While jogging this morning and feeling smug about empowering my immune system with movement and aerobics I was listening to that part of my brain that likes to worry. I do not need any blue tooth or headphones to listen to that narrative.
I am reminded of my favorite Mark Twain quote, “I’ve been through a lot of troubles in my life, some of them actually happened”
The real gift of gently jogging on the beach is the salty ocean breeze and sounds of the surf bouncing and rolling onto the sand. It is 6:00 AM and the Sun is just beginning to come into view as the Earth rotates to meet it. The light begins to reflect and move on the ocean surface. Even though the beaches are supposed to be closed there are several fishermen standing near their poles with the lines extending out into the water. I try to imagine the fish swimming by and getting interested in some yummy treat only to be fooled into a bad idea. Even fish, like us, are subject to being fooled, lied to or tricked and then wind up being of service or food to other life. Fish, people and all life get to enjoy being born, living, loving, the whole range of plusses and minuses, hopefully to be of service and then we get to die. It’s part of the deal here. Richard Alpert, who later became Ram Dass and a spokesman for spirituality said, “If death were not a possibility, then none of us would have taken birth”.
These thoughts are much more enlightening and comforting than my usual forms of worrying as I jog. The tide is very low today revealing sand, algae, seaweed and some rocks. I am always on the lookout for driftwood. After having lived at over 50 addresses in my life I relate personally to the driftwood. It gets rounded, smoother and artsy as it moves through the water in it’s life path. Here’s hoping I too have become smoother and artsy in my path.
Our immune system is an unbelieveably complex system of identifying threats and formulating antibodies to dangers. The Human immune system can be likened to the police, fire and trash collecting services of a city. When fully supported and empowered these city functions allow for nurturing and thriving of all the individual people in the city. Our police departments are constantly learning how to deal with various new forms of dangerous and criminal activity; each time a new offender is identified the proper police activity is developed to deal with it. Our bodies work the same way. As children we all get sick and build immune systems. When I was a child, if someone in the neighborhood got chicken pox then the Mom’s would get the kid’s together to catch it themselves so they would develop immunity to it. Even as adults we are learning and developing an immune response to new threats every day. I worry that the “social distancing” will deprive our immune systems of needed exposure to build appropriate antibodies.
The other aspect of a healthy person and healthy city is trust and confidence. The “worry” part undermines the fully functioning body. When we worry we hold our breath, tighten up our muscles, do not digest food very well. This is why every culture has some form of gratitude, prayer or relaxation before eating. There is an obvious physiological importance to nurture the condition of “rest and digest”.
And “rest and digest” are impossible in the state of “worry”.
Trust and confidence then become important to our health.
Personally, I work at cultivating a belief in a much higher power that created all of life and will continue to do so.
My food digests better and the entire community of cells known as “me” are all happier. Even when I am jogging.
Peace to you all, I really love you.