Saturday, August 20, 2011


1680s, "pertaining to a person's (physical or mental) constitution," from constitution + -al (1). Meaning "beneficial to bodily constitution" is from 1750 -- as a noun, "a constitutional walk," recorded from 1829, probably originally among university students; as an adj., "authorized or allowed by the political constitution," from 1765; constitutional monarchy is recorded from 1801, from French.

Everybody has a constitutional weakness or two, also constitutional strengths. Have you ever thought about it? For example, some people always catch ailments having to do with the respiratory system, suffer from allergies and such. Others succumb to stomach flu but never a cold. Other people are prone to headaches, bumps on the head, sinus headaches and infections. For these people, their heads are a constitutional weakness.

According to my acupuncturist/herbalist (Evan Rabinowitz, link on the sidebar) my constitutional weakness centers around my kidneys. It makes a lot of sense when seen from the perspective of Chinese medicine. What Evan says is that I have weak kidney jing, which means (in that system) original life force energy. Everyone can create jing by eating well, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, but some folks have vast reservoirs of original life force energy. They can go without sleep, food or other creature comforts, yet still keep going. I think that most of those who run for any kind of political office have seriously great kidney jing. Those people work like dogs.

Sometimes I think about when I was born - 1953 - when childbirth was medicalized to the max. An experience such as the births of many of us baby boomers is scary enough to drain the life force out of even the most stalwart. I also think about my mother smoking cigs, drinking coffee and alcohol, eating terrible food throughout her pregnancies. I see now that this did not really do me any good. I don't blame her, that kind of behavior was perfectly normal at the time.

To counterbalance my consitutional weakness, I have developed courage, strength (of spirit and body), and whole bunch of stubbornness. Also I eat well, sleep a lot, don't work too much.

Have you ever thought about it? What it is within you that's fundamentally powerful? What is your constitutional weakness? It's interesting to think about.

A restful, rejuvinating Saturday to all. Shalom.

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