These times have done much to focus our attention on the importance of good health. Paul Chek, founder of the CHEK Institute, author, podcaster, and content creator, explains how we can respond to this collective wakeup call by taking our health into our own hands.
Today, Paul offers his unique insights on how to live a healthy, fulfilled life. It begins, he suggests, by turning to the four “doctors” (or teachers): happiness, movement, diet, and quiet. By addressing health on all levels in this way, our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual cups can be filled. He points out how a balanced healthy life is one where dreams are fulfilled, our bodies are nourished, and our purpose, realized.
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Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda.
These times are a collective wake-up call. Inviting us to take charge of our health. This is Episode 377. Our guest is Paul Chek. He is the author of numerous books, videos, and professional development courses. He is the Founder of the CHEK Institute. He is also the host of the Living 4D with Paul Chek podcast. In this episode, Paul explains why good health is more important than ever and his approach to living a healthy, fulfilled life for each and every one of us.
He is the epitome of good health. He emphasizes the four doctors or teachers, happiness, movement, diet, and quiet. He explains each in detail. Paul explains, “Turning to these doctors helps us fulfill our dreams, nourish our bodies, strengthen our spirit, and identify our purpose. They address our growth and health on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.”
This is the third in the resilience track of the show. Before we dive into the conversation, I want you to join me at the Wise Traditions Conference this October the 21st to the 23rd, 2022, in Knoxville, Tennessee. It truly is the conference that nourishes in every way. There will be a nutrient-dense food, positive connections with friends new and old, and stellar thought-provoking speakers. In 2022, we are featuring, among many others, Kelly Brogan, Tommy John, and Dr. Bill Schindler. I personally can’t wait to be there. Go to WiseTraditions.org to register while the early bird pricing is still in effect. I will see you there.
Let me tell you a little bit about how you can begin homesteading with the experts who are here to help you. Abundance Plus, a lot has changed. Walking around the grocery store, there are empty shelves. The food shortage and those that they expect to be in the months ahead are described as a slow-moving disaster. That is a pretty grim outlook. Hover that does not have to be your story. You can take control of your situation. You have the ability to move from shortage to abundance.
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Welcome to the show, Paul.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure.
It has been years since we’ve seen you. Years ago, you spoke at our conference, and even then, you were healthy, dynamic, strong, and flexible, and you still are all those things. How is this so?
I practice what I teach. That’s the simple answer. At my age, I can still outlift and outrun all sorts of professional athletes, and it definitely surprises them.
Did you start at a young age to care about your health?
I was raised by a mother that’s a yogi. My parents were farmers. We had a 142-acre farm on Vancouver Island. We raised sheep and had a wool factory. We had horses, cows, chickens, and pigs. We sold produce and firewood. It was a full, big working farm. My mother was very holistic. We were always buying from organic co-ops but we pretty much lived off the farm. We didn’t have to get much from the store. We immigrated from the United States to Vancouver Island when I was twelve. We had a pig farm in Idaho and a sheep farm in Cottage Grove, Oregon, prior to getting to Idaho.
From the time I was about 6 or 7, we have always been farming. My mother became a member of the Self-Realization Fellowship with Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings when I was twelve. That has been the whole backdrop of my whole childhood was farming and Self-Realization Fellowship. I was learning meditation and all sorts of training. I spent a summer camp with the monks at the Lake Shrine in LA when I was fifteen. As a quick encapsulation, my whole living philosophy is based on the principles of what Yogananda taught, which is all the different styles of yoga combined together with farming. My father was the President of the farming association in our area for many years. I’m a down-in-the-dirt dude.
That picture you are painting is so beautiful and nearly idyllic, yet I also know that your father passed away when you were eight. There were some things you had to work through, certainly emotionally.
My stepfather is who I’m referring to when I say, my father. My father drowned when I was eight. How do you put that one into context? The first thing I will share in that regard is one, and it was earth-shattering. My parents hadn’t been together, my real father and my mother, since I was about three. I only got to see my dad occasionally. It was on our pig farm in Idaho that, all of a sudden, someone was knocking at the door. When my mother opened the door, it was a policeman. He was announcing to my mother that my father had passed away. I don’t know why that came by way of him but that’s what happened.
