by Joseph Barker, Web designer, writer and doodler, Melbourne, Australia
As I lay back in the seat, a nurse placed a cover over me. I took one last look at the picturesque scene of the sun setting out the window before a great big screen was moved in front of my face. “I don’t want to disturb you, but what you see next may make you upset” said Doctor Max. Then he switched on the screen to display the full uncensored, gruesome scene. What was in front of me was a close up of my teeth. Bacteria and build up was everywhere, all over the inside of my mouth, in between the gums bubbling away like some Icelandic water spa.
This made me sit up a little stiff in my seat. How had this happened? After all they looked good to me, and hey, don’t you know, I don’t even eat sweets! But as Doctor Max asked me a few further questions, it became clear my teeth regime was not quite as squeaky clean as it seemed. “Do you brush inside and out every tooth?” “Do you methodically floss in between?” “Do you spend an equal time in every spot?” “Do you you always brush with care?” Well…no. I had to admit, that I did not, more often settling for a quick scrub around whilst thinking of something that happened to me that day.
Isn’t it odd that we can be consistently told the best thing to take care of our body, but then go right out and do the opposite thing? How many times have you been to the Dentist and been guided how to take care of your teeth, only to forget these words as soon as you walk out? And let’s be honest, do you actually bring your whole attention to this task every night? When you stand in front of the mirror, do you stay aware and enjoy being there with you? Do you feel each brush, each move? It’s such a simple task to do, for a species as intelligent as us shouldn’t it be easy?
Yet, in my experience it is not. When I start to brush, a few seconds later I often find my mind elsewhere. Perhaps it’s a thought about what happened at dinner, what is scheduled tomorrow at work, or even a ‘good deed’ that has occurred to me. Ultimately the effect is the same – I am off in a day-dream. In recent times I have attended presentations by philosopher Serge Benhayon. Here what he offers is the simple fact that we are naturally designed to be present in everything we do, and that living ‘absent mindedly’ is a large part of what is causing us to be so unwell. This made immediate sense to me. You don’t see a dog considering what happened last week and what it fancies for tea tonight – it is right there with you, completely in the moment. So why is it we behave in different way?
Inspired by Serge’s words and Doctor Max’s TV show, I turned over a new leaf with brushing my teeth. I chose to stay present and to keep coming back to my body when I brushed. This needed to happen a lot! Like a wayward dog on a leash I found I often needed to call my mind back. But over time I have developed a rhythm where it stands out if I’m not there doing the action with all of me. Recently I have started to ensure I spend a lot longer on each section, consistently brushing with a quality of care for me. Also I’ve begun brushing after lunch as well as breakfast and dinner.
Recently I went back to see Doctor Max, and we were both blown away by the changes in my toothy hygiene. And thanks to his impressive big screen, we could compare before and after. To his amazement and to mine, he could tell me that not only had the excess bacteria disappeared but the gums which were receding before had begun to regrow. If he had gold stars I think Doctor Max would have given one to me. And of course, I felt pretty pleased too.
This experience got me to thinking that if being present and aware with my tooth brushing was this powerful, how could this apply to the rest of life? After all, if I find that I escape into mental thoughts so often when brushing my teeth, is it only happening here? Or is it happening all of the time? When I walk along thinking of that email, when I listen to others while thinking of the argument I had earlier on, or even conjuring up something smart to say? Wow what if the reality is that I am not truly present in much of the day?
If you consider the beautiful quality you can feel when you move in harmony and in tune with you, where you feel every cell and every molecule as you move, with your mind marveling at it all, it starts to make incredible sense that we ache and experience pain when we ‘do life’ distracted, half-hearted and on auto pilot.
And consider for a moment the yucky bacteria I saw on the big screen – the ‘hidden consequence’ to my absent mindedness forming there behind my smile. Well what if there are similar unpleasant and unhealthy consequences happening everywhere in our lives? What if they are all there but we are just choosing to be unaware? In my experience, whilst we may settle for looking at the surface, in the end life has a way of showing us always the truth underneath.
After attending another workshop by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine the other day, a friend shared something with me that stopped me in my tracks. She mentioned how Serge had described how his daughter Natalie brushed her teeth ‘for humanity’. At first this conjured up pictures for me of a superhero with a cape and an unlimited supply of floss and dental tape, whose superpower was brushing her teeth. But as I considered it, the more I could see that this was not just a funny throw-away phrase. For if you understand that everything we do has consequences that either harm or support ourselves, and if we are all connected to everyone else, then surely what we choose affects everyone and will help them to support themselves too?
If you stop for a minute and start to consider the actual effect we all have in this world – wow – it is so powerful. The quality we act in is directly and absolutely linked to the life we get to live. This way of seeing us all as deeply interlinked gives a wider much greater understanding of our true effects, and to subjects like global warming. For after all how can our effect in this world be only limited to climate? What about our own internal eco-system for a start?
So what would our day be like if we brought awareness of our super power ‘presence’ to each and every act? It may sound crazy but what if we wash our hands, sit down in our seat, drive our car and have something to eat, all understanding that our every choice is transforming the world?
So many of us will walk the streets with placards, sign petitions and donate. But what would life be like if we simply dedicated ourselves to being present during the day?
And if we find this is hard, isn’t that interesting and something to investigate?
For what if the beauty, the jewels, the joy, the gold, lives not over any steep incline or hill but right here, right now in the richness of our presence?
And so as I type these words, I do it with all of me, to my bones. And can feel this is the love we all deserve. That the key to life lives in every small thing. For me this started off with a simple tale of a tooth. But my question to you is: Just how much wisdom does every part of us have to bring if we but choose to be present and appreciate our power?