Physician…heal thyself

Over the years I have developed a meditative practice, i have a busy mind and meditation enables me to find a calm, grounded space within, which has helped me navigate some pretty steep personal terrain. I, like many others, am prone to entropy, to the breakdown over time of ongoing positive nourishing structures (like exercise, a good diet, meditation etc). The problem is that when i feel really good and in harmony with myself, i tend to stop doing the very things that have brought me to that point. With winter upon our doorstep i have chosen to stay warmly tucked in bed for the extra half an hour which i would’ve previously spent meditating, the effect of this has been subtle but increasingly noticeable. At first i find that my mind becomes increasingly restless, more prone to attaching itself to meaningless chatter, within a week, my mind is more vulnerable to stress. An image of a homeless person looking in a dustbin for nourishment comes to mind, my thinking becomes agitated and distractible and instead of reading and writing i watch crap on television, don’t go to yoga (for a variety of self defeating reasons) and start eating processed but tasty meals with little energetic content.

So, what happens on subtle levels of the mind when i begin to lose traction in my life? I am a great fan of Lord of the Rings, in the book, there is an evil character called ‘Wormtongue’ who whispers toxic lies into the King of Rohan’s ear, keeping him trapped and paralyzed with passivity. Sometimes, when my mind is restless, distractible and stressed, Wormtongue comes out to play and begins to cast doubt and anxiety into my thought-stream, polluting my thinking and puncturing my self esteem. Slowly all my scaffolding for living a connected, clear, creative life begins to break down leading into a stagnant quagmire of passivity, a low, flat mood and a general dissatisfaction with life.

Thomas Jefferson once said “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”, in order for me to build evidence of a life well lived, to remain free, i too need to remain vigilant, to maintain those structures that allow for my growth and connection.



About the author

Jamie Elkon

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.

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