A quick look at my nightstand today reveals something I already knew but hadn’t quite put together yet. I want to be healthy. It brings up a lot of weird things for me lately so thought I’d write about it today, this being the last week of 2010 and all.
The three books I’m giving turns in my brain right now are: “Healing Back Pain” by Dr. John Sarno, “The Green Smoothie Diet” by Robin Openshaw and “A beginners guide to the Philokalia” by Anthony M. Coniaris.
I have always held to the idea that much that ails us physically has it’s roots in the mind, not that physical pain isn’t real, it truly IS real. My back and neck pain HURTS me, quite a lot actually. It’s more that Dr Sarno’s assertion is that much of what we experience in this isn’t an ongoing result of injury or malformation. His premise is that what causes recurring back and neck pain is tension and it’s shifty sisters, fear and anger. His premise is that to treat the pain is not effective on it’s own, what we need to do is work out the anger, tension and fears to overcome what ails us. It’s a fascinating read, I highly recommend it whether you have back pain or not, it’s good science, seriously.
The Green Smoothies gig is an oft recurring theme with me, one that I keep moving towards and then lose energy around. I’m pretty sure this is what my kids will remember most about me. I kept trying…I kept getting worn down….I caved….and I tried again. I feel pretty strongly that my body works best when it’s fed a LOT of green leafies. It’s near to impossible to convince my family to come alongside. I need affirmation too much right now, I cannot hear “Oooooo yuck!” at every meal and keep going. I confess, I just don’t have the reserves to fight THAT battle. So, in lieu of fighting that battle I’m scaling back and doing three day hardcore Green Smoothie fasts now and again.
As most of you know, I’m now a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox faith. With this process I’m reading as much as I possibly can to bridge what feels like a Grand Canyon size gap between where I am and where I want to be. One of those books is this one on the Philokalia, which is a series of holy writings by the early Church Fathers from the 4th to the 15th centuries. It’s a treasure trove of awesome insights into spiritual health. It’s overwhelming and it’s beautiful, it’s uplifting as it is terrifying.
So this is all good stuff…I’m always all about the good stuff even as I wallow in the bad stuff and look sideways at the in between stuff. What scares me the most about becoming healthy is frankly this…I worry about what I leave behind. It sounds downright crazy, friends, but I admit, I’m worried that being healthy won’t be all that it’s cracked up to be, I worry that I’ll miss the old me, the old habits, the things that get me ATTENTION.
I’m still unpacking this in my brain and my heart so it’s a little vague perhaps. I’m sure I’ll more to say as I get into it more and more each day. Today though, what strikes me is that when I peer into my tight fist at the things I cling to what I see in that sweaty palm seems at once immensely valuable and positively toxic. What strikes me is that it is hard for me to consider giving up WHAT I KNOW…for what lies behind curtain #2, even knowing that what’s behind curtain #2 is possibly a trip to Hawaii or a brand new car but certainly, at the very least a new set of cookware. I know for certain, the worst prize I’d trade would be better than the old set of knives that are currently digging into my closed, clammy, palms.
Here’s to 2011…and curtain #2.