Minutes go by the clock counting age

Aware of their sonorous passage

My joints conduct the cracking message

Biologically confused, not a rock

My body is in the hands of a clock

Or not, I own my flesh and can decide

Worn out from the daily transformation

My mind ages desiring regeneration

Thoughts, like the sun’s burning rays

The messengers of passing days

Penetrate the epidermis

Like cancerous cells

Into the brain — decay, thought

It ought to manifest, that thought

Charged with energy that fills atoms

Thinking nectar enlivens or poisons organs,

The nerves and ligaments that conduct aches

But remembering that this space is all mine

An opportunity, emptiness to be filled,I own time

Positive and negative still ticking without a lock

I know now that I can wind the natural clock

Tic-tac, I changed the sound

So the clock goes by me 

~ Joy

Natural Clock is a poem on aging, pain and the power of the mindset.

I mused on time already, so read more if you are intrigued.

I was inspired by reading The Divided Mind by Dr. John E. Sarno on body-mind relationship. Together with his medical colleagues, they healed over many decades patients with chronic pain, GIT inflammation and autoimmune diseases, all with scientifically unproven, unexplained cause. Their approach was formed through experience with their patients, not through the known scientific methods of testing objectively. The later in the case of belief and self-reported emotions are difficult to measure, simply for their subjective nature. Even neuroscience cannot grasp the full scale of the mechanisms involved in such self-healing.

Another Western source catching up with the millennia of developed Eastern thought, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, whose research on trauma yielded clinically proven conclusions knocked on my consciousness. Emotions can be stored in the body and called to the awareness years later. The accompanied tension is not just from the wrong movement or too much sitting, but also from emotional baggage. Over time, the accumulated tension grows into pain.

self-help literature

Natural Clock of Awareness

A chronic tension in my neck and shoulders brought me to a renown, experienced myofascial release therapist. Each time before he set his healing hands on me, we discussed health, pain, psychology and happiness. Upon each treatment I released all my tension, while guiding my breath freely through the body and meditating. No need for massage, muscle-relaxants or pain medication.

I had further experiences with the mind-body connection that manifested as unbearable pain, and it was just mind-boggling how easily that thorn in my being just walked away from me after certain emotional realisations. It was not easy to get there, I had to try all the medical ways, until, my meditation rose my awareness above the clouds of ignorance. There is so much information, also in the form of emotions deep within our bodies and minds, that we need to puzzle out. Mindfulness, reflection and meditation are like spiritual contemplation the free for all tools for self-healing more efficient than most other, physically-oriented, not holistic therapies. 

time telling

Recently, after a thorough health check up, my doctor, one of the best in Switzerland, announced that my biological age is 16 years less than my birth age! Just days after a major milestone celebration calculated by the number of sunrises and sunsets, I could not feel more ecstatic. Some health and ageing factors are genetic, but most can be “hacked” though our own effort. Where we live, the pollution, noise, what we eat, how safe is the water, how we think and move on daily basis, are scientifically proven movers and shakers of our health and the speed of our physical ageing. I would add our connection with nature since she balances my emotional self.

The circulatory system, the heart, athletes’ pulse, liver and kidney function (detox), a good immune response as much as the strength of your bones, muscle distribution to keep you balanced, visceral fat, these all determine your biological age. Training but not taxing your body and mind. Balanced score.

Most pills are accompanied by numerous side effects, some potentially more harmful than the problem we used the medicine for. Patience pays off, and indeed for long-lasting results on human health it cannot be more true. Attitude and awareness count. Knowing what to do in the moment and that the positive mindset has a considerable power over our health set us for action.

I was curious if others could switch their attitudes and modes to healing from the quick fix to such accessible alternative solutions. Focused purely on the symptoms, most pills are not the cure, but a temporary relief of inflammation and pain. Time chimes differently for each of us, and the problem can resurface at any time.

I know from studying pharmacology, that the scientifically recognised placebo effect can be as potent as the medicine used to cure. Belief is a powerful tool that the human mind was blessed with. And we can use it for our benefit. Psychologists are puzzled by this phenomena since we do not have a proper method to measure the mechanism of beliefs.

contemporary art

Tick-tock, tic-tac, tic-toc, … experience time’s movement

I am not a voracious self-help, magic promises, bestselling (mostly American) books consumer, yet when a personal experience agreed with what a growing number of very experienced health practitioners empirically observe, my curiosity was teased to investigate.

A documentary on Netflix, titled Heal, further opened this theme for me. The timing for watching this open-minded, case-driven, alternative approaches supporting production was ripe. About in the middle of the streaming, someone I know wrote me out of the blue about her husband’s diagnosis with cancer. In such a dire situation one needs more than hope. Belief in recovery is at least as essential next to all the necessary and tested medical therapy. I hope that this poem inspires your everyday mindset as it shifted mine.

St. Mark's Square Venice

I still wonder. For most of known history, we counted time through the moving light of the sun as our planet turns from the cycle of a day into the night. The sun-dial was visually more aligned with the astrological origin of our time awareness. Don’t you think? Einstein certainly understood the relativity of space and time.

Somehow technology is shrinking our perception of space.

I feel that before our digital time counting, even the predecessor of the winding clock, the bell, allowed for more free space between the anchors of Earthly time. Thus our perception of time between the hours rather than the minutes and seconds announcing clock, watch and now mainly digital devices like our smart phones was more special. Perhaps, that is why we are so rushed, fast-paced and can hardly rest today. We feel the squeeze of the clock acutely in our daily experience.