There is a small island off the coast of Venice, Italy named Burano. It is such a lovely, colorful, yet peaceful town at the north end of the lagoon. One calming aspect of Burano is that lace is sewn here. One is captivated and mesmerized by those who are creating lace. The threading process takes time, patience and consistency. My impression is that when you watch the stitches unite, you are drawn into the characteristics of the lace maker. These works of art are expressions created near perfection.
Health, and the acquisition of health, entails a similar attempt. After around the age of 25, and for some even younger, the body starts to decline. Putting attention toward our health can allow us to live all our later decades in peak condition. We may implement daily exercise, drink more water, or choose to sleep 8 hours each day. We may also avoid chemicals, stress or a cell phone next to our head. For some, these choices may do the trick. For others, especially after a significant illness or injury, we may need to add a little extra care until we’re back in tip-top shape.
A conversation I have with most of my patients is about choosing one suggestion I give, and trying to do it every day. At first, it may feel constraining to commit to doing the same thing repetitively. However this is a building process toward relief or restoration.
I use a health journal that I created several years ago. The purpose of this book is for writing down what you are committing to doing, whether one thing or ten. Going to your activity sheet every single morning is the first habit. Seeing the item(s) remaining on your list re-fuels the desire to check them off tomorrow. Over time, the habit of doing something for your body each day develops.
I often say, ‘what we give energy to, grows’, and those who are admirable in life seem to have found this same truth. I believe most people do not truly adhere to consistent healthcare practices until after the age of 25. As kids or young adults, we haven’t really experienced illnesses that need resolving. So, as we age developing daily habits is required for health and vitality.
Top students study every day. Daily habits are true of those who excel in sports, the arts or business. Anything one wants to attain requires reliable steadfast regularity. Acquiring and maintaining health is no different. Keeping the goal in mind is the only way to establish the habit of choosing wisely and sticking to the plan. Once it grows into a lifestyle, there is no work involved any longer. It becomes easy and routine.
At the onset, tenacity takes intentional use of energy, similar to one creating lace. With much practice, this new habit is formed, and reduced effort is required. Just as a delightful, melodic piece of music is enjoyed after painstaking efforts are endured by the artists, so are the benefits of good health realized. We admire the peace and tranquility that the producer must have experienced in order to persevere toward excellence in quality. Likewise, I admire those who were once very sick, but with patience, dedication and consistency, are healed and healthy again.
Knitting is a nice example of diligence and continuity. This work of art stimulates a feeling of ease, when you visually absorb the allure and beauty of the pattern. If we want to knit our body back together, devotion to continuous rebuilding and mending occurs over time. Forcing or rushing this process will cause us to overlook important steps.
Tumultuous lifestyles of disharmony and erratic behavior waste energy by adapting to frequent change. Routines and predictable patterns of behavior allow the body to heal with flow and ease.
Why do people enjoy melodic music, hearing the waves of the sea or crickets chirping? It is repetitive, consistent and predictable. The body loves when we sleep at the same time each night, exercise at an identical hour each day and eat at repeated intervals.
My grandfather was an amazing crocheter. He would sit for hours producing masterpieces. In fact, he crocheted the Lord’s prayer multiple times. I’m not sure how he was able to imagine this feat. He used white yarn to crochet the words and with a colored background behind it, these words were nearly illuminated. In fact, my mom still has this art-form on her wall even now. His efforts are timeless. Of all my grandparents, my grandfather lived the longest. It makes me wonder was it because of his consistency with needles and yarn?