Eating in silence, focusing on your food, where it came from, and how much of the world doesn’t have a peanut to eat, is a form of meditation.
But sometimes, when you’re not relaxed, you’re stressed. And your brain craves numbing in the form of the brain zapper that is your television.
It’s the true story of a girl who gets her arm bit off by a shark and goes on to surf with her handicap, win some surfing championships, inspiring the world.
Bethany is in Thailand after the 2004 tsunami, where the natives have become fearful of the water, where the tsunami came from. Remember, Bethany was attacked by a shark. A live one. With rows of sharp teeth and black goblin-like eyes. And that traumatic event did not stop her from going back in the water.
So Bethany, with some cajoling, manages to inspire a young boy to get into the water with her on a surfboard, thereby causing tears to well up in Christopher’s eyes.
“What are these?” I think to myself. “Tears?”
“Stop crying you sissy” says Lea, my ten-year-old sister. Just kidding, she didn’t say that. But she might as well have said it because of her eyes. They were judging me.
The Monk Who Eats Sugar
A young mom went with her son to visit a monk.
The mom asked the monk, “Please tell my son to stop eating sugar.”
The monk replied, “Come back in 3 weeks.”
The young mom returned with her son three weeks later.
The monk told the son, “Stop eating sugar.”
“You couldn’t just tell my son that three weeks ago?”
The monk replied, “I was still eating sugar then. It took me three weeks to stop.”
Moral of the story: You wouldn’t take medical advice from an obese medical doctor with diabetes, would you?
The Happy Doctor Who Isn’t Happy
My goal in life is to be a source of inspiration for health, happiness, and living the life of your dreams.
But I’ve been struggling to write for a few months.
I’ve had the faint sensation that a mild episode of depression has hit me, noticeable by the apathy to take action.
- Writing a blog post … out of the question.
- Send a thank you card in the mail … I want to but can’t get myself to.
- Get out of bed … Don’t want to.
As I struggle, the thought is “How can I write about happiness when I’ve been struggling so much lately? I have to stop eating sugar like the monk did.”
Breathing in the face of the heavy air weighing on my shoulders, I became aware of reality in a way I hadn’t observed in a while.
The goal of happiness is not to experience it 24/7.
The goal of happiness to respect the duality of life.
Day and night. Hot and cold. Up and down. Happy and sad. Puppy dogs and hippopotami.
The research in happiness says there will always be “ups” and “downs”. The goal is not to experience only “ups”, but to amplify the “ups” and accept and be inspired in the “downs”. It is to understand that your path must have valleys and mountains, or else you’d end up in outer space or in a hole in the center of Earth.
How would you know how good the sun felt on your skin if you didn’t experience the frigidness of winter. Have you ever noticed how people who live in Florida don’t appreciate the warm weather as much as those who live in the Northern states?
This observation taught me that I could be unhappy at times and still be able to write about happiness from a place of integrity, like to monk who didn’t eat sugar anymore.
Surfing In The Valley or How To Surf Out Of It
Two take home lessons.
1. Your reality is duality.
Your nature is happiness AND unhappiness.
Appreciate duality. Ying and yang. Male and female. Peanut butter and jelly.
Accept and observe it. Grow from it.
Neither side of the coin of duality lasts forever.
2. When “down”, notice the “ups”, and “up” they will carry you.
When you find yourself in the more negative aspect of any duality, the inspiration to flip the coin is everywhere.
Like with Soul Surfer.
Because a good cry is soul liberating. Even if you’re a manly man. Even if your ten-year-old sister judges the bejeesus out of you.
Remember the quote, “What goes down, must come up.” (I think that’s how the quote goes.) <wink>
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Northern NJ. He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”. He loves to help people in ANY way he can. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.