013: Simple changes to the body and mind can transform our lives

This week, I would like to share with you some observations from friends and also my humble views on how simple changes to the body and mind can transform our lives.

  • Stop, look and enjoy simple things in life

A close friend and also my workplace apprentice F, read the previous post (011E/C: Morning Run Discovery: Pang Sua Pond @ Bukit Panjang, Singapore) and remarked, “I am so happy for you. You have learnt to stop, look and enjoy the simple things in life.”

F was spot-on about my change in mindset. I have learnt to live the moment. That allows me to enjoy the friendship of people, appreciate the beauty of places and partake in skilful endeavours of healing and running

  • Do what is right full-heartedly

While it is true that I have become a happier person because of the positive changes I’ve made to my lifestyle, it is definitely not a carefree life devoid of worries as others might have imagined.

Like everyone else, I have my fair share of earthly troubles –increased workload and demands that put me under stress; emotional bumps and bruises that hurt terribly; and health scares and alarms that cause anxiety. 

The difference is I no longer put up with things going the wrong way and yet foolhardly believe that it will somehow get better over time, as long as I do not give up.  

I long knew that time alone is a powerful agent of change. But time can change things for better or worse. If we really want things to change for the better, then we owe it to ourselves and the people we love to make full efforts to do what is right full-heartedly.

  • Health and family come first

But what is the right thing to do? I remember seeking advice from a wise friend and mentor A one and a half year ago, “Work, family, health and study, I am having trouble in the balancing act on all my obligations.” 

I was seriously contemplating what had to be given up before being forced into a situation of unintended consequences.

My mentor A never tell me what to give up. She simply said, “Health and family must come first. The rest will find its place.” 

  • Start with health and wellness 

I started with taking control over my personal health issues. Obese and constantly bothered by viral infections, weight-reduction was the first thing I had to work on. 

I started with a simple change. Sleep early to wake up even earlier to run. Read enough about running to experiment on different methods and stick on to whatever proved most effective (post 04: How to enjoy a good run). The results have been most empowering when one can feel the transformation to the physical body.

In connection, I have also developed an interest to learn more about both western and eastern healing methods. New-found knowledge from reading and self-experiments quickly expanded my interest to dietary improvements. The below is an example of one of my healthy breakfasts- Spelt flakes with black sesame.

It does not look great, but it certainly contains high nutritional value. The health benefits of spelt include boosting metabolism and strengthening immunity, while improving the digestive function and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol level in the body. 

Thanks to the recommendation of another good friend who also goes by the same initial of F*, I even successfully concocted a home-made remedy of TPBR tea (009: Homemade remedy: Tangerine Peel Brown Rice Tea). Like her, I share an interest in healing methods such as traditional chinese medicine.

Here are some books I am presently reading for leisure, mostly health-related, which I intend to glean a wealth of knowledge about health benefits. 

  • Spread positive energy 

Another close friend and workplace apprentice Z said she couldn’t help smiling while reading my blog (010: What happened over 10 weeks of blogging). 

Then she added, “Do you realise that you are spreading positive energy to others?” 

I certainly hope so because I know from personal experience that body wellness must begin in the mind. With this, let me share a quote of wisdom from Plato:

“This is the great error of our day, that physicians separate the soul from the body. The cure should not be attempted without the treatment of the whole, and no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul.”

William W K Tan 

04 Oct 2017, Wednesday

Written in Dhaka, Bangadesh.

Personal notes:

Return from an inspiring work trip. Glad to tell everyone that our company Kumon, the world’s largest supplementary education program provider is working hand-in-hand with BRAC, the world largest NGO to spread the benefits of self-learning and superior academic ability to the children in Bangadesh, from the affluent families to the less privileged ones. Feel really good knowing that our work is extended to one of the poorest countries in the world. 

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