Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
In yoga philosophy there is an ancient Sanskrit term “So Hum"... translated as “I am that." So, meaning “I am" and Hum referring to "that."
"That" refers to all of creation, the creation that is supporting everything existing here.
This phrase or mantra reminds us of our interconnection to everything. If people struggle or suffer in our community or on the other side of the world, then the community or the world as a whole, suffers. When we litter or pollute our land, air or water, then our own planet and the place where we live is affected and therefore each of us is affected by this. A celebration of love between two people at a wedding, can be felt by all guests in attendance. Every thought, word and action has a ripple affect extending out and around it.
So Hum. I am that. I am the tree. I am the water. I am you. You are me. What affects one, affects the other.
My son was home last week. We were sitting and enjoying the warmer weather on the patio. The Tillsonburg News arrived, and so I read him the stunning article in last week’s paper by Olivia Kyriakopoulos & Ashley Vandergunst titled “This year's Prom 'includes everyone.'” I must have choked up three or four times reading the article aloud to my son, with joyful emotion.
The initiative these prom committee council members have nurtured is: “Regardless of social stature, sports affiliation, drama club, art student, social elite, etc. we all entered into these doors five years ago, alone and afraid, and we suffered through many battles together. This year's prom... we all leave here together! “No man left behind.” With an awareness of teen suicides, depression, drug use, financial hardships, etc. this group of students knew right from the beginning this year's prom would include everyone!”
Whether they were best friends, frenemies or complete strangers, these Millennials are attempting to include all in the rite of passage of their high school prom. They are rallying for every individual to have access to a nice prom dinner, limo ride, hair-do, attire and so on. (If you would like to donate, read that story!)
They are attempting to unify as one graduating class, experiencing a common but often unforgettable, archetypal experience in life.
Their ancestral origins, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation nor their religion matters. They are connected and inclusive. I think many of us could take a page out of their book. Dropping the walls, letting go of the divisiveness, ignoring status’s and unifying... as one.
When we can open our hearts to each other, we understand that each of us simply just requires and deserves the basics such as physical comforts but also the requirements of love, connection and belonging. We all have been hurt and cried and felt crushing pain. Contrary, we have felt joy, laughter and love. Despite what label or category or social status we believe we have, we all experience life.
If we are able to bind our hearts together, we create this feeling of connection. This connection is a universal love and compassion that unites all. Here, we have more than sympathy, we have empathy.
Let’s look at a family unit living in a common living area or home.
When one person within the family structure is suffering, whether its mental health and/or addictions or physical health challenges such as cancer, the rest of the family doesn’t just go about their merry way. Each family member is affected. It can be felt through strain, stress or intense emotions. Perhaps the situation has created more physical work through chores or caretaking. Their heart could be heavy with hopes of healing and worries of the lack of. The individual’s life, within this family unit, is changed through the ripple effect of another’s life challenge.
Another perspective with contrasting but equal affects, if one family members loses their job versus a family member receiving a promotion with a huge pay raise, the entire family will experience the cause and effect accordingly.
Let’s take it bigger and expand the living area of people beyond just the home but a community.
In 2011, a Japanese nuclear plant was hit by explosion and a subsequent oil spill ensues. Radioactive isotopes were released from reactor containment vessels. The World Health Organization (WHO) report released in 2013 predicts that for populations living in common living area around the leakage, there is a 70% higher relative risk of developing thyroid cancer for females exposed as infants.
Also in 2013, statistics showed 40 new cases of thyroid cancer. According to the Tenth Report of a Health Management Survey released in February 2013, more than 40% of children screened around the leakage were diagnosed with thyroid nodules or cysts.
Experts on the ground in Japan agree that mental health challenges are the most significant issue. Stress, such as that caused by dislocation, uncertainty and concern about unseen toxicants, often manifests in physical ailments, such as heart disease.
You can see from this one situation the mental-physical health interconnection and livelihood of many in Japan has been affected. One might turn the other cheek with conclusions that this does not affect us.
So, let’s look bigger beyond their living area.
The environmental impacts of this nuclear disaster will last decades to centuries, warns a new 2016 Greenpeace Japan report. Man-made, long-lived radioactive elements are absorbed into the living tissues of plants and animals and recycled through food webs, and carried downstream to the Pacific Ocean by typhoons, snowmelt, and flooding. There are measurable higher amounts of radiation in the trees, birds, water and fish.
In 2015, CTV News reported that while levels are relatively minute, scientists have detected heightened levels of radioactivity in the waters and fish and sea life along the west coast of Canada and the United States, which can be traced back to the Japanese nuclear disaster of 2011.
What affects one, affects all.
When I see the Syrian War, I understand the fear of not wanting to get involved or the worry that comes with our country accepting immigrants. But then I think, what if that was us? What if the rest of the human race ignored hundreds of thousands of Canadians being killed by a group of crazy people?
What affects one, affects all. So hum. I am that.
In terms of differences, social standings, skin color, and country borders and so on, I am reminded of Barack Obama’s inauguration speech in January 2009.
“It is the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago; a belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together - Democrats, Republicans and independents; Latino, Asian and Native American; black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not - then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our Union in the process.”
We are one. Let’s unify our shared living area... Earth.
(If you would like to see an article on a specific topic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)