So many people look back over their lives and realize that for much of it, other people, things, and circumstances were running them, instead of them charting the course of their own happiness. This often results in us not only being robbed of TRUE health and thriving, but of abundance, prosperity, intimacy, and joy.
As the end of 2014 draws near, it’s a time where I personally do a lot of healing work, shamanic journeying, and juice fasting. In fact, today begins a 10 day juice fast for me before doing a final journey of this year in preparation for what is to come.
It is so easy to get swept up in the business of the holiday season, only to be confronted with a new year, with no idea how you want to navigate the coming year. We have so many choices. In each moment is a choice. What we do, how we act, what we say and how we feel. It is why the theme for all of my programs, courses and Health Mastery Institute is MASTERY. It’s a concept so often misunderstood, and something that sadly, is not really taught in school.
SO WHAT IS MASTERY?
I often quote from the book “Mastery” written by George Leonard, which is a great place to start. In the beginning of his book, Leonard says that mastery
“brings rich rewards, yet is not really a goal or a destination but rather a process, a journey. We call this journey mastery, and tend to assume that it requires a special ticket available only to those born with exceptional abilities. But mastery isn’t reserved for the supertalented or even for those who are fortunate enough to have gotten an early start. It’s available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it… the trouble is that we have few, if any, maps to guide us on the journey or even to show us how to find the path… the modern world, in fact, can be viewed as a prodigious conspiracy against mastery. We’re continually bombarded with promises of immediate gratification, instant success, and fast temporary relief, all of which lead in exactly the wrong direction…[this] quick-fix, antimastery mentality that pervades our society, and … prevents us from developing our potential skills [and] threatens our health, education, career, [and] relationships…”
It was my intention when creating my programs and HMI, to provide such a map and a pointing of the way on the journey of mastery in the area of real health. Of course, real health includes physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual.
I think it’s important to remember that like with all journeys, there are some days where we cover a lot of territory and we feel exhilarated from the leaps forward and the distance spanned…and then, there are days where we feel tired, worn out, and we don’t see any progress. We are at the dreaded plateau — maybe both physically and mentally. But on the path to mastery, the true strength lies in staying the course during these plateaus.
From the thousands of people who have completed my programs, especially the 8 Week Raw Body Reset, it often seems easier for people to stay on the path when we are feeling the rush and exhilaration of external rewards like weight loss, beautiful skin, tons of energy and a day where we ate so clean and wonderfully….those are the days we know for sure it’s all worth it. But Mastery truly happens when we stay steady during times where we don’t see or feel any changes, and we begin not to trust the process and not to trust our bodies. Our society has sadly cultivated this sense of “well, I’ll just jump to something else…and then something else..and then…” I’m sure you all know how that goes.
It happens to all of us, and in many different ways. I had an experience of trying to convey this message to my son who is now 8. My daughter (13) started Tae Kwon Do right before her 5th birthday. It was something she asked to do and we said sure, thinking it would be just a fun activity for her. Never dreaming, that now she would be a First Degree black belt. She goes to her dojo 3x per week, and when I watch her perform before judges, doing flying kicks, breaking boards with her fist, and displaying an energy I don’t see emanate from her at any other time, I notice a laser focus in her eyes that is clearly the mark of someone on the road to mastery. And, she’s been that way for years in that martial art. LONG stretches of time go by with no new belt, no stripes, no rewards, no outward signs of “progress”. She doesn’t ever ask to skip classes, and when we travel, she practices her forms no matter where we are.
My son decided when he was 6 that he might like to try Taekwondo. Within a few weeks of starting, he was already asking the teacher to let him break boards. Then he was telling the teacher that he was ready for his yellow belt (long before that was a reality!), and after a short while, he was engrossed in putting together a robot with his dad and said he really didn’t want to go to class that week because it was “boring”. He said he would go back when it was time for belt testing.
I had to explain to him — that’s not how it works.
We ended up having a lengthy conversation about what Mastery means, and how, maybe Taekwondo is not his thing, and if he doesn’t find joy in it, then there is no point in continuing. But if he does find joy in it, and feels it is something worth pursuing in his life, then staying on the path ESPECIALLY when it’s boring — is key. And how it is being in the moment of those classes, experiencing the learning, the being in the environment where he is a part of something bigger, IS the point.
I explained to him that the “point” is not the ultimate prize of a black belt, but the development of skill, character, and athleticism that comes from being on the path to mastery. The path IS the point…the path IS the destination because it’s where you spend most of your time.
I believe that in pursuit of Health Mastery — the concepts apply perfectly. In the times where we see no outward “progress” or “rewards”, we are being rewarded richly with the strength of knowing that we are mastering our health. In those moments of frustration, those moments of eating something unhealthy and then immediately regrouping and drinking a green juice the next morning, those moments where days go by where we have eaten an unfortunate amount of cooked, devitalized, unhealthy food, and we feel like throwing in the towel…but instead, we begin a short mini-detox or juice fast and get right back on our path….THOSE ARE THE MOMENTS OF MASTERY.
Because, in the end, it is the cumulative effect of our efforts, the overall direction of energy given by us, that determines whether we become true masters of our health, or allow ourselves to be mastered by our subconscious, by media images, by stress and frustration, and allow ourselves to be robbed of the gift of real health.
As 2015 approaches, consider what you want your life to be, FEEL how it feels to have the life of your dreams, and set forth on your path of Mastery.