Vitality Health Quotes

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Being mortal is about the struggle to cope with the constraints of our biology, with the limits set by genes and cells and flesh and bone. Medical science has given us remarkable power to push against these limits, and the potential value of this power was a central reason I became a doctor. But again and again, I have seen the damage we in medicine do when we fail to acknowledge that such power is finite and always will be. We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive. Those reasons matter not just at the end of life, or when debility comes, but all along the way. Whenever serious sickness or injury strikes and your body or mind breaks down, the vital questions are the same: What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? What are your fears and what are your hopes? What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make? And what is the course of action that best serves this understanding?
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
There comes a time when it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address
Barbara Brown Taylor
Your health is what you make of it. Everything you do and think either adds to the vitality, energy and spirit you possess or takes away from it.
Ann Wigmore (The Hippocrates Diet and Health Program: A Natural Diet and Health Program for Weight Control, Disease Prevention, and)
Eating natural foods, in their uncooked condition, when the cells are still alive, will bring an enormous sense of health and vitality to the system.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
Health and disease are the same thing—vital action intended to preserve, maintain, and protect the body. There is no more reason for treating disease than there is for treating health.
Herbert M. Shelton
The spirit is one of the most neglected parts of man by doctors and scientists around the world. Yet, it is as vital to our health as the heart and mind. It's time for science to examine the many facets of the soul. The condition of our soul is usually the source of many sicknesses.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When emotions are expressed...all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behavior.
Candace B. Pert (Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine)
Depression affects almost 80% of migraine sufferers at one time or another. People with migraine, especially chronic migraine, also are more likely to experience intense anxiety and to have suicidal tendencies. If we want to live happy and joyful lives with migraine, it is vital that we acknowledge and deal with the emotional realities of the disease.
Sarah Hackley (Finding Happiness with Migraines: a Do It Yourself Guide, a min-e-bookTM)
It's understandable why humans stopped living in space in the 2020s. How can you think of the stars when the seas are spilling over? How can you spare thought for alien ecosystems when your cities are too hot to inhabit? How can you trade fuel and metal and ideas when the lines on every map are in flux? How can anyone be expected to care about the questions of worlds above when the questions of the world you're stuck on — the most vital criteria of home and health and safety — remain unanswered?
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope. We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
If the heartbeat is a vital sign of physical health, anger is the vital sign of emotional health. Anger protects the self in all relationships. It is rage that is damaging.
Sue Parker Hall (Anger, Rage and Relationship)
Black is the most essential of all colors. Above all, if I may say so, it draws its excitement and vitality from deep and secret sources of health...One must admire black. Nothing can debauch it.
Odilon Redon
A well-lived day is medicine unto itself.
Acharya Shunya (Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom)
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. —Carl Jung
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
A crowd whose discontent has risen no higher than the level of slogans is only a crowd. But a crowd that understands the reasons for its discontent and knows the remedies is a vital community, and it will have to be reckoned with. I would rather go before the government with two people who have a competent understanding of an issue, and who therefore deserve a hearing, than with two thousand who are vaguely dissatisfied. But even the most articulate public protest is not enough. We don't live in the government or in institutions or in our public utterances and acts, and the environmental crisis has its roots in our lives. By the same token, environmental health will also be rooted in our lives. That is, I take it, simply a fact, and in the light of it we can see how superficial and foolish we would be to think that we could correct what is wrong merely by tinkering with the institutional machinery. The changes that are required are fundamental changes in the way we are living.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
We teach our child many things I don’t believe in, and almost nothing I do believe in. We teach punctuality, particularly if the enforcement of it disturbs the peace. My father taught me, by example, that the greatest defeat in life was to miss a train. Only after many years did I learn that an escaping train carries away with it nothing vital to my health. Railroad trains are such magnificent objects we commonly mistake them for Destiny.
E.B. White (One Man's Meat)
In older myths, the dark road leads downward into the Underworld, where Persephone is carried off by Hades, much against her will, while Ishtar descends of her own accord to beat at the gates of Hell. This road of darkness lies to the West, according to Native American myth, and each of us must travel it at some point in our lives. The western road is one of trials, ordeals, disasters and abrupt life changes — yet a road to be honored, nevertheless, as the road on which wisdom is gained. James Hillman, whose theory of 'archetypal psychology' draws extensively on Greco–Roman myth, echoes this belief when he argues that darkness is vital at certain periods of life, questioning our modern tendency to equate mental health with happiness. It is in the Underworld, he reminds us, that seeds germinate and prepare for spring. Myths of descent and rebirth connect the soul's cycles to those of nature.
Terri Windling
While combat efficiency is a primary function of Shaolin Kung Fu, a more immediate and useful benefit in our law-abiding society is attaining radiant health and vitality.
Wong Kiew Kit (The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu: The Secrets of Kung Fu for Self-Defense, Health, and Enlightenment (Tuttle Martial Arts))
A real relationship with nature is vital for our magical and spiritual development, and our psychic and spiritual health. It is also a vital base for any work we do to heal the earth and transform the social and political systems that are assaulting her daily.
Starhawk (The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature)
When a depressed person does get out of bed, it’s usually not with a sudden insight that life is rich and valuable, but out of some creeping sense of duty or instinct for survival. If collapsing is sometimes vital, so is the brute force of will. To William James we owe the insight that, in the absence of real health, we sometimes must act as if we are healthy. Buoyed by such discipline and habit, we might achieve actual well-being.
Joshua Wolf Shenk (Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness)
The difficulties in life are vital for our personal growth and well-being.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Words are like food. They contain information that either releases and liberates and creates possibilities and development or locks you into unhealthy patterns you can’t change.
Thorbjörg Hafsteinsdottir (10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks)
I thought, Hatred is vital to good health, and I thought, To find ourselves in harmony with the world is a lethal infection.
António Lobo Antunes (Act of the Damned)
Show up for your own life, he said. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle-feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant-gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about conciousness, so honor that consciousness. Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with wilful oblivion. Try to notice something new everyday, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like; notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet fell like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbours, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
When all your energies are brought into harmony, your body flourishes. And when your body flourishes, your soul has a soil in which it can blossom in the world. These are the ultimate reasons for energy medicine—to prepare the soil and nurture the blossom.
