It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -Jiddu Krishnamurti
It can be difficult to really know what is healthy for us today. Many of us have grown up following the same habits given to us by our parents and don’t feel like there is enough time to keep up with the latest health trends of the month. Often it’s just enough to keep the hamster wheel turning than to stop the wheel completely and shift directions with our life.
And then there is a massive amount of information, disinformation, and a genuine need for discernment, where technology starts to feel like overwhelm than actual help. I mean how do we discern within the technological age of information, maybe even misinformation, what healthy is? Just the idea of looking for ways that help to create a sense of healthy lifestyle that regenerates life instead of the routine may leave us feeling depleted and underwhelmed. So many possibilities; what to choose, who to trust?
There is no simple answer here, but there is one person accountable to find out that information, apply it and make the changes they have been relying on from others: ourselves.
If we have ever ridden in an airplane, we have heard the basic overhead that asks parents to please put on their oxygen masks first, and then those of their children. That seems logical when we examine the idea that if the parent passes out, the child may not know how to apply it to themselves, and then they both may suffer. It certainly appears to be a healthy action to then apply your own mask first in this situation.
Where might we also see this previous pattern play out in our own lives? The pattern where we give to others before we have first given to ourselves? And, although we cannot make this into a rule, where can we look at the overexertion as life depleting rather than life regenerating? We are asked to ignore ourselves, sometimes making self-neglect a hero, to care for others who maybe often, don’t need our care as much as we need the idea of someone dependent on us to give, often as the fantastical single source of all care. And how often does that dynamic backfire on us, depleting us of deep nourishment to feel fully alive?
When is the last time we have allowed ourselves off the hook to care so much and allow others to start to pick up the pieces of their lives and learn the tools to care for themselves? Does observing the tendency and if needed, changing this attitude seem healthy?
Inherent in what we were gifted from our parents was often a structure or way of showing up in the world that, to your parents, based on their experiences in life, made sense. Maybe a spiritual philosophy was instilled in us that spoke to giving of oneself more than receiving. And maybe we watched the same burnout of overextending ourselves, the suffering to keep up pretenses, the exhaustion of one more day doing the same thing without acknowledgment or appreciation, the daily grind, and the repetition of personal limitations getting in the way of real attunement. Life draining, unhealthy underlying life philosophic patterns of showing up in the world that we might not even question as changeable or healthy yet don’t stop to deeply listen to what is right for us, as individuals, not only as a collective. How do we create this healthy and self-honoring connection?
Ultimately, if we are to receive the gifts of discernment, we are asked to listen. Deeply listen. We are invited to show up in a place that many avoid presencing…our bodies. Our bodies are finely tuned instruments dedicated to serving us. We have the innate capability to feel into, like a tuning fork for a guitar or piano, what vibrations are a yes, and which are a no. This attunement can only be felt and experienced by our unique being.
Each one of us can attune ourselves and also have the ability to attune to each other. This attunement of vibration creates a field of listening within the body and the fields of attunement can create a field of non-verbal, sensational, felt information. The more finely attuned we are to ourselves, the easier the attunement to others becomes.
Often though, with information overload, if we are not taking the time to pause, settle and listen, to attune, to hear a yes and a no, we may not get the information that we set out to discover. We may numb out, disassociate, feel foggy, create and sustain patterns of “I don’t know” and give up together on our innate faculty to hear our answer. This overwhelm may create confusion, lack of orientation, and focus which in turn, disperses us. Often it can be easier in these states to either, take the first answer we come across, or ask people who have good intentions yet are often also not clear within themselves. This lack of attuning to your own personal truth can waste lots of energy and time.
Learning how to hear your yes and your no is applicable in all areas of your life to generate mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The key here is to honor yourself as the knower that knows what is best for itself. The clearer we get in attuning ourselves as the answers to the questions that arise, taking action to reinforce our confidence in what we hear, the more regenerative superpower starts to take hold. When we learn how to attune, trust and take action, we reinforce our sense of innate knowing, the knowing that is present always, and our power to stand in our own truth without implying that it be correct for others.
I like to think of us each as a part of the universal nervous system of regulation. When we take the time to listen, be with our own selves, feel our yes’ and no’s, we develop a finer attunement to anchor loving compassion into ourselves and then by proxy, just by showing up in the world, help to regulate others dysregulated nervous systems. First, regulate yourself. Then the impact of your own self-caring and loving attunement impacts those around you just by you attuning to yourself. Consider that.