On Being Alive……
As we live in our bodies in the Western world we are presented with an endless stream of stereotypes which we are expected to fulfil: in childhood, as students, as parents, as workers, as the middle aged and, eventually, in retirement and old age.
On reaching 60 last year I soon became aware of just this: that my life is supposedly over, that I would no longer be taken seriously, notably true for men although not surprising considering how some of them behave! There was a string of expectations to be met and behaviours to perform that would firmly place me within that shocking statistic of 99% of men over 60 failing to do the basic required amount of physical exercise to maintain some level of fitness, reported in Healthspan Magazine earlier this year.
Not for me! Before her death in 2001 my beloved wife Kaisa and I, over a period of 32 years, constructed a health-
In my book I recorded one of the great gifts she gave: acknowledging that her unexpressed and repressed resentment – the product of her childhood in the 1940s as a Finnish Karelian refugee believing she was unwanted and unloved – was at the root of her cancer. For me this suggests, acknowledging that other frightening statistic of 1 in 3 of us will now experience cancer, that the millions of pounds being spent by cancer research organisations is missing the point : to address cancer and reverse this trend we need to go to the source and ask : Why is cancer consuming so many of us? The answer will arise as we pursue in our lives a wellness programme which not only sustains us but permits us to lead a healthy life until the time comes to leave this physical body.
So what do I do? Many things. I have been a painter all my life and use my creativity to express myself in whatever way is needed and required. I encourage others in this. I eat organic food whenever I can, much grown in my garden which I attend to daily. I walk, cycle, sit in nature and by the sea. I steer well clear of newspapers and all the deception and fear-
Most importantly perhaps is the meditation programme I have developed and followed for many years, now available to others through my website, my recent book (2) and the courses and Satsang I lead. The true purpose of meditation is to connect you to Source, to take you to that which is beyond mind and ego, quietening both to the point of stillness where there is no engagement with or attachment to any thoughts that arise ( and to any of the associated fears, anxieties, prejudices, beliefs and memories that give rise to so many of the physical health problems that can develop from these unaddressed issues and illusions). There are many ways to meditate : dancing, shaking, walking into nature, focusing on Mantra or simply your breath, moving into quiescence as we achieve without effort that inner healing which plays a central role in a wellness philosophy.
As I dance and shake to trance music in my converted garage causing amusement to those in the neighbourhood and beyond mine is the last laugh as I feel so well, although this is tinged with sadness as I watch so many unhealthy people, many younger than me, struggling to cope with their everyday lives. When folk tell me I look so well I am happy to tell them of what I do, to teach them, something I have done these past years in the courses and meditations I lead. Gone are the days, though, when I will preach of these things. I have known for many years now that no matter how many good people line up to help me their time is wasted if I have no wish to help myself…….
I am alive…………and it begins with me……!