This morning as I was rushing to get my daughter ready to get to preschool on time, I realized how frazzled I was making her. I was transmitting stress vibes her way and she was picking up on the negativity and starting to act up. I stopped what I was doing and took a deep breath and decided to be present, giving her some space and allowing her some time to play. As I got myself ready I realized that wellness isn't just eating well, drinking 3 liters of water a day and exercising 5 times a week. It is the condition of your mind. In fact, to me, this is the key to being healthy in absoluteness. Once you have a healthy state of mind, the rest just follows. You make healthy choices, food, exercise and otherwise.
Many spiritual teachers and sages have in some form taught us that the key to being free and living well are mastering the art of being;
- non judgemental
- non resistant
- non attached
Being non- judgemental doesn't just mean seeing a woman on the street with an 80s perm and a heinous outfit and deciding to NOT say something. It means not even thinking it. Not letting it bother you. And not even weighing up a situation or action to be good. Thinking something is good is also a judgement. The key is to remain neutral.
Non-resistance is basically acceptance. Accepting all that is. Accepting that I still have 9lbs of baby weight to lose after 7 months. Accepting that a loved one died. Practising the art of acceptance will unleash a whole new world of freedom to those who do it. Resistance is a mental-emotional-spiritual prison which uses the mind as the prison bully constantly whispering to you telling you why the situation you're in is so hard and so unjust and you are a victim. Some situations do feel hard and some really are hard. Being a stay-at-home mom feels hard when your kids are melting down and not listening to a word you say. Being poor and having no means to eat yourself or feed your children and suffering from Aids is hard. The key, according to so many spiritual teachers, is to accept your situation. It is common to see people with stage 4 cancer being more accepting of life and their situations than people who have health and wealth and complain about not having more.
Non-attachment is creating space between your essence and your self-created identity. It is not allowing yourself to fully identify with something external, thus making it a part of you. We are, in essence, complete. So having a house with a 2-car garage and a basement is not going to complete you. Feeling attachment to family and possessions will not and cannot fill a void. You have to feel the completeness that you are in essence. Non-attachment is a principal central to Zen Buddhism, which believes attachment is born from desire, and is explained in detail in this article.
None of these things can be summarized in one line. Words cannot communicate how to feel or experience these things, or teach us how to master them. Mastering your mind is much more work than mastering your diet. Food issues are easy to solve - food is something you can see, it's tangible. But correcting your thought patterns takes a lot more commitment. And once you learn how to be in control of your mind and listen to your natural rhythms, you will know exactly what your body needs from food and life.
My disclaimer: I do not write this as a teacher, but as a student. I have not even come close to mastering my mind and I work each day to consciously look at life from a neutral standpoint. I am not claiming that any of the above article is my own, original knowledge, but has been accumulated over time from the many spiritual books I have taken refuge in.