Today everyone focuses on diet and exercise and we constantly strive to continue to lose weight or to build our health back. What we have to keep in mind is the mental and emotional self. You see the human body; our entire well-being revolves around five selves.Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. Good health is not just in the physical body. Good health means growing in all of these five selves. When we strive to grow a little bit every day in all these five selves; that’s how we develop holistically. That’s how our mind works in conjunction with the human body and we have total health.
We all know someone who has a great physical body but they’re depressed in their mind. They’re not healthy and we all know people who are emotionally stable but they’ve lost their physical health and that are not great in health in totality again. We all know that stress has a connection with almost every possible disease on this planet. Be it cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, falling hair, poor and dull skin, asthma, sinus or low immunity; you can draw a connection between stress, chronic stress and almost every disease.
So we keep constantly talking about stress and believe me it’s not the easiest thing to work with. Almost every one of us has stress in our own lives in different ways. Most of it is emotional, some of it is mental and we have to keep striving to make our mental and emotional health really good if you want to have a healthy body and a long and a happy life.
So what do we do? We keep reading so many of these self-help books and they do help. We watch videos, attend stress management classes, meditate, do yoga, exercise and yet we constantly struggle with stress every single day of our life. Now stress is good for us if it’s acute. It is stress that goes up and comes down. What’s bad is the stress that’s chronic when our stress levels go up in the morning and they stay high throughout the day and then sometimes they don’t even come down towards the end of the day and we go to sleep with a lot of stress. This is why so many people suffer from insomnia and the inability to sleep at night because of stress.
You may have heard of a linchpin. A linchpin is a pin that passes through the end of an axle on a wheel to keep the wheel in position and in balance. If the linchpin is removed the wheel goes out of balance and falls down. Every one of us has a linchpin. What is your linchpin that keeps you going? What makes you feel alive and energized? What makes you feel connected? What are these things in your life that works for you? Today we live in a society where if someone else is happy we try to do the things that that person does thinking that it will make us happy as well but all of us have that one thing in us that keeps us alive and connected every single day. Are we aware of that? And if we are aware of that are we doing that every single day?
Let me give you an example of a couple of linchpins. Let me start off with myself. My linchpin is sleep. I need seven to eight hours of sleep. If I don’t have seven to eight hours of sleep I cannot function the next day. I’m irritable, unhappy, I have cravings, I cannot consult with my clients and my patients, I’m not myself. That’s my linchpin. For other people a linchpin may be that morning cup of chai. If you have that morning cup of chai you’re set, energized, alive, and happy and you can take on the day. For some people it may be a cup of coffee and for some people it may be singing. For some people it may be dancing and for many people it may be your morning exercise. But some people will be growing a plant and working in the garden. For some it is spending that little time with their child which becomes the most important part of their day. These are called linchpins and it is individual to each of you. If we spend our life trying to see what makes other people happy and imitate that we would never be happy. If you have a whole group of friends who’s constantly traveling and posting all these happy pictures on Facebook, we believe that traveling is making them happy. It may make you happy too. But it’s not necessary it is your lynchpin. You need to understand what that lynchpin for you is and make sure you doing it every single day. So let’s take for example if it’s a workout that makes you feel energized and if it’s a workout that you know if you skip your workout you’re dull throughout the day and you feel incomplete, you don’t feel good about yourself then that’s what you should be doing every single day. If it’s your yoga practice in the morning that makes you feel energized and alive and you know that if I miss my yoga practice in the morning I’m going to have a bad day. That’s your linchpin and when we become aware of that one or two linchpins that we have every day my next question to you is, is it in your day every single day? All of us have stressful lives and when you have that lynchpin it re centres you and brings you back to that place of clarity and joy where you feel yourself for that one hour and it energizes you to face the rest of the day.
When I ask most people who consult with me what is that one thing that makes you happy or energized and people would say while I was growing up I was an athlete. I played tennis in college and it made me feel really happy. But they’re not doing it anymore. Something that made them feel happy and energized is not in their life anymore. Someone else would say I love painting and I just don’t have the time to paint anymore today. Well that’s your linchpin. You got to make time and start painting and that’s what’s going to resend to you and bring you back in your life.
We all think and assume that we don’t have the time for these things. These are all excuses that the human mind naturally makes. We always have an excuse in our mind to justify what we can do and what we cannot do. It’s a human negative quality called blame. We constantly find a reason to blame. So we blame our job for not making enough of time for us. We blame employers for not creating enough of time for but where there’s a will there’s a way. So many people say all celebrities have it easy. They have chefs to cook for them. They have all the time in the world to work out. That’s all blame and that leaves us with a very negative feeling and of course no accomplishment of our goal. Maybe celebrities do that but there’s the whole load of other people who maintain fit bodies and happy lives as well. They do 9 to 5 jobs. They may travel as much as you and I do. They have all the responsibilities that you and I have but they choose not to blame. They choose to act and they choose to do. At the end of today there is no such thing as common people. If we label ourselves as common people, that’s exactly who we are. We are all individuals as long as we have hands and legs and a whole body in place and many people don’t even have that. If you have the will there is always a way.
My advice to you is to find out one linchpin in your life tonight before you go to sleep. Just be silent, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and really find out what is that one linchpin for you. You may not get that answer today. You may not get it tomorrow but eventually you will and when you find out what that linchpin is that makes you feel happy, alive, energized and connected make sure that’s in your day every single day.
Let me give you an example. I used to think that meditation is the most important linchpin for my day and I could not start my day without meditating. So if I missed my one hour of meditation the rest of my day was really bad but then I figured even if I do even ten minutes of meditation my day can still be as good as it is. So sometimes we form rules around our time. Like if I’m going to miss my workout I don’t have 30 minutes today so I’m not going to the gym. You can still work out for 30 minutes at home or for 15 minutes at home or for 4 minutes at home. It’s about doing the workout and not fitting it in that whole time category and saying that I don’t have time today so I won’t do it.
So find your linchpin and believe me when you put that in your life every single day that is the one thing besides your breath that will resend to you and bring you to that place of joy and clarity. So keep trying. You will find that each and every one of us have that one or two or three linchpins which is only covered by layers and layers of stress and layers and layers of life. We got to dig beneath those layers and find out that one linchpin that makes you happy.