Hello and Welcome!
This post offers excellent support to increase your healthy balanced living.
Li Ching-Yuen was purported to have lived 256 years in China dying in 1933. When asked the secret to his long life he related his knowledge for longevity in this simple sentence: “Retain a calm heart, sit like a turtle, walk like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog.”
…retain a calm heart may also be translated to maintain a tranquil mind… this is a direct reference to meditation. Over the years many studies have shown the deep and abiding benefits of meditation; showing that focused mindful meditation helps with maintaining healthy brain function and cardiovascular function. Meditation increases resilience to stress.
...sit like a turtle is a reference to stillness, being still, allowing stillness without distraction and without multitasking…this allows for the fullness of each experience and allows for rejuvenation…there is significant evidence that the amount of stimuli requiring attention or the amount of multitasking required by americans leads to stress and allostatic overload. Creating stillness increases space for rejuvenation and a return to balance.
…walk like a pigeon, also translated as walking quickly or sprightly, this referenced moving rhythmically and frequently. This seems to keep the body, heart and mind activated and attentive without a sense of hyperactivity. Activity with rest is the most balanced style of physical development and health.
…sleep like a dog…this is indeed my favorite as it references the importance of not holding onto anything that causes anxiety, releasing unforgiveness, allowing past to be past and being in the now…conserving energy and embracing the importance of deep and fulfilling sleep…healthy in-balanced dogs take frequent naps when there is a lull in activity and then awake refreshed ready to pounce on the day or evening.
When you focus on living in a healthful, balanced fashion you increase your lifespan and decrease the negative effects of aging. Living out of balance shortens your lifespan.
In a time when there is debate about health insurance and the issue of accessibility it is important to see through the propaganda to truth.Health insurance doesn’t precisely increase accessibility. Healthcare is not health insurance. In order to increase accessibility, many shifts are required.
You can sidestep this problem, if you are currently healthy or moderately out of balance, by increasing your balanced practice in living.
Consider the issues of spirit, body, and mind. (You may also read this series of articles on shifting your attitude, connecting to your spirit, and balancing your life, to develop your 4×4 Habits to Health.)
How are you increasing your risk for imbalance and need for health care? Ask yourself these questions.
- Do you have difficulty sleeping? Do you awaken after a full nights sleep and feel unrested?
- Do you feel sluggish? Do you have an ongoing sense of fatigue?
- Do you have trouble exercising either due to a lack of energy or pain?
- Do you have chronic pain?
- Do you have a pervasive sense of uneasiness or anxiety?
- Do you feel overwhelmed with your tasks and responsibilities?
- Do you feel you overeat, or drink alcohol, or use drugs to deal with your stress level?
- Do you feel isolated? Or do you feel too much responsibility for those for whom you care?
- Do you eat food you know is not good for you because you are too busy to make good food? Or do you eat food that is not good for you because you have to eat quickly and on schedule?
- Are you overweight and find you cannot seem to drop the weight even when you try?
- Do you have unresolved anger or unforgiveness regarding earlier injuries, losses, or relationship issues?
- Do you feel bereft spiritually?
- Do you feel apathetic?
- Do you feel angry, and short-tempered more than 30 % of your waking time?
If you get more than half answers in the positive, your life is out of balance. This kind of imbalance can lead to heart disease, increased bad cholesterol, increased levels of glucose, increased levels of cortisol, decreased energy, difficulties with sleep and the overall regenerative processes built into your integrated spirit, mind and body processes, and a more rapid aging process. To make the necessary shifts in your habits of living, begin with the above mantra. You can start today!
Up to now, the western medical program in the US has been to enable Americans to behave in an unbalanced way and then get treatment for their bad behavior, calling this health care treatment. Now that we are moving into a socialized medicine program, this will begin to diminish. less and less will unbalanced, unhealthy behavior be supported through medical treatment. This is because the cost to do so is very high.
As you look over the last 120 years there is an interesting observation of overindulgence, then abstinence with the pendulum swinging toward each end in succession. Letting go and partying then pulling in and recuperating. The ground for this warfare being your body. When lifespans were closer to fifty years rather than one hundred years, this overindulgence only shortened a person’s life slightly. Now, individuals who want to live longer will have to live healthier more balanced lifestyles to have their bodies be working efficiently at the end of their lives.
“Retain a calm heart, sit like a turtle, walk like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog.” OR
Change your attitude, Heal your spirit, Balance your life… if you want to find a deeper practice or just want support in finding your way to balance, you can contact me at my website for more intensive coaching or other great resource material, www.bethgineris.com…in love and light, bg
photo of two dogs sleeping: Lisa Aldon
Gineris, Beth. Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness, 2011; Turning ME to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness, 2013.