A Powerful Prescription for Your PERSONAL Health and Well-Being
It takes the PRIMARY THREE DIMENSIONS of our entire being as a person — spirit, soul, and body — not only working synergistically as a whole, but also with a specific, personalized plan for each of us — to create the very finest health and well-being we can hope to achieve. And then, of course. it also takes the fourth dimension of the time and space we inhabit,
There’s no magic pill, no “one thing,” which is able to propel you into perfect health. But when you learn to live a well-rounded, balanced life by combining the best of each simple discipline, such as Tai Chi, a daily walk or hike, clean water, and healthy organic food, it’s like having a powerful prescription for health and well-being. What I have found is that you really must become vigilant and disciplined on all fronts. You cannot eat a salad three times a week, meditate for 20 minutes a day, or do Tai Chi once a week, and expect your spirit, soul, and body to be transformed. You need to persevere in each of these disciplines every single day, until they become a way of life for you. At some point, your disciplines become a familiar integrated lifestyle — something you embrace rather than struggle with.
As you readers know, I’ve written a lot about the benefits of Tai Chi, so many benefits in fact that Harvard Medical School wrote a book about these benefits in depth. I could go on and on about what Tai Chi, when done daily, can do for your mental and physical health. But today, I will tell you about Michael’s and my personal journey. First of all, let me say that this journey is different for all of us, and we all might take a different path to the top of the mountain, but the only way to get to the top is to keep moving in the right direction.
Sifu Michael and I started our own journey together a long time ago, with a simple Tai Chi exercise. We were faithful with our daily practice (Well, at least Michael was. because it actually took me a while to get there — but eventually I did get there!). And then, because we both already loved hiking, we were able to use our Tai Chi principles during our daily hikes. Being out in nature in the fresh air and sunshine, and getting our cardio up, was another step. Many of you already know that hiking is a good addition to your daily Tai Chi regime.
As we continued our exercise practices, we began to realize that it was time to add more to our “regime.” The first thing we added was a clean water-filtering machine, and today we both drink about six to eight glasses a day every day, besides using clean water in our cooking and washing our produce. We have noticed that drinking more clean water has helped with hydration of both our skin and connective tissues, and this has really helped with our Tai Chi practice.
Soon after that, I started working as an assistant to a local clinical herbalist. This job gave me more knowledge about herbs and supplements, and knowing exactly which and how many herbs and supplements to take, because we are all different, and so our individual needs are different. For example, not everyone needs an iron supplement, but I did. This awakening led us back to the food were eating, and this ended up being the biggest challenge of all.
At this point in our journey, Michael and I would still run off to a fast food joint when we were hungry and on the run, but we were learning fast that this wasn’t the best choice, and we always felt terrible after eating this fast (junk) food.
The supermarket was also a real challenge, to find food without chemicals, dyes, GMO’s, antibiotics, sugars, and a hoard of other additives, things I had never even considered before. Eventually, we ended up shopping only on the outer sections of the stores, avoiding the center aisles altogether. Have you ever wondered why, that when you go into a supermarket, you have to look for the healthy food section? I never noticed it before then, but how ironic is that?
We also started paying attention to how animals were raised for food, the conditions that they lived in and what they were being fed. This rude awakening eventually led us to our current life choice of being vegan. I’ll share more about this decision in future blogs.
Next, because of the price of food, Michael and I started looking into organic gardening. Our dear friends, Melinda and Todd, introduced us to their PPUG community garden. Larry Stebbins, also known as the Garden Father, was the, now retiring, executive director of PPUG for the past 10 years. The three of them opened the door for us to grow our own homegrown organic fruits and vegetables. This was a game changer. No matter where you live in this country, Larry is an amazing source of information for growing your own food and starting a garden on a budget.
I’m sure that, in time, we will continue to find even more ways to improve on our journey to health and wellness, but the point is — it’s a journey. It takes time and energy (Kung Fu). As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
In the end, it’s up to you. Your individual journey takes effort, and it has to be done daily, and you have to be vigilant. If you don’t, who will do it for you?
If you would like to study and learn authentic tai chi from Sifu Michael Paler, please visit our Tai Chi Online Classes website at: https://taichionlineclasses.com/
This online site offers a complete Tai Chi curriculum created and taught exclusively by Sifu Michael Paler, 7th Generation Lineage Holder, Imperial Yang Family Tai Chi.
Article by Julie Paler, The Tai Chi Association of Colorado Springs
Edited by Melinda Erickson