In this interconnected web of all life, our bodies are deeply connected to Earth. The care and health of one has an impact on the other. When we harm the land, the sea, and the air, we create health issues for our bodies. And when we don’t care for our own bodies, we don’t take care of the earth.
For me, it’s very clear that the cavalier way many of us treat our bodies (particularly here in the U.S.; if your culture does it differently, chime in in the comments) directly connects to the cavalier way we treat the earth. And that the diseases of the earth relate to our poor treatment of our bodies. From poor eating habits to poor exercise habits to regular sleep deprivation to abuse of medicines, the ways we fail our bodies are myriad. How can we expect to heal the earth if we can’t take care of our own physical well-being?
Everything is energy. Our bodies are energy. The planets are energy. The totality of energy creates the great web of oneness or All That Is. The food we eat has energy. Our thoughts have energy. The content of our thoughts and actions and eating influences the vibration of our bodies. As part of the web, our bodies influence all life and thus life on Earth.
Your spiritual journey is affected by this as well. The mind/body/spirit connection is profoundly deep. Pursuit of mental balance and higher spiritual consciousness can never be successful if you’re ignoring your physical well-being.
Poor habits are so ingrained in U.S. culture, I’ve found it a big challenge to stick to a healthier plan. I’m surrounded by choices that tempt me away from good eating and regular exercise and I have to stay mindful to stick to a path. I’ve also found it hard that everyone who has a theory seems to find it necessary to tout that theory as being true for all of mankind. They almost never are.
Our bodies have so many differences from ancestral cellular memory to blood type to allergies to biorhythms, each of us has to figure out which foods, which exercises, which sleep times, etc. work for us. And then follow the program that works.
There are a lot of theories about healthy eating out there that absolutely don’t work for me. A vegan diet, for instance, sends me into a downward spiral that sucks the energy out of me at a frightening pace. Too much raw food has the same effect. I have issues with iron and anemia that mean the only way I keep from regular bouts of iron deficiency anemia is to make sure I eat red meat a couple of times a week.
I also have a few habits like a daily cup of coffee and once a day eating a sweet something that leave my pristine eating friends rolling their eyes over my bad habits — even though in general I eat far more fruits and veggies and generally healthier meals than most.
I get a kick out of it because most of the health food fanatics who disapprove of my diet fail to do regular exercises for healthy muscles. They’re so tied up about food issues, they give no attention to developing muscles that are both strong and flexible–a balance that is required for healthy muscles–and allow energy to flow freely through the body.
I find most people lean toward healthy exercise or healthy eating but don’t manage both. And among those who do both, I find most follow exercise regimens that emphasize strength and hard muscles but don’t balance with keeping their muscles also flexible. As you grow older those hard muscles contribute to poor balance and falling; without the flexibility, the strength ultimately doesn’t serve.
The point is, few of us manage to follow a perfectly pristine regimen — and many follow paths to health that are popular rather than best for their own bodies. I think if you’re doing the best you can at changing your diet, exercising, etc. you’re already on the right path.
Take small steps. My diet has changed slowly over quite a few years as I’ve learned more about how (1) different foods make me feel; (2) to modify recipes to substitute for foods to which I have sensitivities; and (3) to add nutrition to a variety of dishes. Sometimes it helps to just cut out one or two things and discover a couple of healthier things to eat instead. When you’ve rooted that into your habits, choose a couple more things to change.
It’s much easier on your psyche to take it slow. I now have a long list of healthier foods I love and regularly eat, most of which I’d never have made or ordered years ago. I learned to like some things I wasn’t inclined to and found I really liked other healthy things I didn’t expect to…
Fortunately for me, I fell in love with yoga from the get go so for most of the 29+ years I’ve practiced, it hasn’t been an issue to put in the time. But these last few years of health issues have interfered with my decades-long exercise habit. I’ve found it’s easy to at least do a small something rather than nothing and so in small increments I’ve managed not to lose all my progress and as I’ve felt better, in slightly growing increments, I’ve been restoring what I lost. Small and steady can do it.
If you are serious about wanting to bring peace to the world and to heal the planet, think about how you treat your own body. Do you give the same care and concern for your own heath that you feel for the world? In the next J2P post or two I’m going to explore more about health and apply ho’oponopono to aspects of healing.