Donna Eden (Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body's Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality)
When you look at it only from your own perspective, it’s easy to think that only you have suffered harm. But if you change your thinking... you can approach the other person first and say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
Ilchi Lee (I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation)
If you want more joy in your daily life, smile at the people you meet in the street, the woman sitting beside you on the bus or standing next to you in the queue at the airport, the waiter who brings your food, your colleagues or your employer. There’s a great chance they’ll smile back.
Thorbjörg Hafsteinsdottir (10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks)
What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home. Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.
Cheryl Mendelson
I love you.” “I’m sorry.” “Please forgive me.” “Thank you.
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value.
Christiane Northrup (Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being)
Your thoughts and beliefs are the single most important indicator of your state of health. That is amazingly good
Christiane Northrup (Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being)
Movement is the song of the body.
Vanda Scaravelli (Awakening the Spine: The Stress-Free New Yoga that Works with the Body to Restore Health, Vitality and Energy)
Not only does fruit fight cancer, it kills all types of viruses and bacteria. Certain fruits, such as bananas, wild blueberries, apples, and papayas, are the most powerful natural destroyers of viruses on earth. Fruit is also vital to gut health—which is essential to a healthy immune system. For example, the pectin in apples, and the skin, pulp, and fiber in figs and dates, are exceptionally effective at killing and/or clearing out anything that doesn’t belong in your intestinal tract, including fungi such as Candida, worms, and other parasites.
Anthony William (Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal)
Nevertheless, if someone has an empty brain—and because of this is vexed by insanity, and is delerious—take the whole grains of wheat and cook them in water. Remove these cooked grains from the water, and place them around his whole head, tying a cloth over them. His brain will be reinvigorated by their vital fluid, and he may recover his health and strength. Do this until he returns to his right mind. If
Hildegard of Bingen (Hildegard von Bingen's Physica: The Complete English Translation of Her Classic Work on Health and Healing)
But they have preserved an aspect of the American persona that is uniquely vital to the health of this republic. Among many other things, those dirtbag river runners uphold the virtue of disobedience: the principle that in a free society, defiance for its own sake sometimes carries value and meaning, if only because power in all of its forms—commercial, governmental, and moral—should not always and without question be handed what it demands.
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
Mindset 1: Stress Is Harmful. Experiencing stress depletes my health and vitality. Experiencing stress debilitates my performance and productivity. Experiencing stress inhibits my learning and growth. The effects of stress are negative and should be avoided. Mindset 2: Stress Is Enhancing. Experiencing stress enhances my performance and productivity. Experiencing stress improves my health and vitality. Experiencing stress facilitates my learning and growth. The effects of stress are positive and should be utilized.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You and How to Get Good at It)
But identifying, testing for, and treating mentally challenged kids is something we can all agree is vital. The allocation of money for the project is the only conceivable issue that prevents the immediate implementation of a comprehensive program. I suggest we make mental health a priority in Lansing.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
Weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and low libido aren’t diseases that can be “cured” with a quick injection or a pharmaceutical. Most of these problems can’t be permanently solved by eating less or exercising more. They are hormonal problems. They mean our bodies are trying to tell us that something is wrong.
Sara Gottfried (The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol)
The lesson in running brooks is that motion is a great purifier and health-producer. When the brook ceases to run, it soon stagnates. It keeps in touch with the great vital currents when it is in motion, and unites with other brooks to help make the river. In motion it soon leaves all mud and sediment behind. Do not proper work and the exercise of will power have the same effect upon our lives?
John Burroughs (The Gospel of Nature)
According to Richard Gerber, M.D.: “The ultimate approach to healing will be to remove the abnormalities at the subtle-energy level which led to the manifestation of illness in the first place.”2 Norm Shealy, M.D., founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association, has flatly stated that “energy medicine is the future of all medicine.”3 This emerging approach is actually both contemporary and ancient. According to Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel laureate in Medicine: “In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.
Donna Eden (Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body's Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality)
Good health is subjective and cumulative depending on individual interpretation. Do not allow someone else’s shortcomings to become yours.
Gary Hopkins
As I awaken me, I awaken you.
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
You’ll feel better once you trust the Divine to take care of you,” he
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
This is a head-warping, mind-opening, brain-cramping concept. To live it is to transform your life as never before.
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
Introspection and observation of others are vital for the ongoing good health of our own psyche; watch, learn and tweak as required.
Sam Owen (500 Relationships And Life Quotes: Bite-Sized Advice For Busy People)
It’s vitally important that mental health care services are considered a basic human right.” -Shenita Etwaroo
Shenita Etwaroo
Arguably the greatest technological triumph of the century has been the public-health system, which is sophisticated preventive and investigative medicine organized around mostly low- and medium-tech equipment; ... fully half of us are alive today because of the improvements.
Richard Rhodes (Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate About Machines Systems and the Human World)
Earth can be bad for your health too. On land, grizzly bears want to maul you; in the oceans, sharks want to eat you. Snowdrifts can freeze you, deserts dehydrate you, earthquakes bury you, volcanoes incinerate you. Viruses can infect you, parasites suck your vital fluids, cancers take over your body, congenital diseases force an early death. And even if you have the good luck to be healthy, a swarm of locusts could devour your crops, a tsunami could wash away your family, or a hurricane could blow apart your town. So the universe wants to kill us all.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
There is new research showing that our creative potential increases with age. Our creativity is a product of our inner and outer experience, and as we get older, we have all kinds of experience to draw on. Also, research tells us that creativity brings energy, vitality and good health.
Sandra A. Cusack
We quickly learn that God is more interested in our holiness than in our comfort. He more greatly delights in the integrity and purity of his church than in the material well-being of its members. He shows himself more clearly to men and women who enjoy him and obey him than to men and women whose horizons revolve around good jobs, nice houses, and reasonable health. He is far more committed to building a corporate “temple” in which his Spirit dwells than he is in preserving our reputations. He is more vitally disposed to display his grace than to flatter our intelligence. He is more concerned for justice than for our ease. He is more deeply committed to stretching our faith than our popularity. He prefers that his people live in disciplined gratitude and holy joy rather than in pushy self-reliance and glitzy happiness. He wants us to pursue daily death, not self-fulfillment, for the latter leads to death, while the former leads to life. These essential values of the gospel must shape our praying, as they shape Paul’s. Indeed, they become the ground for our praying (“For this reason . . . I pray”): it is a wonderful comfort, a marvelous boost to faith, to know that you are praying in line with the declared will of almighty God.
