It’s hard to get a fix on how much the global population are taking medication. A recent census in America estimates 70% of the population are on prescription meds. Pretty staggering right?
The reason why can be near and far, ranging from depression, high blood pressure, cholesterol, metabolic conditions, ADHD and a myriad of other conditions to which have no perceivable end in sight.
It’s getting worse. I am worried, I really am.
You know what’s interesting though, is that I don’t believe that people do not know the answer to a lot of basic health related problems.
This isn’t going to be a post about how you need to drink more water, exercise more, eat less sugar and more vegetables. People already know this.
The trouble with consistent healthy actions like these, it’s that there’s so many barriers to overcome, sometimes we even need to get out of our own way!
Behavioural Habits – like a computer program we play the same routine of actions over a subsequent day. The same eating habits, the same drinking habits, the same exercise (or lack there of) habits. We get so good at these patterns they go unconscious throughout the day, I mean can you really remember everything you consciously ate and drank today?
Doesn’t quite ring of the tongue.
What if I told you that a lot of our health related problems are predicated on our inability to sit alone in a room.
To get out of that unconscious pattern and sit still for just 10 minutes.
To close our eyes, journey inwards. To be present with ourselves. Not just to hear ourselves, but to listen.
Sounds an easy fix?
I challenge you to do this for just 5 minutes without squirming for your phone – let’s see how you get on.
Medication is a Mask.
Back to medication.
You see medication takes our attention away from the source, the root of the problem. It masks the symptoms without any consideration for why it is present in the first place.
Prescribing Medication is also easy. Sadly, the why it is needed is hard; and It’s also not profitable.
$1.05 trillion not profitable.
These pharmaceutical companies profit on your symptoms, then profit again when you come back with side effects for the initial prescription.
I mean it’s clever, wickedly clever:
Supply an easy solution for a problem. Check.
Easy solution creates a new problem. Check.
Supply an easy solution for new problem. Check again.
It’s a vicious, never ending, cash creating circle.
Like a reoccurring prescription for depression, people can circulate Prozac for years to no avail. This gives no consideration of energy towards the origin of the problem, it only numbs and dulls the pain.
The thing is we need pain – we need to feel pain.
Pain commands our attention, directs us inward towards ourselves.
Pain makes us listen.
I mean, would you muzzle a screaming child in pain?
Then don’t do it to yourselves.
Meditation is your Attention.
I think that a lot of people get put off by the concept of meditation because it is ascribed to the typical lotus, crossed legged position, perhaps atop a snowy mountain with bald monks in orange robes.
Though there is no dispute that this can be attributed towards meditation in the more traditional sense, I like to make known of meditation as a training your attention and awareness.
Mindfulness is often a term that accompanies this practice, which is simply being aware of your inner state, the inner dialogue of thought and feeling that you experience day to day. Just observing them objectively, with no attachment, no judgement.
We are missing this inner attention. The cultivation of how thought and feeling transpire in ourselves when we do certain things.
You see, meditation is in all these things we do.
It is in the unwavering attention in how we run. How we feel the impact on gravel and vibrations beneath our feet in the stride. In the clean, cold air we inhale to lungs. To the pounding in our chest, the blood pounding and pulsing in our head and the cold chill of the breeze on our sweaty skin.
It is in the walks in nature, alone on a Sunday morning. Experiencing the mystical colours of dawn, like a dazzling painting, splashes of reds, oranges, yellows and blues staining the inky skies, finally clashing against the tops of the dark green forest trees. Hearing the rustling and creaking of branches, ebbing and flowing to the cold wind splashing about your face.
It is in the undivided attention in how we converse with people. How we make eye contact, how we not only hear – but listen to another point of view. How we openly accept, appreciate and consider a different perspective. Meditate on the words they say, experience that openness.
Depression is not something I take lightly, and I would not find confidence in sharing this matter if I did not possess wisdom.
Without the meditation of moving, nourishing and being mindful of my inner-self, I found my thoughts sporadic, erratic, ungrounded, misplaced and a danger to myself and others. Only drugs held me together and I realise, like the stats that preface this article, I am likely speaking to someone who feels similar. Held together through drugs.
From someone that has come this place, I realised that I have a choice in where I place my attention and my energy.
You can come to realise when you meditate on a productive task, when your attention is so intent on an objective, when you are truly present and undivided in how you approach something, you unable to think and give that energy to elsewhere, especially neurosis.
And just like a muscle, if you train attention – you, like I, will find your pain melts away in the pursuit of something greater.
You will find the freedom of choice and energy to listen to yourself.
When’s the last time you spent time with yourself and really listened to what your body needed?
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Grateful for your presence,