A 6-Foot-Tall Yogini, a Sick Person with 1 Wish...& a Map
One of my yoga teachers – Nada – is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, speaks three languages, and has lived on three continents. Before finding yoga, she spent 25 years playing professional basketball in Europe...and then survived the war in Bosnia, where she had her own law practice.
Nada first came to yoga as a way to heal physical injuries from years of basketball. In time, she discovered its power to heal deep emotional pain as well. This led her to become certified to teach, open her own studio and share yoga with others.
As you might imagine, Nada brings a great deal of presence to her classes. She also brings a powerful story of body-mind healing...and what it means to be sick and to be well.
Drawing from personal experience, Nada encourages students to take responsibility for their health. Translating a saying from her native language, she reminds us:
The healthy person has 1,000 wishes.
The sick person has just one wish.
So true. Lots of things can seem really attractive or pressing...until something goes really wrong with our health. Then, one thing – getting and feeling better – becomes all important.
And yet, in the day-to-day jumble, caring for our health often gets short shrift and rarely tops our Wish List. It’s something we’ll “worry about later” or “deal with when we have time.”
Problem is, health issues – whether severe or just bothersome – are often sneaky.
Sure, it’s pretty obvious when you come down with the flu or twist an ankle. But many threats to our physical (and mental) well-being develop slowly, creeping up on us over time.
Often, when people sign on to work with me, things have already reached a crisis point...after building for months, years or even decades.
I totally get this. After all, life is full of other people and other responsibilities. Making space for yourself and your health can seem like something extra...or even selfish.
But while I understand (and very much welcome people in crisis to reach out), I also encourage you to try something different...and get support sooner.
Because, though caring for your health can sometimes feel extra or selfish, it’s actually a huge gift – not “just” to yourself, but to anyone else who’s counting on you...and anyone you need or want to show up for in an optimal, complete way.
Health care, not sick care
But whether or not this package is right for you, I urge you to heed the sage advice of my 6-foot, huge-hearted yoga teacher...and bump health to the top of your Wish List (before you get sick).
Mapping a Route
Following through on Nada’s advice – and caring for your health – can look all sorts of ways.
But to get anywhere, it’s helpful to know: 1) where you are, and 2) where you want to end up.
Only then can you map out a route (or at least plot steps in the right direction).
So to begin, spend some time getting clear on your starting point and desired destination, asking yourself, with tons of compassion and honesty:
- Where am I right now with health? How do I feel in body and mind?
- Where am I right now with eating? Is my food nourishing me? Is my food making me feel good?
- Where am I stuck or floundering?
- Where do I want to be with health? How do I want to feel in body and mind?
- Where do I want to be with eating? What kinds of food do I want to be eating?
- How, a year or two from now, do I want to be doing things differently?
Starting point: Right now, things could use a little work. My health isn’t terrible, but the ache in my left knee’s been getting worse. And I got three colds and stomach bugs last month. That’s weird for me – I’m usually never sick. I mean, I’m tired a lot...and definitely stressed. My diet’s seen better days...a little high in sugar and fast food lately. I’m just so busy...
Desired destination: A year or two from now? Well, I’d like to feel healthy. You know – less run down...and less stressed out. Wouldn’t mind losing 10 pounds and not being so bloated. Fewer colds would be nice too. So far as eating, I’d really like to clean up my diet...still indulge once in while but cut back on sugar...eat more stuff that tastes good but is good for me too.
Now, I’m going to be honest, knowing your starting point and desired destination is, by itself, not enough to get you where you want to be.
But it is an essential piece. Because once you’re clear on those, you can start to think about small, doable steps that will bring you closer to your goal (one of which might be putting a regular support system in place, whether with me or someone else, so you have help plotting and navigating your course).
Feel too far off? Or like something to worry about later? Conjure my 6-foot yoga teacher and the sick person with one wish...then grab your map (or contact me for directions).