Donald Arthur Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
I went on to explain that there are at least 3 stages to life, beginning with you as victim, then moving on to you as creator of your life, and ending—if you’re lucky—with you be- coming servant to the Divine.
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
everything you seek and everything you experience—everything—is inside you. If you want to change anything, you do it inside, not outside. The whole idea is total responsibility. There’s no one to blame. It’s all you.
Joe Vitale (Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More)
Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful. We can revise our maps only when we have the discipline to overcome that pain. To have such discipline, we must be totally dedicated to truth. That is to say that we must always hold truth, as best we can determine it, to be more important, more vital to our self-interest, than our comfort. Conversely, we must always consider our personal discomfort relatively unimportant and, indeed, even welcome it in the service of the search for truth. Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
He, too, admires himself, for his qualities—his beauty, cleverness, talents—and for his success and achievements. Beware if one of these fails him, for then the catastrophe of a severe depression is imminent. It is usually considered normal when sick or aged people who have suffered the loss of much of their health and vitality or women who are experiencing menopause become depressive. There are, however, many people who can tolerate the loss of beauty, health, youth, or loved ones and, although they grieve, do so without depression. In contrast, there are those with great gifts, often precisely the most gifted, who do suffer from severe depression. For one is free from it only when self-esteem is based on the authenticity of ones own feelings and not on the possession of certain qualities.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
Similarly problematic is baseline resetting. With chronic sleep restriction over months or years, an individual will actually acclimate to their impaired performance, lower alertness, and reduced energy levels. That low-level exhaustion becomes their accepted norm, or baseline. Individuals fail to recognize how their perennial state of sleep deficiency has come to compromise their mental aptitude and physical vitality, including the slow accumulation of ill health.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
But I am also concerned about our moral uprightness and the health of our souls. Therefore I must oppose any attempt to gain our freedom by the methods of malice, hate, and violence that have characterized our oppressors. Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King Jr. (The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colourless liquid with a slight chemical odour. It is used as an antiseptic, a solvent, in medical wipes and antibacterial formulas because it kills organisms by denaturing their proteins. Ethanol is an important industrial ingredient. Ethanol is a good general purpose solvent and is found in paints, tinctures, markers and personal care products such as perfumes and deodorants. The largest single use of ethanol is as an engine fuel and fuel additive. In other words, we drink, for fun, the same thing we use to make rocket fuel, house paint, anti-septics, solvents, perfumes, and deodorants and to denature, i.e. to take away the natural properties of, or kill, living organisms. Which might make sense on some level if we weren’t a generation of green minded, organic, health-conscious, truth seeking individuals. But we are. We read labels, we shun gluten, dairy, processed foods, and refined sugars. We buy organic, we use natural sunscreen and beauty products. We worry about fluoride in our water, smog in our air, hydrogenated oils in our food, and we debate whether plastic bottles are safe to drink from. We replace toxic cleaning products with Mrs. Myers and homemade vinegar concoctions. We do yoga, we run, we SoulCycle and Fitbit, we go paleo and keto, we juice, we cleanse. We do coffee enemas and steam our yonis, and drink clay and charcoal, and shoot up vitamins, and sit in infrared foil boxes, and hire naturopaths, and shamans, and functional doctors, and we take nootropics and we stress about our telomeres. These are all real words. We are hyper-vigilant about everything we put into our body, everything we do to our body, and we are proud of this. We Instagram how proud we are of this, and we follow Goop and Well+Good, and we drop 40 bucks on an exercise class because there are healing crystals in the floor. The global wellness economy is estimated to be worth $4 trillion. $4 TRILLION DOLLARS. We are on an endless and expensive quest for wellness and vitality and youth. And we drink fucking rocket fuel.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
museums have never existed when art is in good health and creative vitality flourishes. Museums are no more than cemeteries of art, catacombs in which the remains of what were once living things are arranged in sepulchral promiscuity (...) - Théophile Thoré (1861)
Francis Haskell (The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition)
What about the person who smokes, drinks, eats pasta and pepperoni pizza, and lives to be 100 because his life is so full of love, vitality, and purpose that he doesn’t want to leave it? I had a sneaking suspicion that there is a lot more to optimal health than we think.
Lissa Rankin (Mind Over Medicine)
Sleep isn’t a luxury. Memory and learning are thought to be consolidated during sleep, so it’s a requirement for adolescents and as vital to their health as the air they breathe and the food they eat. In fact, sleep helps teens eat better. It also allows them to manage stress.
Frances E. Jensen (The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults)
And to all those out there who feel stuck, lost, in a rut, or just unable to transcend habits or behaviors that no longer serve you, understand that we are with you. You are all an integral and vital part of this movement. Keep rising. We are with you in each breath and in every moment. This book is for you.
Rich Roll (The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family: A Cookbook)
And to all those out there who feel stuck, lost, in a rut, or just unable to transcend habits or behaviors that no longer serve you, understand that we are with you. You are all an integral and vital part of this movement. Keep rising. We are with you in each breath and in every moment. This book is for you.
Julie Piatt & Rich Roll (The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family: A Cookbook)
If we deny the wishes of the soul, then soul will become disgusted and withdraw vital energy from our lives. We'll become prone to illness and misfortune. Following the secret wishes of the soul, on the other hand, can return us to the natural path of our energies and restore vitality, good health and good fortune. The process can begin right away, in a round of dream- sharing, when we make room to move with the energy of a dream instead of just talking about it.
Robert Moss (Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole)
Reducing social services and replacing them with punitive social control mechanisms works less well and is more expensive. The cost of housing people and providing then with mental health services is actually lower than cycling them through emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and jails, as numerous studies have shown.
Alex S. Vitale (The End of Policing)
When love appears in the heart, it removes all causes of excitation from the system and cools it down to a perfectly normal state; and, invigorating the vital powers, expels all foreign matters - the germs of disease - by natural ways (perspiration and so forth). It thereby makes man perfectly healthy in body and mind.
Yukteswar Giri (The Holy Science)
We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive. Those reasons matter not just at the end of life, or when debility comes, but all along the way. Whenever serious sickness or injury strikes and your body or mind breaks down, the vital questions are the same: What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? What are your fears and what are your hopes? What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make? And what is the course of action that best serves this understanding?