My grandparents were the ones that told us. For some reason, they weren’t able to get ahold of my parents directly. The local sheriff came to tell us. It shattered me. It was like someone put a bomb inside of me and blew me to pieces, and the strangest thing happened. My grandparents came to visit us after attending my dad’s funeral in Los Angeles. I had had a dream. In my dream, I was at the funeral service. I hadn’t told anybody about this. I was only eight at the time. My grandfather said to me, it was interesting, “I was there at your father’s funeral service. Would you like to know what the gravestone looked like?” I said, “I already do.”
He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “I had a dream.” I described it to him, and he said, “That’s exactly what it looks like.” We all have these abilities but the mind is both our greatest tool and limitation. It’s because people don’t learn much about the mind or how to use their minds to create beyond the limitations that are normally imposed in culture. They are limited by the consensus norm.
Wisdom is not a collection of ideas. It’s a collection of experiences that lets us know what these ideas are.
Yung said, “The average man can never be successful.” To be average is to be a sick person with a lot of self-imposed or culturally imposed limitations. My entire education system is to help people know how to be healthy enough and have a spiritual philosophy that’s unbound. The license for creativity and exploration is given to each student to the degree that they accept it.
To do effective healing work with people, you have to be outside of a belief system or you limit your own capacity to perceive the inner reality of that individual. I teach my students to let go of all dogmas, doctrines, and belief systems and be fully present with what it is that person carries or you can only treat symptoms. That’s like pulling the tops off of weeds. You never get to the roots, and it grows back. That’s the problem with the allopathic system. It’s not looking at the etiology. It’s always addressing symptoms because it’s so profitable.
It’s like the patient comes in the door, and they are like, “This is the throat cancer guy.” They’ve labeled and limited you. They are no longer seeing you as an individual with all that you are bringing to the table. They see you as that diagnosis. There’s so much more to each person. Let’s talk a little bit about your approach, Paul. You have a holistic approach, and part of it includes lifestyle management. How can we rebalance our lives that are hectic, stressed, and self-limited with depressive and anxious thoughts?
I spent many years working on how to teach that in the simplest and most effective way. I spent years in meditation and extensive study. I asked my soul to guide me to what were the essential components of any living philosophy. Remember, philosophy means love of wisdom. Wisdom is the essence of knowledge. It’s what comes from the application of knowledge. It’s like you have to smelt iron to get iron or rocks to get gold or precious metals. Wisdom is a refinement of knowledge through experience. Wisdom is not a collection of ideas. It’s a collection of experiences that lets us know what these ideas are.
What I found, in a nutshell, is that you cannot have a healthy living philosophy without four key categories. I named them doctors. The reason I did that is two things. One, the word doctor in Latin means teacher. They are the four teachers. I also did it because so many people keep running to medical doctors with every itch, scratch, bump, and problem. If people knew how to work with the four doctors that are within all of us, they would probably rarely ever need to see one of those doctors because they would know how to work with nature and their bodies.
What I came to through my investigations is that the chief of all doctors is what I call Dr. Happiness. Dr. Happiness is the overarching physician because doctor happiness is the category of a living philosophy in which you must be very clear on what is happy making for you as a person. When are you going to do that? How much of it do you need to do to maintain a connection with happy-making and not lose your sense of creativity and willingness to create happiness in your life or do you always expect somebody else to do that for you?
Dr. Happiness as the chief physician, is also responsible for establishing core values. I tell people your yes has no value until you learn to say no. You never know when to say no without a value to distinguish what is and isn’t congruent with what you need or what lifestyle you want to live. Dr. Happiness is not only the chief of identifying what’s happy-making and establishing clearly when and how much of that you are going to do to give you the joy and the sense of heartfelt connection you need to be passionate about life. Dr. Happiness has to look at the other three doctors.
