Years ago, I was working with dentists to organize a conference for wellness.  One of the presenters was a chiropractor with some good advice on how to stay healthy.  He talked about Nutrition and Rest, about Energy and Exercise and about drinking lots of Water.  “Hmmmmm” I thought…. and asked him “Do they have to be presented in that order or could they be reorganized to spell RENEW!”  He loved the acronym and I think went on to write a book.  It has always stuck with me, too.  Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water are the things you need to maintain health – thinking, doing and being healthy.

Rest – The idea of adequate rest is important to me today.  Three days after a journey through 8 time zones means I really need four more days to regain my temporal equilibrium.  Rest is what Italians and many others do after lunch.  We seem to keep busy all day and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Maybe we could learn something from the siesta approach.  I know that nothing puts me in a better mood or frame of mind then a good night’s sleep. It clears our thoughts, our emotions and our bodies, preparing them for a fresh start each morning.

Energy – What gives you energy?  What puts you in that state of flow where time seems to pass at a different speed?  As a seven it is variety that energizes me.  I could be feeling quite low and when a new idea or project is presented to me, I find energy and can devote hours to it without feeling the least bit fatigued.  Others are energized by order or control or detachment or differentiation, by acknowledgement or a sense of security or an opportunity to help others or by a peaceful outcome.  Knowing ourselves and what energizes us helps all of us maintain our healthy perspective.

Nutrition – Eating is such a personal thing.  We are all on diets.  Some are deliberate.  Others are routine.  Each of us has an eating pattern that is more or less deliberate that nurtures us and provides us with the nutrients that keep our bodies going.  Most of us have more body knowledge than we know or pay attention to.  Sometimes we fight cravings rather than giving in to them and other times we binge and abuse ourselves with our eating and drinking and yet our body continues to find what it needs in what we give it and get rid of the rest.  We are wonderful organisms that renew and regenerate.

Exercise – Fitness is such a personal thing.  What works for one is not always the right prescription for another.  I have friends who exercise hard every day.  I have others who never set aside any time for formal exercise programs.  Each person is fit to a degree that is functional for them and each could run a marathon given the motivation to do so.  When I am looking to stabilize my weight, I do not do physical exercise.  I rest more, drink more water and eat more vegetables and stay as still as possible.  Physical exercise gives me energy and strengthens my muscles but it does not produce weight loss. Our levels of fitness – Body, Heart and Head – are individual.  What is important, I think, is NOT to neglect anyone of the three. Do something each day to increase fitness for your body, your heart and your head.  Notice which is easiest to do and you will know something more about yourself.

Water – We are water.  We need water.  It flushes our systems.  It hydrates our muscles and other tissues and makes us feel good.  We drink it.  We bathe in it and inside and out it helps us maintain our balance with the universe.  “Water is the first medicine.” That is what one of the Elders once told me.  Drink water for health.

RENEW – I know it is time for me to RENEW my commitment to these things, to give my body, my mind and my heart a new lease.  I once read a bumper sticker that said “You cannot turn back the clock but you can wind it up again.”  Summer is a good time for rewinding your body clock and RENEWing your PULSE.