Friday, August 1, 2008

The Infrastructure of Well-Being

As I gazed out of the fourth floor window of the cardiologist’s office while waiting for the doctor, I noticed the freeway below and the various arterials leading to and from it. I couldn’t help but think of the circulatory system in the human body. I saw the cars on the freeway as the main blood flow to the primary parts of the body while the cars and trucks on the arterials were carrying that blood to the extremities and then back through the system so waste could be expelled. What a marvel the various systems of our bodies are!

My mind slipped back to a time nearly 40 years ago. It was a Sunday morning and I had just brought in the paper and was sitting at the desk in my office. As I started to look through the paper I gazed up and looked out the window at the cars driving along Colfax Avenue, a main east/west street in Denver. I imagined that the cars were like messages moving about in the body carrying information to various muscles, nerves and cells. It seemed to be an amazing insight. It supported my study of multi-dimensional aspects of reality from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The traffic systems laid out in our cities allowed people (messages) to get to all parts of the city. There are also the other systems as well: electricity, water and sewer. Everything a city needs to function is there. Everything our body needs to function has also been provided us in our very creation.

I thought how appropriate this “reminder” was for me coming at a time I was visiting the doctor following surgery to place a stent in the one remaining unclogged artery around my heart. When a city cannot maintain its infrastructure things begin to break down. When we neglect the infrastructure of our bodies, we also subject ourselves to the possibility of breakdown. Over the years I had neglected my body and disregarded the clear signs of problems. Having always been a Type A personality, half speed was never my game. Only as I began a serious practice of meditation and taught classes on the subject, did I begin to lesson the tense driving for accomplishment. I still moved faster than most people, but the change for me was noticeable.

After I moved on to other adventures in the business community I began to slip away from my meditation practice. Periodically, I would return to it, usually when I felt a need, or was looking for insights for exploring new possibilities. Finally, came a time of emotional upheaval unlike I had experienced before. The relationship with my children abruptly came apart. The “system” had broken down through a careless failure to recognize the signs and appropriately deal with them. For a year stress in my life built to the point where the heart finally yelled, “Stop!” There was no choice but to get the message.

So, here I am. As I wait for the doctor I have another moment of remembrance that gives me the opportunity to reflect on how I can better maintain my infrastructure of well-being and stay healthy. It will be a combination of cooperating with the medical community in whom I have placed part of my trust. It will also be a stronger commitment to meditation and mindfulness that keeps Spirit active in my mind and heart. I have begun the reconnecting with my daughter. The healing taking place in our relationship will most certainly add to the healing of my heart physically. I believe we will both benefit from the healing activity as we engage in maintaining the infrastructure of our well-being.

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