Z is for Zen


I’ve been working on some articles about meditation and brainwave entrainment, because when you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you are pretty much willing to do anything to get yourself back to a place of health. It’s true that you bargain and you pray (even if you’re not a believer) and hope something will change, a miracle will occur, something, anything, to change that diagnosis.

And meditation, practicing gratitude, being healthy, eating right, exercising in safe ways for my conditions, and just basically doing all the things I wish I had done before I ever got sick. Now, don’t get me wrong, my illnesses aren’t directly related to my not taking care of myself, but I can’t help but wonder if I had been healthier, eaten better, exercised more, practice more meditation, reached my personal state of zen, whatever zen might be, if I might have avoided getting sick.

But we can’t live our lives by what ifs. We just can’t.

I’m sitting here as I type this and an episode of Undercover Boss is on, where one guy named Walter, who has back problems and kidney problems (he’s on dialysis three times per week) says, “I let my spirit tell my body what’s gonna happen, what I’m gonna do, and what I’m not gonna do, because if I let the body tell me what to do, I’m not going to do very much.”

Boy, do I know that feeling. Sadly, Walter had back surgery and never made it out of the surgery. I got teary when I saw the update. Guess his body finally did tell him what to do, but what a great way to live your life right up until the end! Godspeed, Walter!

And this is how I try to live my life. To do what my spirit tells me to do, not what my body tells me to do, ’cause I promise you, my body would rather stay in bed.

But then who would write all those books that need to be written? Books no one can write but me, because no one is me but me!

Zen is defined on one website as the ultimate balance between body and soul. I’m not sure what a soul is. I’m not sure anyone knows what a soul is, but I sort of think of it as that something that makes us who we are. Our body is the vessel that carries it. What was it Roseanne said on one of her episodes of the last season of her old 80s sitcom, where the baby was born prematurely and she said, “We are not bodies with soul; we are souls with bodies.” When you treat the body, you’re really not treating the person. And though my ‘religious’ beliefs might be different from yours, I actually don’t believe this body is the end of my existence.

So I have peace about death, even if part of me fears it too.

Zen is what you achieve while alive, that balance between your mind and your body–the soul, the mind and the body. The parts of you that come together to make you who you are to yourself and others. Zen… that state of being where you’re at peace.

So yes, I meditate, not nearly as much as I should. Yes, I try to eat well. Yes, I try to exercise how and when I can. Yes, I try to be patient and loving and kind. Yes. Yes. Yes!

Not because I’m dying, but because I’m living, for the first time in years, I’m living… I’m living the life I want for myself. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s on that path. Because I choose it.

Don’t wait until the doctor tells you you’re sick to start living your life and finding your own zen. Find it now. Be who you are meant to be. Now.

Love and stuff,



PS: ha! The A-Z challenge was over in April… and I just now finished it in September! But dammit, I finished it!

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One Response to “Z is for Zen”

  1. Derek Odom says:

    Wonderful post. Words of wisdom, right there.

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