What are you filling up on? Recently, during the month of Ramadan, some of us may have had an added opportunity to reflect upon this. I don’t necessarily mean feeding ourself in the literal sense, although it was a great time to connect to our body and rethink eating habits and the impact they are having on our physical well being.
If we think of ourself as energetic beings we realise that we are feeding off more than just food. We are in a constant energy exchange with other people and life itself and not all of it is to our benefit; in fact unless we are living super conscious lives, very little of it is.
In treating disease and illness the great wisdom traditions have always addressed the human body as a whole; mind, body and spirit. Today homeopathy and alternative medicine continue to take this into account as they make their diagnosis. Science, although unable to explain how, seems to be pointing in the same direction too.
If we try to find a connection between wellness and lifestyle, we have only to go a generation or two back. Were our grandparents or even parents as stressed and overwhelmed as we are today? Do we remember them burnt out, barely keeping up with their lives? Was their day to day pace as frenetic as ours? In living away from our families, the support systems that were available to our parents and grandparents are gone. In a world where moving every few years is the new norm, how does one cultivate relationships outside of the nuclear family that sustain us? Social media, while bringing the world together in the most immediate and personal way has paradoxically removed us from the very core of the physical proximity that make us feel part of the whole. Most of us begin the day by picking up our phones and checking into our new virtual reality whereas our grandparents perhaps walked out into a breathing, pulsating world.
So how does this translate into our present day state of well being?
Today we have the world at our finger tips, infinite options to explore, multiple places to visit, an endless stream of people passing through our lives. More, as we all know, doesn’t necessarily mean better, sometimes more is just more. We are spreading ourself too thin, pushing ourself too hard and digging ourself deeper. There is nothing at all wrong with embracing all that life has to offer as long we remain mindful of the fact that we need to nurture our mind and soul along with our bodies. Just as we watch the kind of food we put into our bodies so we need to choose the kind of energy that we let into our lives. Negativity whether it takes its form in anger or sadness or gossip and complaining will ultimately deplete us, no matter how satisfying it feels in the moment. Practising gratitude, being kind, having fun not only nurtures but restores and regenerates us to optimum health and happiness. Oh and isn’t that exactly what we are trying to achieve when we are working ourself to the bone? There’s an easier route? Here’s a clue, life was never meant to be a struggle.
We cannot solely focus on our bodies and disregard our mental and spiritual health. We may never be able to achieve complete wellness unless we realise that these three aspects of ourself are inextricably linked and need equal nurturing. In order to thrive, we need to stay connected, not just to our tribes but to nature, which feeds us all individually and collectively as only the best mother in the world can; Mother Earth that is 🙂