We've all heard the expression "mind-body-spirit."
It means that our wellbeing comes not just from physical health, but from mental and spiritual health as well. To be “healthy” we must consider all three aspects of our nature.
Many years ago, when I came across this expression for the thousandth time, I thought, "Spirit should come first — it should be 'spirit-mind-body'."
My definition of Spirit (God, Nature, Universe) is the life force that animates all that is and provides wisdom, Love, and light to guide our lives.
I came to the understanding that I could have a direct relationship with Spirit late in life — it wasn't something I grew up with.
Eventually, I learned to listen to and trust the Spirit within above all else. To let that calm, clear voice of direction guide me to my wisest choices and best life.
By putting Spirit first, I've been able to heal my mind and body and keep growing toward wholeness.
It's how I've become gradually more at home in myself and at ease in the world.
When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves.
— Albert Einstein —
Here are five practices that have been transformative for me.
Engaging in even one of them is a movement toward inner harmony and wholeness. And I know from experience that each one leads to the others in a circular way.
1. Slow down and pay attention to what matters most.
Slowing down your busyness and getting quiet helps you remember that Love, in its vast array of manifestations, is what matters most. So take breaks from the fast-moving currents of modern life and pay attention to your inner landscape at least as much as your outer world.
2. Identify and attend to the voice of your True Self.
The inner voice that whispers of who you really are and what you most love is your sacred guide along life’s journey. It's the voice of your Soul, the nonmaterial part of you that belongs to Spirit. It's your intuition, the loving voice of wisdom, and it will always steer you in the right direction.
3. Become fully aware of the exquisite beauty and sacredness of nature and of humankind.
Your showing up here on Earth was, in itself, a miraculous event. It means your uniqueness is needed, valuable, and worthy of reverence. And so is that of every other being on the planet. Remembering this leads to generosity and the desire to be a force for good in the world.
4. Take full responsibility for your life.
When you seek the truth and do the right thing, it gives you a sense of integrity and wholeness. You learn that you have the personal power to make things better for yourself and others.
5. Discover your unique gifts and what makes you come alive.
Our fragile twenty-first-century world and every being in it needs the best of you. In the words of author Steven Pressfield, "Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got."
I’m not sure exactly how these practices might play out in your case, but if you wholeheartedly commit to even one of them, it can change the rest of your life.
Despite what modern culture teaches, it’s okay to slow down at any point in your life to reassess what truly matters and discern what wants to happen next.
This is your life, and you can lead it any way you choose. So why not choose to put Spirit and Love first?
Why Friendships Matter
Scientific studies have established a theoretical basis and substantial empirical evidence for the impact of social relationships on health.
Ask anyone who has studied friendship — or anyone who’s had a good friend — and they will tell you: Friendship is an essential ingredient in creating a good life.
How You Think Affects How You Feel
Health research has always been overwhelmingly focused on risk factors that may predispose people to disease and premature death.
The ever-growing field of positive psychology, however, is focused on those positive attributes and behaviors which can, on their own, promote health and longevity.
Study Finds Optimists Live Longer Lives | The Harvard Gazette
Are You an "Active Couch Potato?"
New research indicates that people who work out for 30 minutes a day and then stay stuck at their desks for 10 to 12 hours afterward may be what researchers have termed "active couch potatoes," or people who consider themselves fit but actually face some major health risks.
Here’s Why It Matters + What To Do About It | Well + Good
Nature, Simple Surroundings, and the Chance to Be Quiet
After a few days immersed in nature and quiet reflection, you will emerge relaxed, refreshed — and a little wiser.
The Benefits of Spiritual Retreats | Next Avenue
Little Bits of Light
Words to open your heart and refresh your spirit
Photos by: Peeratam Tangtua, flickr (#1) & Linda Wattier (#2)