Thursday, 29th January 2015
I have come to believe that the secret to life is not so secret. It seems that the things we were told matter mostly don’t, and we actually have more say about our own lives then we thought.
The most profound teachings are the ones we’ve always known—reminders, really—and because of how we stumble upon them in an unexpected moment, we have direct understanding of something real—an insight, or revelation. I’m pretty sure that wellness is not for sale, even after a long-term rental. But the good news is you can grow your own. And I think it begins with the small choices we make every day. Radiance, the fruition of joy, is when body is no longer separate from mind and action is not divided from speech. I’m willing to bet that in the end, it’s the daily rituals that make all the difference. Here are a few of my own. It’s by no means complete, but it is a good start.
Chew your food. Digestion begins in the mouth. If you feel tired, bloated, or irritable, consider your last meal. You can almost always find a connection. Oh, and never eat while in motion, like on the train, in a car, in the middle of a conversation, or while walking. Have a seat. Clear a space. Calm your mind. Center. Make food holy and say grace. If you let it, food can be your medicine.
Become an alchemist. Remember that in times of intensity, nothing is as it seems. You have all you need in every moment. So transform lead into gold, hate into love, poison into purity.
Give it away. Not the stuff you need. Not your extras. But the good stuff—your favorites. This will teach you that love isn’t in things but in people.
Meditate. Not to become enlightened, but to become sane. This is one of the most basic ways to harmonize body to breath, head to heart. Find a meditation instructor in your town, attend a dharma talk, listen to a podcast, or go on a retreat. Try it on your own and with others. And when you do it all wrong and fall asleep and wake up from your own snoring to thoughts confirming you have no idea what you’re doing, come back to the breath. It’s called practice for a reason.
Lighten up. Will it matter in five years? If not, let it go. If so, revel in the moment. This is a crossroads. Lucky you.
Accept your family. They don’t need to change. You do.
Stretch daily. Why wait for the plague to hit? Or your big toe to fall off? Or reaching the ripe old age of 30? Last time I checked, prevention was still the best cure. If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it.
Create art. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or a hobbyist, or whether there’s an audience or it’s private. Making something from nothing will make you a better person. You’ll learn to distinguish your voice. And in the process, find confidence in expression.
Your turn. I invite you to write your own manifesto as we begin a new year. What does your holy book say? What are the secrets of life revealed to you alone through direct experience? This year, I double dare you to say what you believe, write it out, and print, post, and publish it.
Earthbody is San Francisco’s most popular sanctuary famous for their integrative massage and bodywork sessions, spa rituals, private consultations, and handcrafted line of holistic skincare made fresh each week in small batches with love.