“Try not to resist the changes that come your way.
Instead let life live through you.
And do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”
In today’s fast paced world, we all have places to be and people to meet, bills to pay and mouths to feed.
Everyday an overload of information finds its way to our on-hand devices to provide us with the latest must-haves and must-do’s in order to make our lives bigger, better and healthier.
We are ushered into methods and quick fixes to beautify ourselves through harsh chemical laden products and to lose weight at light speed through boot camps and a 30-day bikini diet.
And….if all else fails, we can always place ourselves in the hands of a plastic surgeon whom then, by the magic of his syringe, will either add or subtract.
All in the name of living life to the highest potential.
One would almost feel inadequate if one were not part of this roller coaster ride.
Especially in the field of natural health and beauty mayor developments have taken place in the last decade.
Over 10 years ago, when it came to beauty care, a trip to the natural health store was short lived, as there where only a few brands to choose from.
Nowadays the landscape of natural health and beauty products has changed into an array of choices with which our stores are filled.
A wonderful development…. or is it?
Mind you, I do follow these developments with great curiosity and have always been amazed and fascinated by the way most people act swiftly and with determination on their desire to acquire.
It seems that we place our faith easily in things outside of us rather than to look inside of ourselves and investigate what it is we really need.
The market for natural products, whether beauty products, cosmetics, nutrition or housekeeping, is booming.
I am beyond excited that people are becoming aware that the use of chemicals in our everyday products are harming us and that now “we know better, we do better”, as Maya Angelou said.
But still, something seems strangely familiar in this whole process.
It reminds me of the old Persian parable of the lamp and the key.
In this parable Mulla Nassruddin, the main character, loses his housekey in the darkness of night and asks a neighbour to help him find it.
After searching the street for hours in the light of a streetlamp the neighbour asks Mulla where he lost his key.
Mulla answers: “over there, by the door”. “
But then, wonders the neighbour, are we searching here?”
Upon which the Mulla answers: “Because over there it is dark!”
The parable points out with great wit and subtlety the inclination of people to look in the most convenient place for answers.
How is it that we tend to look in the most easy and familiar of places and follow the masses rather than to tune into the innate wisdom that lies within each of us
The trend to hop on the natural health bandwagon has been set, but how do we know it is going in the right direction?
How natural is natural and where do we even begin to find our way?
Living a healthy natural lifestyle is the outcome of many choices we make every day.
It is a direct result of what we think, what we put in and on our bodies and what and whom we surround ourselves with.
But let us face fact for a moment: there are things in life we must deal with.
We are all born with families and need to socialize with people with all kinds of characters, which at times can be challenging.
We all have financial responsibilities and might not have a choice in our job opportunities and hours of work we put in.
Health wise there are situations in which we need to visit specialist doctors and have invasive treatments and/or surgeries.
As such, following the path of healthy natural living can become an overwhelming quest, another item on our ‘to do’ list.
The transition of our potential to the next level of perfection
However, there is one choice we can all make; stop for a moment, get of the bandwagon, pause and reflect.
Ask yourself what it is you and your body really need, be your own health detective!
What is it you are seeking?
More vitality, more energy to keep up with the demands of the day?
Perhaps you already feel great, but you want to make changes in what you feed your skin, both from the inside as on the outside.
What are the areas in which you want to make a change?
How would you go about doing so?
Reflect on who, why and how you wish to “become”.
Becoming implies change and according to Aristotle change is ‘the transition of our potential to the next level of perfection’.
Walking in the nature
Not the kind of artificial pristine perfection modern day marketing strategists have in mind for us, but a deeper more holistic sense of perfection that implies wholeness.
Another Aristotelian word in this context is ‘level of actuality’, which means the condition of a thing or a person whose essence is fully realized.
Becoming is to raise our level of consciousness, to look upon ourselves as thinking, feeling and meaning seeking creatures and then act accordingly and manifest in the world.
To truly and truthfully live life to the highest potential.
In my experience this kind of reflective thinking is a wonderful thing, especially when done during a walk in nature.
To be in nature awakens the senses.
No matter where you live; in the city, a village or countryside, there will always be nature around, be it a city park, a lake, a forest or the ocean.
Take a deep breath, let the fresh air clear your mind.
Look around at all things green and beautiful.
Listen to the sounds nature provides.
Be in touch with the elements.
Be aware of the changing of the seasons for every season has its own beauty.
If it rains, don’t let it stop you: take an umbrella.
Usually after 10 minutes or so you will notice a calmness setting in and a feeling of (re)connecting to yourself and the world around you arises.
As will ideas and inspired moments.
As the thinking mind subsides you will be surprised with what insights you have and what intuitively feels right.
All we have to do is to bring attentive awareness to our inherent nature.
It is inherent to our nature to feel drawn to the beauty of everything natural and pure.
Personally, I have always appreciated a bowl of freshly chopped fruit over the same bowl containing canned fruit.
Gazing over a meadow with farm-animals or flowers is much more appealing than a field filled with mast radiators even though they are a great technological construct of human intelligence.
