Select Page

Prescriptions for Good Health

In our last blog posting, we talked about the Baha’i Teachings on Diet.  I often share the following tablet with my life coaching clients as well.

Some rules for health, from a Tablet revealed by Bahá’u’lláh.

O God! The Supreme Knower! The Ancient Tongue speaks that which will satisfy the wise in the absence of doctors.

O People, do not eat except when you are hungry. Do not drink after you have retired to sleep.

Exercise is good when the stomach is empty; it strengthens the muscles. When the stomach is full it is very harmful.

Do not neglect medical treatment, when it is necessary, but leave it off when the body is in good condition.

Do not take nourishment except when (the process of) digestion is completed. Do not swallow until you have thoroughly masticated your food.

Treat disease first of all through diet, and refrain from medicine. If you can find what you need for healing in a single herb do not use a compound medicine. Leave off medicine when the health is good, and use it in case of necessity.

If two diametrically opposite foods are put on the table do not mix them. Be content with one of them. Take first the liquid food before partaking of solid food. The taking of food before that which you have already eaten is digested is dangerous….

When you have eaten walk a little that the food may settle.

That which is difficult to masticate is forbidden by the wise. Thus the Supreme Pen commands you.

A light meal in the morning is as a light to the body.

Avoid all harmful habits: they cause unhappiness in the world.

Search for the causes of disease. This saying is the conclusion of this utterance.
(Star of the West, vol. 13, no. 9, December 1922, p. 252)

In God must be our trust. There is no God but Him, the Healer, the Knower, the Helper…. Nothing in earth or heaven is outside the grasp of God.

O doctor! In treating the sick, first mention the name of God, the Possessor of the Day of Judgment, and then use what God hath destined for the healing of His creatures. By My Life! The doctor who has drunk from the Wine of My Love, his visit is healing, and his breath is mercy and hope. Cling to him for the welfare of the constitution. He is confirmed by God in his treatment.
(Star of the West, vol. 21, no. 5, August 1930, p. 160)

What are your thoughts on this prescription?  Post your comments here:

Are Pets Good for Your Health?


A question I’m sometimes asked in my Life Coaching practice is:  Are pets good for my health?” especially by people who didn’t grow up in cultures where animals were valued.  The Bahá’í Writings give us some reasons to agree that they are, as you will see below.

The animal spirit is the power of all the senses (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 208)

Experts agree that in addition to affecting all of our senses, caring for a pet can be good for both your physical and mental health. An animal companion can be a loyal friend and a valuable member of your family, plus, pets provide companionship and unconditional love.

The bond that develops between a human and animal companion can be just as strong as the bond between two people, sometimes even stronger, since pets offer unconditional love.

Companionship

A pet can bring fulfillment into the lives of those who might otherwise suffer from loneliness or depression. Dogs, specifically, provide a feeling of safety and help keep you active.

Mature adults, especially those who’ve lost a spouse, can find comfort and companionship in a pet. They often go through a period of feeling as if they’re no longer needed, but owning a pet can fill that need.

Children

The Bahá’í Faith teaches:

Educate the children in their infancy in such a way that they may become exceedingly kind and merciful to the animals. If an animal is sick they should endeavor to cure it; if it is hungry, they should feed it; if it is thirsty, they should satisfy its thirst; if it is tired, they should give it rest. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 373)

Children who are shy can benefit greatly from having a pet. Animals can help draw a shy child out of their shell. There are many other benefits of having a pet for a child:

  • A pet can be a good way to start a conversation and make friends.
  • A family pet can boost a child’s self-esteem.
  • Pets can give a child a sense of protection and security.
  • Pets can help children cope with and overcome fears. For example, a child that’s afraid to go to sleep in his own room may adapt more easily if the family cat or dog is allowed to accompany them to bed.
  • Pet ownership can help teach children about interaction, compassion and responsibility.  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s recommendation that children be entrusted with pets, is to help them recognize that animals share the capacity for feelings with humans. Unlike humans,  animals are unable to verbalize their emotions and appeal for just treatment. Their fate is determined by our good will and they depend on our care and protection.

“The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured, he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities…Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man.” (‘Abdul-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdul-Bahá, p. 159.)

Exercise

Pets can keep you active. Dogs need regular exercise and their owners can reap the rewards of keeping fit and healthy in the process. Having a dog forces you to get up and go outside whether you want to or not.

Taking the dog for a nice leisurely walk is a great way to get moving, enjoy the outdoors, and get some fresh air. If you feel up to it, you can always go for a run with your dog. You’ll both get some exercise and have fun.

If health prevents you from walking a dog, consider getting a cat instead. Cats can be very loveable and energetic. Toss a ball across the floor or pull out a ball of yarn, and your cat will keep you both entertained for hours.

With a cat, you may not get as much exercise as you would with a dog, but you’ll get plenty of laughs, and laughter is great for your health, too!

On the subject of laughter, the Bahá’í Faith teaches:

‘Abdu’l Bahá loved laughter and His laughter was often a source of solace… He said that… It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation.  (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu’l-Baha – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 31)

Health Benefits

Studies have shown owning a pet provides many health benefits. People with pets tend to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and are generally healthier. Pet owners who’ve suffered a major illness recuperate quicker than those without a pet.

