In a previous article I wrote, The Health of a Nation, I talked about the collective health of the U.S. and how poor it was. I said how the U.S. spends twice as much on health care per capita than any other country, yet people are twice as sick due to the high rates of chronic disease. I further mentioned that our health care system in this country is not a health care system at all but a sick care system, because the money is in sickness, not health.
What is it that makes us such an unhealthy nation? The answer is simple: 1) poor dietary habits 2) stress. And actually, with stress, stress has two components: the stressor, and more importantly, how we react to the stressor. Some people can have their world falling apart and stay cool as a cucumber, while others can walk down the street and see that their shoelaces are untied and fall apart.
A few years ago I coined a term, The Low Density Lifestyle, and then wrote a book by the same name, entitled The Low Density Lifestyle: The Secret to Becoming FREE. I used the term The Low Density Lifestyle to capture this concept, that we as a culture are stressed to the max and that most people would be better served learning to slow down, decompress, stop burning their candle at both ends, and find their center of being. It is as Will Rogers once said, “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
What do I mean by a Low Density Lifestyle? It is experiencing and living in a more relaxed, less stressed, and calm, clear and focused manner on an everyday basis. It is also a way that can lead you to better health and happiness, along with living a more fulfilled life.
Achieving this state is not hard, although for so many people there are countless roadblocks, most of which are self-inflicted. A Low Density Lifestyle is the antidote for our increasingly fast-paced lifestyle. With each passing day our hectic existence is becoming more and more unbalanced and out of control. The pace of our society is leading us to the complete opposite of a Low Density Lifestyle — a High Density Lifestyle. Collectively, all of us have been afflicted by this and are literally crying for a pause, a virtual time-out from this torrid pace.
When you are living a Low Density Lifestyle, you have less tangible densities (by tangible densities I mean plaque buildup in the arteries, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fluid accumulation in various parts of the body, and other static masses) and rigidities in the body — this means there are fewer blockages that can obstruct the dynamic flow of energy that circulates throughout the body and mind.
All of us have caught a peek, even if it’s glimpsing, of what a Low Density Lifestyle is like. We all have been there. Perhaps it was when you were on vacation, or when you did something you felt passionate about. Maybe it’s been when you were absorbed in nature; it could even have been when you were in the middle of a crowded city street. Time and place aren’t necessarily the key factors in achieving a Low Density Lifestyle, because ultimately it’s a state of mind.
When you live a Low Density Lifestyle, you are more fluid and flexible of body and mind, and less inflexible, rigid and uncompromising. Fluidity of body and mind doesn’t just mean that you can twist yourself into a pretzel, as some yoga practitioners are able to do (and if you can’t do that, it doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of living a Low Density Lifestyle). Instead, being fluid of body and mind means having a certain flexibility of the body, within the limitations you may have, and an equally important flexibility of the mind — your thinking is flexible, and you don’t hold onto your belief patterns if they are not viable.
Thoughts are energy, and if your thought patterns are unyielding and inflexible, it brings a certain degree of density into your body and mind, making it harder to live a Low Density Lifestyle.
Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, said, “Be like the fountain that overflows, not like the cistern that merely contains.” In essence, this is the formula for living a Low Density Lifestyle. If you let go of your densities and rigidities, and overcome your blockages, you will be like a fountain. You then become a circuit of energy, flowing infinitely, much like an unimpeded electrical circuit in which the electricity freely courses throughout.
But if you become a slave to your blockages, you become more like a cistern, and things begin to boil up on the inside, like a pent-up pressure cooker. If this continues on a regular basis, the obstructions in the body become denser and more impenetrable, and more serious health problems can then occur.
There is a Spanish proverb that says “How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” It is our inability to practice the fine art of doing nothing, and to know how to embody and integrate that feeling all throughout the body and mind, that is a major factor in illness. And because we as a culture do not have this as part of our routine or ethos, it goes a long way in explaining why the health of the U.S. is so poor.