When You Feel Sick Focus on What You Do Want

Recently, I was deeply inspired by a good friend who had been painfully sick for the past two weeks.  As she talked, I could feel that she was deeply appreciative to be feeling better.  She actually seemed to be basking in her renewed feeling of well-being.

And as for the last few weeks of her life, was she bitter that she had had to endure tremendous pain? Was she angry that she had to take two weeks off work and participating in the activities she loved?  Amazingly not!  Her attitude was quite the opposite.  She was grateful that she had had the chance to catch up on lots of reading and journaling and highly appreciative that so many people had supported her when she was ill. What a refreshing perspective!

When we are physically ill, we almost always have some mental perspective on it.  My perspective whether I have a stuffy nose, a skinned up knee or something more major is almost always, “I don’t want to be sick” and “I don’t want to waste time being sick.”

I doubt I’m at all unique in either of these perspectives.  In fact, I bet those two statements are actually something most of the world would agree upon.

Inspired by my friend’s example, it occurs to me that adding more words to those “I don’t want” statements can powerfully change our perspective on being sick.  The phrase we could add to these “I don’t want” statements might be, “so what I do want is.”  And then we have the opportunity to fill in the blank.   An example of this addition is, “I don’t want to be sick, so what I do want is to be healthy.

When you make the “so what I do want” addition to your thoughts and conversations when you are sick, you immediately begin to turn your thoughts and emotions from being sick towards being well.  This switch motivates you to focus on your method of recovery, on being in good humor (and even having fun) and on being appreciative of the people around you as you recover.

While saying the words, “so what I do want is” and filling in the blank when you are sick doesn’t instantly take away your illness or pain, or substitute for any other medical or healing modality, it does afford you the capacity to see beyond the present circumstance of your illness.  With this capacity, you begin to move your thoughts towards the renewed health that you want and to even enjoy the process.

Game of the Day

Put this blog post in your mental medicine cabinet and take it out whenever you need it.

Keeping Both Our Walkie Talkies In Good Working Order

This morning, after yoga class, I was talking with a friend and noticed his Commodore 64 T-shirt.  We were both amazed to think that about thirty years ago the Commodore 64 was a hot computer.  My friend commented that now our cell phones are probably many times as powerful as that computer was.

And that is how far computer hardware has progressed.  Just think of the Internet and Google.

When I was a kid, I was thrilled to be given a set of World Book Encyclopedias.  Now with Google, I have access to millions of times the information contained within the encyclopedia set that I was so proud of.

Reflecting on this vein of thought, I am stunned to notice that as technology has advanced at a mind-boggling clip, the needs of the human body for health have stayed basically the same for the past thirty years.  We still need sleep, exercise, and sensible nutrition to stay healthy.

Good health is important for the typical reasons often cited – to feel good, to avoid sickness and the like.

Maintaining good health is also important to realizing our dreams.  Our bodies are the vehicles through which we achieve our dreams.

I’ve started thinking of my body and mind like the set of Radio Shack walkie talkies I had as a kid.  The fun is in being able to communicate clearly from one to the other.

When we maintain good health, our minds can transmit signals of abundance and our bodies can respond to this information appropriately and with enthusiasm.

Technology is expanding at an exponential rate, yet the basic needs of our bodies remain the same.  The trick is to find and consistently engage in the diet, the exercises, and the sleeping patterns that keep our bodies and minds happy and working together.  Then our results can fill us with joy and communicate clearly to the world.

Game of the Day 

How do you currently use exercise, nutrition and sleep to create your dreams?

 What is your next step?

Freedom Is It

I used to minimize the fact that I was addicted to drinking Coca-Cola.  I would tell myself things like “I drink two to four real Cokes a day, but it’s not like being addicted to cocaine, cigarettes or alcohol.”

To me, my Cokes were a sweet addiction.  Pardon the pun.  Coca-Cola signs were red and white, strong colors and two of the three colors in the American flag. (If you consider white a color, but that is another discussion.)

Drinking Coke was just an indulgence not an addiction for me, I reasoned.  I thought that imbibing Coke was sophisticated.  It seemed so much more adult to go into a restaurant and proudly order a Coke rather than water, orange juice or, most embarrassing, an apple juice.  And I thought, for some reason that I can’t now quite fathom, that drinking Coke would impress woman.  (I was sorely mistaken, as a rule it doesn’t.)

I would get email forwards about the disconcerting concept that Coke removes rust from nails.  And concerned friends and family would advise me to quit.  But I would think, “I’m an adult.  I’m free to choose to drink Coke.”  Over the years, the advice to cease drinking my favorite beverage became stronger, and still I said, “I’m free to drink my two to three to four Cokes a day.”

Recognizing that I was free to continue to choose to drink Coca-Cola I feel actually played an important role in helping me put an end to my Coke addiction.  While my soda addiction limited my freedom, I would have limited my freedom further by pretending that other people where forcing me to give up my habit.

So for a while longer, I focused my power of choice on continuing my addiction.  Things changed when I finally decided to listen to all the good advice I was getting and focus my power of choice on creating a way to quit my habit.

This was an exciting point in my journey.  I discovered that once we freely decide we want to quit whatever we are addicted to; we have the freedom to create a way to quit.

Effective quitting looks different for different people. Some people just decide enough is enough and go cold turkey.  Some times two or more friends decide to quit an addiction at the same time and support each other through the process.   Some people read books or seek counseling to support their resolve to quit.  Some people join twelve steps programs and the list goes on.

When we decide we want to quit our addiction, we try different things and hopefully find an effective way to move past our addiction.

I was surprised to note that the benefits of successfully quitting my Coke addiction went beyond nutrition.  In finally choosing to give-up Coke and following through with that choice, I was able turn my wishes for a healthier lifestyle into effective action.

My addiction to Coke limited my ability to see what life had to offer.  While I was strongly focused on finding restaurants that served Coke, I was missing out on other aspects of life, same as if I walked around Rome looking at the sidewalks I would miss much of what the city had to offer.  When my focus was not on finding my next fountain Coke each day, I began to notice other details and activities like yoga, Laughter Yoga and eventually San Diego.   When I freed myself from choosing Coke each day, I started to free myself to live a life I deeply love.

Game Of The Day 

What thoughts come up as you read this post?