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Ah the 'ole covid thing again

Except this time it's a bit of a new covid thing, worse than the first one in a number of ways. Very highly transmissible via aerosol particles this delta variant... blah, blah, blah; you've heard it all before - from 72 different experts no less, so I shall not be remaking the wheel on this one so to speak.

Hello everyone, I hope you are well and staying safe during this slightly chaotic time of covid virus resurgence.

The Chiropractic Board's guidance for the different alert levels hasn't changed much since April 2020, and the full details and fine print can be examined by anyone on their website here. During Alert Level 3, the restrictions are the similar Alert Level 4 albeit slightly relaxed. Very slightly. From Wednesday next week (1st September) we will be operating under alert level 3 guidelines. Unfortunately due to the strict criteria for determining and delivering "emergency care" as well as considerations about the delta variant of this virus, unfortunately this means we will be closed until we reach alert level 2.

The strict restrictions above are for face-to-face consults only. Chiropractic is a very face-to-face profession, unlike, perhaps counseling or psychiatry which could easily transition to a 100% contact-less model. However, there are many things that I can help you with via Telehealth. Please get in touch if you need any assistance. I can also have health/fitness and rehab equipment and tools sent out to you relatively quickly (so they tell me, covid related delays notwithstanding).

In chaotic times of uncertainty and upheaval such as these we now experience it is our strength and resilience that is tested the most. Our ability to adapt to the changing times and stressors is our greatest asset and ability as humans. It's the reason why we're still here, after hundreds of thousands of years, on the top of the food chain. This ability to adapt is even the whole reason why Chiropractic exists! Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy created to answer an age old question: Two people working in close proximity. One gets sick and the other doesn't, why? The answer of course is the ability of those two individuals to adapt. How they respond to whatever causes said illness.

There is but one school of thought, one philosophy, that gives us timeless, pragmatic advice for increasing our resilience, our strength and our ability to adapt to the ever changing modern world. This ancient philosophy is called Stoicism and has been practiced throughout history. You probably know, understand and/or practice some aspects of this philosophy without realizing it.

A famous proponent for following this philosophy, using it to guide our thoughts, words and actions was the Roman Senator Lucius Seneca, commonly known as Seneca the Younger, or just Seneca. He left us a timeless resource in approximately 194 letters he wrote to his best friend Lucilius. It is in these letters that Seneca describes how a daily practice of stoic principles can help improve our resilience, outlook, etc.

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

"We are more often frightened than hurt, and suffer more in imagination than in reality."

"Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury which provokes it."

"Each day, acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day."

Another of the ancient stoic thinkers was the slave turned philosopher Epictetus. He correctly identified very early on that there is a great distinction between what he termed internals and externals. Internals being those things which we have an ability to control. Externals being things which are outside of our control. To make it very simple, the only internals which exist are those inside our heads. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, etc. Our actions and our words. The way we perceive events and the way we allow ourselves to be overtaken, or not by our emotions. These things are within our control. Things such as our health, what our neighbor thinks or is doing, the weather, what the god(s) may or may not think, getting a promotion at work ... getting fired at work ... COVID-19 ... all of these things are externals. That is to say we have absolutely no control over them at all. Here are some poignant quotations from the surviving works of Epictetus, you may notice you know some of them already.

"Any person capable of angering you becomes your master."

"We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them."

"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."

"Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting that which is within our power."

The German philosopher Neitzche would take these ideas and form them into a powerful adage or affirmation: Amor Fati, which is Latin for "Love of fate".

“My formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it…but love it”.

You get a promotion at work... Amor Fati. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you're late for a meeting... Amor Fati. Some people describe this as "The silver lining".

There are many modern and contemporary stoic thinkers. You may have heard of Tim Ferris before (Author: The Four Hour Workweek, Tools of Titans amongst many others). Recently he spent the time to reformat and republish all of Seneca's letters in a series of 3 books. All three books are free to the public in PDF form on his blog here. These letters are interspersed with interviews and wisdom from many modern stoic thinkers.

If the ideas above are interesting to you and you would like to discuss them further, get in touch.

Dr. Phil

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