How’s everyone doing?
We could all do with a laugh, with a moment or two of levity. A good old fashioned joke that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. How about this…
How does Darth Vader like his toast ? On the Dark Side.
Feel better? Not really? I get it, we get it. It’s tough right now.
But, big picture-wise, hope, health and happiness-wise, there has to be a reason for taking this ride. There must be a shift coming, something earned and learned once this current chapter has ended. And we have to believe that good will eventually prevail, that all the current conflicting elements forged in the fire will produce something reliable, resilient and of lasting value.
Until that time, and indeed during this time, we have to endure. One of the methods I use is to lean into the wisdom of the great Stoics. If you’re not familiar, then I urge you to look into the works of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus, for starters. These men lived through incredibly challenging times and left for us, in their writings, great mind-soothing and intellectually provocative pillars of wisdom.
“The mind is the ruler of the soul. It should remain unstirred by agitations of the flesh – gentle and violent ones alike. Not mingling with them but fencing itself off and keeping those feelings in their place. When they make their way into your thoughts, through the sympathetic link between mind and body, don’t try to resist the sensation. The sensation is natural. But don’t let the mind start in with judgements, calling it ‘good’ or ‘bad.’” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Although we may try hard to resist, we all have thoughts on what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when it comes to our body and mind, and that is something we explore this week at Mr Feelgood. We focus on the theme of mind, body and spirit and the different expressions and practices that can be used as tools in achieving purpose, equilibrium and peace.
Pete interviewed dancer and choreographer Derek Hough, a bona fide athlete, who expresses his unique signature and power with grace and masculinity in the form of dance and movement. The piece is complimented by incredible and timeless pictures taken by Kurt Iswarienko.
Stylist Miles Siggins shares the story of his battle with prostate cancer, the clarity he has harnessed, and the power he feels in sharing this journey. For me, his is an act of courage and generosity, virtues we all relate to deeply. Miles tells us, “I feel negative about some things but I’ve always been positive with my attitude concerning the cancer.” Amazing human being.
We also talk to Rodrick Covington, a physical and mental fitness innovator, who found his power in the self-acceptance of his sexuality, in self-love, in his service to others and his ongoing purpose in activism.
Plus, we examine ‘WTF Is Healthy Body Image?’ with the help of leading sports psychologist Dr Tyler Bradstreet.
Personally, I’ve been a player in the world of male ‘beauty’ for over three decades. In the modeling business, I’ve borne witness to the scrutiny that can subtly or blatantly play judge and jury. Of course, the job has afforded me far more highs than lows, but I’ve seen people of all genders fall foul to such criticism. If you don’t have a deeply centered sense of self-esteem, being objectified can be an agonizing experience.
I’m very happy to see progress in the fashion industry steadily being made, to encourage all types, inclusion and diversity, and all shapes and sizes. If people aspire to be healthy, to be their best authentic selves then they naturally radiate a palpable glow. Young or old, that to me is beauty and inspires on so many levels.
I’ve always loved the French expression ‘Bien dans sa peau’ meaning literally ‘good in one’s skin.’ I think it speaks volumes to being balanced in ones own personal psychological state.
Never a gym man, I’ve always preferred group activities in keeping healthy. I rarely took my shirt off for pictures – I looked good but was never cut or sculpted like Adonis. Of course I was and am aware of the need to keep in shape and yes, as I’ve aged it’s a more trying effort to maintain my physical goals, but certainly when I’m feeling well mentally and spiritually, with rudimentary work, my health and wellness reflects such.
Definitely breaking a sweat each day is a must for me. But also what’s essential is to take a walk in nature, spend a little time reading and committing to a regular practice of meditation (though the latter has yet to become a consistent discipline). And perhaps it’s partly about accomplishing something and that warm feeling of getting between the sheets knowing you’ve not wasted the day?
This all adds up to a recipe for living our very best self. If we can take care of ourselves, our nearest and dearest, be a living example of putting our very best attitude forward. If we can feel accomplished no matter the obstacles. As Rudyard Kipling wrote in one of my very favorite poems, ‘IF’ …
”If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!”
And we will be of use and value to the world around us. So to my mind, it’s vital aiming to have these three aspects, mind, body and spirit working in harmony. It’s a work in progress, but daily positive steps add up to self sustaining positive results. That’s not selfish, that’s inspired.
Finally, regarding my crap jokes above… I think I’ll leave the humor to the guru of such, our beloved Bill Murray, whose wise and dry-witted philosophies we also feature this week bringing us some much needed lightness of being.