Extra! Extra! Read All about It! I’ve Discovered the Panacea to Good Health!

Gotcha.

There is no panacea, magic pill, secret sauce, or one thing that can fix our health. Our bodies are made up of various systems that operate symbiotically at different levels, interrelated in complicated ways. So much that science tells us and yet so much that researchers still do not truly understand. So many ancient remedies that seem like old wives’ tales, and yet… at least anecdotally, a lot of them seem to work. So many people peddling their one secret Way. Just buy their book, take their master course, or sign up to be coached by them. And under the comments section, one can read just as many “thank you, this helped me so much” boxes as “this is a hoax and a waste of your money”.

What does that mean for those of us trying to find our way?

It means each of us has our own individual path, we must do our own research, we have to experiment on ourselves and try out different things, we need to rely on our own common sense and intuition to discover what can work for us. We need to develop persistence in doing routines that are good for us and resilience not to slide into bad habits that are detrimental to us.

We can only share our own experience and successes and not necessarily give advice to encourage others to take our paths. Our personalized, customized-for/us, and through-trial-and-error ways.

If I were to write a book after I reach my ultimate level of health and wellness because people want to know how I did it, it would be called “No, There is NO Magic Pill: Baby Steps to Physical and Mental Wellness”

Chapter 1: There is No Panacea

Chapter 2: Food, Exercise, Sleep, Thought, Feeling, Relationship

Chapter 3: Try What You Can Afford Versus Advice from Chinese Parents

Chapter 4: It’s All Related; Do Your Research

Chapter 5: You Start Where You Start

Chapter 6: Break the Vicious Cycle Somewhere

Chapter 7: Find Your Tribe; Do What You Love

Chapter 8: Reframe Your Perspective: Helpful or Harmful?

Chapter 9: Decide What You Want and Just Do It

Chapter 10: You Don’t Fail Until You Quit

I am incredibly proud of myself. Over the past few months, I have changed my relationship with food, established that an average of 10,000 steps daily is doable, and fit into some of my all time favourite clothing that I have not been able to wear in a long time (many years). One concrete measurement is weight… and I’m happy to say that I’m down 20 lbs from my high of 200+ lbs.

I will write that book once I’ve hit 150 lbs, can run a 10k, and am the picture of health both physically and mentally. Stay tuned!

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Kung Fu Virtue of Strive

instructor-photo

Today I joined a distinguished group of brothers and sisters. I joined the instructor program at our School to help develop a deeper appreciation for and understanding of Shaolin virtues. Today is the first day of the rest of my life striving to improve myself and to contribute towards better health for my community.

Funny how I got on this path.

I’m really just a mom, a recovering Tiger Mom if I am to be honest. I just wanted to get my kids into something good for them. I just thought, gee, I’m bringing them to a martial arts class every week, if only they ran an adult class at the same time, I’m here anyway, might as well. I just wanted them to practice with their class more than once a week so I started bringing them in twice a week. I just wanted to offer my help to the kids class for that second day. And then BOOM. I find myself signing up for the instructor program and I am now a Junior Assistant Instructor!  Me, little ole beginner me.

At the instructor workshop, Master Dao served us traditional Chinese tea and then we each selected a Shaolin Virtue to focus on. I selected Strive, or the Shaolin Virtue of continuous improvement: having the willpower to always work on being better at everything: physical strength and flexibility, mental strength and openness, emotional maturity and calm. I have much to work on and I am looking forward to becoming a better version of myself, moment by moment, step by step, day by day: a better mother, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better aunt, a better friend, a better colleague, a better me.

Striving is not about winning.  Striving is about being earnest.  Striving is about stretching. Striving is about doing my best.

Today I focus on: Strive.