Healthy Body Healthy Mind

In previous blogs I’ve discussed how the unusual thinking that resulted from my accident caused me to be confused by people’s fear of death and their distaste for being wrong. I also find people approach their physical health in a rather strange way.

789 Relax and Succeed - I workout because I love my bodyWhy is exercise seen as work? Or an obligation? Or that it’s done to stave off aging or to prevent a loss of beauty? Why can’t it be an act of love?

Imagine you have two brains in a drawer that goes through the middle of your head. If you pull it to the one side you’re using one brain, pull it to the other side and you’re using the other brain. It’s called changing your mind. Absolutely anyone can do it at any time.

Now imagine that these two brains are filled with stories. One brain has wiring to take the world and process it as either painful, wounded, debilitating, or sad, and it can lead to feelings of isolation and a loss of enthusiasm for life in general.

The other brain is wired to see everything as a plus. So whatever is input gets processed in a grateful, strong, respectful and happy way. And you choose which drawer to use for every single thought you think.

789 Relax and Succeed - I feel energized and happySo do you want to see your food and your daily exercise as a diet and a workout? Is a restricting word and almost violent one the best way to describe something you do every day? What if you ate and were active as a part of loving yourself? Of loving your body?

What does a quadriplegic miss? What can’t they do in their chairs? These are things you currently take for granted. They see the basic movement of a human body as a gift–as something to be enjoyed. Don’t go to the gym because you hate your body, go because you love it. Treat it like Yoga. Get your mind fully immersed in the movement rather than the stillness.

And why do people find it easy to stick to healthy diets after years of junk food? Because very shortly after changing their diets they’ll notice all kinds of health benefits from how they sleep to how they use a bathroom. Their vision and hearing appears sharper. They feel stronger and they have more balance. And they crave things like carrots and spinach and yes maybe some meat too if in their own experience they reacted positively to it. Don’t let your food be a source of guilt. Honour your body and honour the food. You’re both worthy.

789 Relax and Succeed - You are what you eatDon’t turn your health regime into a cruel dictatorship. Don’t look at food as an enemy, but rather as a lover. Don’t look at exercise as working anything out, it’s instead an exploration of your own physical being. If you were an alien given a space ship you’d want to take it out for a spin and have fun with it. Same for your consciousness inside your body. Take it for a spin. Have some fun with it.

Love yourself like you love no other. And make eating, activity and sleep an honoured part of your day. These are not the things you squeeze in around work. These are fundamental human experiences and for you to be healthy they must be too. Have a wonderful day.

peas. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Just Keep Swimming

You don’t want your life to be boring but you do want it to have some dynamics. After all, how good would Game of Thrones be without clashing those glorious highs against a few thunderous lows. We love it on TV, why not in life?

703 Relax and Succeed - The best use of imaginationThe reason is because you don’t see your life as a performance. You see it as a dress rehearsal and you’re constantly rewriting what you wish you would have done. That’s what it is to live in ego. That’s a fake world. You can’t change anything in your past. You’re looking at what your situation was and who you were. And both things are much more flexible than you’re giving them credit for.

What is your history? You think back on your golf league in a good mood and you remember all the great games and all the great people you got to play with all summer long. If you’re in a bad mood that same memory gets played back as being about the one guy who cheated in a mid-season tournament to steal the victory from you. The prize? A golf umbrella.

There is no way you’re that upset about a golf umbrella. It’s that you had this preconceived idea that you were playing by a set of “Gentlemen’s Rules” but that was an assumption on your part. Maybe that guy was the high school loser and he’s never won a single thing in his middle-aged life and so he broke his own normal ethic and stole from you a potential victory. Potential.

703 Relax and Succeed - Don't worry be happyYou being upset about something like that is fine for a short burst. Normal human relations require us to make certain assumptions about trust but, when someone breaks them we don’t want to be derailed from enjoying our lives for long. Then their actions are controlling our emotional experience of life. No way. You don’t want other people’s actions inciting your own unhealthy thinking.

Think of living in the moment as being like a fish swimming through a lake. The universe and you are so fluidly and completely a part of each other—even to the extent that it’s flowing inside your body and over your gills; a body that is made primarily of water. It’s water within water shaped like a fish. That is you. You move toward what you like and away from what you don’t.