I love this because I used to think that well-being had to do simply with movement. I was an exercise fitness instructor and all into that. I was like, “It doesn’t matter what you eat.” I learned about the Weston Price Foundation. It’s about nourishing food too. It’s movement and food. I was like, “It’s not just a movement in food. It’s movement, food, and sunshine.” Anyway, I started adding to it. The heart piece, what you are talking about, this happiness piece, this emotional piece is so critical. I will dare say, you can’t be in perfect health if your heart is unhappy.
It’s impossible. The heart is the home of the soul, and the soul carries the desire to fulfill whatever it is you came to fulfill in your life. If we are detached from the compass of the heart, we can be dangerously distracted by beliefs and ideas in our heads. We often chase money but find ourselves in a career. As Joseph Campbell says, “You can spend your whole life climbing a ladder to realize it’s leaning on the wrong wall.” The heart is the compass that the soul uses to say yes or not so much. When the head leads, it’s very susceptible to contamination by publicly contrived ideas implanted by people that make us profitable to them.
Life becomes a series of should, obligations, and resentments that can build. Instead of moving from that happy heart place, we are moving from ideas or self-programming that moving us in a certain direction that isn’t our best bet. Talk to me about the other doctors. Who are the other three?
Dr. Movement is next, and that is related to all the doctors. By the way, I will keep it simple because of the timeframe we are in. Each of the doctors works at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Dr. Happiness has to be considered about, “What’s happy-making for my body. What’s happy-making for me emotionally? What’s happy-making for me mentally and spiritually?”
Spirituality means connecting to a progressively greater whole because that’s the only real way you can realize who and what you are. Dr. Movement deals with how much movement I need and what type of movement is going to best support my dream. Do I want to climb mountains? Do I want to play with my grandkids? Do I want to be a weightlifter, a bicycle rider, a triathlete, a gardener or a rodeo rider?
Dr. Movement’s first function is to give you a healthy body. That second function is to give you the conditioning you need to fully engage your dream, which is as many dreams as there are people. The next doctor is Dr. Diet. Dr. Diet’s chief guidance is it has to be high-quality food from high-quality, organic biodynamic or permaculture type soil for obvious reasons to anybody reading. The first, shall we say, guideline from Dr. Diet is it has to not only be from organic, high-quality soil but we have to be aware that every dollar we spend is either funding the restoration of nature and the planet or destroying it.
From a spiritual perspective, it’s very dangerous to be unaware of how diet influences you. Your diet is ultimately what you make your body and create the hormones out of that are your interface between the soul, the mind, and the physical self. If your diet is deficient or toxic, you will end up being unable to manufacture the hormones that give you the interface that the seven chakras present.
Someone with a lack of testosterone will have a psychic imbalance. Someone with elevated estrogen or depressed estrogen, elevated or depressed serotonin, dopamine, and every single hormone in the body is a vibrational interface between the subtle and the physical realms. If our diets are not clean and don’t provide the nutrients that we need to feed and rebuild our body but also give us the hormones to interface with our psyche, then we end up with all sorts of mental and emotional disorders that get drugged. People don’t know that their diets are involved, so they get more toxic and go further into this rabbit hole of unconsciousness.
The fourth doctor is Dr. Quiet. Dr. Quiet in my system deals with sleep and introspection, not only good sleep hygiene but having to spend time each day connecting to the soul, the consciousness within yourself and saying, “How did I do now? Could I have done better? How could I have handled that argument? Was I too forceful? Was I disrespectful? Did I maintain my obligations and commitments? How can I be a better human being to be a better example for others and caretaker of the world?”
I’m so glad this fourth doctor you mentioned. I’m sure it’s going to catch people by surprise because this may be the most important one for these times. I’m afraid we are numbing ourselves to reality, personal growth, and spiritual growth by being distracted by our devices. On our screens, I feel like no one takes time. I don’t want to say they don’t have time. They don’t take time for introspection because they are too busy watching the latest TikTok trend.
