I want to talk about health and illness in a more general manner than usual, touching briefly on the 'natural' fluctuations of the body. This is something we all experience as we move in and out of a homeostatic balance. The modern lifestyle, and structure of society, make the job of balancing the major systems of the body a seemingly complex task. Requiring us to constantly practice awareness, and check-in with ourselves; before our body forces this upon us.
Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing an interesting health occurrence, which has been the catalyst for some personal adjustments; very slightly in nutrition, but primarily in lifestyle. It provided a great opportunity to reconnect with my priorities and make a choice, where previously options were not apparent.
As I went through this process of realigning my focus I began to look back, and think about what a great opportunity I was provided with as a young man. Perhaps my interest in health would have sparked another way, had my path been different; there is however no denying the gravity of the situation provided a unique chance.
Take every crisis; whether of health, or the many myriads of perceived trouble life can provide; there is always an opportunity to go deeper. Whether that is in knowledge, or in knowing the self. Crises always offer an opportunity to reassess our plan, our execution, and provide the energy and drive to make the necessary changes possible.
I remember as I began my journey of investigation into my own health and pathways to healing. I had wrestled with the tendency to project into the future a mirage like image of what it meant to be the epitome of health perfection. Whether that was through looking at public figures I took inspiration from, or the creation of a fantastical figure in my mind. The intention, while good, was misguided, and as I discovered later on became another obstacle to achieving an optimal level of holistic wellness.
That type of thinking has a couple of effects that prevent us from being happy and healthy. Pulling yourself out of the present, and focusing intently on a future goal, removes us from the power and energy that resides in the moment of now. If you are making health changes after taking an objective look at your health and wellness, that is fantastic. Having the courage to observe ourselves free of emotional attachments, and ask questions we may not want the answer to, is integral to moving through life as our best selves. The distinction to be made is that once we have set our intention, created and swung the plan in motion; we then must return to the present, and honour ourselves, to allow and embrace self-love from that point. There is no perfect end-point to arrive at, it is a process and it is a flux; that is life.
Consonance & Dissonance
A beautiful example of the role of dissonance, is music; there is a chord I almost always play when I pick up the guitar. Within this chord are two notes that have the closest interval possible in western music. They are one semi-tone apart; right next to each other. These two notes when played on their own create a dissonance, that if played continuously, are likely to cause the listener to stab you with a fork. However, if these two notes are played within a chord, among the other harmonic relationships, they bring to that chord something which is not present in their absence. A richness, depth and colour that gives this chord it's beauty.
The same is with life.. What is dissonance or discord at one level, is harmony at another. Without these clashing notes, life would lack it's depth and beauty. In the case of our health, often without a crisis we would lack the drive, determination, and willingness, to go deeply into what it means to live in wellness and happiness.