When I think back on my own life and how I met Ayurvedic health wisdom, it is a story of going from being trapped in the three causes of suffering to attaining a level of consciousness that enabled me to break the vicious cycle and create more balance in my life.
According to Ayurveda, there are three fundamental causes of disease and suffering. By understanding these three causes and becoming aware of where they are present in your own life, you gain the opportunity to break with them and achieve balance in your life. According to Ayurvedic wisdom, a life in balance not only strengthens your quality of life, it’s also the path to a longer life with fewer ailments.
In the time leading up to when I met Ayurveda, I lived a successful life in the fast lane, and I was convinced that this was precisely the life I wanted. There was speed, I was good at what I was doing and got lots of praise and recognition from those around me. I was socially outgoing, had a full diary and any free moments were quickly filled up with spontaneous plans. The problem was that I wasn’t doing well. At one point, it became very clear that something was wrong – my health put its foot down. I could no longer put off finding the cause. And my search for a solution led me to yoga and Ayurveda.
Ayurveda helped me get rid of the unhealthy burdens and strains my body had been exposed to for years.
When I started working with myself Ayurvedically, it suddenly became very clear to me that the life I was living was in direct conflict with what I was deeply longing for and needed to come into balance. At that time – even after meeting Ayurveda – I had a prestigious job in the restaurant industry with long, late shifts, little or no breaks and weird mealtimes. All in all, I was living a life at full throttle with very little time to feel.
Meeting Ayurveda made me aware that I really needed, and longed for, a fixed framework and sleep routines, time for taking breaks and peace for reflection, as well as a healthy and nutritious diet.
When I started living according to Ayurvedic principles, it really hit me how much the busy life I had been living and my pursuit of recognition weren’t at all what I wanted deep down. When I told myself that I had a good life, it was a lie. How could I have pulled my life in a completely different direction to the one I really wanted for so many years and even succeed in convincing myself that I was happy?
You probably know the feeling of doing something that feels good in the situation and that satisfies a need in you or soothes a symptom well – but that you know isn’t good for you in the long run. For example, the desire to recharge your batteries with candy or coffee. You know they aren’t healthy, but they are easy and satisfy the need for more energy in the moment – but does it deal with the reason for your lack of energy? No, it doesn’t, does it.
You can also transfer those dynamics to other areas of your life. These were the dynamics of my situation and the reason my life got out of balance. Right up until I couldn’t stand it anymore and my whole system collapsed.
When we are not fully conscious and aware, we have an unfortunate tendency to treat the symptoms instead of the cause.
Ayurveda is about creating balance in ourselves and in our lives by being conscious and aware of the three causes of disease and suffering. When we remove them, we dive into the very cause of our disorders instead of just treating the symptoms.
In Ayurveda, the three causes of suffering and disease are:
We know it well, yet we don’t act based on what we actually know. Why, for example, do many people smoke when it is scientifically proven that it is unhealthy? Why do we eat so much candy, fast food or drink alcohol when we know it is the path to an old age with ailments? The explanation is that we are being “dishonest or inauthentic” toward ourselves. We manage to convince ourselves that it’s what we need. That candy is an innocent indulgence, and that alcohol creates a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.
Try to transfer that mindset to your own life. When do you say to yourself that something is legitimate in a situation, even though you know very well that it’s not good for you in the long run? Start small and then try to transfer it to the bigger parts of your life and move step-by-step toward a greater degree of integrity and more holistic health.
We seek stimuli and our senses are often overloaded with the wrong sensory input.
Most people recognize the candy and coffee scenario. Our wisdom betrays us and causes us to soothe ourselves with stimuli in order to gain more energy, but in fact, it means that we also disturb our senses and overload them when we have a high consumption of stimuli. This also applies to social stimuli, which was definitely the case in my life. I had a hard time being on my own and so I filled up my diary.
Try to become aware of your senses and take note of how you feel when you consume certain types of sensory input, even though you know you really need something else. It could be something you eat, but also external influences, such as over-consuming social media, where you may also find that you’re seeking the opposite of what is good for you.
We can influence our biological age by living in balance and, thereby, pave the way for a longer life with less disease and fewer ailments. We are undoubtedly living in an age of time optimism that dictates that we must constantly achieve and do more in less time. When we are stressed, busy and living in imbalance, our body ages faster. We measure chronological age in months and years – we can’t change that. But our biological age is about our health, and we can change that by living a life in balance, where we consciously seek breaks and peace of mind through, for instance, meditation. When we find peace and calm on a daily basis, we help slow down the aging process.
The three reasons or causes are intertwined and so we have to be consciously aware of and work with all three to come into balance. We chase success and stress, our wisdom betrays us, we soothe our senses – a vicious cycle in progress. You can break it by starting to become aware of and recognizing the dynamics of the little things and then you can start working on taking it to the next level.
I wish you all the best on your journey