Get Healthy in 2023
Your Guide to Holistic Health for your Body, Mind & Spirit
What does being healthy mean to you? Picture yourself for a moment – as a healthy person. What do you see, feel, taste, touch, smell? Most people think health means having a healthy body: a heart that beats well, lungs that absorb oxygen well, free of physical disease, abnormal growths and pain. This is one-third of true health. Health is holistic. We are spiritual beings in a physical body with an energetic control system called the mind. All three components need to be functioning optimally for you to be healthy. If your HVAC system broke and the serviceman said, let’s upgrade your system, but keep the old filters in place, you’d have a new system that would be pushing air through polluted, dirty, dust-filled filters, forcing the system to work hard and pushing unclean air into your home, creating breathing problems. Just like changing our filters, we have to upgrade and clean all components of what we call “me.” this includes the physical, mental and spiritual filters.
Our bodies require clean water, quality sleep, eating nutritious foods, and moving the body regularly. Our body is the material part of what we call “me” and the physical vessel is what allows us to do the things we need to do every day like, walk the dog, feed our kids, go to work and all the daily tasks one does in a day. Physical health doesn’t just mean, the absence of a major life-threatening condition like cancer or diabetes. It includes having a pain-free body, being able to walk up stairs or take a shower without assistance. Physical health means, being able to breath fully, stand, sit and to good in our bodies.
I know a lot of people who take better care of their cars than their bodies. We take our cars to the mechanic several times a year for tune-ups and oil changes. We give it gas, vacuum and clean it, and when the “serve engine” light goes on, we take it in for service. Our physical bodies give us “service engine” signs all the time. We either don’t know how to read the signs, or unconsciously ignore them because we will have to change some way of living life that we don’t want to change. Often people are so consumed with the busyness of life that they don’t notice “service engine” light until the vehicle breaks stalls on the side of the road, or won’t start.
Getting to know when your service engine light is on takes awareness and curiosity. For me, I have a few signs that tell me right away I’m out of alignment. Things like: I get constipated, my heart rate increases, my left eye twitches, I’m more susceptible to catching colds and viruses, I am impatient, my skin gets pasty and my year-round allergies get worse. I also get a knotted feeling in my stomach, neck or back pain. Your signs may be different.
How to identify your “service engine” light.
- Get a clear image of you in a healthy state. Imagine yourself healthy, pain-free, all systems working well. What does this looks and feel like?
- Picture yourself on the verge of illness. Or notice what you feel when you start to get run down, experience pain, or feeling like something is just not right.
- Identify three our four “signs” that your body is using to alert you that something somewhere needs attention. You may not know what that something is, that’s okay. Start with identifying that the “service engine” light is on.
My son has these magazines where he identifies what’s different in similar images. This is basically what you are doing with your self. What differences do you notice? Pain anywhere, sluggish digestion, acid reflux, rashes or skin issues? These small differences are the beginning of your journey into awareness and taking your health into your own hands. Pay attention to how you feel when you are healthy and how you feel when something is not “right.” Write them down and simply start to pay attention to the signs.
Mental and Emotional Health
Mental health is essential to overall health. To assume physical health and mental health are separate is inaccurate and a way of compartmentalizing parts of us that are actually united. We are humans, with physical bodies and minds that think energetic thoughts. The mind is the master, controlling the body. Having a healthy mind is essential to a person’s well-being. What’s a healthy mind look like? A mind free of suffering is a healthy mind. What is suffering? Suffering is the result of not accepting what is – an event, person, place, anything outside of ourselves. Suffering is a bi-product of wanting something to be different than how it exists in the material world, at that particular moment. I remember being pregnant with my daughter Malia. I was about 36-weeks along and I could not wait to meet her! I’d loved my pregnancy up until that point. But right about 35, 36 weeks, I was ready to be done. I wanted her out, wanted my body back and wanted to meet this little being that was growing inside me. I felt like I was stuck in quicksand, heavy and every bit of resistance, sunk me deeper into a feeling of dissatisfaction and impatience. Nothing had changed, except my perspective and desire, from growing her to meeting her as a separate being. That quick-sand feeing, is suffering.
How important are your thoughts? Your thoughts are both unimportant and extremely important to your mental health. Let me explain. Thoughts are transient and fleeting. They hold no value on their own, other than whatever value the thinker places on the any particular thought. Humans have approximately 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. Many of them are repeated thoughts, like a skipping record or a song on repeat.
Thoughts create chemical responses in the mind called emotions. Emotions drive our behaviors. Behaviors create the world in which we live. (Feelings on the other hand are the result of stimulation in our sensory systems from the external world. Although produced by external stimulus, feelings are also affected by the perspective of the human.) Beliefs are thoughts we continue to think. Beliefs, like thoughts, are not fixed. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs and behaviors are all temporary. They are also unique to every human because each human mind comes with it’s own filter of perception.
What does this mean? It means that your thoughts create your reality. What influences your thoughts? Your environment, the belief system you were raised in, the words and actions you experienced as a child, and what you feed your mind. For example, if you are were raised by positive people who believed they were in control of how they respond to life’s events, you were likely to adopt that belief system. If your primary care-giver was angry and blamed others for her unhappiness, you were likely to have thoughts and beliefs that people, including yourself, are victims of circumstance.
The cool thing is, that no matter what your caregivers believed and taught you – your brain and mind are malleable. You can change your thoughts! If you are unhappy in any area of your life, you can change your thoughts around this situation and literally, create a new reality for yourself.
Being mentally healthy is not about controlling the world around you. It has nothing to do with changing other people. Stress reduction does not have to involve a beach vacation, although vacations have shown to help interrupt stress patterns. Instead, good mental health has to do with seeing the pliability of your own mind and the fluidity of your perceptions to any event, situation or person. It requires paying attention to your thoughts and how those thoughts make you feel.
One of the first steps in mental and emotional health is to be aware of your thoughts. How do you do that? With meditation. Meditation is the practice of focusing on one thing, a sound, an object or your breath. Focusing on one thing acts like putting blinders on a horse, it blocks out the extra distractions that pull fight for your attention. Everyone has a constant narrator in the mind. When you direct your focus to one thing, these voices become less important. You have moved from being the star of the movie called “Your Life,” to being in the audience watching the movie. It’s not stopping thought. Thoughts are energy and will happen, but in meditation, you don’t give thoughts any momentum or power. Simply label all thoughts, “thinking,” and return to the focal point of your meditation.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our bodies are one small aspect of who we are. Our bodies are made of matter, carbon, hydrogen and atoms that form DNA, skin, bones and cells. But there is also the invisible part of us, the one that comes from source energy. The part of us that cannot be destroyed, our soul. Spiritual health will look differently to different people, based on your beliefs about what it means to be alive and here on Earth. For me, spiritual health means living a guided life. It means connecting with Nate, my angels and guides and the Collective Consciousness. It means appreciating this life on Earth, expressing gratitude, knowing I am never alone, and that Source is always guiding me in the direction of my highest good and the highest good of all. Spiritual health for some may mean prayer, going to church, studying scripture, mentoring or pilgrimages. Behind the rituals, is the belief that there’s more to life than what we see with our eyes. That life is so much bigger than “me” and “I.”
To give yourself a health boost, write out one daily ritual for your each category. Start small. You can always change and adjust it as needed. Write out one thing that you will do each day for the next week. Look for miracles. Journal your findings.