Mind Body and Spirit: Grow with 3 Easy Tips
Mind Body and Spirit connection have made sense to me as far back as I can remember. I am not one or the other but the whole of them.
Growing up being called fatso and a target of jokes created a lot of challenges early in life. These challenges affected my whole being, not just the body but also my thoughts, emotions, and soul. No wonder I became a spiritual seeker at a young age.
BeACP is about bringing awareness to the importance of tending to yourself. We live our lives primarily through our five senses: see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. What is invisible, like our thoughts, gets little attention but they play an important role in our lives.
Spirit is that part of each of us, that is not defined by our body, mind, and emotions. I was raised Catholic, the primary religion in my culture and geography. Growing up I related Spirit with Catholicism.
Since the beginning of mankind, people have yearned for something higher than them. Instinctively we sense something is bigger than what our five senses show us. The movie, The Clan of Cave Bear, is a good example of that yearning to know that higher power.
The movie is about prehistoric times 38,000 years ago. An earthquake separates a 4 or 5-year-old Cro-Magnon girl, from her people. A Neanderthal’s healer’s wife finds this little girl, adopts her, and raises her as her own. It was interesting to see in this movie, how much respect and even fear there was for the spirit world.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie. I found it fascinating that even then, people sense something higher than themselves. This young girl grew up to become a great healer herself, a healer, and a leader.
My Latina roots are something that brings me great joy and pride. I learned to have an open mind about taking care of my health. Many remedies were homemade from herbs. I also remember seeing natural health pharmacies in most supermarkets.
Every trip I took to Colombia over the years, I visited a bioenergetic doctor. He balanced my whole being and was able to help me out naturally with any issues I may have had.
Bioenergetic doctors are MDs who focus on the holistic approach to health. They consider that “every living being is an energy system with its own pulsation, and that all disease is an alteration of the rhythm and basic functions of the organism.”
Alexander Lowen, MD, was an American physician and psychotherapist and the developer of bioenergetic medicine. A student of Wilhelm Reich, he developed bioenergetic analysis, a form of mind-body psychotherapy, with his then-colleague, John Pierrakos.
Dr. Lowen concluded that the mind, body, and vital energy work as a unit and that the interaction of these three elements is what determines the state of health.
Bio-energetic doctors know that what you feed your body is important AND it is also key to what you feed your thoughts, feelings, and soul. This is nothing new to Eastern medicine like Ayurveda and Acupuncture, which are thousands of years older than any type of Western Medicine.
Soul Medicine is what many believe we will see in the future. It is the therapy that considers the human being in his entirety: Mind Body Spirit Connection.
Many Latinos believe in the power of the earth and plants for health. They also believe in the power of prayer for healing. The word “curandero” is the Spanish word for healer and it came from native American roots.
Mind Body and Spirit: The Mind
Deepak Chopra is not someone I follow but a lot of people do. His wellness center is a short driving distance from my home. His 7 Tips for Mind-Body Balance, beautifully explains our connection with everything.
Chopra says that health is not merely the absence of disease or symptoms. Health is a state of optimal well-being, vitality, and wholeness. Illness develops when there is a disruption or a blockage of energy.
To quote him: “Each of us is an inseparable part of an infinite field of intelligence and in this the very moment, with every breath, we are exchanging millions of atoms with the universe.
Psychology Today has numerous studies on how the mind affects the body. People who are flexible in nature are capable of resisting illnesses, coping with adversity, and recover quicker. They do this by maintaining a positive attitude and managing stress effectively.
You probably know someone who has had a physical issue due to stress. Managing attitudes and stress levels help you control neurochemical transmissions in your body. The power of a healthy attitude, therefore, cannot be underestimated in the body-mind connection.
To feel well you need to nurture your whole self, meaning your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Personal experiences have shown me the power of the mind.
Mind Body and Spirit: The Body
Albert Einstein once said: “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
I think Einstein meant to say that everything is energy. That is probably why bio-energetic medicine makes so much sense to me.
Health goes beyond the body. I firmly know that balance of body, mind, and spirit is what health and wellness are all about. Good health is not just about the physical body. Our mind and body are linked and affect each other in more ways than we think.
Most of what you read on health focuses on the body: The food you put in your body, exercise and the products you put on your skin. There is plenty of information and misinformation on these subjects.
I will repeat throughout this site that every “body” is different. You need to pay attention to what your body tells you in regard to the food you eat and the movement or exercise you practice. The best movement or exercise is the one you actually do.
How much you eat is important to keep a healthy body. Aside from the quality of food, the movement and exercise you do, if you eat more than you burn, you will retain calories.
A Secret Learned during a Health Coaching Class
I’m going to tell you a well-kept secret or at least it was to me until I found it. I wrote a paper on the History of USDA Food Guides. It was homework I did when getting my health coach certificate from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.
In over a century, the USA food guide has changed many times even though our bodies have not. I found out that lobbying efforts from different industries like the grain, meat, dairy, etc., have an influence on what the food guide may look like in the future.
