So I'm sick. And no I don't mean I'm awesome, I mean that I have a cold. Snot and a sore throat, really that's all that I have. However it is very annoying. It hurts to swallow and cough, even though I need to do both. In reality it is not a matter of what medicine to take or how many days off from school I'm going to get. I hope to not have to take any medicine nor take any days off. To me the fact of the matter is, I am going to get better. It is just a question of when and how?
I have a very direct answer for how. By eating well, drinking lots o' water, getting enough sleep, resting, and focusing on my body, instead of my discomfort. Now you may be asking yourself, but how can he focus on his body without feeling his discomfort? Well, then let me write it this way: I will be focusing on my body and my discomfort, aware of both. Letting both float away like a feather in the wind. The sore throat and runny nose has nothing on the power of the mind. So I'm going to overcome this mild three or four day nuisance.
When it comes to sickness I have been very successful with it. What I mean by that is that my lifestyle, veganism, running, meditation, and yoga, does not welcome much sickness. I do not get sick all that much and when I do, it usually comes after a long stint of doing A LOT. I feel that it's my body's way of telling me that I need to slow down, to take a break. When I do get sick I embrace the rest I must take and that same lifestyle that I lead results in quick recovery from the sickness. You have to be proactive with these things, because if you aren't then you can let it slip away and then you will be sick for who knows how long. If you let it lapse then your sickness may "heal," but it might stay with you in a more quiet and hidden form for much longer. There are many things waiting just below the surface that can jump out and attack. Sometimes they will disappear again just as fast as they came. Sometimes they will stick around.
3 Ways to Be Proactive When You're Sick:
- Drink water! It is a vital tool to clean out your system and get the body moving (inside and out). It is the body's transportation system: helping you regulate your temperature, transport nutrients, and make up blood and most of what your cells are.
- Eat even more plants. Your plate must be these things:
- Well rounded. Make sure that you have a variety of veggies over a solid base (such as legumes) flavored with a nutrient packed sauce. Or if your having a burger make sure the patty has legumes and oats as its base (or something similar) with lots of veggies for toppings and, ideally, does not have bread as its delivery method. Maybe some lettuce instead. These are just some examples, but if you apply a conscientious effort to include lot's of color, flavor, and nutrients into your plate you will notice a jump in your ability to recover.
- Consistent. Do not resort to cheat days or say to yourself that "I deserve" this hamburger or ice cream sundae or whatever. Whatever unhealthy treat/cheat that it is, it will not aid you in your recovery or in any of your life. It only brings short term relief to a long term issue.
- Researched. Make sure your plate contains the ingredients necessary to alleviate what is ailing you. Ex: Do you have a cough? Include some turmeric or garlic in your meal to lower inflammation.
- Rest. Now when I say rest I do not mean be lazy and sit around all day. What I mean may be more akin to active rest. To proactively rest when you're sick your rest must include, even largely focus on, yoga and meditation. These two practices are ways to calm your body, yet also improve it. The meditation teaches you to be at peace with the discomfort and knowledge of being sick. The yoga gets your body moving, which is something we too often forget in our quest to get better. Of course sleep is vital, too. A total rest.
This past week has been very crazy. Last week I had the honor to interview Julie Piatt and our podcast conversation just went up. It was an incredible chat and one that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. Listen to it here. But, beyond getting sick and interviewing Julie, my birthday is tomorrow! My eighteenth birthday. The "official" age when I will become an adult. However, tomorrow does not mark anything special for me. It is just another birthday, which of course I love to celebrate, but it is no different than the others. No more or less important. To me, becoming an adult is not marked by an age. It is not like tomorrow I will wake up with some wild realization that will christen my adulthood. Just the opposite in fact, tomorrow will be like today and it will be like the next day. It will be a day. We tend to make events to seem more important than what they really are, they're just days. We glorify a date until it becomes like a god to us. Of course there will be food, family, love, and presents tomorrow, but I look at it as more a time to be present than to glorify a date or an age. Becoming an adult, to me, is an idiotic phrase in and of itself regardless. In conventional terms an "adult" is someone who has passed the age of 18, but in reality an adult is someone who is mature. Someone who has the knowledge, capabilities, experience, and of course maturity to live alone in this world. To live truthfully. There are many "adults" that I know who have passed that fateful age of 18, but are no more adult than a child. They are irresponsible and have royally messed up their lives.
Adulthood is an often fantasized about view and position in our culture. But, let me put it to you straight what adulthood and maturity means to me...
If I am mature enough to carry on deep and emotional conversations with people twice or three times my age in a long-form setting while being recorded, then I am an adult. If I am able to connect with people that I have never met before and give them the tools to find their true lives, then I am an adult. If I am able to understand the world that impresses everyone that I meet, then I am an adult.
Maybe I am an old soul. Maybe I have just learned more of enlightenment very young. I do not know. All that I do know is that, beyond the countless times that I have been complimented for my knowledge and maturity beyond my years, I have lived a true life. I have lived a life that is supremely fulfilling so far and turning 18 tomorrow will neither hinder nor aid in that ability to live. I will always be true to myself above all else.
Throughout our entire lives, whatever we are facing. The good and the bad. The sickness or the birthday. One fact always rings true and will always be your angel or your devil. That fact is mindset. Whatever you desire for, no matter how much, you cannot ever reach that goal without the correct mindset. Whatever you are facing that is a challenge, no matter how impossible that it may seem, you cannot overcome it without the correct mindset. The correct mindset comes quite simply and is defined quite simply:
In the face of happiness or despair if you can be true to yourself you can enjoy every moment of what is to come, whether it be a challenge or a reward. Say you want to lose a certain amount of weight. In this scenario there are both rewards and obstacles, as with most situations in life. You will never be able to commit to this path or even take a step down it, if you lie to yourself. If you tell yourself that you are fine where you are at or that you are happy, you can never start. Even if you do start and you begin to lie to your goal and engage in cheat days or the like, you will not succeed. To have the correct mindset you must be able to tell yourself what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right. To commit to any path you must change your mindset from the lies to the truth. We all hear about how a positive mindset is key or a present mindset, and yes they are, but both those mindsets and any mindsets thereafter start with the Truth. The truth to yourself, those around you, and to the world.