23 Aug Seven Secrets to A Life Without Pain
By Alison Kaye Rhodes
She should be happy in life. At least she doesn’t have cancer like her friend Joe, or heart disease like her Father or arthritis like her Aunt Bev. She’s glad to feel as well as she does, after all, she works out four times a week and doesn’t eat fast food anymore.
But somehow the stress, low-energy, occasional headaches, cramps and body twinges that have become normal in her existence, just don’t seem right anymore. And her crummy job is so dissatisfying that all the money she’s making from it isn’t buying her dreams like she thought it would. The nice house and expensive car haven’t given her the fulfillment she expected to help her overcome low self-esteem issues brought on by the paternal abandonment she suffered as a child. She might as well have an illness. Her life sure does feel sick.
So if she’s well, why is life so miserable and difficult? There’s got to be a better way to live and experience life. Being well just isn’t good enough anymore. And she’s not very comforted by the overwhelming confusion of disease prevention information.
THE SEARCH FOR MORE
Like the rest of us, she’s searching for a life that goes beyond the idea of wellness. The miracle answer she’s looking for, according to Aaron Parnell, Owner of The Vitality Center of San Mateo, is vitality.
The last time she remembers feeling vital was maybe at 15 when the high-school jock asked her out after she threw the winning shot for the girls’ basketball team. Most of us think that vitality is peak at youth. And we’ve got the saggy, depressed, wrinkled, grey, feeble, dependant, sick proof that vitality shrinks as we age.
“If we change our lifestyle to one that promotes vitality, there is no reason why we can’t live to 140 – which is totally possible for the physical human body – and feel like we’re 20,” said Parnell at his San Mateo, California office. In his new book, A Life Without Pain, Parnell addresses what a vital lifestyle looks like and how anyone can reach a high standard of living through this new belief toward perfect health – Complete Vitality.
There is no one way to actualize vitality. Parnell says what’s right for one person isn’t exactly right for all people. While vitality may be the miracle answer we’ve been searching for, achieving vitality takes more than just a snap of the fingers. It’s an evolving process we work on throughout life.
GOING BEYOND THE PHYSICAL
Vitality isn’t simply about the body. The idea is that the true health and happiness we’re all looking for comes from being vital in all aspects of life. “There are seven essential areas of life: physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, professional and financial. I propose principals that will help you find vitality in each area,” said Parnell, “therefore acquiring complete vitality.”
If we’re not happy in many areas of our life, it will be very taxing on our physical health – as in the form of stress. And remember, we’re nothing without our health. The new way of thinking is that our health goes far beyond being physically fit. To experience vitality, we must see the bigger picture of life and incorporate all aspects.
THE SEVEN KEYS TO VITALITY
In Physical Vitality we focus on our ability to use energy. This helps promote and sustain life force. We’ve been led to believe that looking good and feeling fine is as physically healthy as we need to get. But health is not about beauty, as advertisements might want us to think, and it’s not only about disease prevention, as the medical profession might lead us to understand.
Parnell advocates that physically vital people take responsibility for the knowledge of their own health. They are aware of the body’s vital signs, like: pulse and heart rates, blood pressure, reflex responses, brain function, nervous and immune system functions, among many others.
They learn how to boost their immune system because they know that much of what influences whether people live or die, as life-threatening diseases come and go, is the complete function of the immune system. “The body’s ability to get rid of it’s own trash is crucial to surviving the toxicity in our food, air and water.”
A vitally healthy, physical existence is totally dependent on a lifestyle that incorporates fresh food, clean drinking water, pure oxygen, enjoyable exercise and rejuvenating rest.
In Psychological Vitality there is clarity and peace of mind about life. Parnell says the reason many don’t feel that way is because we have allowed ourselves to become victims of life. We resign ourselves to misery because that is how we think life is. We trick ourselves into believing it’s much less painful to stay unconscious instead of stretching ourselves to find a new way of looking at life.
Psychologically vital people look at their thinking like a mental computer. Their mind is the operating system, their brain is the hardware and the software programs are their belief systems about life. “From early childhood we make assumptions about life, based on our experiences, which become our beliefs. ‘I’m no good,’ is a belief many of us have because maybe in our past someone made us believe that,” said Parnell.
The problem is that we carry that belief all throughout our lives where it continues to not work for us. The program needs to be changed. “We need to take responsibility for the condition of our lives. We must do what is necessary to be able to produce emotional and tangible results which are consistent with our adult reality and the emotional and spiritual values we now choose to have, “ said Parnell. Read a self-awareness book, attend a class, seminar or 12-step group or seek counseling or therapy; Whatever helps us learn to achieve inner peace is the goal here.
