Health has been number one on my list of things to think about more so than ever. I stand by the adage that health is the foundation of everything we are. If something is amiss in health, there is instability in your pyramid. I confess the pyramid is my vision of health in relation to all that we are. It’s an old school metaphor now although still relevant.
First, there was the food pyramid in grade school. It is the old school symbol of proper nutrition. Later, I recall the pyramid that is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Who can forget Abraham Maslow? Some confuse him with Ivan Pavlov who brought to light classical conditioning with his dogs.
Maslow’s pyramid was a diagram of basic human needs. On the bottom, according to Maslow, are physiological needs such as air, food, water, shelter, clothing, and sleep. Moving up from physiological needs, such as safety and security needs; health, employment, property, family, and stability. The next order of need is love, stability, and belonging. No one argues the fact of these basic human needs. Above love, basic self-esteem needs. Finally, the apex, self-actualization. Attaining self-actualization is the ultimate. You have morals you are proud to proclaim. Creativity in all you do, you have experience and purpose. You have inner potential and your life has meaning. It doesn’t get better than that.
Sometime later I came to know the pyramid again. I was a young recruit in financial services. My manager referred to individual wholeness as a pyramid, something we must lay the foundation for and build upon. He was referring to those basic human needs. I was selling life insurance then, so it made sense.
Funny, now thinking about it, in recent time the metaphor of the pyramid has changed somewhat. Instead of the food pyramid, ChooseMyPlate has replaced the pyramid with a round plate. To me, this is symbolic to modern time; we are, or strive to be, well-rounded individuals. The all-encompassing circle guides us to be whole, healthy, and infinite in possibilities. If your plate cracks, the whole unit is unstable or vulnerable.
Sometimes health is a bit off with malaise, a feeling of discomfort, also known as a bug. We aren’t feeling well. We have body aches, fatigue is bearing down, and our energy is low. The problem may be as simple as sleep or an adjustment in your diet. It is important to know when you need a doctor, and when you do not.
Your concern for your health is valid. With the Affordable Care Act rolling out, many see nurse practitioners as a solution to accommodating the 30 million or so Americans expected to have access to health services. Nurse practitioners are valuable to a medical practice. I say fear not, they are trusted and highly skilled. On the other hand, refrain from the doctor until you try a day off to sleep and eat something nutritious. Take care of yourself. You will be glad you did.