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
I had refused to pay any attention to the moral laws upon which all our vitality and sanity depend: and so now I was reduced to the condition of a silly old woman, worrying about a lot of imaginary rules of health, standards of food-value, and a thousand minute details of conduct that were in themselves completely ridiculous and stupid, and yet which haunted me with vague and terrific sanctions. If I eat this, I may go out of my mind. If I do not eat that, I may die in the night.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
This prayer is for my sister Catherine. She is relaxed and at peace, poised, balanced, serene, and calm. The healing intelligence of her subconscious mind, which created her body, is now transforming every cell, nerve, tissue, muscle, and bone of her being according to the perfect pattern of all organs lodged in her subconscious mind. Silently, quietly, all distorted thought patterns in her subconscious mind are removed and dissolved, and the vitality, wholeness, and beauty of the life principle are made manifest in every atom of her being. She is now open and receptive to the healing currents, which are flowing through her like a river, restoring her to perfect health, harmony, and peace. All distortions and ugly images are now washed away by the infinite ocean of love and peace flowing through her, and it is so.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
A society that fails to value communality — our need to belong, to care for one another, and to feel caring energy flowing toward us — is a society facing away from the essence of what it means to be human. Pathology cannot but ensue. To say so is not a moral assertion but an objective assessment. "When people start to lose a sense of meaning and get disconnected, that's where disease comes from, that's where breakdown in our health — mental, physical, social health — occurs," the psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry told me. If a gene or virus were found that caused the same impacts on the population's well-being as disconnection does, news of it would bellow from front-page headlines. Because it transpires on so many levels and so pervasively, we almost take it for granted; it is the water we swim in. We are steeped in the normalized myth that we are, each of us, mere individuals striving to attain private goals. The more we define ourselves that way, the more estranged we become from vital aspects of who we are and what we need to be healthy. Among psychologists there is a wide-ranging consensus about what our core needs consist of. These have been variously listed as: - belonging, relatedness, or connectedness; - autonomy: a sense of control in one's life; - mastery or competence; - genuine self-esteem, not dependent on achievement, attainment, acquisition, or valuation by others; - trust: a sense of having the personal and social resources needed to sustain one through life; - purpose, meaning, transcendence: knowing oneself as part of something larger than isolated, self-centered concerns, whether that something is overtly spiritual or simply universal/humanistic, or, given our evolutionary origins, Nature. "The statement that the physical and mental life of man, and nature, are interdependent means simply that nature is interdependent with itself, for man is a part of nature." So wrote a twenty-six-year-old Karl Marx in 1844. None of this tells you anything you don't already know or intuit. You can check your own experience: What's it like when each of the above needs is met? What happens in your mind and body when it's lacking, denied, or withdrawn?
Gabor Maté (The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture)
Scientists revealed in 2016 that bees find pollen by picking up electrical signals transmitted by flowers, while a British team has lowered extremely high blood pressure by inserting an electrical wire in the brain to change what is being communicated. Understanding electrical communication is vital to understanding our reality (and health) and it is so simple.
David Icke
If we put this whole progression in terms of our discussion of the possibilities of heroism, it goes like this: Man breaks through the bounds of merely cultural heroism; he destroys the character lie that had him perform as a hero in the everyday social scheme of things; and by doing so he opens himself up to infinity, to the possibility of cosmic heroism, to the very service of God. His life thereby acquires ultimate value in place of merely social and cultural, historical value. He links his secret inner self, his authentic talent, his deepest feelings of uniqueness, his inner yearning for absolute significance, to the very ground of creation. Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private, invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance, for cosmic heroism. This invisible mystery at the heart of every creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation. This is the meaning of faith. At the same time it is the meaning of the merger of psychology and religion in Kierkegaard's thought. The truly open person, the one who has shed his character armor, the vital lie of his cultural conditioning, is beyond the help of any mere "science," of any merely social standard of health. He is absolutely alone and trembling on the bring of oblivion-which is at the same time the brink of infinity. To give him the new support that he needs, the "courage to renounce dread without any dread...only faith is capable of," says Kierkegaard. Not that this is an easy out for man, or a cure-all for the human condition-Kierkegaard is never facile. He gives a strikingly beautiful idea: not that [faith] annihilates dread, but remaining ever young, it is continually developing itself out of the death throe of dread. In other words, as long as man is an ambiguous creature he can never banish anxiety; what he can do instead is to use anxiety as an eternal spring for growth into new dimensions of thought and trust. Faith poses a new life task, the adventure in openness to a multi-dimensional reality.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
This historic general election, which showed that the British are well able to distinguish between patriotism and Toryism, brought Clement Attlee to the prime ministership. In the succeeding five years, Labor inaugurated the National Health Service, the first and boldest experiment in socialized medicine. It took into public ownership all the vital (and bankrupted) utilities of the coal, gas, electricity and railway industries. It even nibbled at the fiefdoms and baronies of private steel, air transport and trucking. It negotiated the long overdue independence of India. It did all this, in a country bled white by the World War and subject to all manner of unpopular rationing and controls, without losing a single midterm by-election (a standard not equaled by any government of any party since). And it was returned to office at the end of a crowded term.
Christopher Hitchens
The vital difference between dreamers and achievers boils down to some very basic, simple habits. People with clear, *written-out* goals who consistently honor their defined priorities tend to get results faster than others, and enjoy a greater level of happiness and long-term success in all areas of life. Yet most of us have never been formally taught a system of goal-setting and mastery that can be applied to health and fitness.
Chalene Johnson (PUSH: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin' Body, and the Life You Deserve!)
