An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This story is one I hold very dear and sacred in my life. I first heard it when I was 20 years old and living in Brazil. A friend sent me this story in a letter and I have never forgotten it.
It recently popped up in my memory while I was on a run and evaluating my life. I started thinking more about this story and the analogy came to life in a movie in my mind. The question was posed “well when does the losing wolf die”? Think about it. When a wolf becomes starving for substance, what does it do? It first fights for whatever food and sustenance that you can offer it. It is willing to grit and nash it’s teeth in the fight for survival. It can become fierce and desperate for what it craves. Willing to kill and sacrifice to meet its needs.
I want to relate this to parts of our lives that we are trying to rid or shed of ourselves. For instance, I am addicted to sugar. Let’s say sugar is the evil wolf in my story. As I start to starve my body of sugar, that wolf will puff up and howl, beg and claw to get what it desires. Only after much fight and determination will the wolf start to falter and fade into the darkness.
My experience is that when you make a goal to better yourself and to shed what no longer serves you, there is always opposition. There is always a push from the opposite side to deter you. Sometimes the dark side can be presented by the people who you love. You must be true to yourself and hold strong to your inner guide and voice.The Corona virus has a lot of people full of fear. I am fearful of the economy crashing and of loved ones getting sick and not being able to fight the illness. A lot of this is stuff that I can’t control. What I can control is focusing on my own total wellness. That includes balancing my negative thoughts and emotions with positive bright and uplifting thoughts and emotions, as well as doing everything I can to maximize my physical health.
I am making a goal to practice yoga 5 times a week and to slowly start to cut out sugar. I will also make a goal to run at least 3 times a week.I have shared some podcasts and articles below that talk about things we can eat to safeguard our physical health and our mental health.Sugar for example causes inflammation. Inflammation causes pain and discomfort in the body and the mind. Eating whole natural foods gives our bodies the nutrients that we need to feel and think better. Sugar also eats up all the good bacteria in our gut. We need good bacteria to fight illness (hugely important with the Corona Virus). Here are some examples of good foods to bolster and support the good bacteria in our gut.Things like dandelion greens, garlic, onion, asparagus, artichokes, jicama, seaweed, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, pickles, yogurts, and kombucha. Dr. Mark Hyman says:“The health of our gut microbiome greatly impacts the health of the whole body, in large part due to the hundreds of trillions of bacteria residing there, breaking down our food, fighting pathogens, controlling our metabolism, and more.”
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