The government has made mistakes regarding nutrition through the years. Be the captain of your own health and help your family do the same. Look to areas where people stay healthy through the years, like those in the Blue Zone. They seem to be doing things right for centuries.
The Blue Zone
Have you watched the Down to Earth series with Zac Efron on Netflix? I watched episode 4 of 8 on Sardinia. This island in Italy boasts a notable number of centenarians who are healthy and happy. I am seriously enjoying this series. It is refreshing to see Zac being so open to learning and embracing this new awareness.
The people of Sardinia are one of the groups in the Blue Zone. They are people who live the longest and healthiest in the world. What do these people have in common? They have a lot in common but I much rather you find out by yourself.
If I am going to follow a healthy lifestyle, it is going to be one that is a living example of what I want to attain. Would you agree? You also need to take into account that every “body” is different.
What does it mean every “body” is different?
Growing up my sister and I ate the same food and quantity. It really upset me to see that while I gained weight, she didn’t. I even exercised more than she did!
I couldn’t understand why gaining weight was easier for me than for others. The more I thought about it, the worst I felt. Of course, at a young age, I thought that was unfair. There is definitely a connection with my body, what went through my mind and the emotions my thoughts created.
Three points come to mind for you to consider. First, is to become aware of any food intolerance you may have. I use my pendulum to find out what foods and meals to avoid as I have digestive challenges. Watch my video showing the pendulum reaction of blueberries muffins and my body.
Second, is to move or exercise often. Why is exercise so important to your health? Because it is the only known process that causes a consistent and continuous production of nitric oxide. This is done by the endothelial cells.
Nitric oxide helps to keep our immune system healthy. It was discovered by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D., Nobel Prize Winner. I learned this during my health coaching certification at Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. It is fascinating!
Third and last, consider eating smaller portions than you normally do. You will help your stomach keep a normal size.
Your stomach is the size of your fist. It also expands like a balloon when you eat. If you constantly eat a lot, your stomach will expand more and you will need more food to feel satisfied. Ideally, your main meals need to be no bigger than two of your fists.
“Too much of anything is never a good thing unless it is real love and positivity.”
Mind Body and Spirit: The Spirit
Breath is linked with Life and it is also the storehouse of emotions. The Latin word “spiritus” means spirit, courage, and vigor and it also means breath.
No wonder the breath is the foundation of meditation and healing!
Eating is our second most vital bodily function after breathing. You can go days without eating, even without water, but not without breathing – unless you are a yogi who has mastered the breath.
You probably take breathing for granted like most of us. But do you know there’s more spiritual growth when breathing is done mindfully? Mindful breathing can help you achieve balance and harmony in the mind, body, and spirit.
Doing something mindfully or being mindful means focusing one’s awareness or attention on the present moment.
There are many breathing techniques. Kundalini yoga is an example of a type of yoga that focuses on the breath for healing purposes.
Growing my spiritual side has been my intention for the last three years. It is almost as if I am being guided to do it if that makes any sense.
By working on my spiritual growth, life is becoming simpler. The tests have been challenging at times but I am learning that everything is up to me.
A quote that gives me perspective is “Lord don’t change any circumstance of my life, change me.” It is a very liberating spiritual affirmation when it is coming from the heart.
Self Realization says: “Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”
3 Easy Tips for Mind Body and Spirit Growth
I believe in making small changes because they have better chances to stay. You know where you are in life and what would be the most beneficial for you right now.
My tools are simple to implement and like anything it takes practice. As the saying goes, practice makes all masters.
Do you want to lose weight? Have more energy? Or increase your immune system? If that’s the case implement one small positive change as it relates to your body.
Do you want to feel more peace, joy, and harmony? Work on your spiritual side. Or is it your thoughts or internal chatter that give you grief?
Finally, the tips you have been waiting for.
Tip #1 is for Your Mind
Become aware of your thoughts. Don’t just let them run your life. Thoughts have energy. If you have a negative thought, stop yourself. Then, repeat a positive affirmation. One of my favorites is: “Gratitude is the best attitude.”
Tip #2 is for Your Body
Read about the blue zone groups and make one small change that is easy for you and your family to implement and practice.
I eat my meals on smaller plates, 8.5 inches in diameter. It is a way to trick my mind into thinking there is a lot of food because the plate looks full. Remember two fists of food for the main meal. The average size of a dinner plate in the USA is 10.5 inches. Restaurants may use larger plates.
Tip #3 is for Your Spirit
Pay attention to your breath. Use it to remain calm and to have more control over your life and health.
I encourage you to start practicing a mindful breathing technique.
If you don’t have one, give a try to the 4 7 8 Breathing Technique. You can look it up or follow the simple instruction below. Andrew Weil, M.D., suggests having the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, behind your teeth while doing it.
Empty the lungs of air – Breath in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds – Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds – Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds – Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
Have an open mind and find what works for you. Incorporate a Mind Body and Spirit holistic health approach and your life will change for the best.
Genetics plays a role in our health as well as unexpected events. Regardless, taking care of your health is the key to living a good life. Be the captain of your health!
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Thank you for taking the time to read Be Aware Choose Practice (BeACP) post. Hopefully, you learned something that you can put into practice.