The “Feeling Better” Macrobiotic Guarantee
Macrobiotics is a wonderful way of life, discipline of appreciation and system of healing. At its onset, a macrobiotic practice may seem challenging, like starting a new career or learning a language. There is so much to understand and do, sometimes interwoven with fear when illness is involved. There is no assurance of recovery.
But there is one guarantee that is always true: when you practice macrobiotics you feel better. This is assured because the fundamental nature of life is an overriding sense of well being. Living in accord with natural law means that well being is dominant. This is an unfailing source of encouragement: macrobiotics offers a continued sense of improvement as you get more in touch with your true self. Well being is the natural state of affairs. Anything less is temporary.
Feeling better is a subjective state of being that everyone recognizes. Personal energy, mood and bodily functions improve. At its best, feeling good is vibrancy, energized enthusiasm for life, good sleep and smooth elimination in a pain-free body with a mind easily able to handle stress. Anything less is dis-ease in the literal sense of the word—uneasiness.
Actually, there is no need to explain to anyone what feeling better means. It is enough to seek it in order to experience it for oneself.
Sheldon: I began learning these lessons in the mid-1980s when I recognized macrobiotics as the way I wanted to live. I noticed that I felt better almost immediately after eliminating meat, chicken, dairy, eggs and sugar. My focus improved, I could work in a more relaxed way and my energy was steadier. This better feeling disposition increased as time went on. To my amazement, long ignored health issues disappeared. From this I understood that it is not attention to specific bodily conditions that creates health, but a general, wide ranging comfort within oneself, created by the food we eat and the knowledge that one has found a better lifestyle. I discovered that a macrobiotic lifestyle coupled with the confidence that I could realize my desires was the best combination for a balanced, great feeling life.
I was fully into a macrobiotic routine for over a year and a half when a long ignored bladder condition required medical attention. I had changed my eating but not my thinking habits, and I remained dis-eased. A routine hospital CAT scan, confirmed by both allopathic and macrobiotic specialists, revealed a malignant growth between my bladder and spine. I refused a biopsy and determined to heal on my own without the negative influence of doctors and hospitals. I did not seek a name for my illness nor did I discuss it with family or friends so as to avoid their pity and criticism. I focused only on my goal of well being as I followed a recommended program of macrobiotic living.
At the beginning, the improvements came quickly and distinctly; in time the rate of change slowed. Yet I always knew I was getting better—even when I was feeling lousy with temporary glitches as my body adjusted to the changes taking place. Discharges were sometimes uncomfortable, but I knew intuitively that I was on the right path. Counselor support helped me to understand these trends, and I was grateful for the encouragement I received. My general development was always better and better until I gradually saw physical proof of what I already knew instinctively: I was healing my life.
It took me three years to release the emotions that had created the tumor. What kept me going throughout this experience was constant focus on just feeling better. The lesson of my experience was that well being is not a quantum leap, but rather the accumulated result of feeling better daily. There is a great chasm between the extremes of illness and health, but baby steps of feeling better are always within reach. Moving from a state of disease to well being requires mental and physical evolution in incremental better-feeling stages. Soon feeling better rather than being ill becomes the norm.
Illness is an indication that one or some specific aspects of the overall scheme have gone awry. Focusing on these more than on the well functioning body parts is giving attention to that which is unwanted and only a partial picture. The longer the unease persists in the mind, the stronger its physical manifestation. It is the attitude of feeling good and getting better that reflects the whole, naturally healthy person.
Appreciation is the greatest asset in this quest. Appreciation means focusing on what is wanted while ignoring what is absent. It is shifting focus away from resistance, doubt and fear. It is letting go of self denial and complaint, and consciously choosing a better feeling thought. Appreciation is actively looking for ways to feel better.
As macrobiotic practitioners and teachers, let’s make the subtle shift from curing illness to seeking well being. The method is simply small steps directed towards feeling better in the moment. Anyone can encourage another to feel better without getting into the details of a specific illness and its treatment. Symptoms of discomfort should be regarded as interesting trivia eclipsed by the day to day practice of seeking positive aspects. The temptation to make claims of cure should be substituted by the absolute guarantee of feeling better. Simply tell whoever asks, “It is my promise to you that by eating and living in a macrobiotic way you’ll feel better and better as long as you live.” Nothing is simpler or more accurate.