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Take advantage of this good medicine!

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Much of my training has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It's amazing what wisdom was discovered thousands of years ago, with the crudest of technologies! These TCM principles are still true today, and I want to share with you one of the ones I think is most important.

Mind, Chi and Blood

Let me define these terms first. By mind is meant one's thoughts. Chi is the life force energy of the body, and could be thought of as vitality. By blood is meant the physical body/health. Here's the wise statement:

Where the mind goes, the chi follows and where the chi goes, the blood follows.

So if our thoughts or influences coming into our awareness are negative, it will deplete our chi, and when this goes on long enough our physical health deteriorates.

Fight environmental negativity

Let's face it, our culture and society in the US is not among the happiest in the world. When I'm around a group of Italians or Latinos, they are WAY more happy and festive. They dress in bright colors, kiss one another when greeting, and enjoy food and company with gusto! This is a positive use of the above TCM maxim of Mind, Chi and Blood. Whatever the reasons, because we in the US do not commonly live like this, it's easy to get caught up on the negative use of Mind, Chi and Blood. Add to that the fact that in some seasons of life we deal with higher stress levels, and you can see the magnitude of the problem. But the principle can also be used in the positive, to bring yourself up and improve your health.

Two examples

Just this week I stopped at the grocery store after work to pick up a few things. When I walked out, I was stunned by this gorgeous sunset! (the picture does not do it justice) As I was drinking it in, a woman was walking by me, looking down and not looking very happy. I couldn't help but get her attention, "Did you see this sunset?" She looked a little startled, like I had interrupted a mild hypnotic trance, then she looked and broke into a big smile. She said "I love sunsets!", pulled out her camera and took a picture. Then she said thank you and went on her way, smiling now.

Second example was me a few years ago. I was running later then I wanted to get to the office in the morning and definitely was "inside my head" with stress. As I raced down the Old Alabama Connector, a line of about 5 geese just stepped right out to cross the street. It held me up further, but they were so darned cute and funny looking that it made me laugh and DE-stress, in spite of being slowed down further! I mentally thanked them for bringing me back to the present moment. :-)

4 ways to bring in the positive

Aesthetics/Beauty: On purpose, expose yourself to beauty and enjoy it. Nature, music, art, heck- even puppies and kittens! Especially if you're feeling low, do this.

Inspiration/Motivation: There are tons of podcasts and free videos on YouTube that can keep you focused on the good stuff. Put one on when driving or listen while getting ready in the morning or exercising. True confession- A few days ago I was having a rough day and was looking on our Facebook page to find a video to send out to new people. When I clicked on the video to send it out, it started playing and I was talking about how to handle discouragement and a bad day, lol! As it played, I kept cracking up at how I was talking to myself about just what I needed to hear! If you missed it, here it is .

Laughter: Look at some old classic shows like I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, or even Benny Hill or Monty Python. I say old ones because the times were simpler and the humor was, too. Books are great, too.... I just finished Carol Burnett's biography and recommend it as a feel good read. Or even get a Peanuts book from the library. Take inspiration from Norman Cousins, who used Candid Camera videos to laugh, which reduced his need for pain meds while fully recovering from an illness that had a 99% fatality rate. His book, Anatomy of an Illness, is an excellent read and very empowering.

Companionship: Next time you are with friends or family, channel the energy of the Latinos or Italians and enjoy the time with gusto. It's been proven that people who enjoy social relationships regularly live longer and happier lives.

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