From then on, my computer monitored my vital signs and kept track of exactly how many calories I burned during the course of each day. If I didn’t meet my daily exercise requirements, the system prevented me from logging into my OASIS account. This meant that I couldn’t go to work, continue my quest, or, in effect, live my life. Once the lockout was engaged, you couldn’t disable it for two months. And the software was bound to my OASIS account, so I couldn’t just buy a new computer or go rent a booth in some public OASIS café. If I wanted to log in, I had no choice but to exercise first. This proved to be the only motivation I needed. The lockout software also monitored my dietary intake. Each day I was allowed to select meals from a preset menu of healthy, low-calorie foods. The software would order the food for me online and it would be delivered to my door. Since I never left my apartment, it was easy for the program to keep track of everything I ate. If I ordered additional food on my own, it would increase the amount of exercise I had to do each day, to offset my additional calorie intake. This was some sadistic software. But it worked. The pounds began to melt off, and after a few months, I was in near-perfect health. For the first time in my life I had a flat stomach, and muscles. I also had twice the energy, and I got sick a lot less frequently. When the two months ended and I was finally given the option to disable the fitness lockout, I decided to keep it in place. Now, exercising was a part of my daily ritual.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
For any sustained and more or less original work it seems most necessary that one should have the quietude and strength of Nature at hand, like a great reservoir from which to draw. The open air, and the physical and mental health that goes with it, the sense of space and freedom of the Sky, the vitality and amplitude of the Earth -- these are real things from which one can only cut oneself off at serious peril and risk to one's immortal soul.
Edward Carpenter (My Days and Dreams)
There is no time or space in the mind principle. Infinite mind or intelligence is present in its entirety at every point simultaneously. Several times a day I withdrew all thought from the contemplation of my sister’s symptoms and from the corporeal personality altogether. Calmly, confidently, I affirmed as follows: This prayer is for my sister Catherine. She is relaxed and at peace, poised, balanced, serene, and calm. The healing intelligence of her subconscious mind that created her body is now transforming every cell, nerve, tissue, muscle, and bone of her being according to the perfect pattern of all organs lodged in her subconscious mind. Silently, quietly, all distorted thought patterns in her subconscious mind are removed and dissolved, and the vitality, wholeness, and beauty of the life principle are made manifest in every atom of her being. She is now open and receptive to the healing currents that are flowing through her like a river, restoring her to perfect health, harmony, and peace. All distortions and ugly images are now washed away by the infinite ocean of love and peace flowing through her, and it is so.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (GP Self-Help Collection Book 4))
Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with willful oblivion. Try to notice something new every day, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like, notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet feel like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbors, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge. You can never become a real man if you have a careless and destructive attitude, Eustace said, but maturity will follow mindfulness even as day follows night.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
McKusick's belief in this paradigm-the focus on disability rather than abnormalcy-was actualized in the treatment of patients in his clinic. Patients with dwarfism, for instance, were treated by an interdisciplinary team of genetic counselors, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, nurses, and psychiatrists trained to focus on specific disabilities of persons with short stature. Surgical interventions were reserved to correct specific deformities as they arose. The goal was not to restore "normalcy"-but vitality, joy, and function. McKusic had rediscovered the founding principles of modern genetics in the realm of human pathology. In humans as in wild flies, genetic variations abounded. Here too genetic variants, environments, and gene-environment interactions ultimately collaborated to cause phenotypes-except in this case, the "phenotype" in question was disease. Here too some genes had partial penetrance and widely variable expressivity. One gene could cause many diseases, and one disease could be caused by many genes. And here too "fitness" could not be judged in absolutes. Rather the lack of fitness-illness [italicized, sic] in colloquial terms- was defined by the relative mismatch between an organism and environment.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Because all actions and expressions stem from the mind, it is vital to know the mind as well as decide in what way we’ll use it. Everyone has heard of psychosomatic illness, and most of us acknowledge that psychosomatic sicknesses can and do occur. But what about psychosomatic wellness? How many of us have considered if it’s possible to stay healthy or cure various maladies with the positive use of the mind? And if we have thought of this, have we done much more than simply consider the idea?
H.E. Davey
Althea stared up at the woman enviously. Jeck radiated vitality and health. The deckhand was long boned, well muscled and completely unselfconscious about her body. She did not bind her breast at all, nor worry that her sailor trousers reached no farther than her knee, her long braid was tattering to straw from the wind and salt water. She is, Althea thought uneasily, a woman who does not let her sex deter her from living as she pleases. It wasn't fair. Jeck had grown up in the Six Dutchies and claimed this equality as her birthright.consequently men usually seeded it too her. Althea still sometimes felt like she needed someones permission to simply be herself. Men seemed to sense that in her. Nothing come easily. She felt the struggle was as constant as her breathing.
Robin Hobb (Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3))
the ones who long to live in alignment with their own Inner Pilot Lights start flocking to you. Your changing vibration attracts your true soul community to you. And as a sort of thank-you for aligning with your true self, the Universe often draws into your life more and more true joy, unconditional love, professional vitality, physical health, and a sense of connection with the Divine. You may lose some, or much, of what makes up your comfort zone. But what you’ll gain when you commit to this journey is priceless. The prize for your commitment is FREEDOM.
Lissa Rankin (The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul)
Whatever the particularities of their history, these fallen trees have now started the next part of their journey through the ecology of this old-growth forest. Fungi, salamanders, and thousands of species of invertebrates will thrive in and under the rotting trunks. At least half a tree's contribution to the fabric of life comes after its death, so one measure of a vitality of a forest ecosystem is the density of tree carcasses. You're in a great forest if you cannot pick out a straight-line path through fallen limbs and trunks. A bare forest floor is a sign of ill health.
David George Haskell (The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature)
And there’s one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don’t know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy. The point must also be made that there’s no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals. This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you’ve chronicled them, you’ve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS. The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.
Stephen Lewis
This is true of the physical powers, and of those which dwell in the higher vestures. There must be, first, purity; as the blood must be pure, before one can attain to physical health. But absence of impurity is not in itself enough, else would many nerveless ascetics of the cloisters rank as high saints. There is needed, further, a positive fire of the will; a keen vital vigour for the physical powers, and something finer, purer, stronger, but of kindred essence, for the higher powers. The fire of genius is something more than a phrase, for there can be no genius without the celestial fire of the awakened spiritual will.
Patañjali (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
When it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, remind yourself: I am rising to resume my life’s work. How can I be unhappy when I have another opportunity to do what I was born to do? But it’s so comfortable here. Were you born for this—lying in bed under a warm blanket? Life is meant for action and exertion. Consider the ants, bees, and birds, working to bring order to their corners of the universe. Are you unwilling to do the work of a human being? But I worked yesterday; today I need to rest. Rest is for recharging, not for indulgence. Take only what is sufficient for your health and vitality. Too much rest—like too much food or drink—defeats its purpose, weakening the body and dulling the spirit. But I should love and care for myself. If you truly love yourself, love your nature and your vocation. Those who love their work become so absorbed in it, they don’t even think of stopping. Do you love your work the way a dancer loves dancing and a painter loves painting? If not, why is your work less important to you than theirs is to them?
Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations (Stoic Philosophy #2))
PROMISE YOURSELF... To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet. To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
Joe Vitale (Attract Money Now)
LOST is often lauded as one of the best fantasy dramas in television history, as well as one of the most cryptic and - occasionally – maddening. But confirmation of just how important it is came with an almost unbelievable communiqué from the White House last week. President Obama’s office reassured Lost fans that the commander in chief wouldn’t move his yearly state of the union address from late January to a date that would coincide with the premiere episode of the show’s sixth and final season. That’s right. Obama might have had vital information to impart upon the American people about health care, the war in Afghanistan, the financial crisis – things that, you know, might affect real lives. But the most important thing was that his address didn’t clash with a series in which a polar bear appears on a tropical island. After extensive lobbying by the ABC network, the White House surrendered. Obama’s press secretary promised: “I don’t foresee a scenario in which millions of people who hope to finally get some conclusion with Lost are pre-empted by the president.
Ben East
SUMMARY OF YOUR AIDS TO HEALTH • Find out what it is that heals you. Realize that correct directions given to your subconscious mind will heal your mind and body. • Develop a definite plan for turning over your requests or desires to your subconscious mind. • Imagine the end desired and feel its reality. Follow it through, and you will get definite results. • Decide what belief is. Know that belief is a thought in your mind and that what you think you create. • It is foolish to believe in sickness or in anything that will hurt or harm you. Believe in perfect health, prosperity, peace, wealth, and divine guidance. • Great and noble thoughts upon which you habitually dwell become great acts. • Apply the power of prayer therapy in your life. Choose a certain plan, idea, or mental picture. Unite mentally and emotionally with that idea. As you remain faithful to your mental attitude, your prayer will be answered. • Always remember, if you really want the power to heal, you can have it through faith, which means a knowledge of the working of your conscious and subconscious mind. Faith comes with understanding. • Blind faith means that a person may get results in healing without any scientific understanding of the powers and forces involved. • Learn to pray for your loved ones who may be ill. Quiet your mind. Your thoughts of health, vitality, and perfection operating through the one universal subjective mind will be felt and made manifest in the mind of your loved
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (GP Self-Help Collection Book 4))
It’s clear that if we use the mind attentively, mental power is increased, and if we concentrate the mind in the moment, it is easier to coordinate mind and body. But in terms of mind and body unity, is there something we can concentrate on that will reliably aid us in discovering this state of coordination? In Japan, and to some degree other Asian countries, people have historically focused mental strength in the hara (abdomen) as a way of realizing their full potential. Japan has traditionally viewed the hara as the vital center of humanity in a manner not dissimilar to the Western view of the heart or brain. I once read that years ago Japanese children were asked to point to the origin of thoughts and feelings. They inevitably pointed toward the abdominal region. When the same question was asked of American children, most pointed at their heads or hearts. Likewise, Japan and the West have commonly held differing views of what is physical power or physical health, with Japan emphasizing the strength of the waist and lower body and Western people admiring upper body power. (Consider the ideal of the sumo wrestler versus the V-shaped Western bodybuilder with a narrow waist and broad shoulders.) However, East and West also hold similar viewpoints regarding the hara, and we’re perhaps not as dissimilar as some might imagine. For instance, hara ga nai hito describes a cowardly person, “a person with no hara.” Sounds similar to our saying that so-and-so “has no guts,” doesn’t it?
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
I predicted that, in order to live a vital life, prevent disease, or optimize the chance for disease remission, you would need: Healthy relationships, including a strong network of family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues A healthy, meaningful way to spend your days, whether you work outside the home or in it A healthy, fully expressed creative life that allows your soul to sing its song A healthy spiritual life, including a sense of connection to the sacred in life A healthy sexual life that allows you the freedom to express your erotic self and explore fantasies A healthy financial life, free of undue financial stress, which ensures that the essential needs of your body are met A healthy environment, free of toxins, natural-disaster hazards, radiation, and other unhealthy factors that threaten the health of the body A healthy mental and emotional life, characterized by optimism and happiness and free of fear, anxiety, depression, and other mental-health ailments A healthy lifestyle that supports the physical health of the body, such as good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and avoidance of unhealthy addictions
Lissa Rankin (Mind Over Medicine)
Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet. To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you. The original Optimist Creed, written by Christian D. Larson in his 1912 book, Your Forces and How to Use Them
Joe Vitale (The Secret Prayer: The Three-Step Formula for Attracting Miracles)
In retrospect, it is evident that highlighting abortion rather than reproductive rights as a whole reflected the class biases of the women who were at the forefront of the movement. While the issue of abortion was and remains relevant to all women, there were other reproductive issues that were just as vital which needed attention and might have served to galvanize masses. These issues ranged from basic sex education, prenatal care, preventive health care that would help females understand how their bodies worked, to forced sterilization, unnecessary cesareans and/or hysterectomies, and the medical complications left in their wake. Of all these issues individual white women with class privilege identified most intimately with the pain of unwanted pregnancy. And they highlighted the abortion issue. They were not by any means the only group in need of access to safe, legal abortions. As already stated, they were far more likely to have the means the to acquire an abortion than poor and working-class women. In those days poor women, black women included, often sought illegal abortions. The right to have an abortion was not a white-women-only issue; it was simply not the only or even most important reproductive concern for masses of American women.
bell hooks
A chilled pea soup of insane simplicity, garnished with creme fraiche and celery leaves. Roasted beet salad with poached pears and goat cheese. Rack of lamb wrapped in crispy prosciutto, served over a celery root and horseradish puree, with sautéed spicy black kale. A thin-as-paper apple galette with fig glaze. Everything turned out brilliantly, including Patrick, who roused himself as I was pulling the lamb from the oven to rest before carving. He disappeared into the bathroom for ten minutes and came out shiny; green pallor and under-eye bags gone like magic. Pink with health and vitality, polished and ridiculously handsome, he looked as if he could run a marathon, and I was gobsmacked. He came up behind me just as I was finishing his port sauce for the lamb with a sprinkle of honey vinegar and a bit of butter, the only changes I made to any of his recipes, finding the sauce without them a bit one-dimensional and in need of edge smoothing.
