I am becoming more and more fascinated by the relationship and connection in humans of our mind, our body and our souls. It's not a secret, but I do believe we this connection is under-utilized. We aren't aware enough of these great connects.
One of the first changes I made when I realized something had to change -- several years into my divorce, by the way -- was to increase the amount of intentional exercise/movement I had in my "diet". And be consistent. Possibly the biggest piece was staying consistent. I tucked away all my methods of self-care immediately after my separation in order to focus on getting my kids (then 5 and 7yrs old) through the emotional trauma of suddenly going from a 2-parent family and home, to two 1-parent situations. Fast-forward a few years, and I realized what a mistake it was to set my needs aside. I wasn't in a place where my energy could keep up with theirs. I found myself in a place where something needed to change. And exercise was an easy way to do this because I could do it at home so I had no excuses. A little side note now, if you are new to separation/divorce -- do something right now for you. Add something that helps you be a better parent. We have to take care of ourselves in order to properly care for our kids.
What I quickly found, was that once I was consistent for a few months, I had more clarity of mind, my mood was happier and positive, I was able to maintain my energy level with my kids, and, my body was starting to morph into something much more healthy. I could feel myself getting stronger -- mind, body, spirit (or soul). The best part -- it made me want to take care of my body - my entire being - even more. Slowly, at a manageable and maintainable rate, I've changed how I eat, how I move my body, and what I allow into my body in the way of what I'm reading, watching and listening to. My desire to continue to improve myself grows, and it allows me to model a healthier version of myself for my kids. It has allowed me to show them that exercise can be used to improve your mood if you're sad or angry. It has allowed me to provide them with healthy ways to combat stress and anxiety. I'm not perfect. I enjoy food. I go some weeks with less movement. I watch silly shows and scroll on my phone. But I've created enough of an awareness in myself that I can "feel" when I'm off track, and am motivated by that alone to hop back on the rails.
So maybe my personal story just shared is a fairly easy and well-known way to see the mind-body-soul connection. But did you know that the health of your soul and spirit can directly affect you physically? There is a quote by Cathy Heller that you may have heard; "The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of depression is purpose." Her life work is teaching people that finding and living with your soul's purpose and in serving others, we come into the healthiest happiest versions of ourselves. And when we don't live out our soul's purpose, we can find ourselves in places mentally, that are not easy to come out of.
Gay Hendricks spends a great deal of time discussing these same principals in his books (The Genius Zone, The Big Leap) where he has witnessed many of his clients instantly recover from pain and sickness when they allow themselves to live in their "genius zone" -- living and doing their soul's purpose. A place that naturally elicits abundance of creativity, joy, health and wealth.
Another interesting connection, is that of connection itself. Both to self, and to others. When we are most connected to self (living our purpose, living in our genius zone, being who we are without apology), we feel more connected to the world around us. We seek out connection with others -- which I'm a firm believer we are designed to do. When we are living connected, we find ourselves less lonely, less afflicted with negative feelings, and our bodies are stronger. When we are connected to ourselves and understand our own needs, we take the time to reset and be alone in order to re-energize. There is clarity and awareness.
We live in a world where health and wellness of our mind and soul are more mainstream. Yoga, meditation, earthing, forest bathing, sound bathing, breathwork, energy healing, therapy, mindset, retreats, etc. We have so many tools at our fingertips (quite literally as you tap, tap, tap on your computer or phone to find what you need online). I encourage you to start exploring. If something piqued your interest, dive in! I'd love to hear what you find.
I've merely scratched the surface of how mind-body-soul interconnect. May this act as the beginning of this conversation for us. Because it's freaking cool and soon you'll be fascinated too!