Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Start with yourself...

We all want to see change in the world; however, not all of us know where to start. My advice to you for this New Year is to start with changing yourself. As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” Living is a choice. Your life is a reflection of the choices you have made. Chinese medicine teaches us that we are each given a certain amount of Jing (life energies) from our parents. That means that genetically you are pre-dispose to certain illnesses or complications in terms of your health. However, what you do with the Jing you are given is entirely up to you. Remember, you are not your genes. 
Here are some thoughts to ponder as we move into 2012:
• Healthy living is a choice. For example, exercise is absolutely essential for healthy living, but we have a choice everyday to be active or not. Most of us do not have physically demanding jobs; thus, it is necessary to schedule exercise time and make it a priority. Start living today by going for that walk! Join a sports team! Go to the pool! Do that one thing that has been on your list for years. Choose to live life actively and not passively.
• NOT dieting should be a goal. Instead of getting on and off diets, make a commitment to eat mindfully. Weight loss is the outcome of healthier and mindful living choices. Eat balanced meals with more vegetables and less meats. Eat lean proteins. Most of all, eat according to the seasons. However, do not deny your cravings, life is meant to be enjoyed. Just remember moderation is the key to a balanced life. Enjoy your food, even the things that are not so good for your body. If you decide to put it in your mouth, then savor each bite.
• De-stress! Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses. Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. Do what it takes to relax your mind and body. For some, it may be meditation. For others, it’s a good punching bag, a long walk, an acupuncture treatment, reading a book, or watching a movie. Declare a chore-less weekend, and do all the things you enjoy that weekend. Take a mental health day from work and do nothing. Try a day without your cell phone (ok that might be taking it too far). How about a day of not checking emails or text messages on your phone, only taking calls?
• Visit an acupuncturist or a Chinese Medicine practitioner and see if you are balanced or if your body is deficient or has excess in any way. The acupuncturist or practitioner will ask you lots of questions, take a look at the quality of your pulses, and ask to see your tongue. S/he is trying to see what your body is saying. A traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis helps you learn more about your body and what it needs to be balanced.
So, I wish you a very Happy New Year. And, hope that in 2012, you can make a change towards a healthier and happier world. Starting with you!