I ate a whole carton of cookies and cream ice cream this afternoon.
Yup—1.5 quarts worth, or put another way, nine servings of eight grams of saturated fat each for a total of 72 grams of saturated fat! Whoah!
And I’m a natural health and fitness consultant? Hey—flog me, okay?!
What is the point, you may ask?
I had a hankering for ice cream, which I get sometimes. Well, that’s the physical reason. But was there more?
Once I finished the carton, I had a strange feeling (no, not indigestion!). It was a vague feeling of dis-satisfaction. Not that I didn’t enjoy the ice cream. But that it somehow did not fill something in me that sought filling.
I sat down to pray this evening, as is my custom. And as my fingers touched together I began to feel an in-filling of something. Something alive. I realized instantly that life is about life—meaning that we are creatures who constantly seek life in one form or another.
We eat seeking life, as I well know! Sometimes I notice myself literally inhaling food, with a sucking sound and everything! This disgusts my son, who is quick to correct me.
We watch movies and listen to music seeking a sense of life. We try to pull a sense of life out of our work (workaholic, anyone?). Or our of our children, or spouse, or… whatever.
It is becoming crystal clear to me that I must be serious about my prayer life. Though I just wrote about stillness, and though it is hugely important, it is not the most important thing—life itself is.
And we will automatically seek life from the outside to compensate for the life we do not receive from the inside.
I have heard of people who have been cured of a smoking, drinking, drug, or food addiction. And I can understand it, if they have found a true life source to replace it.
Living Without Compensation
I want to live my life without compensation. In other words, if I’m going to work, I want to work because it makes sense to do so, not because I am seeking some type of life from it. The same is true for eating—eat for the nutrients I receive, not the sense of life I get from it. And so on.
That seems to me the ideal of a life lived naturally.
What would a life like that be like? I honestly don’t know yet. I’ve only seen but a glimpse of it. But I do see that it starts with seeking life from the inside. Today’s eating binge was a wakeup call to take that inner life seriously, while I still have my health.
I hope this helps you a bit to perhaps start to look at the ways that you are seeking life from the outside. It never quite satisfies, does it?
Feel free to drop me a line with your discoveries.
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com. Its focus is natural health and independent living. Patrick is the author of GREEK PHYSIQUE: The Simple, Satisfying Way to Sculpt Your Body—Even if You’re Old, Weak, or Broken Down; and is also the creator of Greek Yoga™ and the Greek Yoga for Beginners video. He offers health and fitness consulting in-person in Middle Tennessee and worldwide via phone, Zoom, and Skype. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].