I released a video on my YouTube channel, which is YouTube.com/paulcheklive, called the danger of living in two realities. That’s a very potent 90-minute presentation that shows exactly what happens if too much of your consciousness is commandeered by digital reality and what the cost of that is to each of us, the planet, and specifically, nature. It’s a very important presentation that I put together because it shows the danger of digital technologies and how it’s drawing us away from our awareness and responsibility to the analog world of nature, and how we are on the edge of destroying this planet because we are so caught in a digital reality. Dr. Quiet is the domain of meditation. It’s the domain of any practice that brings you in touch with your inner self.
Coming up, Paul explains how the way we raise and educate our children shapes our world and why he considers these times a collective wake-up call for each and every one of us.
The heart is the home of the soul, and the soul carries the desire to fulfill whatever it is you came to fulfill in your life.
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Your inner self is what expresses its beliefs and behaviors as your outer self. The outer behaviors are already gone once you’ve done it, you’ve done it but on the inner self, you can rewind the tape. You can project into the future and say, “Next time my mother’s around, and she starts triggering me, I can start breathing through my belly and give her permission to be who she is without taking it personally.” That’s where we do our simulation training. Dr. Movement is where we do our acting.
I love how these work in tandem and have a beautiful choreography with one another. I’m getting the picture of it. I’m also thinking of the spiritual practice called examine, where saints of old would do exactly what you are saying, Paul. At the end of the day, they would review the day and ask these important questions. If my last thing of the day is sending a text to my sibling with a couple of emojis, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that but can I take time to cultivate my soul, to be a better person tomorrow with the help of God?
This is so beautiful, and I love it but I also want to ask you because you are implying this in your last sentence. When you were talking about how it doesn’t only impact me, my choice of engaging with the virtual world or the real one but it also impacts nature and the people around me. I want to ask you about what your take is on the world now. Lack of visiting, maybe these four doctors that are right there with us, is our poor health as a population part of what’s made us vulnerable to sickness now?
What is a parent’s job? A parent’s function in a child’s life is to educate it about how to live and navigate the world. We have parents that are so distracted and caught up in the capitalist consumerist mindset and the scientific materialist mindset. They are not aware of what their kids are being educated into. This is why I’m such a big promoter of the Waldorf School systems because they don’t want the kids on screens. They use art, acting, storytelling, and crafts.
The whole Waldorf system is built so that the activities that a child does are congruent with the stage of conscious development and which part of the brain is coming online, for example, the child’s right brain is the dominant feature for the first four years and progressively gets a more and more left brain. Steiner said, “Children should not read or do math until they are at least 7 to 10 years of age because it pushes them into their left brain, and they lose touch with the wholeness.”
A child is supposed to be out exploring the frogs, the birds, the bees, the dogs, the bushes, and the bugs so that they understand and palpably feel that connection because when the left brain comes on and someone tells you, “We should use chemicals to kill all the bugs. The child has a sense of, “The bugs are part of the world. Aren’t they the ones that pollinate?”
When a child is educated properly, they realize everything in nature has a function, so when they start going to school and being told to exterminate, kill and blast the hell out of that, they already have an inherent sense that that’s wrong. When you get kids raising their left brain, they have all these crazy ideas but don’t know how it fits into the big picture. One day they got cancer, and no one could help them. They come to see someone like me or someone that I’ve trained, and they realize, “I have been eating junk and poison my whole life. I’ve got a PhD in Science but I don’t know anything about how life works.”
The point I’m making is that if kids were educated by four doctors and they realized how important happy-making, movement, and diet are, which goes right back to the health of the planet and how important rest and time to be in themselves are, then we would not have the situation in the world. The problem is the medical system would have gone broke a long time ago.
It would be hard to control because we would be too in touch with our authentic truth, which would be in harmony with the reality of nature. We have been pulled into this digital illusion, and our minds have been hijacked by dopamine hits. What we’ve done is we have forgotten that the real issue of money is its value because its value links to some commodity of tangible goods.
