A few weeks ago I was flipping through the million channels on my TV trying to find just one thing worth watching (which isn’t an easy task). Luckily I found Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS.
I read my first book by Dr. Wayne Dyer (Real Magic) about twelve years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So when I watched his seminar on PBS that was based on his latest book, of course I had to run out the next day and buy it. This one is called Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, and it’s his interpretation of the 81 verses of the Tao.
[The Tao Te Ching was written five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, and offers advice and guidance for living a balanced life.]
As I read, I came across aspects of this wisdom that are helpful in my quest for better health and weight loss. So, even though I’m no philosopher (obviously), I thought I would share some verses that stood out for me. They offer guidance for healthy living and even weight loss. Here are three.
[Keep in mind that I am only pulling the parts of these verses that I find most relevant to good health, this is by no means a complete look at any of these verses.]
Verse 9 – Living Humility – To keep on filling is not as good as stopping.
This verse is interesting in how it relates to healthy eating and weight loss. It’s telling us to eat, but to stop when we’re full. Eat until your hunger is satisfied, and no more. That’s pretty good advice, I wonder how many of us actually follow it?
It also tells us that we should seek joy and pleasure in the activities we are doing. In order to do this, we need to slow down and enjoy our lives (and our meals).
Here is a way you can begin to practice this idea during your next meal. Enjoy each bite of your meal. After a couple of bites take a moment to reflect on how you are feeling and determine if you are full. Once your hunger is satisfied, stop eating.
Verse 63 – Living Without Difficulties - Take on difficulties while they are still easy.
This verse can relate to how most of us see weight loss as being difficult or a struggle. It encourages us to see the simplicity in the things we perceive to be hard. You can do this by taking one day at a time, or one meal at a time, or one moment at a time. Break down your biggest challenges into smaller, more manageable ones.
It also reminds us to tackle problems in our life before they become big problems. In my case, it would have been better to begin eating healthy when I was only 10-20 pounds overweight. Rather than waiting until I was 40+ pounds overweight and my blood pressure was so high that I required medication.
You can practice this idea by taking time to recognize whether your weight or eating habits are suffering because you fear the problem is too difficult to address. If this is the case, believe in your ability to tackle the problem one day (or one meal) at a time…It need not be difficult.
Verse 71 – Living Without Sickness – Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick.
As someone who suffers with chronic illness, the notion of healing ourselves implies that we make a choice to be sick or to be well. And I just don’t believe that. But this verse isn’t about blame. It’s about being aware. Basically, our symptoms are our body’s way of talking to us, and we need to take the time to listen.
Could fatigue be a message to slow down and get more rest? Could high blood pressure be a message to make healthier food choices and lose some weight? Could a headache be a message that we are allowing stress and worry to steal moments of our life that we can never get back?
Each symptom may mean something different to each person. The goal is simply awareness.
I think with chronic illness, it’s also about how we “perceive” it. We may need to accept our illness, while still listening to our symptoms and striving to be the healthiest version of ourselves that we can be. Remember that we are not our body, so we can stop seeing ourselves as our illness.
Practice this idea by taking some time to listen to what your symptoms may be trying to tell you.
So…What do you think? Could the Tao help you find your way to better health? Can changing your thoughts change your life? Let me know in comments.