Can One Be Healthy and Unhappy?

Being healthy depends on how you define Health – what, when, where and how much. Think about your criteria for health. Is it to look, or to feel a certain way, or both and in that case, why? Even Health comes with a lot of cultural cliches and thinking that is not always healthy or happy for us.

Some people are part time healthy, i.e. during the week but not on the weekends. Some are environmentalists at home but not at work. When finding out what health implies for you, you might want to consider how much is enough when imposing on your well-being? This work is called Yama and Niyama in Yoga.

I can only be healthy or not healthy in what I do. If I’m unhealthy I’m very aware of it, and the ‘cost’ of it has to be worth it. If I’m tampering with my well-being it has to be for a good reason, a real good one, like huge money that I can do something better with, such as ensuring a better future for more than me as an outcome while always being aware that I can pick up my healthy living again. I would also regularly check my body so that I don’t push it over the edge. In that case I’m very, very aware that I “sell out”. Since I got my own warning in my thirties as a clinical diagnosis, all this became very clear to me, as I literally had to ask myself if what I did everyday was worth it relative my health?

Listen to how the interview by World Vegan Travel.

Now I can’t leave the health of my spirit, mind or body at home and go to an unhealthy job, step over a piece of plastic on the beach and later share a page on Facebook telling others to pick up plastic. How can’t I wait to change my behavior. Wait for what? Messiah! Or wait for some miracle to turn the earth resources into ‘abundant’ for 10 billion people living the American dream? What are you waiting for?

It seems to me that living in part-time health and part time being good to our own standard (body, mind and soul) will create a battle within, from multiple Yous competing and rebelling against each other.  This constant battle of not doing what we find best for our health (or for others) for the ‘right income’ and debating within is what I believe people often mean when they don’t feel balanced, or at ease. There is something constantly uneasy about them, like if they were haunted and relief comes with a glass of wine or an ice-cream. This habitual and learned behavior is pure dis-ease, havoc, and far from the homeostasis that the body always seeks. This is easy to understand for the physical body but not so easy for the mental one.

Either we live up to our own criteria for Health, or we don’t, as there is no in between. Often we compare with others and seek those who will support us being unhealthy so that we can relax in our own failure to reach our own goals, and feel healthier than we are. The general population is far from healthy, look around you, so that’s not a good peer group. Humans are amazing in convincing ourselves of the opposite of what we say we believe and want. Here at O· we live to question what we really, really want and we support our guest’s questioning too. Sometimes we use creative meditations or a bit of rebellion to figure things out.

An equal detrimental lie to ourselves is when we think we want something, but in reality we are not sure, we are more inclined to want it but not really wanting it. Inclined because we think that’s what we should want or because humans are complex and have multiple wishes of which we believe all should be heard. Creating a Self-democracy, and listen to them all is key. The paralyzed indecision is killing many with un-happiness and internal battles. People feel false, fake and bad and continue to talk about what they ‘should do’ instead of doing it for years.

If this is you there is a massive chance you have some rethinking to be done. Respect all sides of you, all your Yous, let them be heard, and acknowledge your desires, whatever they are; to smoke, drink, step over plastic, overeat, etc. Then you allow yourself to get aware of the cost of doing so. Only then you would be aligned with what you really want and feel good about it while doing it, and more so have fun now that you are doing it to have fun.

Walking the talk is very important for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Habits are important as they become us, physically and personally. What we eat becomes our organs, what we think becomes our words and in the longer run, our acts. You can’t leave your unhealthy You at home and be healthy at work or v.v. (as so many of our competitors that are healthy at the retreat or in the gym, but not at home). We live in a “party culture” and we think it has to include getting wasted and trashed. I mean, just listen to those words! I think this is a key area to figure out for many who decided to save themselves from dis-ease, and that’s where we start our retreats, day one, class #1, we have our guests figure out what healthy and happy means to them. Say that partying is on their list of habits, they could figure out what they like about it and see if there is a healthy way of doing it. If it’s getting drunk they should be aware of the cost.


Our guests decide and set their goals and we can only support them to reach those set goals. If the decision is to not make any decisions right now, that’s a great decision too, a decision done in awareness. If they have no idea what it implies to be healthy and happy and what stops them, we would support them in finding out.

More on what often keeps humans in a limbo of unhealthy habits in next blog.

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