Taking Care of Spirit, Body, and Mind
We are very special beings. We have been created by Spirit – the Supreme Being who has created all. Some people refer to this Supreme Being as God, others as The Great White Spirit, yet others as Allah, or simply Creator. There are many names given to this one Being who brought the whole universe into manifestation.
Because we have been created by Spirit we are spiritual beings, carrying at our core the very imprint, the essence of our Creator. We call this core our soul. It is that intimate, sacred part of ourselves that we cannot actually see but without which we would not exist. It is that intimate and sacred part of us which cannot be touched. Our bodies may be beaten and broken, but no one can touch our soul.
As human beings we are pretty much aware of our bodies. And if we aren’t, today’s media certainly makes us very aware of them. At worst, the media tries to make us conform our bodies to the image that various money-making corporate businesses try to impose on us. Many of them succeed. At best, the media encourages us in various ways, some good, some bad, to take care of our bodies, reminding us that we only have the one body which has to last us a lifetime.
The human mind is that which truly sets us apart from all the other creatures that inhabit this planet. With our minds we have the power of choice. We are able to make decisions to be good or bad, to be kind or mean, to be truthful or dishonest, to be respectful of others or not. Our minds can be constantly expanded through education and experience so that we can reach our full potential as human beings.
To be a positive, fully functioning human being we need to take care of all three areas of our humanity. The question is, how? There are many answers to this and I will attempt to offer but a few from my own personal experience. One thing I have learned is that it is important to continue to take care of myself on all three levels all of the time. In other words there has to be equilibrium in my striving to be the best person I can be. I have also discovered that I am not yet capable of doing this perfectly, and probably never will be in this life.
The operative word here is striving. As long as I continue, on a daily basis, to make my best effort, to put one foot in front of the other, then I am doing OK. Let me share with you here some of the things that I do in order to take care of my Spirit, my Body, and my Mind.
– Spiritually I make quiet time for prayer and meditation, I read books that invite me to grow spiritually, I cultivate friends who are on a spiritual path and spend time in discussion with them, and I belong to a faith-based community for formal worship in a church setting. All this I do to enhance and increase the relationship that I have established with the God of my understanding.
– On the physical level I try to take care of my body in many ways. The obvious ones are good nutrition in the form of healthy, balanced meals and plenty of water, and some form of exercise to maintain flexibility, strength and balance. One important factor for me regarding exercise is that it must be something that I truly enjoy and I need to have some variety so I don’t get bored and consequently quit. Going the extra mile for my body, I try to incorporate such things as receiving massage or Reiki on a regular basis. I take long hot baths with special oils and salts, and I apply wonderful moisturizing lotion to my skin often. I also feel so good after a visit to my hairdresser and, Oh the bliss of a pedicure or manicure!!
– Mentally I stimulate my mind by reading good books: not just “educational” books but wonderful novels too that give me great pleasure. Personally I choose to go to a museum or art gallery from time to time and I just love watching a good play or musical, especially comedy, or listening to a concert. Hobbies are wonderful excuses for stimulating the brain and helping to keep us mentally alive and active, and there are so many to choose from. And let’s not forget good conversation which is where some of those friends that I mentioned earlier come in useful. Besides, isolation is a slow killer while good company is better than a daily multi-vitamin.
Above all, be gentle and patient with yourself. You are on a journey. Take time to appreciate the scenery and make frequent stops along the way to enjoy majestic moments, to explore avenues of interest in your life, or just to take a rest. And let me encourage you to be aware that this is your life and you have a right to be happy. But happiness does not just drop out of the sky. Like most things that are worthwhile, it needs to be worked towards. If we are optimally healthy and happy, we will be so much more capable of dealing with anything that life throws us – in an appropriate manner. Persevere, the end result is joy!!