Confession: I have no idea if apple cider vinegar cures cancer. I’ve successfully removed a wart with it. I can confirm it tastes great if mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic, poured over steamed and crushed new potatoes, finished with fresh mint and sea salt flakes.. But I don’t know if it will save your life.
I know even less. I don’t know if you should be vegan. Or carnivore. If you should exercise daily. Or weekly. If male ejaculation is healthy. Or if running makes your skin look old. I am learning a lot about these and more by experimenting, observing and drawing my own conclusions. I’ve discovered some of my own truths about what works for me. But absolute truths about health? Don’t ask.
But let me tell you about Nature. And since Nature is present at birth and death and everything in between. Since nature is that driving force flowing through all living things. Surely she can help us understand health.
Nothing is separate. Everything exists as part of an ecosystem. You could try to find yourself through spending 5 years at a silent retreat, or you could carefully look at a mouldy sandwich just before the ants carry it away. (I did both). I learned a lot about health, myself and the world by observing abandoned food items in tropical environments. I recommend you try it too.
Back to that sandwich, born from wheat, which grew from soil. A complex web of life, a thick layer of stardust mixed with the genes of everything that ever happened before today. I think our soil deserves better than to be called ‘dirt’.
After harvest, the kernels or wheat berries were ground into fine powder to which h20 (4.5 billion-year-old water) and ancient NAcI (salt) were added. Microbes helped wheat grow and next, they will help us making bread. The very wild yeast species that were present on wheatgrass, the baker’s hands and mixing bowl are conspiring in a divine culinary dance to raise the dough and make this bread fluffy and digestible.
Wild yeasts love feeding on bread. So do the microbes in your body, who cleverly communicate their desires into your brain chemistry giving you a sudden craving for sandwiches. Those microbes also lived in your mother (and her mother) and likely colonised your body the moment you moved through her birth canal. Her breast milk contained the perfect nutrients designed to nourish your newly enquired army also referred to as your ‘microbiome’. At that very moment of birth, you made a deal with life. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
You never need to feel lonely. You have more living beings inside of your body than there are stars in the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body are not even yours. They belong to creatures to who YOU are the entire universe and as long as they get to feast and play and thrive in your hair, on your skin, in your stomach and under your nails they will do anything to keep you happy in return. Imagine how supported you are? 1400 species of microbes in your bellybutton alone!
Yes, my friend, you are the garden of Eden. You are the cosmos. You are an ecosystem hosting life. You were brought into existence and you will be eaten by little creatures who ran the show epochs before anyone had ever heard of homo sapiens. What can we learn from this? To be healthy means to befriend all life.
What is your desire for health really good for unless you desire health for ALL living beings? Why fight the corn slashing grasshoppers with chemical warfare if they came here to fix your soil? Why kill the headache whilst it is trying to tell you something? To be healthy is for all life to thrive. Modern medicine is spending most of its efforts fighting symptoms, the voice of life itself.
Want to see something really healthy? Go sit in an undisturbed forest. No doctors. No painkillers. No fertilizers. No sunscreen. No health insurance. No ambulance. Just a divine interplay of birth and death as the universe expresses itself through various forms. Life couldn’t be without those 2 and perfect health is to stop making such a big deal out of them. Celebrate both. Or at least accept both. But to have $10.000 baby showers whilst not daring to speak about your father’s funeral is a perfect way of denying life itself.
How about, ‘perfect’ health starts with accepting life’s seeming imperfections? Instead of aiming for optimum physical health we can start embracing the perfection of the present moment. In those moments, of awareness and deep connection with all life, she might just whisper a personalized health secret or 2 into our bacteria riddled ears. Sssshhhh, she urges, this is true, but only for you.