It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
It is fascinating how little the cycles of life changes and this assessment of times that were over two hundred years ago would describe our current age so very well. All of these dynamics have created a complex environment that possesses many great blessings but also manifests even more toxic distractions.
My constant advice to young and old in navigating through these times….” It does not take a lot of missteps to find you in trouble and unfortunately takes an enormous amount of energy to correct these situations. One would think that with all the immediate information at our finger tips that it would have empowered us as a society to a greater level of Wellness.
While the Mental, Emotional and Spiritual dimensions of Wellness are somewhat more difficult to make a rapid assessment, Physical Wellness as it is so readily evaluated visually provides some immediate insights.
First we must rethink what we define as Physical Wellness. Is it a sculptured physique that ripples with muscles? Is it an Ectomorphic Physique with a low body mass index? Can an individual who is over their “target” weight be physically well?
Like so many things in these confusing times we live that are driven by superficial imagery and just so much instant gratification … the answer to this is not on the outside but totally on the inside.
In assessing Physical Wellness the first word in my health lexicon is Molecular. This follows the same path of thinking as I explained about Food, Alcohol, Medicine and Drugs. All of these elements are INFORMATION that instructs the body to do various things. Some of these elements add energy like a Deposit to your bank account. The other are Withdrawals that removes energy from your body to process. Over an extended period of time these Withdrawals will create the condition for degenerative diseases that will shorten the quality and quality of live.
So Physical Wellness is best measured by what we cannot easily observe, your Molecular Biochemistry. This nearly invisible soup of atoms is INFORMATION that directs your complex body of many small moving parts to do certain things. While the doctor can test and reveal all of these levels to inform you, the best measurement is topical in the quality of your skin, hair and nails. They are the successful product of everything going on inside. Wrinkles on the outside are revealing the operative conditions of your organs on the inside. I know this is somewhat simplistic but when charted over an extensive period of time in how it affects our aging, it is a primary indicator of Physical Wellness.
I have been actively observing this for decades. People that do exercise but are uninformed of their diet and the other substances that are part of their lifestyle have biochemical changes to their Mitochondria. This changes their Physical Wellness and I have watched these people more rapidly age. The impact of their exercise is still beneficial but without the support of that soup of Phytochemicals the process of aging only accelerates.
In fact the older we get the food we eat and the other substances that we do not ingest is even a more important factor than the exercise that we do…so long before we do that leg lift… the sweet roll we eat on the way to the gym has already been a Withdrawal from our Total Health Economy. So the first word in Physical Wellness is Molecular.
The second word in Physical Wellness would be Cumulative. For years people have debated over the Quality and Quantity of exercise. I believe the answer is Consistency. The Taoist prescription for vigorous physical health was Constant Motion. They told the tale of the strong blowing wind that cracked the limb of the old oak tree that was rigid and brittle but the sapling bobbed and swayed in the flexing breeze. So poor health is stiff and vigorous health is supple.
So exercise is far greater than this one hour of grunting and sweating but is a daylong affair of Consistent Motion. One of the reasons so many young people are so amazingly unhealthy is the amount of sitting that they do. This couple with their poor diet, way too much alcohol that they drink has sent all the wrong type of information to this body. One hour of exercise while beneficial cannot deter the Cumulative Impact of their very unhealthy lifestyle.
Physical Wellness works in harmony with your Cognitive and Emotional Intelligence to create a dynamic Total Health Economy. The Taoist spoke of the body as the House of Energy and the mind the Ruler of the Body. They most firmly believed that you could not possess the optimal level of Clarity as a sharp Critical Thinker unless these preconditions could be achieved.
So the answer to improving your Physical Wellness is to totally rethink your lifestyle. I want you to think of everything you do in terms of Deposits or Withdrawals of Energy. Eating the bean salad and taking a half an hour swim are great deposits. Eating the sweet roll while playing on your phone are withdrawals. The Cumulative impact of these behaviors immediately influence our Physical Wellness but more importantly diminishes the Quality and Quantity of our Life Energy.
The key to developing this new level of macro Physical Wellness is through the micro choices that you make each and every day. So the path forward is found is the simple-cumulative actions that will in time become the Healthy Wellness Habits that shall add years and quality to your life.
With the measurement of success in our society through so many material things, the wisdom of the ancient philosophers asks us to pause and reconsider our perception.
Aristotle said, “there is no greater Wealth than Health.”
Lao Tzu went even further exclaiming, “that health is the great possession of all things”
So with sincerity in attempting the small things we can actually achieve the greatest accomplishments of all.