Last month I talked about what it means to love ourselves, our bodies and our hearts. Now I'll ask you a similar question:
What does it mean to be healthy?
A popular answer might be getting enough exercise, proper nutrition and sleep; however, if it stops there, then it's like having a really nice, shiny car with new paint and all new parts, but...there is no gas in it. You can't really go anywhere, and you'll be stuck.
Life Force or Chi (Qi) isn't always recognized in the west because we can't see it. It is an invisible force that feeds and connects all parts of us, establishing the harmony that helps us feel like balanced people. Ancient cultures all knew about this Life Force. The yogis call it Prana, the Chinese call it Qi, the Mayans call it Sastun, and the ancient Greeks called Pnuma.
Many western doctors or someone with a purely western mindset or materialistic mindset may not understand certain health conditions holistically, in their entirety, because our illnesses have much more than a physical cause. Our physical issues are directly connected to our Life Force, which is directly connected to our mental and emotional states, which are connected to our soul or spirit. For example, how often are you in a state of anxiety, worry, fear, anger or sadness? It's quite mystical when you think about how many fluctuations we feel in one day. Have you ever thought about where these emotions come from? Where are they produced and what drives them? What makes us shift our emotional state one way or the other? It's also curious that with all this internal shifting, we are constantly given a choice. And this choice, (depending on whether it's a positive, optimistic, life enhancing choice, or whether it is negative and life-negating), can greatly effect both the quality and quantity of Life Force we have. And this Life Force is the very thing that heals us, that brings cohesion between body and soul. Have you ever heard someone say "Oh yeah, I took this pill this one time and all my illnesses just disappeared"? It is not, and will never be, that simple. The path and foundation for strong immunity is strong life force. No pill or medicine can ever generate a healthy immune system, no matter how many times you take it.
In my experience, when my emotions are in check and I'm able to shift negative thoughts patterns, I am able to accumulate more Life force from Qi Gong practice and, in turn, I am more likely to have the energy I need to shift my attitude and perspective to a more positive place in the future. And this positive Life Force then directly affects my physical body, giving it fuel and strength. Life force, and our attitudes towards life, though often overlooked or disregarded completely, are often the missing pieces as to why people aren't able to achieve true and lasting health.