It's not all woo-woo. Chaos is internal as well as external and understanding the connection of dots between mind, body, and spirit can actually help you feel happier and live healthier.
Most folks get all uncomfortable when you say these three words together. Mind. Body. Spirit. as if there’s some sort of woo-woo, cult-like way of living that will have them shaving their head, wearing a toga, and passing out flowers at the airport if they subscribe to it. And well, to be honest with you, I know some people who do actually live this way but there’s other, much less ethereal, approaches to living a holistic life.
Everything is connected. Our thoughts reflect in our bodies, our spiritual beliefs reflect in our thoughts, (and sometimes our bodies), our bodies reflect the thoughts we’re thinking. Imagine a sad person—the way they walk and carry themselves—their body language is reflecting their thoughts about how they feel. Everything is connected.
What we put in our bodies matters deeply, how we move it and what we put on it matters just as much, and the thoughts and words we cultivate have the most impact of all. We can’t fill our bodies up with junk food and sugar—and feel like crud—and still expect to consistently feel good about life (body). Just as we can’t speak or think negatively—about others or ourselves— and expect to be consistently happy with our choices (mind). And we certainly can’t find inner peace (spirit) if we are doing all of the above.
Mind. Body. Spirit. All the dots connect whether you want to believe it or not.
Slow your mind down. Pay attention. Be present. Most of what we say and think (and ultimately do) is dictated by old tapes in our heads. Is the story we’re telling really our story or our parents story? Is it the story from our divorce, our rough childhood, or the bad day we had last year? Can we tell it better? Can we stop telling it altogether?
How about the thoughts we have about ourselves? Would you speak to your best friend the same way you speak to yourself? Would you tell your friend she’s fat, has a terrible memory, or is getting old? I doubt it! And why do you speak it to yourself? Habit?
Meditation. Mindfulness. Breathing. This is how the mind calms. This is how we calm.
From the foods we eat, to the exercise we do, to the drinks we swallow—and the plethora of chemicals we slather all over ourselves—our bodies get hit hard. Yet because it is this amazing biocomputer it still holds us all together. For awhile anyway. Eventually all the abuse catches up and we end up at the doctor with a diagnosis. It starts small, a little inflammation, a bit of high blood pressure, a cholesterol rating we don’t like. But left with only medication and no lifestyle changes, it will escalate or manifest in some other way. Our bodies know how to heal themselves and if we support them with high quality foods and toxin-free personal care products (and good thoughts!), they will support us for many, many years.
Just like how a boxer gets pushed into a corner and comes out fighting, our bodies will do the same if they are not getting what they need. And they can take a beating for sure, but sooner or later they’re going to fight back. Sometimes there’s room to change the outcome, sometimes there’s not.
To quote the founder of IIN, Joshua Rosenthal, “Life is a long time”. We always say it’s so short, but the reality is for most of us, it’s not.
More whole foods and veggies. Less sugar and processed foods. Move more, sit less. This is how you support your body so it supports you.
Where do we fit in? How do we connect? Spirituality doesn’t always mean religion—although it can sometimes be synonymous—but it’s rather the emphasis upon the well-being of the mind-body-spirit.
A spiritual practice can be yoga, tai chi, going to church, synagogue or mosque. It can be a deep connection with the earth, a deep breathe of air off the side of a mountain cliff, a life cultivating the soil, or a morning meditation in a quiet room. It is anything that has to do with the interior life of us—the soul or what I like to call our inner advisor. It’s that connection that keeps us grounded and stable and able to handle the chaos that surrounds us. There are many paths to get there and one path is not better than the other.
Although many may argue their way is best, it’s up to each of us as individuals to figure out how we connect to the Universe, Source, God, the Earth—ourselves. And just as we believe our own way, we need to allow others to believe their own way as well. No judgment.
To be spiritual implies personal practice and self empowerment having to do with our deepest desires of life.
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Breathe Deep and Live Well,