Even if you never verbalize it, you have a philosophy that guides your life. You might even have several different philosophical pillars that you call on at different times depending on the circumstance. Many times a personal philosophy moves into place automatically, almost as a birthright, a gift of your parents, your ancestors, or your favorite media personality.
What are your go-to life philosophies? Do you go with one of the pop culture choices?:
a.) YOLO (You only live once)
b.) Don’t worry, be happy.
c.) Stuff happens and then you die
d.) Keep a stiff upper lip.
Your philosophy is super important. Everything flows out from it. Your habits certainly do, as does how you react to life events and how you choose to spend your time. I observe that these then lead to your health outcomes. If your philosophical foundation is bad, it’ll weigh you down.
How far can a defeatist philosophy carry you?:
a.) I can never win
b.) I am not worthy
If your philosophy is good, it can bring patience, gratitude, and resilience. It can act like your bodyguard, your personal advisor, or your guardian angel. A good philosophy will hold up in any circumstance and any stage of life. It can protect you from getting lost in short-sighted gain with no consideration for the long game.
Is your philosophy a little more worked through? Does it emphasize the good? Does it resemble one of these?:
a.) do no harm
b.) personal integrity should guide every action
c.) the flow state is where the magic happens
d.) be bold and have big dreams
Driven by Necessity
The truth is most of us spend more time on mundane things, like catching up on the latest from the algorithm, rather than really working through our philosophy. We just go philosophically with what we have picked up along the way.
The beauty is we are allowed to adapt. We can get serious at any time about our philosophy. We can choose to work with a new one at any point. Life unfolds, and if we know the importance of restricting fear and if we resist culture’s call to comfortably numb ourselves, we mature. The philosophical questions get louder.
here’s nothing like adversity to awaken philosophical development. Trying times and how they rattle us bring us face-to-face with our core philosophy. “Everything was fine until I was confronted with an event that destabilized me; now I’m re-examining everything.” A statement like that is referring to nothing other than the philosophical foundation.
Here is ours!
At Berkshire Whole Health we have a central philosophy that drives us. It’s one that we hold for ourselves, our employees, and our patients. It values all possible experiences. It can hold up through all the twists and turns. It’s off the top shelf, ladies and gentlemen.
I would summarize it this way:
Part one: Orientation
We start with the assumption that to be a responsible inhabitant of the earth we should have it in our hearts to do good. This philosophy will resonate with the ones who want to leave the earth a better place than the way they found it. It’s for those who want to help give purpose to the fulfillment of the cycles of time.
Part two: Obstruction
This is to acknowledge that your aspirations for good will be met with obstruction. We are offered a never-ending string of challenges: some small, some large. On one level the story of the righteous striver meeting an obstruction is the story of good vs evil, is it not? Obstruction might come in the form of your own inner blocks or of outer circumstances conspiring against you, including illness.
Part 3: The heart of the philosophy begins here
If your life is like a light, then your life in the face of a challenge is the time when your life shines the brightest. Facing adversity is our central task as good earth folk. The main shift is to learn to identify the richness inherent in adversity. This is developing an appetite for adversity and training yourself to be in control in its presence.
Part 4: The final twist
After embracing adversity as a portal to true richness, it’s important to realize the critical step is not just to face adversity but to address it in a particular way. That way is not to annihilate it, no matter how tempting that appears at first glance. The world is not hungry for more destroyers. The point is to overcome adversity in a particular way — to transform it — through the creative power that lives in each of us. This is our highest end, we think.
The philosophy, stated clearly:
Fearlessly embracing challenges but not as an annihilator; transforming evil, informed by the creative power that flows from a caring heart.
That’s wholeness. That’s hopeful. That’s healing.
Our inner power for transforming evil is available as a seed at birth and becomes more attainable through our own self-development. But make no mistake, it is present at this moment and powerful enough to get started.
It’s there when you win the battle for self-control, generosity, gratitude, or surrender. It’s there when you deny the defeatist lies. It’s there when you take the middle path between excess and paucity. It’s there when you see yourself as a creative, transformative warrior for good.
You don’t need to focus on the details to understand our philosophy. Just know that the next time you face adversity (even some little thing, like sensing some dread over the monotony of your upcoming day) and you smile, then you are on to something. You know that smile breaks up the habit of denying the miracles hidden in your day ahead. That smile comes because you cherish the opportunity of transforming your experience into something borne out of living possibility, seeking hidden treasure in your life, the treasure hidden in plain sight.
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