Mindsoul’s Weblog

November 27, 2008

What Does The Phrase “Health Conscious” Really Mean?

I have used the phrase “Health Conscious” often, in past few years, to describe myself. I have also used it to characterize a life style of eating on the healthy side, and living with healthy habits. Today I was thinking more deeply about the phrase Health Conscious and what it really means.

The word Conscious is another word for saying Aware. OK, so that’s a simple interpretation of the word Conscious. We can get much deeper into what conscious and consciousness means. But for now let’s accept that notion awareness is that which is implied in the phrase Health Conscious.

Now, the other part of the phrase, the word Health, what does that really mean? And what does awareness of Health really mean?

I think most of us interpret Health as a concept that describes our body. Oxford dictionary defines Health to mean ” the state of being free from illness or injury” Probably most people in our western modern culture perceive Health to be what Oxford dictionary defined it to be, lack of disease. But in the context of the phrase Health Conscious, it doesn’t quite feel right to say Health Conscious means being aware of lack of disease. I think Health Conscious has a more proactive sense towards Health. Meaning, instead of being aware of lack of disease, Health Conscious lifestyle refers to an awareness of making choices in our life in favor of the maintaining or even promoting our state of being healthy. I think I’m comfortable with that meaning of the phrase Health Conscious. How about you?

But being a deep thinker I kept going with my desire to really dig into what I mean by calling myself Health Conscious. What was challenging to me about using this phrase is how do we define Healthy? What do we mean by being Healthy? How do we know our body or mind is enjoying a state of Health? Simply by not feeling sick, does that mean our body is in pure state of Health? And if we want to find out the answer, how do even being to know what’s going on with the inner state of our body?

In our modern culture in the west, there is way to answer that question. And that way is to visit a Medical Doctor, an MD. We have all been conditioned, and our parents have been conditioned, and perhaps even our grand parents generation have been conditioned, to accept that we human beings, ourselves, can know and sense very little about the state of health of our body. That in order to know how healthy our body is, we have to visit the doctor and have him perform tests and use the science of medicine to discover the state of health of our body. Don’t you agree?

The idea that we ourselves can know, or learn to know, our body’s state of health is relatively a foreign idea in our culture. We not only have learned to not pay attention to our body and our body’s state of health, we have been conditioned to ignore it even if we intuitively or subconsciously can sense what’s going on inside our body. In the modern industrial world we live in now, we have learned to delegate to the doctors and medical science and systems, the authority and responsibility of sensing the state of health of our body and mind. We have delegated the authority and responsibility of knowing and sensing what is healthy and what is not, what food is healthy and what is not, what environment is healthy and what is not, all of that we have delegated to others, namely to popular culture and indirectly to industry. Industry has found the way to shape the popular culture. McDonald has found a way to become popular. Coke and Pepsi have found the system to become popular. Fruits and vegetables that have been factory farmed with toxic chemicals and pesticides, have become mass produced by industry and has dominated the market for decades. Same goes with the other types of food like meat and fish, industrialized and factory farmed now for the most part.

How can we claim to be Health Conscious or aware of the state of the health of our body, state of the health of our food and environment, when from day 1 when we come to this world, we have been taught not to be conscious or aware of our health and let others take care of all that. And when our body’s health deteriorates to the point when we are literally sick and not functional, we believe that the doctors and medical science can diagnose and cure our body with tests and medicine.

The fact is we are born into the world fully “Health Conscious”. The wisdom of life is encoded in our soul, so to speak. Yet sadly by the time we are adults, most of us have been taught to dismantle our awareness of our body’s health, awareness of what food is healthy, and our awareness of what is healthy or not in our environment.

Therefore how can I call myself Health Conscious? Where do I begin to regain my wisdom about health of my body and my mind? My body doesn’t need to become sick before I decide to pay attention to it. My awareness of my health is something I can get back slowly but surely. We can make choices everyday that impacts the health of our body and mind. Most of those choices are made for us if we don’t make them. Industry and culture has been making those choices for us, and for certain the health and well-being of our body is not what industry has in mind. I know for me I started a few years ago the journey to become “Health Conscious”. I now know we can take back the responsibility and authority of our own health. I became vegetarian a few years ago. I mediate more often. I buy organic. But there’s so much more wisdom I can become aware of in my path to becoming Health Conscious.

I recently discovered Ayurveda (pronounces Ahh Your Veda). Ayurveda means Science (or better put, Wisdom) of Life. It is the ancient tradition of health and medicine that comes from that part of the world which is now India. Tradition of Ayurveda goes back 5000 years. Dr. Deepak Chopra of Chopra Center for Wellbeing is a great source of Ayurveda knowledge. One thing I learned is that Ayurveda says that concept of health, healing and being whole is all the same. That, health is really about being whole and integrated in body, mind and spirit. I’m so excited to learn more about Ayurveda. Its my next step towards becoming Health Conscious!! What is your next step?

Author: Ron Hariri

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.