Grit for Health

I recently read the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth.  Essentially, your passion to do something as well as your persistence to endure when times are difficult is the recipe for success (whatever that is).  What struck me is that this is an important theme in the world of Chinese medicine and acupuncture.  How you present yourself to the world and how you engage with the world affects how you move, how you stand and, therefore, your vital energy.  If you are not looking forward to each day, if you feel stuck, you may not stand up straight.  You may stand as if you are about to stop: collapsed chest, tightened stomach, tense hands, tense feet, tense face.  If you do this every single day then you are likely to start having pain related to this. You can even get stomach problems or, for women, menstruation irregularities.  For other people, they may lack focus on their ultimate goal and have scattered thoughts.  Due to lack of organisation, they may constantly be thinking of several things they need to do.  With each thought of, “Oh, I need to do ‘x'”, their brain will send signals to the muscles that get you up and moving- the back, the back of the legs, the base and upper part of the spine.  In time, this may result in back pain, neck pain, headaches.  At the very least, it will result in constant tension.

So as much as having a passion for something and a clear focus is a recipe for “success”, it’s also not a bad way to create a healthy body.

Today, as you walk around or stand, consider how you hold yourself.   Take a moment to consider where you hold tension.  Then breath into it and release it.  Consider what you can do to embrace the day and make it fulfilling.   If you are walking like a child walks to the park, then you are doing pretty well.