Mind body and spirit. Mind body and soul. These words have become catch phrases. There are innumerable eastern inspired and/or “alternative” websites dedicated to the ideas; the American Cancer Society, the Teachers College at Columbia University, Harvard Medical School (just to name a few of the increasing number of Western mainstream establishments now promoting their own special interpretations) give much advise on living a “balanced” life. Yet, many simply use catch phrases (“balance”, “alternative…”, “quality time”, “ground yourself”, “meditate”…) to describe the catch phrase (mind, body and spirit/soul). Everything sounds very inspirational, but (in layman terms) how do we “balance” our physical, mental and spiritual lives?
First, forget the word “balance”. You actually want to harmonize (not “balance”) your our physical, mental and spiritual entities. Unfortunately, the word “balance” has become a common catch phrase due to a misinterpretation of eastern philosophy (in which the word for “harmony” was misinterpreted to mean “balance”). Balance is a state of equal distribution. Who wants the stress of maintaining a state of equal distribution to attain & maintain physical, mental & spiritual health? Our bodies, minds and souls don’t want more stress; they want harmony.
Our body, mind and soul are interconnected & therefore the health of one affects the health/harmony of the other two. Harmonizing each individually (and thus as a collective) is the key to optimal health, well-being, joy, and (desirable) love in our lives. Try to exercise/strengthen your body, your mind and your spirit everyday. I know that might seem a bit overwhelming at first… Just try!
Like any new exercise/health routine, it is best to try to slowly incorporate Body, Mind and Soul harmonizing techniques into your daily routine. Start with what comes naturally to you (or what you are most drawn to), then layer on additional practices. In time, the better you feel, the happier you are, the more you love life… the more motivated you will become to try/incorporate more techniques.
Here are a few I have found to have a great impact on my health, happiness and ability to appreciate love in and around me – and (even more importantly) to gracefully handle their opposites!
- Move, Stretch & Strengthen your body
- Move your circulatory system (strengthen your heart)
- Using “cardio” exercises – sweat
- Move your lymph system (clean your blood/heart from impurities and strengthen your immune system)
- Walking is the best way to move your lymph
- move your energy systems (chi/qi/chakras – harmonize body, mind and spirit)every day
- if you don’t like the idea of practicing kundalini yoga, tai chi, or, Qigong… you can always try Taoist or tantric sex and/or masturbation – they are actually the best for opening chakras and moving chi
- Not just “100% Organic” (chemically free), but “Whole” (unprocessed) foods.
- There are many “organic” foods that are refined (processed) that are simply not healthy
- Learn the difference before you waste your money
- The largest part of everyone’s diet should be a colorful array (yet the majority green) of low starch vegetables
- If you eat raw vegetables – make sure you soak for 10 minutes in a hydrogen peroxide & water bath to kill the parasites
- Most people don’t think about the parasites in raw foods (they exist in large numbers in ALL raw foods & are the cause of many digestive discomforts).
- If you eat raw foods that you are not 100% sure were prepared properly – have a daily dose of ginger (raw, tea, pickled…) – the ginger will help kill parasites
- Drink water that does not have added chemicals (since many tap waters do – if you drink tap and don’t know exactly what’s been added to your tap water – use a filter)
- Also use a filter on your shower heads, chemicals in water are absorbed through the our skin (an organ in it’s own right) and can cause other health problems
- Get plenty of sleep (children need 8-12 hours; adults, 6-8)
- Get outdoors more – “ground yourself” in nature
- We are animals first & just like animals taken out of nature (put into an artificial environment), we suffering physically and mentally if we are indoors too much of our day. Suffering physically and mentally will lead to a weakened spirit (loss of joy).
- Be happy
- Practice optimism (not fool heartedness, just optimism)
- Be positive (don’t lie, tell people the truth, simply do it in a positive/constructive way)
- Be grateful
- If you pray for nothing else… say a prayer (or simply some words, if the word “prayer” makes you feel uncomfortable) of what you are thankful for – every day.
- Only once a year, on the third Thursday of November – is not enough!
- Western science has now proven that the health (harmonizing) benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless
- Spend more quality time with loved ones
- What is “quality time”?
- It is time in which you pay thoughtful attention to loved one(s).
- It is not (for example) watching a movie together
- Live your passion
- If it is a passion shared with your loved ones – even better
- If not, to be true to who you are (how you define and love your own self), you must find time to cultivate your individual passion.
- Schedule in “quality time with self”
- There are many forms to choose from: you can practice meditation (obviously), prayer, yoga, mindful breathing, tai chi, qigong, Daoist sex, journal/blog writing, any peaceful activity in nature (such as walking, a slow jog, gardening, sailing, biking…) – remember peaceful not competitive forms (leave those for physical exercise).
- Practice sacrifice, compassion and empathy for at least one other person everyday (and always for yourself)
- For example: give time to a local charity, or, simply give a pregnant woman your seat on a crowded bus/train/subway…
- No matter how big or small the effort – make sure the gesture is sincere/comes from your heart
Last, but most importantly, DO NOT STRESS, if you are unable to do something everyday. The trick is to SIMPLY TRY YOUR BEST everyday. Be kind to yourself. Practice will make progress.
Again this is only a short overview of body, mind, and spirit practices that have helped me maintain harmony in my life — even through the most trying of times. I hope they inspire & bring health, harmony and happiness to you. Remember, all parts of us are one in the same. Be loving to one part of yourself, and in time you (and others) will love all of you even more!