The biggest goal of my life right now is health. Turns out “health” is a very complex concept. I want physical, financial, spiritual, mental health for myself, but seeing as I’m one organism in a giant ecosystem, that includes all species, and all beings, and all humans on this planet, then my health is inextricably linked to the health of the whole planet. Racial violence, and war, and starvation, and habitat destruction, and species extinction- these are monumental tragedies and we are aware of that pain in our subtle bodies whether or not we wallow in news, or recycle, or grow organic gardens. Try as we might, we are not insulated from any of it.
I think the pervasive toxins and mega-germs and new strains of pests that get new names and chatted up in the media are a physical manifestation, or symbol, of this fact that we’ve collectively ignored for too long- that we share everything. Can’t be ignored any more. Can’t run to the hills, it rains acid there too. Germs circulate the world, we breathe each others’ air, we ingest each others’ garbage. An individual cannot hide from the whole. The “everything” we notice we’re sharing tends to be bad, but joy, ecstasy, and prayer also circle the world and affect everyone, positively.
The question I always ask: “What can you get up tomorrow and do differently, knowing that?”
How do I pursue personal health in view of my responsibility to the planetary ecosystem, knowing there is no true health for one without the other?
Now many people have “the answer” for everyone else! Many would answer that for me, give me the(ir) secret formula. But the question and answer is deeply personal and individual, I think. I have to figure it out for myself, and so does everyone else.
I think the question is about balance between what I’ve long called “inspiring and expiring”- my definitions for both of these words coming up! “Inspiring”, in my context, is inhaling. Absorbing, exposing yourself to ideas and information, and soaking up images and learning. The intake, that happens all the time. Also your private, alone, turned inward, time and “inside” self. Then “Expiring” is your outer self, your exhale, how you affect and influence others, how you express what you’ve “in”-spired and alchemized in your unique way. So how you create, what you say, how you express it. Expiring is where you care, and give, and nurture.
I think the balance of this “breathing out and in” is the secret to my health.
I know I’m out of balance, but not sure where my fulcrum is. Some people (like rabid – I mean, “powerfully motivated” activists) are extreme “expirers”, with whole lives devoted to disseminating knowledge, to caring for beasts or people. I can’t know if that’s the perfect balance for them, and I certainly won’t be judging. I envy their impact, or positive footprint, on the world, for sure. Although I wish I could be happy and healthy spending my every living moment in a life like Paul Watson‘s, I don’t think that’s my balance.
I’ve got some time left to live, though, we shall see. It seems right now that I need more of both, but I believe that it is first necessary to give this breathing space to normalize, to find the appropriate fulcrum.