When you don’t realize that if you spend $100 on something that’s cheap plastic garbage made in a Chinese factory that’s destroying nature and the environment, you don’t realize that $100 should have been going to something tangible. If we extract more out of nature, then we can detoxify and regenerate. We are using commercialism, capitalism, and scientific materialism to buy our way into the exact disaster we are in.
What you get is a lot of sick people that don’t know how to live, take care of themselves, and don’t realize that real doctors are healthy and wise people, not sick people. Real teachers are wise people, not lost and confused people. What’s happened is we’ve now turned to leaders that are the exemplification of confusion, materialism, coercion, control, and manipulation, while the Bruce Lipton’s, the Gregg Braden’s, and the Eckhart Tolle’s are all pushed into the fringes as the weird ones.
We don’t mind being on those fringes with those people. I can tell you that the Weston A Price Foundation, as you know, has always been championing the very things you are talking about, connection with nature, the wisdom of our ancestors, and things that are tangible and real. The way we see technology, we say, “Technology as a servant.” In other words, we are not trying to be Luddites and go live in a cave. That’s why you and I are talking, using technology. We are thankful for it but it doesn’t own us. We use it for the betterment of society and our own lives but it has to be used judiciously.
I am so thankful you’ve given us so much value-added. Paul, I’m excited for people to read this and consider how they might tune into these four doctors that you’ve mentioned for good health. I want to pose to you here, at the end of the show, the question I often pose at the end. If the reader could do one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
Being healthy doesn’t require a lot of training, but it does require honesty, observation, and a commitment to listening to the wisdom of a hundred trillion cells that somehow have evolved for billions of years.
I will tell you that but I want to make one more point because it’s important. Most people reading will have read Weston A Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. That’s mandatory reading for all my students. I will ask you one question. If that book was used in high school and university nutrition courses, as the first book you read, and was the basis of our understanding of nutrition, how would the world be different now? Weston A Price was a legitimate scientist who brought us real, authentic knowledge based on either a lot of personal investigation.
That’s a real teacher doing real science instead of all this trickery with foods, chemicals, and crap. I want to make the point that Weston A Price is what we would call a higher font, a true spiritual teacher, because he teaches you how to live. If Weston A Price were used as the main vehicle for educating people on the foundation of what health and vitality are and how to create them, we would not have a viral pandemic. It would be another day. We would be focusing on making the world a better place together instead of figuring out how we undo all the damage we’ve created by being so smart that we are not very smart. The answer to your other question is simple. What’s the first thing you do? Are you ready?
Stand in front of a mirror and be very honest with yourself about what you are doing is working, and pay close attention to what it is that makes you tired and how you are responding to it. Take close attention to what you are eating and whether it’s making you overweight or underweight. Pay close attention to your energy, vitality, your sex drive, your creativity, your bowel movements, your urination, how much gas you have, how your teeth are, how your gums are, how your skin looks, how clear your eyes are, the quality of your hair, and your fingernails. We all are interacting with these parts of ourselves every day but most people watch it get worse and worse and never ever say, “How come every time I drink a coffee, I feel better for ten minutes, and then I get a headache?
If you did that, you would start coming to a conclusion that, “Maybe coffee is not the best thing. Maybe what I need is sleep.” What a concept? “How come I love these cookies but every time I eat them, I get pimples, and I don’t feel good. How come every time I eat something with gluten, I feel lousy, head foggy, and my joints hurt?” Being healthy doesn’t require a lot of training but it does require honesty, observation, and a commitment to listening to the wisdom of 100 trillion cells that somehow have evolved for billions of years. Even though we think we are smart, there are a lot smarter than we are. If you pay attention to what your body is telling you every day, you won’t need to listen to doctors that most of which can’t even keep themselves healthy anyhow.
It’s like we are sleepwalking in these bodies. It is time for us to wake up and pay attention. Our body is a great teacher, too. It’s trying to tell us something.
