The ancient Greeks had a term to describe that desirable sense of happiness and well-being: eudaimonia, “good-spiritedness”.
The internal state of eudaimonia has as its external, physical reflection a neurochemistry supporting relaxation and healing. A neurochemistry supporting relaxation and healing decreases the tendency toward tension and inflammation, two key dynamics in many disease processes, including what I see daily in my clinical practice: pain.
Rather than grind on and on at our jobs, waiting and hoping for things to get better sometime-other-than-today, why not practice those methods which help cultivate eudaimonia today–and incorporate such methods into your daily stay-well program?
In that spirit, dear friends, I offer you Integrity Challenge 603:
Honor yourself for all you are, and all you are not.
Sounds nice, but how exactly do I do that?, you ask. Here I’ll share with you a method that’s been shown to me and has served well. Go into it with an open mind, and release any expectations of what the outcome should or should not be.
1) Take a few moments to align the mind and heart with goodwill and upliftment. Through the nose, breathe a few deep, relaxing breaths into the chest and belly. Perform a quick head-to-toe body scan and relax areas of tension (common areas include the jaws, shoulders, and buttocks).
2) From this place within your mind and heart of sincere goodwill, state:
This day, I honor myself for all that I am and all that I am not. Recognizing that I am a work in progress, let all move forward in the direction of upliftment at all levels of my being.
3) Repeat twice more, for a total of three repetitions.
4) Using the creative imagination, visualize the energy of the words as a form of light, and send that light to all the cells of your being.
5) Sit silently in the energy you’ve created for a few moments. How does it feel?
These types of practices qualify as a form of superior medicine, most effective when consumed in smaller doses over longer periods of time. Not unlike brushing your teeth–do you do it for 15 minutes once a week? No, 2 minutes per session practiced daily brings a better result.
Over time, daily cultivation of this attitude not only fosters eudaimonia but assists in our work of deactivating the negative talk we all engage in on some levels. It sends light to those levels of being whereon we feel ugly, unworthy, unloved, inadequate, like worthless fucking pieces of shit.
The more we honor ourselves as works in progress, the more we come to see others as works in progress, too. The more we see ourselves and others as works in progress, the less apt we are to mock and criticize. The less apt we are to mock and criticize, the more we can see the good in people. The more we can see the good in people, the less we want to act violently (that includes backstabbing gossip, dear friends) against them. The less we desire to act violently, the more room there is within us for goodwill to grow. The more goodwill grows within us, the greater our contribution to the collective upliftment. Sounds like a win-win to me.
The work to uplift our health is pleasant at times, inconvenient at times; it involves sharpening our discernment, clearly identifying beneficial-harmful and appropriately retaining-discarding. Great progress is made by staying the course over the long-term. As Anthony Bourdain said of pork hunks deep-fried for about two hours to develop that shattering crunch, perfection takes time.
Hope this helps you in your process. In service, J*
Charity should begin at himself. –John Wycliffe