In considering what I focus on when I teach, and the variety of skills that I use in teaching, I am really honing one message …. health and healing can only be realized by building awareness. Our bodies are speaking to us everyday, sometimes desperately trying to get our attention. Our bodies are trying to guide us, to redirect us from peril and move us toward balance. To build awareness we have to wake up and start listening. And, we can not build awareness if we blindly shut down symptoms. Our symptoms become our guides, showing us how best to care for ourselves.
Prevention happens everyday.
It happens with how we move our bodies, with how we move through our emotions. It happens with the food that we consume and how we consume it. It happens with with what we choose to put in our minds. It happens with our relationships: the people we choose to make our friends, our relationships with animals, and our relationship with our environment. It comes down to integrity, are you living in alignment with your beliefs. Prevention is about building awareness and educating ourselves about what this awareness reveals. Every day.
Prevention is not about taking action after we are afflicted with some condition, disease, or misfortune, it is about preventing what has not yet formed.
Lao-tzu says it best in chapter 64 of The Tao de Ching:
“What is rooted, is easy to nourish.
What is small, is easy to scatter.
Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.”
This was written 2500 years ago. Simple, and yet when truly understood and applied in life…profound. And of course, you will only come to understand this when you have built it into a daily practice.
The daily practice starts with your breath. Pause and take a breath, and focus only on the breath. Your breath is all it takes to begin to move you into the present moment.