Pets have even been shown to increase a person’s immunity to allergies, especially in children. Owning a pet can reduce the risk of allergies, asthma and even heart disease.

Stress

 

People with pets also tend to be more positive and have less stress. They’re better able to cope with anxiety and deal with stressful situations. The action of petting a dog or cat can relieve stress and lower blood pressure. Pets help people relax and can even improve their attitude.

Socialization

A pet can help break the ice when meeting new people. Pet owners who are new to their neighborhood or have difficulty meeting people may find that their pets give them a chance to make new friends.

Animals are naturally curious and may run up to people in an attempt to make their own introductions. Conversations may start between two dog owners and a new friendship begins.

Understanding God

We know from the Bahá’í Writings that each and every created thing is a sign or expression of at least one of the names or attributes of God.  Bahá’u’lláh says that a true seeker:

will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul… He will discover in all things the mysteries of divine Revelation and the evidences of an everlasting manifestation.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings, p. 267)

The attributes and names of God that animals manifest are what we are essentially attracted to in our our animals – gentleness, gracefulness, devotion, joy, enthusiasm, tenderness, strength, sincerity, meekness, trust, etc.  So it’s fun to think of my cat sleeping with a smile of heavenly delight as a revelation of the quality of God, the Peaceful or my dog, greeting me at the door, tail wagging, as God, the loving.  Some people have even suggested that “God” is “Dog”, spelled backwards!

There’s a reason pets were put on this earth as companions, and we’ve only touched on some of them here. If you’re considering letting a pet join your household, it’s proven that they can do positive things for your health. Get a pet, and enjoy!

Top 10 Self-Confidence Building Tips

 

Often when people start Bahá’í inspired life coaching, they lack confidence. Why is this a challenge?A lack of confidence can affect every area of your life, from your job performance to your personal relationships. In reality, how you perceive yourself has a powerful impact on how others treat you. Is there any reason to stay stuck, when the Bahá’í Writings teach us:

Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself.Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.(Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words Arabic 22)

Some factors in bolstering self-confidence may be beyond your control, but there are some very tangible things that you can do as well. Using these tips will help you reach your full potential as a successful and confident person.

1.  Dress confidently. Dress like the person you want to be and you’ll feel yourself become that person. When you look good, you’ll feel good. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend a fortune on clothes. It’s better to buy a few really nice pieces than a bunch of cheap ones.

2.  Walk faster. People who walk confidently keep a brisk pace because they have things to do and places to be. Simply quickening your step will help you feel more confident.

3.  Keep good posture. People can tell a lot about you by the way you carry yourself. If you have slumped shoulders and cannot look people in the eye, you’ll leave a negative impression on them. Keep your head up, make eye contact with others, and stand up straight and tall. You have nothing to hide.

4.  Be grateful. Gratitude creates a state of peace in the body. A peaceful mind radiates confidence. Make a list of the things you appreciate about yourself and be grateful for your past successes. Tell those you love how much you appreciate them being in your life.

5.  Compliment others. In addition to showing appreciation for what you have, it’s also important to show others your appreciation. If you think negatively about yourself, then you’ll have a tendency to criticize others. Break this habit by praising others on a daily basis. Seeing the best in others will bring out the best in you.How do we know?The Bahá’í Writings teach:

Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction.Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453)

6.  Give back. Contributing to the success of others will not only help you feel better about yourself, but karma will reward you in the end. What goes around comes around, right? Volunteer your time to help those in need or make a monetary contribution to your favorite local charity.

By assisting in the success of another servant in the Cause does one in reality lay the foundation for one’s own success and aspirations.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West. Vol. 6, No. 6, p. 44)

7.  Don’t be afraid to speak up. Many people keep quiet for fear of saying something silly. Taking an active role in discussions will distinguish you as a leader amongst your peers. They will quickly recognize that you have confidence and plenty to offer.

8.  Exercise regularly. If you work hard to create a better physical image, you’ll not only be healthier, but you’ll also have more energy. Both of these things will contribute to your self-confidence, as will the compliments you’ll receive.

9.  Sit in the front row. Most of us have a tendency to try to blend into the back of the room somewhere. We don’t like being noticed. Confident people sit up front where they can take part in discussions without fear.

10.  Take a chance and try something new. Learning a new hobby or activity will broaden your horizons and help you feel “alive.” Anytime you spend stretching your mind improves your overall self-confidence.

Life’s Lessons

The more self-confidence you build in yourself, the more likely you’ll be to succeed. No matter what task you choose to conquer, you’ll do so with enthusiasm. Any setbacks you encounter won’t bother you because you’ll have the confidence necessary to continue.The Bahá’í Writings teach:

When calamity striketh, be ye patient and composed. However afflictive your sufferings may be, stay ye undisturbed, and with perfect confidence in the abounding grace of God, brave ye the tempest of tribulations and fiery ordeals. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 64)

Those who are insecure often find life to be a struggle, but with self-confidence, you can find it to be a joy. Why suffer when you can soar!

How do you build your self-confidence?  Post your comments here.