Stacey Ballis (Off the Menu)
The Biblical writers not only had no knowledge of these things, but they had a perverted concept of life and the universe. Their concept was that man was a victim of blood pollution and his only salvation was by a blood atonement. I remember once seeing a small pamphlet entitled, 'What the Bible Teaches about Morality.' On opening the little booklet, it was discovered to be nothing but blank pages! Another such pamphlet might very appropriately be published entitled, 'What the Bible Reveals about Disease, Medicine and Health,' and blank pages should be used for all the Bible contains about these vital subjects. On the contrary, these benefits have been denounced by the believers in the Bible, and by the representatives of the Bible's deity as being contrary to 'God's Plan.' Does not the Bible plainly state that only by the sweat of his brow is man to labor for the bread he eats? Here is the exact Biblical quotation: 'In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread...' and why? Only because he sought knowledge. And does not the Bible God place a curse upon man for the knowledge that has been such a solace and benefit to him? Here is another exact Biblical quotation: '... cursed be the ground for thy sake; in pain thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life.' The Bible is a lie. It is a fake and a fraud. I denounce this book and its God. I hold it in utter detestation. Every man and woman who has contributed to the relief of the pain and suffering of humanity has been an infidel to the Bible God! Every new invention, every new discovery for the benefit of man violates these Biblical edicts! I say, seek knowledge—defy this tyrant God—it is your only salvation.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
All deductions having been made, democracy has done less harm, and more good, than any other form of government. It gave to human existence a zest and camaraderie that outweighed its pitfalls and defects. It gave to thought and science and enterprise the freedom essential to their operation and growth. It broke down the walls of privilege and class, and in each generation it raised up ability from every rank and place. Under its stimulus Athens and Rome became the most creative cities in history, and America in two centuries has provided abundance for an unprecedentedly large proportion of its population. Democracy has now dedicated itself resolutely to the spread and lengthening of education, and to the maintenance of public health. If equality of educational opportunity can be established, democracy will be real and justified. For this is the vital truth beneath its catchwords: that though men cannot be equal, their access to education and opportunity can be made more nearly equal. The rights of man are not rights to office and power, but the rights of entry into every avenue that may nourish and test a man’s fitness for office and power. A right is not a gift of God or nature but a privilege which it is good for the group that the individual should have.
Will Durant (The Lessons of History)
The alienating effects of wealth and modernity on the human experience start virtually at birth and never let up. Infants in hunter-gatherer societies are carried by their mothers as much as 90 percent of the time, which roughly corresponds to carrying rates among other primates. One can get an idea of how important this kind of touch is to primates from an infamous experiment conducted in the 1950s by a primatologist and psychologist named Harry Harlow. Baby rhesus monkeys were separated from their mothers and presented with the choice of two kinds of surrogates: a cuddly mother made out of terry cloth or an uninviting mother made out of wire mesh. The wire mesh mother, however, had a nipple that dispensed warm milk. The babies took their nourishment as quickly as possible and then rushed back to cling to the terry cloth mother, which had enough softness to provide the illusion of affection. Clearly, touch and closeness are vital to the health of baby primates—including humans. In America during the 1970s, mothers maintained skin-to-skin contact with babies as little as 16 percent of the time, which is a level that traditional societies would probably consider a form of child abuse. Also unthinkable would be the modern practice of making young children sleep by themselves. In two American studies of middle-class families during the 1980s, 85 percent of young children slept alone in their own room—a figure that rose to 95 percent among families considered “well educated.” Northern European societies, including America, are the only ones in history to make very young children sleep alone in such numbers. The isolation is thought to make many children bond intensely with stuffed animals for reassurance. Only in Northern European societies do children go through the well-known developmental stage of bonding with stuffed animals; elsewhere, children get their sense of safety from the adults sleeping near them. The point of making children sleep alone, according to Western psychologists, is to make them “self-soothing,” but that clearly runs contrary to our evolution. Humans are primates—we share 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees—and primates almost never leave infants unattended, because they would be extremely vulnerable to predators. Infants seem to know this instinctively, so being left alone in a dark room is terrifying to them. Compare the self-soothing approach to that of a traditional Mayan community in Guatemala: “Infants and children simply fall asleep when sleepy, do not wear specific sleep clothes or use traditional transitional objects, room share and cosleep with parents or siblings, and nurse on demand during the night.” Another study notes about Bali: “Babies are encouraged to acquire quickly the capacity to sleep under any circumstances, including situations of high stimulation, musical performances, and other noisy observances which reflect their more complete integration into adult social activities.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
The primary culprit is assumed to be peer rejection: shunning, exclusion, shaming, taunting, mocking, bullying. The conclusion reached by some experts is that peer acceptance is absolutely necessary for a child's emotional health and well-being, and that there is nothing worse than not being liked by peers. It is assumed that peer rejection is an automatic sentence to lifelong self-doubt. Many parents today live in fear of their children's not having friends, not being esteemed by their peers. This way of thinking fails to consider two fundamental questions: What renders a child so vulnerable in the first place? And why is this vulnerability increasing? It is absolutely true that children snub, ignore, shun, shame, taunt, and mock. Children have always done these things when not sufficiently supervised by the adults in charge. But it is attachment, not the insensitive behavior or language of peers, that creates vulnerability. The current focus on the impact of peer rejection and peer acceptance has completely overlooked the role of attachment. If the child is attached primarily to the parents, it is parental acceptance that is vital to emotional health and well-being, and not being liked by parents is the devastating blow to self-esteem. The capacity of children to be inhumane has probably not changed, but, as research shows, the wounding of our children by one another is increasing. If many kids are damaged these days by the insensitivity of their peers, it is not necessarily because children today are more cruel than in the past, but because peer orientation has made them more susceptible to one anothers taunts and emotional assaults.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
The first movie star I met was Norma Shearer. I was eight years old at the time and going to school with Irving Thalberg Jr. His father, the longtime production chief at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, devoted a large part of his creative life to making Norma a star, and he succeeded splendidly. Unfortunately, Thalberg had died suddenly in 1936, and his wife's career had begun to slowly deflate. Just like kids everywhere else, Hollywood kids had playdates at each other's houses, and one day I went to the Thalberg house in Santa Monica, where Irving Sr. had died eighteen months before. Norma was in bed, where, I was given to understand, she spent quite a bit of time so that on those occasions when she worked or went out in public she would look as rested as possible. She was making Marie Antoinette at the time, and to see her in the flesh was overwhelming. She very kindly autographed a picture for me, which I still have: "To Cadet Wagner, with my very best wishes. Norma Shearer." Years later I would be with her and Martin Arrouge, her second husband, at Sun Valley. No matter who the nominal hostess was, Norma was always the queen, and no matter what time the party was to begin, Norma was always late, because she would sit for hours—hours!—to do her makeup, then make the grand entrance. She was always and forever the star. She had to be that way, really, because she became a star by force of will—hers and Thalberg's. Better-looking on the screen than in life, Norma Shearer was certainly not a beauty on the level of Paulette Goddard, who didn't need makeup, didn't need anything. Paulette could simply toss her hair and walk out the front door, and strong men grew weak in the knees. Norma found the perfect husband in Martin. He was a lovely man, a really fine athlete—Martin was a superb skier—and totally devoted to her. In the circles they moved in, there were always backbiting comments when a woman married a younger man—" the stud ski instructor," that sort of thing. But Martin, who was twelve years younger than Norma and was indeed a ski instructor, never acknowledged any of that and was a thorough gentleman all his life. He had a superficial facial resemblance to Irving Thalberg, but Thalberg had a rheumatic heart and was a thin, nonathletic kind of man—intellectually vital, but physically weak. Martin was just the opposite—strong and virile, with a high energy level. Coming after years of being married to Thalberg and having to worry about his health, Martin must have been a delicious change for Norma.