In Emotional Vitality we are secure in who we are and we don’t rely on outside stimuli to make us happy. Sex, food, money, other people, work and material things are what we mislead ourselves to abuse if we need to fill an emotional void. Becoming obsessive with these is not what makes us feel emotionally vital.
“Emotionally vital people know who they are because they have studied what makes them tick. They are aware of the emotional wounds they received as a child – we all have them,” said Parnell. But instead of being victim to their life trauma’s, they use them to inspire their life purpose.
Instead of just being a victim of childhood abuse, for example, the person is a counselor for teen runaways. In that way he has made his life have meaning and he gains fulfillment from it. He is emotionally vital because he is doing what is important to him. He has a personal interest in his work and that makes him feel he has a purpose on the planet. “What is your purpose in life? What interests you? What is important to you? Answering these questions will help you achieve emotional vitality,” said Parnell.
In Spiritual Vitality you feel connected to a “higher power,” which gives you meaning in life. But many people are turned off by this because they think the only way to be spiritual is to be religious. According to Parnell, being religious is only one way to be spiritually vital.
Much of how we feel close to “God” comes from our national, traditional or familial upbringing. “But misunderstanding and hypocrisy happens when we practice rituals that have no spiritual significance for us personally,” said Parnell. Like praying to a “God” we think is a being outside of us, up in heaven somewhere.
“We are not the same as God, anymore than we are the same as our parents. But we are a divine creation of God, as we are a creation of the joining of our parents,” said Parnell. “If spirituality is the search for the meaning in life – then the meaning for our lives is inside each of us in our own unique way.” So what makes you feel spiritually connected to a higher power does not have to be the same as what makes the next person feel that way. “There is no one right way to practice being spiritual – even if particular beliefs were pounded into your head as a child. Seek what feels right for you.”
In Intellectual Vitality the highest value is not based on our I.Q. or how much education we may have. It is how readily we are in touch with all our senses and trust our intuition. “What drives a real intellect is compassion, wisdom, ethics and intuition,” said Parnell. “The assumption is that we already have sufficient knowledge, intelligence and power.”
In school we’re taught to develop our five senses. We are concerned with only the “right” answers according to linear thinking. “Our educational system has cultivated us to ignore and disregard a sixth sense – our intuition,” said Parnell. Many children learn not to trust their own intuitive sense from negating adults who assume that children couldn’t possibly know anything they haven’t been taught. “It is important to encourage children to express their feelings. A way for all of us to develop our intuitive sense is to acknowledge the validity of those fleeting thoughts that pass through our mind and heart and follow them.”
In Professional Viability, our work provides something meaningful to us personally. “Too many people feel their lives are meaningless and empty. They don’t know why they’re living. They work at a job that does not fulfill them and it slowly kills them off,” said Parnell.
Work gives you life when you are professionally viable. To get a life worth living we must realize that everyone is on the planet for a reason. We all have something to contribute. Knowing what that is will give us direction and purpose. Finding our life’s work comes from a combination of our early life experiences and unique set of talents, skills, gifts and interests. “Ask yourself, ‘What difference would I make on the planet if money were no object?’” It might be helpful to see a career coach, counselor, consultant or job placement agency.
In Financial Viability we understand that more money is not the answer to all our problems. People with lots of money just have different challenges. It’s not money that makes us happy. It’s what we do with our lives that fulfills us. “Money is not simply something we earn and spend. It’s a kind of energy in our lives,” said Parnell. If we use it negatively or irresponsibly, we will produce that same kind of energy in our financial lives.
Viable means being vital and able. “How much life are you able to produce with your money? How much money are you able to produce with your life,” asks Parnell. We must take full responsibility for the role money plays in our lives. Since many of us are financially ignorant, hiring a financial planner or accountant might be wise. Wiser still is the person who maintains full responsibility of his finances even with the extra help.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Don’t feel overwhelmed. There’s a lot of work to improving the quality of our lives. Tackling all these areas at once will prove very defeating. “It takes everyone a lifetime to master any number of them. That is what life is all about,” said Parnell, “it’s an evolving, growing process.”
There are many resources available for each vital aspect of wholeness, check them out.
For more information read: A Life Without Pain by Aaron Parnell or call 650-347-4565.