Fear less, understand more.

It’s been almost a week since my last post, and exactly a week since I experienced a profound transformation of the body.  Part of me was struggling with the ‘guilt’ from failing to keep to the commitment to write everyday.  Another part of me was bursting with excitement and curiosity to investigate the bizarre bodily sensations that I have been experiencing.

Last Sunday, after a brief morning run around Botanic Gardens followed by some Qi Gong exercises, I experienced a sudden surge of energy. Parts of my body began to move spontaneously and effortlessly, as if I was plugged into a cosmic energy source.  I felt like the ‘Energizer Bunny’ that could hop, run, or walk for hours without feeling exhausted.

Curious and playful, I experimented with directing the energy. Admittedly, it’s bizarrely fun to be able to somewhat ‘control’ the involuntary movements, sending energy from one part of the body to another at will.

While the experience was exhilarating, it was also somewhat scary.  What on earth is happening to my body?

A simple Google search on ‘spontaneous body movement’ pointed to a host of topics ranging from ChiDissociative Identity Disorder, Kundalini awakening, and Kriya – subjects that are outside my usual reading.  As I plough through the pages eagerly and learnt about the various explanations of what my body was going through, the initial fears gradually subside with each new understanding gained.  The following words of Marie Curie came to mind:

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Energy, is definitely not something to be feared.  It’s something to be understood, harnessed, conserved, channelled to good use, etc.  Perhaps this experience comes at the ‘right’ time, along with my growth in awareness of the body and its impact on one’s overall well-being.

Now, I’m applying this newfound ‘gift’ to my current love – running.  I learn to listen more to the body, make adjustments where needed, be present to the here and now through feeling the body, and experience the joy of having my legs move almost effortlessly (like zooming on the street with a Segway!).  At last, I get to combine the practice of Qi Gong with running, and truly experience what Danny Dreyer called ‘Chi Running.’ More on this in my coming blogs.

Love,

Your Energised Dad

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Take care of the temple of your soul

For many years, I have been fascinated with the mind, and have worked primarily in the domain of paradigms, mental models, beliefs, values, etc.  The intense focus on the body over the past few days (partly influenced by the freshness of New Year resolutions) has certainly heightened my awareness of a vital aspect of life that I had long neglected – the Body.  The consequences for neglect? Chronic backache, mild obesity, dangerously high cholesterol, lethargy, occasional pain in the knees and neck, and a host of other minor ailments.

After all, the body is the temple of your soul.  Unless you also take good care of your body and keep it in good health, the joy, peace or satisfaction from your achievements will be short-lived.  It’s hard to be sustainably joyful when you are sick or when your body is in pain.  Attending to the soul’s longing, needs and dreams while neglecting the body is like shopping for beautiful furniture to fill a broken house.  It is still sub-optimal, if not dysfunctional.

So, son, learn to take good care of your body.  You have only ONE body, and it is with you wherever you are.  Start young, and develop some good habits now.  Sleep early, maintain good posture, don’t slouch, watch your sugar intake (avoid excessive sweet drinks – I know you love them), eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, wear protective gear when you attempt dangerous stunts (I know I can’t stop you from doing that), rest when you are tired, drink lots of water (even when you don’t feel thirsty).

I’ve got a feeling that I might start sounding ‘naggy’ or peachy about this …  like how your grandparents did to me when I was young.  Trust me, as you will soon have no shortage of life experiences teaching you that when it comes to caring for our bodies, prevention is definitely far better (less painful) than cure.

Love,

Your Body-caring Dad

Eat your veggie.

Last Sunday, during our annual New Year cum birthday celebration at Uncle Chong Teik’s place, conversations amongst the group of 40 somethings revolved mainly around a hot topic that most people tend to take for granted – HEALTH.  High cholesterol and high blood pressure seem to be the new norm.  It is not surprising that it takes about 4 decades for reasonably intelligent people to fully appreciate the truth behind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words – “The first wealth is health.”

Uncle Kwang Hui shared about what he did after a shocking discovery – his triglycerides level is almost 3 folds of the ‘very high’ limit, so high that the ‘bad’ cholesterol count cannot be read.  Miraculously, in just a few months, he managed to lower that by two third, way beyond doctor’s expectations. The secret? A strict and steady diet of dal, rice, and oat.  It’s amazing what a man can do when survival is at stake. He had to literally ‘eat to stay alive.’

My cholesterol level isn’t pretty either. 10 years ago, I was told that my ‘good’ cholesterol was too low, and ‘bad’ cholesterol was too high.  The doctor advised that I exercise more regularly and watch my diet. Did I listen? Of course, but only for a few months, before I reverted back to the usual habits – little or irregular exercise and an eat-anything diet.

Last month, the latest medical report revealed that my cholesterol count has now shot above the ‘high’ range, landing me in the zone of ‘high risk’ for heart diseases. The doctor gave me 3 months to bring that down to a manageable level, failing which she will start putting me on medication. What did I learn?

If you don’t change your direction, you are likely to end up where you are heading.  Unknowingly, I was heading towards ill health, despite being fit enough to run a half-marathon.  Fitness and health are two separate things. With a history of diabetes and heart disease in the family, I should have known better.  There is no excuse.

Now that I’m ‘awakened’ to this fact, I will change my direction. I will do what it takes to regain my health.  With half the battle being won (I’m already running 3 times a week), what’s left is to change my diet, before having to settle for a diet of rice, dal and oat, or be put on medication.  Your mother has already started making some double-boiled soup that is good for cholesterol control.  Son, hold me to my words, will you? And meanwhile, listen to your mother when she tells you to eat your veggie or go to bed early.  She knows what’s best for you. And yes, vegetable is good for you, and so is sufficient sleep.  You need to trust her, OK?

Love,

Your Health-conscious Dad