Tag Archives: discipline

Health Is Wealth

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”                      —Buddha

Balancing our mental, physical, and emotional well-being is a lot like Rocky chasing the chicken. As soon as we think we’ve grabbed it, we get pecked in the hand and feel like fools for ever believing we could master the untrainable. It often feels like an exercise in futility, and the spoils never seem to match the energy output. But we return to the coop, again and again, hoping this time will be different than the last.

But the “fowl” in pursuit may look less like a tangible target and more like an albatross necklace.

We are regularly trying to outrun, track down, and redraft our inherent nature, hardwired DNA, or natural predisposition. It’s tough to ditch an adversary attached at the cellular level. But we do our very best to challenge Mother Nature at every turn, confident that determination can trump reality.

This elusive attempt at leveling the mogul-strewn mountain is as comfortable as a marathon run in quicksand or climbing a rungless ladder. Being picked up and dragged back to the starting line after every failed attempt to finish is deflating and disheartening.

However, there are steps that can be taken and chessboard strategies that can be implemented to put us in the most favorable possible position. Compromise and a sense of grounded realism are comfortable bedfellows, especially when our knuckles are beaten and bruised from a constant battle with the beak.

Adolescence Interrupted

The Power of Peaceful Thought

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Methods for quieting the chaos raging inside our heads are everywhere, but removing chemical deterrents to find some sense of tranquility through natural means is often seen as ineffective or less useful. It’s easy to slap the label of “hippie” on anything that feels unfamiliar because it happens to be rooted in something more than giant ad campaigns and pharmaceutical propaganda. But channeling the energy that’s pulsing through us is a path of least resistance that the overmedicated masses would be wise to try.

The noise and static are deafening, and the hyperactive state of modern society is no muzzle. To cut through that fog of interference, it takes discipline and focus. Steadying the breath and clearing the mind to lighten the heft of doubt, frustration, or anxiety from our shoulders is faster and far less toxic than diving into an artificial concoction of side effect-inducing sludge.

The untapped potential of the mind is a mystery we’ve been slow to unravel, but studies are showing how crucial thought can be on influencing biological assignments. From cancer treatments to regenerative tissue growth after injury, focused concentration can do wonders for the healing process. The brain is the motherboard controlling our mental and physical functions. We simply need to learn how to be better programmers.

There are certainly situations and circumstances when medication is a necessity. A meditative practice does have its limits, and a good friend of mine often comments that I believe “any malady can be cured with garlic, lemon, and sea salt.” But a move toward openness about the power of peaceful thought might slow the speed in which a doctor reaches for the prescription pad.

Adolescence Interrupted