Thursday, January 1, 2009

Finding balance in mind, body and spirit

Woodbury Bulletin - 12/23/2008

Life is a balancing act, we all know and agree.

When people talk about finding balance in life, it is often about balance of work and family life, and about balance of the hectic lifestyle and stress management.

But I don’t think that is the most important area in our life that needs balance. What we truly need is to balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of our live.

As human beings, we have body, mind and spirit. Our body needs nutrition and exercise, so do our mind and spirit.

Only when we learn to nurture our body, mind and spirit and keep them in balance, can we become more complete and live more fully.

The problem is that many people live one- or two-dimensional lives in a three- or four-dimensional world.

It is important to take good care of our body. Our body needs the right combination of nutrition and exercise. We need to eat healthy and exercise regularly in order to have a healthy body, live a long and productive life.

Healthy is a choice. We have to make right choices in our daily lives in order to stay healthy.

Keeping the body in good condition is important. It affects how we feel about ourselves. We feel better when we are healthy and in good shape.

However, some people focus too much attention on the physical dimension, on getting fit and having a great physical body, and on physical appearances, but they don’t know or neglect the fact that the body is not all what constitutes a human being.

In fact, our body is not the most essential thing. It is the vehicle that carries what is essential. It is “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” as the Bible says.

Like our body, our mind also needs appropriate nutrients and exercise to function well and stay healthy.

Human beings are intellectual. If we don’t develop our mind, gain knowledge through education, our potential will be handicapped and limited.

We live in a fast-paced world with all the conveniences that modern life has to offer. Our lives are filled with activities that either don’t give us much time to think or take away our ability to think.

We cannot let the news media, the entertainment and advertisement industry dictate our lives and tell us what we need, what to buy, how to live and how to think.

Garbage in, garbage out. If we let too much garbage and negativity go into our mind, our mind will be corrupted and will produce more garbage and negativity.

We need to care for our mind by paying attention to what we read, hear and watch. We need to nourish and exercise our mind by using them to learn, to grow and to think.

We become what we think. A healthy mind brings a healthy life.

Human beings are also emotional and relational. We cry, laugh and feel. We need affection, kindness, encouragement form each others. Our emotional status and the quality of our relationships can determine our quality of life.

Among the four dimensions of life, spiritual dimension is the most controversial and the most difficult one to understand because its existence is not as obvious as the other dimensions.

But something that we cannot see and touch can still exist. It’s important to understand that what’s visible is temporary, but what’s invisible is eternal.

Every human being has a longing from the depths of the soul that cannot be fulfilled by anything in this world.

If we can humble ourselves enough, we will realize that we need faith in order to live a more meaningful life at a deeper level, to become a complete, whole human being, to live life to the fullest.

Without faith, our lives are empty and meaningless.

Without faith, we end up wondering how to make sense out of life and out of the world around us.

In her memoir “A House with Four Rooms,” author Rumer Godden says, “There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

“Mind, body, and spirit act in concert to determine health and well-being,” said Dr. Carl Thoresen.

If we can get the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balancing act together, it will be easier to find balance in other areas of life.

As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus this week, let us focus more attention on the spiritual dimension of our life.

Let us find the real balance in life: body, mind and spirit.


RoS said...

Hello! This is my first time on your site. This is an excellent post and it really blessed me. I stumbled upon this and this is exactly what was on my mind as well to present in a seminar that I am conducting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Julie said...

I do concur with your post on keeping a healthy body, mind and spirit. All three interact with one another. When I changed my diet from Vegetarian of thirty-three years to Vegan two and half years ago, something profound happened to my body, mind and spirit. Changes occurred in my body for the better and I have not suffered ill health since this change.