I think we all have experienced periods in our lives in which we succumbed to either the appeal or ‘necessity’ of fast paced living, processed foods and poor choice in ‘quality’ cosmetics.
However, the giant leap that lies between the detour of toxic living to returning to nature as a source of sustenance is not so giant at all.
All we have to do is to bring attentive awareness to our inherent nature.
Upon doing so we can only come to the conclusion that what does not nourish the cells of our body, we do not need.
Then, in result of growing closer to the wisdom of nature outside and your innate wisdom within, you might decide to make different choices in the way you nurture your whole being.
Nutrition is widely regarded as the foundation for good health and a topic on its own.
Not surprisingly it is at the forefront of everybody’s intentions when opting a healthier, natural lifestyle.
But where to start?
It seems we are confronted with food everywhere and all the time.
Let alone trying to figure out what is natural, organic, bio-dynamic or ecologic and all the labels and trademarks that go with it.
Do not feel overwhelmed: small and incremental dietary changes are always beneficial, moderation is key.
A beautifully composed dish with fresh, preferably organic, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish or chicken, knowing it is void of herbicides, pesticides, hormones or antibiotics is wonderfully nourishing to mind, body and soul.
Search for recipes that suit you, mix and match according to your own needs.
If your body does not accord with certain types of food, find out what nature provides as a substitute.
What is good and healthy for one person, might not be beneficial for another, even though it is of the best source available.
I am very sensitive to the way I eat and even though I am quite aware by now as to what works for me and what not when it comes to the way I eat, I recently experienced a period in which issues emerged in the form of itchy skin and energy-levels going up and down. Being in my forties I could have easily put the blame on my hormones, but I decided to put a closer look into my nutrition.
Quite soon I found out, through a bio-resonance allergy-test, that I had developed a sudden allergy to oregano, a herb that was never an issue before and I used lavishly in a lot of my recipes.
Oregano is a wonderful plant with many medicinal and nutritional qualities, but unfortunately it does not agree with me at this time in my life.
Needless to say, most of us will need to buy some products from our local grocery stores.
Become an informed consumer: put on your health detective hat again and know what you purchase by distinguishing qualities in food.
One way to go about this is to read ingredient labels.
This seems like an elaborate affair, especially when you’re a novice, but it really is quite simple.
Products with a long ingredient list most likely contain a lot of ‘stuff’ our bodies do not need.
As for products with a short list: read them carefully and acquaint yourself with knowing if it is of quality or not.
When my son was 2 years old he continued to have eczema even though I had tried ‘everything’ to relieve him from his discomfort.
One day, I happened to stumble upon a little booklet that contained an explanation on conservatives, preservatives and additives in food.
I decided to compare the foods that we were eating against the list and soon found one artificial ingredient as a common denominator in 3 foods I was buying at that time.
Consequentially I eliminated one food from our menu and replaced the other 2 (butter & bread; a staple in many Dutch households) with the purest ones I could find from the health food store.
In a very short period my son’s eczema cleared up significantly.
Now, 10 years later, I can honestly say that reading ingredient labels is one of the best things you can teach yourself and it will not take long for it to be second nature.
It has served me well over the years making nutritional choices for me and my family.
Although we never ate much processed foods to begin with, learning what is in these foods and their lack of benefits made us move away from these foods almost completely over time.
Another mayor player in the field of a healthy lifestyle is exercise.
We can philosophize about it as much as we want, but: our bodies were designed to move.
We need to be active within our own physical capacities to keep our strength, flexibility and for all our internal bodily systems to function properly.
When exercising let long term good health be your intention and motivation.
Above all let it be an activity which you enjoy!
Whilst learning, fine tuning and nurturing our being we can beautify ourselves with the best that nature provides.
Well sourced pure essential oils combined with a rich, nourishing unrefined base oil are a wonderful treat for our body and are another great way to awaken our senses.
The benefits to our skin after bathing in or anointing ourselves with pure essential oils are multitude and give an amazing feeling of overall wellbeing.
Essential oils are also a great way to get the outdoors indoors as there are situations imaginable in which we are not able, either practically or physically, to spent time in nature.
Bring in the scent of the forest by diffusing black spruce or other pine-oils.
Flowery scents like rosewood and Ylang Ylang are also lovely.
Especially in a health crisis the aroma of oils like Frankincense, Rose and Lavender can sooth our spirit in distress.
Getting in touch with the wisdom of (our) nature is being guided towards wellbeing on many levels.
There is much to say about all aspects of life we can delve into whilst ‘becoming’: spiritually, physically, psychologically, financially, occupationally, environmentally and socially.
As for now, let nature serve us with all its bounty and beauty and let us serve nature by making proper health choices that are beneficial to ourselves, our communities and our wonderful planet.
”And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
〰 Written by Claudia
- http://www.nasruddin.org/pages/storylist.html#lampandkey http://mevlana-rumi-quotes.blogspot.com/
- Wat zit er in uw eten – Corinne Couget, Will Jansen 9789077788288
- Philosophy – Margreet de Heer 9781561636983
- Aristotle’s Metaphysics – http://www.iep.utm.edu/aristotl/