A new year provides a blank canvas for our health and life. There is a promise and potential of change that is invigorating and motivating. There is a collective momentum from people all over the planet hoping to better their life and we have the opportunity to capitalize on this energy for ourselves and our families. My hope is that as we strive to improve our wellbeing we embrace a holistic perspective and focus on cultivating a healthy and balanced self in 2014. To do this, we must consider our health as three distinct and interrelated parts comprising the whole of who we are: physical, mental/emotional (I consider mental and emotional as one aspect in our person and for the rest of the article will use the term “mental” to encompass both), and spiritual. In 2014, let us widen our perspective and bring all aspects of our self together. Here is how I believe we can best achieve this goal.
Often the physical aspect steals our attention and restricts the health of our mental and spiritual self. This is a tragedy when we limit our focus to only a third of our human potential. The basics for physical wellbeing are simple. We must drink clean filtered water to properly hydrate the body. We must move our body and develop symmetry in our strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. We must sleep 7 to 8 hours each night so that our physical body can repair. We must eat real foods that provide the nutritional foundation our body requires. These are the simple, though often not easy, changes we must make to heal our physical being.
Healing our mental self requires a change in the attitudes and beliefs we maintain regarding our life. In order to do this, we must begin a practice that encourages a dissolution of the Ego and detachment from our physical self. I believe practices such as meditation, prayer, and mindfulness are ideal for this type of shift to happen. The goal is a deeper recognition that we are not the physical body that we associate as ourselves. We are so much more than the confines of our physical package. When we let go of those physical limitations, we are capable of being healthy regardless of our physical state or diagnosis.
To heal spiritually we need not go to a church. That is a physical building and the church community is made up of individuals that are walking around and interacting through their physical bodies. The limitations are physical. This is a not a criticism of any church or religion. I am grateful for my own church community and the support it provides. To heal spiritually we must detach again from the Ego and physical self. We can detach and connect to the spiritual world by practicing 4 ideals that will connect us to other humans, animals, plants, and the world in which we live. Here are the ideals: Forgive, Gratitude, Joy, and Love. When we forgive the transgressions we have suffered, when we show thanks for the blessings we have been given, when we embrace the joy that is being alive, and share that joy though love all around us we are on our way to spiritual health. Our spiritual health grows through our interdependence and connectivity with all of creation. Please do not let the physical limitations of your religion, your church, your identity restrict your ability for spiritual health.
Holistic health is a balance and symmetry between our mental and spiritual self-reflecting in the physical body. It has nothing to do with the lack of disease or physical symptoms. It is an internal peace and outward calm that is capable for us all when we embrace the limitations of our physical self and limitless possibilities of our mental and spiritual nature. It is such a gift to be alive in this New Year. Cheers to 2014.