It has been my pleasure to have some ongoing cyber conversations with Dr. Glen Hepker over the past few months and I became very impressed with his commitment to healthy bodies and healthy minds. I’m convinced we writers need to have healthy minds as well as healthy bodies if we want to be as creative as possible. So much attention is put on the product, but the product is often only as good as the producer.
So what can we as writer do to achieve a healthy mind which leads to a healthy body? My thinking about this coincided with the New Year and the resolutions which are made and undone in a matter of weeks. I invite you to read the following by Dr. Glen Hepker. I believe he has some wonderful insights into this whole area.
Dr. Glen, what are your thoughts on the common setting of New Year resolutions?
Response: With the new year, we have another splendid opportunity to embrace new beginnings, whether rooted in new goals, or the rekindling of old goals which we never fully answered to. The significance/practice of “‘doing it until it works’ – working at it…working at it…until nothing short of success is enjoyed” can be a powerful notion, if we choose to make it real. This dynamic of this outlook is inclusive of a deep awareness of the importance of becoming more and more skilled in the things that we do in life – most particularly the healthful things which beneficially contribute to our quality of life. We CAN chose to lovingly embrace the notion of life being a highly-evolved art form: We CAN endeavor to selflessly outgrow our desire for excuses, blame, and complaint. Yes, this IS difficult stuff, but we CAN take ownership of this healthful philosophy, realizing it often takes True Effort to succeed…to outgrow bad habits (making unhealthful practices less and less necessary). It is True Health through True Responsibility.
At a most difficult level of True Effort, True Forgiveness of ourselves and others can manifest into reality: We can alleviate ourselves of this terrible weight. In all, it is congruent with our True Responsibility of making the world a better place. In taking the logic a bit further, we can realize that, among our greatest of responsibilities, we CAN enjoy the dire insight that we have no excuse but to be justly supportive of others – and how we can unselfishly and splendidly benefit from this practice. It is allowing ourselves True Freedom in enjoying life’s ultimate gifts.
Too often we say we want to do something or accomplish something – until we discover how difficult it is. We realize that the journey toward the goal or objective is not enough fun – is too complicated – too nasty – too trying. We so often refuse to enjoy the miracle of the journey toward the goal – we focus our eye only on the reward – being unwilling to appreciate and objectively witness the ‘big picture.’ We are all capable of looking at this same issue through a more healthful lens: What a wonderful gift we can allow ourselves if we work toward a goal while displaying True Appreciation of the Miracle of the Moment… each moment of the journey. This is impossible all of the time – albeit recognition of the significance of this practice is a key aspect of a True Effort which cannot be separated from a healthful means of trying and achieving. It requires us to learn to better and better embrace our comfort and discomfort equally, lightening our loads of distastes, distastes which are often rooted in circumstances which we do not even recall. Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) made this point: “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”
According to the philosophy defined herein, a significant level of True Health clearly reflects the healthful practice of employing True Effort – and real and substantive True Effort cannot be realized unless such action is in distinct congruence with ‘doing the right thing for the right sake,’ e.g., the ‘right sake’ being ‘without the need for selfish recognition.’ Herein, so-to-speak, our ‘load is lightened,’ fostering less and less stress and anxiety – making True Effort possible and actually enjoyable when we realize a lightness of being, not bogged-down by selfish and/or emotional baggage …a wonderful, abundant level of healthful true self-efficacy. In looking at the issue in full circle, doing the right thing for the right sake, unto itself, when contrasted with other healthful objectives which we might attempt, is among the most difficult – requiring an amazing amount of effort. Albeit, nothing will better enforce substantive realization of comprehensive and genuine health and wellness.
If we wish to take True Responsibility for our own health and well-being, then it may be possible that we can learn to mindfully and objectively witness and make real the notion that life should be the highest of art forms: The more and more selfless one becomes in creating one’s art form, the more and more beautiful and healthful the art, the artist becomes. It is learning to Play the Part of the Perfect Witness – to oneself and the world in which we are an integral part. It is an outlook which is unblemished and light. It is True Honesty…learning to prefer to not be weighted-down by desire of recognition for one’s good work/effort. It is a significant key to unlocking the door to True Health.
When making healthful positive changes in one’s life, it is of great importance to be to be truly appreciative of the miracle of being able to do so. This is a gift made real by our own efforts and by the efforts of others. True Health is being a loving witness to the process and knowing not to be afraid of the notion that there is always room for improvement (which may be among our greatest blessings on this Earth).
It is amazing what we as human beings can accomplish when we do not give up. Notwithstanding, we often display little faith in the obvious potential benefits of making healthful changes in our lives. We have the strength and wherewithal to succeed in any goal we set for ourselves, if we are willing to ‘do it until works,’ never giving up. It won’t ever work otherwise. This New Year can be special, it CAN be different, if take true responsibility and make it so. What a beautiful blessing! What a beautiful gift we can allow ourselves. The below saying speaks well to this point:
The Lotus Flower Blossoms (as set forth in Chapter XV of my new book):
“There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be. It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.
In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before.
It is not unlike Heaven…and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation. It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments…as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful…more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind.” — Dr. Glen Hepker
Dr. Glen Hepker is an author (A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health), and has doctorate degrees in psychology and traditional Chinese health arts. He is a part-time individual and marital counselor, a wellness coach, and a master instructor of tai chi chuan, chi kung, kung fu, refined meditation/guided imagery, and associated health/wellness arts (which are intrinsically inclusive of the quite broad and ages-old benevolent, altruistic, and empathetic health/wellness philosophy set forth in his book - along with acupuncture/pressure, nutritional arts, herbal arts, tui na, stretching arts), at Mason City Wellness Center LLC/Mason City Tai Chi~Chi Kung~Kung Fu LLC, Mason City, IA USA