The answer: It gave me life.
I grew up in a generation of freedom in the 70's and 80's. This kind of freedom may work well in the age of the internet where any question is immediately answered with options of opinions on the subject, but my high school and college days were full of unanswered questions.
The first time the idea of balance was introduced was in my late twenties. While in a bookstore, an Ayurvedic cookbook basically jumped off the shelf at me. I read the introduction and thought the concept of balance was the most genius thing I had ever heard. This concept had never occurred to me before. I had been to many doctors and on many medications (Progesterone, Ritalin, Prozac, etc) to correct way out of whack hormones and super-low energy I had been experiencing. I was a basket case most of the time and at my breaking point, finally ended up in bed for a year. The doctors never asked if I was sleeping or eating (which I was not). I truly had no idea that either were so important. That little intro to Ayurveda put the responsibility for how I felt back in my hands. It empowered me. I began going to bed at 10pm and took an Ayurvedic herb for one month. One. Month. For the first time ever, I had regular periods and NO PMS. I had a clear head and felt as if I was alive for the first time since childhood. This is when my life began.
From Societal Sheep to Individual Self
Somehow in America, we’ve been programmed to rely on things outside of ourselves in every aspect of our lives.
Doctors to fix our bodies and minds with a pill
Bosses to assign value with titles and responsibilities
Advertisements to tell us what to wear and how to look
Peer approval to offer a feeling of belonging
Boyfriends/girlfriends or husbands/wives to give love
These are short-term, superficial fixes, and must constantly feed us in order for us to feel 'ok'. Not only is this exhausting, it places our health and happiness in someone else’s hands. Does that seem right? It does not, and it is not. I beg you, travel to third world countries where all of this is stripped away and you are left with yourself.
That is what happened to me next…
In the Philippines, on an island with no running water or electricity, I was invited into a family's one-room hut with a dirt floor. They spoke no English, but with huge smiles and warm hearts insisted that they feed us the most delicious and delightful meal. Ten people lived in this hut, and they were the happiest people I had ever met. Their love and simple joy transformed me. My belief that we must own nice things in order to be joyful disappeared. My idea of what love was, transformed.
This jolt along with further studies of Ayurveda guided me inward to the innate wisdom we all have. Everything we reach outward for is a substitute for what we have within.
The body creates more pharmaceuticals than all the pharmacies in the world put together. We simply need to support the body in creating them.
We have value simply because we exist. We then use that value to contribute to the world.
Beauty comes from health and happiness. The rest is superficial.
We belong. Our soul is a wave on the ocean of consciousness. Unique, but part of the whole. We belong to ourselves, with God and with all beings. We are one.
Love is our innate nature. We simply have to drop the non-love and it is there.
Ayurveda not only taught me how to live in order to feel great and be healthy; it introduced me to myself. For this I am most grateful. Meditation, self-inquiry, contemplation and Vedic astrology helped me remember my essential Self, which gave me the courage to remove the masks I used to navigate my world. Truth is a high value for me, and to live it means freedom.
The concepts of Ayurveda teach us about our unique nature, the strengths and the weaknesses. Although there are simple methods of strengthening the weaknesses, there is no judgement for having them. They are simply a product of our constitution. This allows us to accept ourselves as a whole, interesting, and unique individual. We can drop the self-judgement which in turn allows us to drop judgements of others. Wouldn't this concept, if we all consciously adopted it, change the world? Ayurveda helps us to understand ourselves, and once we find understanding, we can then improve upon it.
Guidebook for Life
There is no question That Ayurvedic cookbook appeared before me for a reason. It came at a time I was seeking truth and having spiritual experiences, yet still needed wisdom and explanations. I found a new way to live which fit with all that felt true to me. I am so grateful for the Vedic sciences and my experiences coming into alignment. They have all undoubtably changed my life.
Ayurveda is a comprehensive medical science, and the art of life. It is vast, complete and it works. It is the guidebook for living that hasn’t changed in 8,000 years or more. It first removes any bodily encumbrance, then mind and emotional issues, and finally takes us home to our Soul, where lives peace, healing, all the answers, and where we are connected to the Absolute and to one another in the truest sense.
You know the feeling you get when you watch a sunset? That is how we are meant to feel about all of life.
How could I not fall in love with Ayurveda?