Dr. Chad Sato
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
As we enter July, the Tanabata Festival is celebrated on July 7 in Japan every year, where the tradition is to write your wishes, tanzaku, on colorful strips of paper and hang them from a bamboo branch. This festival is in remembrance of the two star-crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who were separated by the Milky Way and had the opportunity to see each other once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month, only if the magpies showed up to create a bridge for them to do so. The reason for this separation was due to neglecting their duties when they were together, and this was their punishment. I find it fascinating that when we get enamored with a partner or fixated on a new project, everything else that is not too important just falls to the wayside. This illustrates the power of focus and the power of patience when something is of value that takes time to manifest.
Discovering your highest value to achieve your dreams and connecting with your body is the focus of this article. Especially the last two years with the COVID-19 cloud looming, many have discovered things that they like and don’t like. The choice to leave uninspiring jobs and outdated relationships in pursuit of their passions, occupations, and fulfilling relationships has become the norm. The trick in pursuing and manifesting your dreams is to know and own your highest values. Until you recognize and know what your highest values are versus superimposed values will help to prevent self-sabotage and achieve what you deem to be most dear to your heart like the star-crossed lovers. Also why not apply this same devotion in connecting a stronger bond and relationship with your body versus your annual medical checkup. Staying healthy and keeping your immune system boosted is of the essence, otherwise a positive COVID-19 test spells mandatory days off; using sick or vacation days and isolation from people and things you love.
Secret to make your dreams come true
Dreams and wishes come from a sincere longing and desire will bring more happiness and joy in your life. I have learned through the years that the “secret” in manifesting your dreams or wishes is by knowing your highest values. If you are not aware of your highest value or understand what is most important to you, you may wish upon something like wealth, a loving partner, a supportive caring family, vibrant health and it will never come true. You may be like, “Huh? Why is that?” or nod your head and know that this is true. The things you focus on, think and talk about the most are good indicators of what you value the most. Usually, the things you don’t care about or value never crosses your mind or, for whatever reason, you tend to forget. Best example is when you tell a child you will give them their favorite treat as a reward for accomplishing a particular task, the child will do whatever it takes until they get it. You tell a child to clean their room or wash their clothes; if it’s not that important for them to have a tidy room, they won’t do it and either say they forgot or will spend their time doing things they like or value more.
Know your highest values
This is something that I have witnessed over the years. Until you know your highest values, I would guess that either you have some recurring health problems, or your life is maybe a little “bleh” and not as amazing as it could be. I’ve discovered that when you live your life based upon some other authority figure’s value system; do all the shoulds and have tos; knowing your highest values are murky and uncertain at best. I am living proof of living under the assumption that I knew my highest values, until I was prompted with 13 specific questions to determine my highest values, and I got stumped. It was humbling, but I was blown away by the fact that I didn’t know my highest values. I was always told and conditioned by my parents and past partners that “family” was the most important, but after a couple of years of soul searching, I have concluded that my vocation of empowering people to trust their bodies and learn how to heal themselves was my highest value. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love or value my family, but it’s just not my highest value. If you are curious about the 13 questions to ask yourself to discover your highest values, just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to share those questions.
Value your body
Over the years I have witnessed how many of us, myself included, treat our bodies like these star-crossed lovers. Instead of paying attention to our body’s warning signals such as restricted breathing, muscle stiffness, restricted ranges of motion, a compromised immune system, we focus on work, wealth building, hobbies and supporting our families. For the majority, until something unexpected or challenging happens to our health and wellbeing is when we start searching for ways to address this and start to focus and take care of our bodies. The one thing that we all take for granted is our bodies and staying healthy. The reason for this oversight is that your body does its very best to keep you balanced and take care of things behind the scenes. It’s not until you are experiencing immobilizing pain or facing a major health challenge that you begin to pay attention. More often than not, once the health crisis goes away, we neglect our bodies until the next episode. This is where you can take initiative and start to prioritize your health and connect with your body and make it one of your top three highest values. You can make all the money in the world, but once you start losing your health and wellbeing, all your wealth will be spent to become healthy and regain vibrant health.
Two simple body connection strategies
I have two suggestions to connect with your body, instead of waiting for something to happen, which over time can make a world of a difference.
- Take a few minutes when you first wake up in the morning and just before going to bed and connect with your body. Either lay on your back or sit up and just mentally scan any areas of tension or ease from the top of your head down to your toes. The importance of doing this exercise will train you to sense where your body is building up tension so you can do something about it sooner before it becomes pain. Practice makes perfect and creating this earnest effort to check in with your body consistently will help you to be proactive and preventative.
- For a great breathing exercise, place your hands either on your stomach or chest and focus breathing in and out into that area. Feel the quality of your breath – is it short, difficult, or easy? Sometimes you may begin to feel other areas of your body that are more tense. You can do this exercise anywhere from two to five minutes, and over time you will begin to sense changes in your breathing when under stress or when at ease.
Besides celebrating Independence Day on July 4, use July 7 as the perfect day to identify your highest values so the dreams you write on the tanzaku can truly be actualized. The more congruent you are in your mind and body, the ability to manifest your dreams and enhance your wellness will be more of a reality than a faint, distant memory. You have the power to make this happen, so dream big or stay small. The choice is yours.
Dr. Chad Sato graduated from UCLA in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned the Doctor of Chiropractic degree with honors from Life Chiropractic College West in 1998. Sato founded his practice, Aloha Chiropractic (drchadsato.com), in Mānoa valley, O‘ahu, on Oct. 1, 1999. He is a sought-after educator, speaker, author and mind-body specialist who helps people reach new levels of empowerment when it comes to their health and wellness by staying present with their body signs, making appropriate life choices and utilizing stress instead of managing it.