New Beginnings

by Patrick McCarty

If we are lucky there will be many "new beginnings" or special turning points in our lives. Achieving career dreams, getting married, recovering from a serious illness, the birth of children are but a few of the possibilities. No matter the incident, the result is always the same. You begin to look at life renewed and fresh as if you were starting all over again. In fact you are. The power of "beginner's mind" is tremendous.
Segments of this issue of "Healthways" are devoted to the smallest, and most vulnerable among us. Yes that's right - infants. I won't try to hide my personal bias here. Vashon Sarkisian, my wife, delivered a very healthy seven pound, twelve ounce boy on January 19th of this year. This event has colored every moment of my day since it occurred. I'm amazed how such a small being who virtually does so little during a day can utilize the attention and energies of two adults, full-time. Needless to say this transformative experience has been a wonderful and entirely joyful one (except perhaps for the first few sleepless weeks).
Even though the majority of macrobiotic shiatsu practitioners do not have many clients less than 2 years of age, the baby boom is on. People are waiting later in life to have children and when they do have them, they are willing to spend time and money on them. These precious gifts from the universe are our future. What kind of future can they expect?

Moving From the Present
to the Future

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (Nov 13, 1996;276:1473), half of all adults--100 million Americans--suffer from one or more chronic diseases such as heart, liver and kidney diseases, cancer, stroke, arthritis, diabetes and senility. Two of three adults between 45 and 64, and nine of ten elderly have one or more of these health problems. These chronic health problems consume three quarters of all health care dollars. By the year 2030, according to government estimates, one of five Americans will be 65 or older, and 150 million of them will suffer from chronic diseases.

Living Differently

What if our children were taught how to live differently? Would it be possible to curb this growing trend of illness? Obviously my answer is yes. The children are the future. And how we educate them not only in academic training but in the ways of life, will lay a foundation for the betterment that we all seek. Maintaining health and preventing illness, especially the major varieties just mentioned, are not as difficult as we are led to believe. Seriously, if we are born healthy as most of us are, is it such a deal to continue in the same vein? Obviously most of us don't do well so I can understand the concern and sense of impossibility many people express when told that they have a lot to do with maintaining their own health. But the fact is, you do have a major role to play.
Every time we read about whole grains protecting against cancer or heart disease because of their antioxidant or phytochemical properties do we really take such information to heart. When we read university studies that proclaim that beans and legumes may help protect the kidneys and heart because of their regulating effects on serum cholesterol and diabetes, how do we react? We have heard that soy inhibits prostate tumor growth and stimulates bone mineral density, while affecting metabolism which regulates natural body weight. Do we use each bit of information to serve as a turning point from which to build a solid new direction in our personal life-style choices. In other words, can we use what we learn to serve as a broadening experience.
With the birth of my son I've experienced a shift in consciousness. A new quality of energy envelopes me these days. It is as if a new, unused meridian has opened and is summoning to me a different vibration of life force. An energy that is powerful yet gentle, exquisite yet subdued, has certainty yet is curious to go beyond experience.

Healing Energy

It dawns on me that just such an energy is what is needed to overcome any serious illness. Feeling the discomfort of illness brings about a strong desire for something different. It is as if the pain of where you are stimulates the clarity to know its opposite. So that now you can imagine what health is and what it means to you. It is a powerful and wonderful state where all thought of having a problem disappears and what remains are vibrations of health, connection and goodness.
Those of us working in the health profession are fortunate. With each client we are exposed to thoughts and vibrations that push us beyond our regular borders. Movement beyond our boundary creates opportunity for "new beginnings." Everyday is new. If you don't believe me just spend some time with an infant.