After a long-anticipated wait, my children and I finally went to see one of our favorite books-turned-big-screen: The Lorax. It is a cute movie, and the kids and I enjoyed it. But it was the moral of the story that is playing over and over in my head like a mantra: UNLESS. That night I realized this simple yet powerful word is the pivot for many of the decisions we make.
I have been reading a lot of disturbing data lately about the “pink slime” and GMO’s in food. It would be naïve to assume that food manufacturers necessarily have human health or repercussions in mind. Unfortunately, “wholesome” is not always the most cost-effective way to produce food. The Uncle Ben character in the Spiderman movie famously said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. The simple truth is that money often trumps a truly “healthy” product. Unless we pay attention, we could blindly consume foods barely fit for a dog.
In Monday night’s yoga class, Ericka shared a startling fact, quoting that approximately 75% of all illnesses are brought on by stress. As she pointed out, today’s American society is all about “bigger-ing” ourselves: being a supermom, having the best yard, the cleanest house, working tons of overtime to be the best employee, etc. Idle persons may be viewed as unproductive or lazy. When in reality, a little daily downtime is extremely beneficial. For our own health, it is better to concentrate our efforts on just a few things that are most important to us. Ericka said that taking a few moments out of every day to breathe in deeply and exhale completely will help to relieve some of the tension. It then dawned on me that “UNLESS” not only applies to external obligations, but also to our inner selves as well.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty as anyone else of overloading my proverbial plate and ignoring healthy habits. However, now I plan to ask myself “Unless” often, and try to make a conscious effort to make necessary changes. Unless I choose to eat foods that nourish my body I may feel sluggish. Unless I exercise regularly, I will lose strength and stamina. Unless I monitor my stress levels, I can make myself sick. Unless I allow myself a few moments for deep cleansing breaths every day, I am not only cheating my over-all health, but also of a life I deserve.
“Unless someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
Yours in Health,