I am currently sitting in my cabin contemplating life. Wow, such a heavy topic, you may be thinking. Well, as a doctor I am confronted with this reality every day.
Why are we here? What is the purpose of all of this? Is this just a playground where one can do as they please, or should one follow certain rules, and follow the norms of society?
Across the globe we are separated by our ethnicity, race and religion, even though we are truly almost similar when looking strictly at our physiology and genetics. We are being influenced and taught how to coexist in the society we grow up through norms and rules, and our justice system make sure that we follow these. But how do we know how to live and coexist in harmony with our surroundings, when so much despair and injustice is going on in the world?
In my clinic I aim to unleash each patients’ true potential. Some individuals are confronted with a grim reality where they feel stuck, and virtually unable to come out of this situation. The reasons may be that they feel weighed down by financial, marital or work issues. If then someone from the outside, such as a physician, who truly take time to listen to their story, may be able to come up with alternate solutions to their problems. Interestingly enough, I often find that when figuring out how to boost the patients’ energy, such as by correcting their nutritional status or general physiology, they often are more capable of dealing with, and resolving their inner conflicts. I think the main aspects here is to truly listen when speaking with someone, so that they feel heard. To speak out to someone else and try to formulate what’s in their heart can be very liberating for many. It often touches my heart, when I hear them say “Thank you for truly listening to me”
I think we can learn a lot from the Chinese traditional medicine, and the role the doctors played in their community. Commonly, the doctors were payed, not when the people got sick, but when he managed to keep them healthy. This meant that he had to make sure that the people in the community stayed healthy and thriving. Therefore, one important aspect in doing so, was that the doctor would make home visits to the inhabitants. Aspects such as hygiene, cleanliness, nutrition and general wellbeing was usually addressed. The people were also taught how to take care of their own health, and how to use herbal remedies for their benefit.
In the early 20th Century a Zen Buddhist called Morihei Ueshiba created what he called Aikido. This directly translates as “The Art of Peace”. Morihei is one of my heroes, as he truly shows how to divert someone’s attack, and using that force on themselves.
I think we can all strive to be the best version of ourselves. One good approach to start off with is to have an “inner smile”. Instead of just smiling with your lips and eyes, truly feel that you are smiling with your whole being. This is a good way to become happier and more content. Remember that we always have to start with ourselves, before being able to affect others in a positive way. When we are in a good state with ourselves, influencing others will be easier.
We need peace to calm our mental chattering, commonly called “Monkey Mind”. This is of greater importance in our age, where we are surrounded by endless distractions. To turn on “flight mode” on certain occasions, only check your e-mail and messages at given times and turn of the constant notifications from your mobile I think is a good way to start. Finding a place of peace and calm I think is essential for our mental, and consequently physical health. Also, have the bedroom as our sacred place where we rejuvenate. Important here for a good nights’ rest is that the room gets dark, cold and quiet enough for us to sleep soundly.
Great thinkers and writers of our time such as Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce were wanderers. They used to walk for long stretches, mostly because they felt their mind clear, and therefore easier to get inspiration. As is often being illustrated in ancient Chinese texts, a cup that is full can not be filled anymore. You must empty the cup to be able to fill it more. The same applies with your mind. To more easily be inspired and learn new things you have to clear your erratic mind first.
Being out in nature and listening to sounds like a trickling stream or birds chirping/singing calms the mind. Somehow this is ingrained in our biology, and is subconsciously being interpreted as “being out of danger”.
Meditation, directly translated as “Being Still”. This does not mean that one has to sit still. Being mindful of all one’s actions, and being more present in the moment is also a form of meditation. The image of being in the center of a tornado, where the storm is whooshing around you, but still being still, that is true meditation.
Prayers are a good way to aid someone in difficult times. For example, many doctors in the university hospital in Tromsø used to pray with their patients, to ease their pain and suffering. The power of prayers is something not truly understood, but nonetheless, have a great healing effect.
I feel that one topic is often overlooked when addressing someone’s wellbeing, and that is sexual freedom. Sex is so bound to a lot of taboo, and we are supposed not to even talk about it. Even in my clinic my patients would struggle to talk about their issues concerning this. What is important to understand is that sex is some of the most natural things in our existence. We wouldn’t have been here if it hadn’t been for sex. Therefore, rejoice and enjoy this part of human life.
Now, why are we here? I believe we are here to reinvent ourselves over and over, until we gradually become the better person. By this I mean free of the shackles of how we are supposed to be, and rather strive to reach our true potential. We have so much potential, which is just waiting for us to seize.
Then why are so many people suffering in the world, starving from famine, or scared for their life due to wars? It is now easy to follow life across the globe through media coverage. Quite often the focus is how bad things are going. People may indeed be wired up due to all the devastating occurrences in the world. This is not a healthy way to approach this. Remember, first be in a good state with yourself, before you can influence others in a positive way. There are no easy ways to heal the world of destruction. I think sending silent prayers to people who are suffering and envisioning ways to make their life better is a good way to start. Instead of focusing on the destructive powers, rather focus on the opportunities and potentials. Even small acts in your own community can cause ripple effects down the line.