I’d like to encourage you to develop a much healthier relationship with your body. This is a subject we touch on a regular basis because it’s so important to total well-being. We tend to have the most negative reactions to our bodies and this is potentially harmful to our health, happiness and well-being. So I’d like to remind you to start the day by remembering to smile at yourself in the mirror. It might feel uncomfortable but it helps to establish a more co-operative relationship between your body and your subconscious. Learning to appreciate the miracle of your body, despite what you might feel it looks like, is a fundamental step towards healing, restoring, rejuvenating and strengthening your body. So let’s show some positive appreciation for the home we live in for the entire duration of our lives: our bodies.
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If you’ve ever wondered why our physical posture seems to present such a challenge in our technologically advanced society, you might want to look at the posture of people who live in what appears to our western eyes to be much simpler environments. I’ve always been impressed by the typical posture of the Afar people of East Africa, who display the most natural and efficient bodily posture, perhaps reflecting Nature’s original intention of how our bodies are supposed to function. We share the same DNA as these amazing people and have very much the same capacity to employ our bodies in such a natural and superbly efficient manner. The differences between us though are striking. We wear shoes that rarely promote good posture. We sit hunched on chairs for hours in meetings and in front of computer screens. We display the signs of constant stress that reflect the daily fears and anxieties of our lives. We have strayed far from the original efficiency of our evolutionary development. Now I’m not suggesting that we strip off our western attire and become nomadic cattle herders to regain our inherited capacity for better posture but if we can learn to relax and activate our deep, abdominal core muscles, the changes to our health and well-being can be astonishing. It’s what Nature intended.
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Prayer is a controversial subject because it easily draws us into the realm of religion, faith and personal belief. Whatever the religious or philosophical background that shapes the act of prayer, it is worth remembering that prayer can have a deeply calming and reassuring influence on our feelings. Evidence suggests that spiritual pursuits can greatly enhance our health and well being. Awareness of our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, inner contemplation, prayer and meditation all serve to calm our thoughts and connect us to a deeper aspect of ourselves. The advantage of prayer is that it often focuses our attention on the needs of others, turning our concerns for ourselves towards the challenges that others must face in their lives. This can help us to put our own problems into a better context and, in praying for the welfare of others, we find peace and comfort in the face of our own, personal challenges. We are so much more than a collection of chemicals driven by our genetic programming. We should never underestimate the power of human potential nor dismiss too easily the power of prayer and contemplation.
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