Sunday, August 21, 2011

Constitutionals, pt II

In addition to constitutional weaknesses and strengths that are as much a part of each of us as eye color, there are also "constitutionals" - activities, practices, focuses - that are constitionally healing to we individuals.

My acupuncturist was taught that on everyone's face there is a "mark" (I don't think he means a literal mark) that shows how the person can best evolve. One kind of "mark" means if the person changes the way she thinks, everything about her health will improve. That's something, eh? The other two marks have to do with how the person breathes, and what the person eats. The mark on my face tells Evan Rabinowitz that what I eat can make or break me, which explains why I started learning about what they called "health food" in the 70s, got serious about cooking in the 80s, worked for Whole Foods in the 90s. I still eat too much (it's a survival urge, left over from a particularly unhappy past life? I like that theory) but what I eat is mostly very high quality food. I enjoy gracious good health which I associate with the good food I eat. I have the mark - I am what I eat. So are you, by the way, though perhaps for you (depending on the mark) it is not as dire as for me.

Walking as a practice used to be called a daily constitutional. I remember reading that John Adams sometimes took 10-15 mile walks to clear his head, or so it said in the biography I read. Ten to fifteen miles? In pointy, 18th century shoes and white tights? Before paved streets and sidewalks? Wow. What a man! Abraham Lincoln walked from the White House to the Capitol routinely. My father in law walked the three miles from his house to his office every day for decades, until Parkinson's disease made it impossible for him to walk at all. Yesterday I took a long, meandering walk with a friend, stopping to smell the roses and such. Indeed my entire constitution is the better for it, believe me.

Singing is a species-wide constitutional as well. Everyone should sing, even if you can't carry a tune. Sing in the shower, sing while driving around. Singing opens the throat, moves energy, helps connect head and heart, thereby making the singer feel great. Give it a go - it's really fun.

Do you know which things you do that help you at a constitutional level? I'm curious. Will you share your practice here?

Happy Sunday to all. Shalom.

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