Look at those four doctors and say, “Why am I depressed? Why am I anxious? Am I doing what’s happy-making for me? Do I have clear values that are life affirmative and dream affirmative? Am I resting adequately? If not, what’s stopping me? Am I eating high-quality food and supporting the people that support mother nature? Am I moving my body in ways that are joyful and give me the fitness that I need to be a healthy person and live my dreams?”
I’m going to tell you something. I have been doing this for many years. I’ve lectured all over the world extensively in many fields of health. I have asked this question to healthcare professionals many times and to large audiences. “How many of you are not doing what’s happy-making for you frequently enough to be happy?” Almost every hand in the audience goes up.
“How many of you are over or under-exercising?” Almost every hand in the audience goes up. “How many of you are eating foods that you know are causing you trouble but you keep doing it anyhow?” Almost every hand in the audience goes up. “How many of you are not getting enough sleep? It’s affecting you and causing you to have to eat more sugar, drink more coffee and tea, and things like that?” Almost every hand in the audience goes up. I say, “How long have you known you have been doing this to yourself?” Almost all of them say, “For my whole life.”
I say, “I’ve got a question for you. What are you teaching your patients when you cannot even get the most essential things that make health in line in your own life? Are you giving them more pills like you are taking? How’s that working so far? Are you teaching them shortcuts that don’t work? If it’s not working for you, that’s not good marketing for your patients and your clients.” The point I’m making is the best doctors and therapists in the world do this to themselves all day because they are caught in an academic concept of what health is, which is based on the sales of pills, supplements, and magic bullets.
All of which can largely be removed by the simple practices Weston A Price taught and others like him. The fastest way to health is to quit bullshitting yourself and get back to basics. There’s no way you can be a healthy person without four doctors. You can be in line with your happiness, exercising, eating well, and not resting. You will mess yourself up.
You can be happy and rest and eat well but not exercise. You will mess yourself up. If you are exercising, resting, and eating well but not doing what’s happy-making for you, you will go into a crisis of anxiety and depression because life has no meaning for you. You will be a fit, sick person. You cannot reduce life lower than those four doctors. Once you have that foundation built, you watch the diseases, the illnesses, and the fatigue starts disappearing like magic. That’s what I do for a living, and that’s why I’m a fit athlete.
I’m very tempted to call this episode a wake-up call. I appreciate your boldness and challenges and sharing your heart as well. Thank you, Paul Chek. We look forward to connecting with you again sometime soon.
I look forward to it. Let’s do it. Thank you so much. It’s a great show.
Our guest was Paul Chek. Visit his website for more information and resources, ChekInstitute.com. You can find resources on my website too, at HolisticHilda.com. A review from Apple Podcasts, Chris Greenlee says, “This is the best podcast ever. I am beyond grateful to the Weston A Price Foundation for changing my life views and health. Through the podcast and magazine, I changed the way I prepare food, the way I breathe, and in many regards, the way I think and see the world. I am happier, healthier, and more powerful than ever. I am grateful to Sally, Dr. Tom, and all the wonderful guests on the podcast and authors of the magazine.”
Chris also adds some kind words, “This show is a comfort and joy to my family and me. Thank you, and see you in October. Chris from The Homesteading Gambler.” Chris, this means so much. You are so kind, and thank you for leaving this review. It really does incentivize people to give the show a try. If you like to leave us a review, it would mean a lot to the team and us here at The Weston A Price Foundation. Simply go to Apple Podcasts, click on Ratings and Reviews and tell us what you think of the show. Give us as many stars as you like. Thank you so much for reading. Stay well, my friend. Remember, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
About Paul Chek
Paul Chek developed his unique, internationally acclaimed, holistic approach over thirty-six years of clinical practice in the fields of corrective exercise, high performance conditioning and integrative lifestyle counseling. Author of numerous books, videos and professional development courses, he is the founder of the CHEK Institute based in California, host of the Living 4D with Paul Chek podcast and can often be heard as a guest on other podcasts such as MindPumpMedia, the Onnit podcast, BarbellShrugged, the Aubrey Marcus show and more.
- CHEK Institute
- Living 4D with Paul Chek
- Self-Realization Fellowship
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions
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