But then you get advice and you go in directions that you’re told to go rather than where you sense you should go. You subjugate your own sense of yourself to an outsider. As good as a friend may be, and as much as they will know things about you that you do not, they still can’t ever know you well enough to make the decisions for you unless it’s a “No Not Resuscitate Order” in a hospital.

703 Relax and Succeed - Just keep swimmingYou can get thinking in such whirling circles that you fly off onto dry land where your mouth gapes for you to breathe as you drown in an ocean of air—and ocean of thought. Meanwhile the water is right next to the rock you’re laying on. The only difference is your thinking. Eventually that dies down and you recover your awareness, realize where you are, and then you can easily just flop this way then that way and you’re back and swimming free.

Don’t ground yourself with thought. You’re clumsy on land. Your ego is a flopping grounded fish. You are a sentient and compassionate human being. Stop handing your life off to your thinking and start by simply paying attention to your life before you. Don’t flop in thought, swim in existence.

I’d suggest starting right this awareness thing right away. It brings remarkable peace of mind. But to do that you have to stop leaving now—stop leaving the verb of swimming through the water to sit still, flopping around instead in the choking air of too much thought. Life is not thinking. Life is living. Less judgment. More action. Be a human who is fully being. It is such a privilege to get that chance.

Just swim. You’re awesome.

peace. s

The Point

170 Relax and Succeed - Most things are difficult
Whether I’m doing group classes or one-on-one sessions with people, it’s not uncommon for them to go home and have a friend or relative ask them how the class went and what they learned. But the people are always surprised when the students tell them that they did learn a lot, but they’re not really sure how to describe it, or the lesson. That’s because it isn’t a lesson in in an adding knowledge kind of way. It’s a different kind of learning.

For me as a writer, the hardest part of creating this blog was letting go of my habits as a writer. On top of the typos we all inevitably make, now I also had to ignore some grammatical rules. I had to have no internal “correctness” editor, because what I’m communicating cannot afford any flexing or hewing. And because of what I’m trying to do within the reader’s mind, it means I also have to jump around with less of a sense of flow than I always wanted as a writer.

Andre Gide once said that art was a collaboration between God and an artist and the less the artist did the better. That is how this process feels. As though it spills out of me in such a pure and beautiful way, that I cannot imagine deigning to edit its form. I write it as I would say it, and I say it in the way which best allows me to create the desired effect. To that end….

170 Relax and Succeed - Imagine all the people

Imagine that your mind is like an incredibly flexible, powerful mass, through which it is possible to bore in any direction. Imagine an idea known to you is envisioned as a opening within your mind. A cavity. A vestibule where one or more other channels of thought intersect. This is a headspace—an idea, or concept—you are comfortable resting energy within. My words then appear almost as a sound that challenges that idea. You hear me like the knocking of other miners, alive in another vestibule running parallel to yours. And so you dig toward the sound of my voice.

I ultimately get you to do this from multiple directions at once. That’s why my writing sometimes seems to bounce around. It’s because I’m pulling at you from different angles at the same time. You experience this digging as confusion, or intense thought, or wondering. But each moment of it moves you closer to the reality you wish to create.

Soon you have a new synaptic connection. When these disparate ideas finally link and the energy of your mind can flow through that new channel, you experience what is referred to as an insight. That is your Aha! moment. It lights up your brain. That’s my job. To light up your brain, back to the way it was before judgmental thoughts about your experiences clogged it up.

When you were a little kid, if I would have asked you if you could dance you would have said yes. And if I asked you if you could sing you would also have said yes. But for a lot of us, experiences convinced us those things couldn’t be. But that’s simply wrong. And this blog is about me proving to you that your ideas about reality are wrong, and if you could see the truth of reality clearly, the vast majority of your problems would vanish through that deeper understanding.

Everyone would like more peace of mind. I’m glad many of you are achieving it through my work here. I very much appreciate the emails and comments from those of you who have been helped—with Correen’s recent comment regarding her experience reading Facing the World being a good example of the subject matter of this blog.

I encourage you to share these with others who are seeking a deeper more profound experience. The world can easily make a massive shift in its tenor. But to do that, each drop in the bucket must alter how it processes life.

Join in. Be kind. Helpful. Compliment others. Be patient. Expect less. Love more. And endure struggle. Do this, and you will live in a bigger world.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.