Western culture is set up so that being part of society and being healthy are opposites. It’s almost like if you want to be healthy, you have to be lonely.
I remember my first job, where my coworkers would go out for happy hours. If I join and don’t care to drink, it’s weird and others tried to pressure me to take “just one drink”. I never cared to drink, so I didn’t go. But of course, then I miss out on bonding with my coworkers.
In offices, it was a special treat when pizza was ordered and you should be excited about it and not bring your own lunch. Or if someone brings in donuts and you’re weird in not wanting one. Or everyone goes out to an unhealthy restaurant for lunch and you have to join.
And what about going to sleep early / waking up early? At one point I didn’t feel comfortable dating because I didn’t think I could meet anyone who would NOT want to go out for a late dinner or go to a bar for a drink.
Currently, I’m in a big European city, and here almost EVERYONE smokes. Young teenagers, parents with babies, etc. I can’t go to a restaurant without having to inhale copious amounts of cigarette smoke. It is just casually accepted that inhaling poison that is proven to give you lung cancer is normal.
If you don’t want to participate in these society rituals of drinking, eating unhealthy food, and sleeping in among other unhealthy lifestyle activities, you’re all alone.
Being unhealthy runs at the very heart of our society. Why are we NOT encouraged and taught to live our best healthy lives and reach our full potential on every level – body, mind, spirit – like Eastern Philosophy does. It makes you wonder – who profits from the current structure of us all getting sick early and often?
Luckily, in the past few years, I’ve started encountering others who also want to live differently. Not how we’re set up, but with conscious awareness of the structures that should be broken and what health really means. And of course, I keep learning more and more Ayurveda to re-educate myself on the basics of living.
It is only when we come together as a group and build communities, bring people together, that those of us out there who want to live differently can do so together instead of alone. And as we, as a society, decide more and more that we’re sick of being sick and unhappy, the movement will only grow.