|California Brown Pelicans are magnificent creatures. Standing on a pier in Redondo Beach CA I am watching them dive from 60 feet plunging bill-first into the ocean below. Like arrows shot from the bow of Robin Hood their aim is true. Rarely do they appear from under the water without several herring trapped in their throat pouch. Pelicans use their pouch like a net to scoop up their prey. Beholding this natural spectacle, I realize that the action of the pelicans is analogous to several principles that apply to life and functional health.
The first word that comes to mind is Motive. Motive to act or in this case to hunt. Hunt is the action word here. It demands skill, cunning and movement. It’s a "Do" word like exercise. Motive drives the hunt, but what initiates the motive? The answer is Hunger. Hunger is a natural form of physiological stress. If stress or hunger in this example is not satisfied, severe consequences result. Are you hungry for health?
Dr. Hans Seyle taught the world about the different phases of stress. The alarm phase, the adaptation phase and the exhaustion phase. How many of us ignore symptoms of "dis-ease" caused by neglect and abuse? Are you run off your feet with "Hurry Sickness." Heart disease, cancer and diabetes don't just "happen". Obesity doesn't blindside us. All disease has a dark and sordid past that can be explained and understood.
Without the stress of hunger the pelican has no incentive to hunt. Wild animals are guided by instinct. Few kill for pleasure. They all follow the same path called the pathway of least resistance. Their action (or inaction) is based on the law of conservation of energy. Pretty much everything they do is based on necessity and survival. Like the bottom level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid.
But unlike the pelican, humans can create incentive for positive outcome through the power of conceptualization and visualization. We can tap into a "higher source". We have the ability to see things in our mind before they become real. We can ponder the consequences of almost anything in advance like a master chess player who can calculate dozens of possible moves in the same way.
Conceptualization demands a sound functional brain. In Save Your Brain Dr. Michael Colgan teaches not only how to save our brain, but more importantly, why we must. "There is no worse disease", as Michael states, "than to outlive our intelligence".
The brain is the central command station of the body. It houses over ten billion neurons hardwired and designed by nature to be challenged and pushed like mental muscle. Use it or lose it. Those of us who respond to stressful life situations like wild animals without contemplation are guilty of wasting both our innate intelligence and the gift of free will.
Visualization depends on our ability to see with and through our mind's eye. The "third eye" or to some the "brow" chakra. To see and feel with astounding clarity, as opposed to a constant blur. To use our power of visualization well is like looking through a crystal ball. Our view is unimpeded. We see with "crystal" clear vision. There are no clouds in the sky. No trees or mountains blocking our view. No need to remove any film from our eyes or clear away any debris. Like looking at the stars above on a clear night.
Clarity of purpose or intent is the first and most important step in my three step action plan for life. We must have focus. We must know what we want with absolute clarity. We have to see it with 20/20 vision from inside our soul.
Pelicans can spot a school of fish from the sky with ease. They use their eyes. They circle the ocean with intention driven by hunger. They know what they want and they know how to get it. Thus they fulfill their biological function. Are you fulfilling yours?
The human body doesn't like excess body fat, especially belly fat created from wheat flour, trans-fats, sugar and alcohol. Excess fat releases estrogens and peroxides into the bloodstream that harden the arteries and poison the brain. Dr. Ronald Schmid explains it all in "Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine."
When high glycemic processed carbohydrates like white bread and sucrose are consumed as dietary staples, insulin sensitivity is reduced, blood insulin and glucose rise, inflammation increases throughout the body and blood fats soar through the roof. Simple cause and effect. Genes play a very minor role, except the ones that we can no longer squeeze into without a crowbar. Mother Nature is as bitter as she is sweet.
Its always better to create incentive from within than to exist only to manage stress by necessity. Like the cardiac patient on the treadmill sent to the gym by his doctor. "Move or die", his physician says.
Optimum health is something that demands our attention and focus. It goes way beyond managing stress by necessity. It requires a progressive mind that understands the consequences of inaction and the benefits of preventive medicine. Pay me now or pay me later is what the bumper sticker says. Without the consistent action of fitness combined with natural health products AND whole fresh organic food, good health will slip away through the cracks of life. Health can rise and fall like any great Empire.
California Brown Pelicans are just birds, but they dive with amazing precision and without fear. They have goals and seldom fail to achieve them. We must act with at least the same degree of precision, timing and courage if we are to remain fit, functional and well for 80+ years.
When it comes to your personal health plan where is your head at? What are you thinking about? What is your mind’s eye centered on? I hope it’s on what optimum health requires. A plan of action executed with style and elegance driven by enthusiasm.
Emerson said health is wealth. Check out Michael Moore's movie SICKO if you have any doubt. Wealth requires management. So does health. Optimum health provides a constant source of energy. Energy to think clearly. Energy to move. Energy to do the work that must be done. Energy to dive head-first into the ocean of health.