ve had in recent years has originated from me becoming overly stressed, and subsequently having a weakness in my immune defense.
One of the ancient texts lists 15 signs of good health, and among them are the following:
- Arising easily with renewed energy in the early morning
- No noticeable signs of the digestive process
- Clear complexion, strong aura
I find this fascinating because these are symptoms that I doubt people consider when they evaluate their state of health. You may be wondering what exactly a strong aura is. In Ayurveda the term ojas is used to represent the strength of the immune system and the vitality of the person. Have you ever seen a person that looks really energetic, vibrant and healthy? This is ojas; this is what a strong aura looks like. A good example of this can sometimes be seen on people after day two or three of deep wilderness backpacking. Ojas comes from deep within and can only be imitated with substitutes such as cosmetics, or coffee. I understand that we all want to look good and feel energized, and this can be difficult in our hectic world, but I am simply trying to demonstrate the difference between true optimal health and our common perception of health. Ojas can only come as a result of consistently eating a proper diet and following a daily routine. If all goes well then I will be telling you one year from today that It has been 24 months since I was sick, wish me luck!