Robert J. Wagner (Pieces of My Heart: A Life)
The Blue Mind Rx Statement Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans. The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71% of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and well-being. In addition to fostering more widely documented ecological, economic, and cultural diversities, our mental well-being, emotional diversity, and resiliency also rely on the global ecological integrity of our waters. Blue space gives us half of our oxygen, provides billions of people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and is the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history. Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and wild waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, sociality and romance, peace and freedom, play and creativity, learning and memory, innovation and insight, elation and nostalgia, confidence and solitude, wonder and awe, empathy and compassion, reverence and beauty — and help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more. Chronic stress and anxiety cause or intensify a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. Being on, in, and near water can be among the most cost-effective ways of reducing stress and anxiety. We encourage healthcare professionals and advocates for the ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers to go deeper and incorporate the latest findings, research, and insights into their treatment plans, communications, reports, mission statements, strategies, grant proposals, media, exhibits, keynotes, and educational programs and to consider the following simple talking points: •Water is the essence of life: The ocean, healthy rivers, lakes, and wetlands are good for our minds and bodies. •Research shows that nature is therapeutic, promotes general health and well-being, and blue space in both urban and rural settings further enhances and broadens cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits. •All people should have safe access to salubrious, wild, biodiverse waters for well-being, healing, and therapy. •Aquatic biodiversity has been directly correlated with the therapeutic potency of blue space. Immersive human interactions with healthy aquatic ecosystems can benefit both. •Wild waters can serve as medicine for caregivers, patient families, and all who are part of patients’ circles of support. •Realization of the full range and potential magnitude of ecological, economic, physical, intrinsic, and emotional values of wild places requires us to understand, appreciate, maintain, and improve the integrity and purity of one of our most vital of medicines — water.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
It may seem paradoxical to claim that stress, a physiological mechanism vital to life, is a cause of illness. To resolve this apparent contradiction, we must differentiate between acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the immediate, short-term body response to threat. Chronic stress is activation of the stress mechanisms over long periods of time when a person is exposed to stressors that cannot be escaped either because she does not recognize them or because she has no control over them. Discharges of nervous system, hormonal output and immune changes constitute the flight-or-fight reactions that help us survive immediate danger. These biological responses are adaptive in the emergencies for which nature designed them. But the same stress responses, triggered chronically and without resolution, produce harm and even permanent damage. Chronically high cortisol levels destroy tissue. Chronically elevated adrenalin levels raise the blood pressure and damage the heart. There is extensive documentation of the inhibiting effect of chronic stress on the immune system. In one study, the activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells were compared in two groups: spousal caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and age- and health-matched controls. NK cells are front-line troops in the fight against infections and against cancer, having the capacity to attack invading micro-organisms and to destroy cells with malignant mutations. The NK cell functioning of the caregivers was significantly suppressed, even in those whose spouses had died as long as three years previously. The caregivers who reported lower levels of social support also showed the greatest depression in immune activity — just as the loneliest medical students had the most impaired immune systems under the stress of examinations. Another study of caregivers assessed the efficacy of immunization against influenza. In this study 80 per cent among the non-stressed control group developed immunity against the virus, but only 20 per cent of the Alzheimer caregivers were able to do so. The stress of unremitting caregiving inhibited the immune system and left people susceptible to influenza. Research has also shown stress-related delays in tissue repair. The wounds of Alzheimer caregivers took an average of nine days longer to heal than those of controls. Higher levels of stress cause higher cortisol output via the HPA axis, and cortisol inhibits the activity of the inflammatory cells involved in wound healing. Dental students had a wound deliberately inflicted on their hard palates while they were facing immunology exams and again during vacation. In all of them the wound healed more quickly in the summer. Under stress, their white blood cells produced less of a substance essential to healing. The oft-observed relationship between stress, impaired immunity and illness has given rise to the concept of “diseases of adaptation,” a phrase of Hans Selye’s. The flight-or-fight response, it is argued, was indispensable in an era when early human beings had to confront a natural world of predators and other dangers. In civilized society, however, the flight-fight reaction is triggered in situations where it is neither necessary nor helpful, since we no longer face the same mortal threats to existence. The body’s physiological stress mechanisms are often triggered inappropriately, leading to disease. There is another way to look at it. The flight-or-fight alarm reaction exists today for the same purpose evolution originally assigned to it: to enable us to survive. What has happened is that we have lost touch with the gut feelings designed to be our warning system. The body mounts a stress response, but the mind is unaware of the threat. We keep ourselves in physiologically stressful situations, with only a dim awareness of distress or no awareness at all.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)