The Ten Commandments of Wholeness
by Gladys T. McGarey, M.D., M.D. (H)
ONE. Be Positive.
Give yourself something to live for. So many illnesses are born of the mind. What we think is so often what we become. When a body is truly diseased or ill, there are usually many things wrong with it. But there is an essential part of the body, which is still functional and capable of turning things around with the proper incentive. It is so much easier to contact the physician within and turn a sickness around when you have a burning desire to get well. When World War II abruptly ended with the surrender of Japan, a lot of sick people, bedridden, critically ill, got out of their hospital beds, threw on their clothes and streamed out of the hospital. “Sick, how can I be sick…” one woman cried, “When my boy will be coming home after five years of worrying myself to death?”
TWO. Love yourself, without being indulgent.
You are the center of your universe. Unless you keep that center strong you cannot help anyone – including yourself. Even a locomotive can pull only so many cars. I have worked with families where the caregivers completely devoted their time and energy to caring for other members of the family and neglected their own well being. Sometimes they became so run-down that they died before the sick relatives they had cared for. These caregivers had never given the physician within themselves a chance. They had forgotten the “self” in the biblical injunction, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
THREE. Be forgiving.
My mother, a physician for more than 60 years, used to say, “There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it hardly behooves us to put down the rest of us.” In the absence of forgiveness we have malice and judgment, which tend to put a strain on mind and body, deplete spirit and lead to disease and premature aging. My forgiving patients so often look ages younger than their years. They are easy on themselves as well as others. This easiness becomes a way of life and is good for the arteries. Some, in their 80’s, go bicycling. Others, in their 90’s, walk a mile a day. They are the survivors of this world.
FOUR. Keep your life balanced.
We are multidimensional. The metaphysician Edgar Cayce said, “Spirit is the life, the mind the builder, the physical the result.” If any aspect of your person is overemphasized, it’s likely that the other aspects are slighted. Too much time given to rapt thought may deprecate the body and spirit, bringing an imbalance in life. A flabby Elvis Presley, enamored of yoga, told Daya Mata, the head of the Yoga Self-Realization Center in Los Angeles, that he wanted to give up his singing career and become a monk in her order. She told him that yoga was a blend of the physical, mental and spiritual, and that he could serve best by getting himself in shape physically, cutting out junk foods and turning to spiritual music. He listened in part, and made the album, How Great Thou Art, a tribute to the Lord, which inspired millions. Unfortunately, he continued with his junk food, stayed overweight and came to an untimely end.
FIVE. Take time to meditate and pray.
In meditation you listen to God. In prayer, you talk to God. Both practices bolster your connection with the universal world. You need to give yourself some quiet time and get to know your physician within. Pray for love. With love you fill the emptiness within you and strengthen your faith in yourself. This faith allows us to grow. It may not move mountains, but it moves people.
SIX. Listen closely to whatever message your body has for you.
Use common sense and take care of your body – it is the only one you have. If humanly possible, you should exercise every day, if only for 10 or 15 minutes. Whatever your age you need to keep your body firm and resilient. You are as old as your bones say you are. There’s an old saying, “A wheat field which is green and alive bends when the wind bows, but when it is dry and the wind blows, it breaks.” You need to keep the circulation moving in your body. The blood and lymph bring nourishment and strength to your bones. Without exercise, a brittleness of the bones, osteoporosis, becomes a geriatric problem no matter what drugs you take to prevent it. Your bones need the push pull of flexible muscles to keep them from drying out like the wheat field. Keep exercising. There’s nothing like yoga to keep the muscles supple.
SEVEN. Look for humor and joy in every situation.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.” We all know something of the wisdom of this saying, perhaps without realizing that the joy of laughter and the gift of humor are indispensable to our health. Laughter stimulates the adrenals and activates the immune system. So many people I know are burdened with problems – financial, family, health. Yet they are able to deal with them because they find humor and joy in their lives – in the smile of a child, the supportive love of family and friends. Ask the Lord for help, and he will give you strength. Out of life’s trials comes the opportunity for growth. Growth brings a new appreciation of self and others – a new clarity of mind and body, and a new wholeness.
EIGHT. Breathe deeply.
We can live without food for three or four weeks, without water for three or four days. But we can’t live without oxygen – the breath of life – for more than three or four minutes as a rule. There is nothing more important to our well-being than the air we breathe. A great teacher of yoga, 100 years young, was asked by a student what physical exercise or posture was of the most importance. She smiled and said, “The breathing.” As you exercise, you concentrate on the breathing. Visualizing as you breath, breathe in health and breathe out illness. Breathe in hope and breathe out fear. Breathe in love and breathe out anger. Before you know it, your body and mind are responding. You’ll feel as if you are walking on air. And you will be. Your blood will be pulsing through your veins and you will be bursting with energy, ready to take on the world.
NINE. Dream yourself to health.
Tell yourself that you will dream when you retire for the night. Soon you will be having dreams significant to your health and well-being. You must write the dreams down right away or they will dematerialize as though into thin air. It is amazing how the physician within guides the sleeping patient’s sub-conscious mind into problem areas that their conscious mind has been grappling with.
TEN. Know that healing comes from within.
You do it all the time without thinking about it. You cut your finger. The blood flows, cleansing the wound. Then the blood coagulates, forming a scab, which protects the underlying wound. When the wound is completely healed, the scab falls off by itself. If you think of this at all, you think of it as something that is perfectly natural. And it is. Every cell in the body has an innate intelligence of its own, responsive to the body’s subconscious impulse to heal. The automatic response can be reproduced anywhere in the body by giving the patient access to the physician within. There is nothing mysterious or subtle about this process. The subconscious mind directs the healing alpha brain waves to the diseased cells. I have seen it work a thousand times. All it takes is faith and fortitude and an open mind.