I just wanted to share a story quickly about an experience from last fall.
My husband and I were hiking through the smoky mountain national park and really excited about our journey, the leaves were just starting to change and the crisp fall air was coming in and everything was just looking so beautiful.
We started hiking early in the day and ended up passing a man along the way from the opposite direction. We all stopped and just kind of exchanged information about how we felt in that moment. We were all feeling so high and so happy, just being immersed in nature. It was a beautiful fall day with the sun shining through the canopy of color leaves. This other man was feeling this way as well so it was a really beautiful connection. He was beaming with light.
He started sharing a little bit about his life and how he was just wrapping up a 8 mile hike. No big deal. My husband and I were really supporting, he was about our parents age…maybe in the late 50’s so it was extra impressive. He was elated and very proud of himself and shared that being active wasn’t always a part of his life and because of that he was going down a certain path deeply rooted in dis-ease. He had high blood pressure, was over weight and more.
He had gone to the doctors and he was suffering from all sorts of different medical issues and that the doctor is like you can have all these different pills and these will help and blah blah blah but then there were tons of side effects which sounded even scarier than the actual problem.
And he told us…
“ I didn’t want to do that.”
So he started to take his health into his own hands.
He said that he started hiking and walking and monitoring the food that he was eating. And these were all things that he had never done before or didn’t really have a big interest in. Enter health scare. He said instead of taking statins he decided to take in the wilderness. He said his overall mood has just skyrocketed and he felt the best he’s ever felt in his whole life. He’s even taking his adult son and a couple camping trips which was some thing he had never done before even though he lived only within an hour of the great smoky mountains national park. He has since inspired his wife who sometimes goes on hikes with him and who is also on her own health journey. This is such an inspiring story to hear and just gave me that why I care so much about health because I really do feel that we can heal ourselves through our actions and through the things that we absorb into our bodies and how we decide to spend our time.
Sometimes we’re looking for an answer from a medical professional, from someone who we want to tell us what to do and how to get better, and often times in the western medical tradition this involves taking prescription pills which are often backed by tons and tons of dollars and not with our best interest in hand. The best thing we can do for ourselves in this lifetime is to preserve this body this vessel and to do so through movement, through eating properly, through taking care of our mental spiritual and emotional well-being.
I hope this inspires you in someway to consider ways in your life that your steward of the body that you inhabit. I firmly believe that our bodies hold our souls and hold the essence of who we really are and it’s up to us to choose how to treat this vessel. How to love this body. And through our own love ourselves we are able to influence the world around us and to connect to other people in such a deep and meaningful way just as my husband and I had with this gentleman walking on a path he was just beaming with so much light and joy it was very inspiring.