Why do we need to heal?
What is it about living a complex, materialistic life that causes us so much dis-ease?
Might a more simple and sacred existence present a healthier alternative?
Simple living in a nut shell is about choosing to trade some of our busyness and speediness for deep reflection and time to align with our values and beliefs. When we engage with those things in a wholesome, life-serving way, they have the potential to heal us in body, mind and spirit and also to maintain us in that healthy state.
Healing Our Bodies.
What are the physical stresses we impose on our bodies? In a fast paced, achievement focussed, money-driven existence, we snack on junk food, eat for comfort, forgo exercise for the sake of convenience and do not give ourselves permission to relax. The result in the extreme can be heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and chronic fatigue states.
Living more simply can free us up to make dramatic improvements to our health and wellbeing. In setting aside some time to pay attention to our nutrition, for example, we can decide to return to eating freshly prepared, nutritious food at regular meal times that are in alignment with our body’s needs. We can seek support in returning to or setting up regular and enjoyable exercise habits. We can attach some priority to relaxation as an essential part of every day, valuing the regeneration work that our bodies are programmed to do for us, once we stop rushing around and start resting.
Being constantly active and preoccupied sets up numerous emotional stresses, from pressures on our time and energy, to office politics and unrealistic expectations that we and others may have of us. If left untreated, these stresses can lead to depression, anger, insomnia, resentment, addictions and confusion.
How do we simplify what is going on in our minds? Stress is not what other people do to us, but rather how we respond to what they do. Pain is what happens, suffering is our response. So, we can relieve the stress by deciding to change how we respond to the mental pressures on us. Simplifying happens on a mental level as well as in the physical realm, by focussing our minds on what is truly most important to us. I do a lot of values and beliefs work with my clients, much more process work than goal setting, just as much looking at how to “be” as working out what to “do”. This is the nature of transforming our mental processes – giving ourselves the time to uncover our core values and then deciding to focus on them. This mental simplification in turn frees up our time – time to think, to prioritise, to be grateful, to unwind.
What do we feel in our spiritual nature that seems like stress? If you’re feeling disconnected, lethargic, uninspired, not truly present in the world, or reluctant to take responsibility for yourself, then you could well benefit from paying more attention to your spirituality.
How do we do that? There are two remedies I would suggest for re-kindling that pure, undamaged spark of life that is present in all of us. The first is through adopting some form of spiritual practice, such as T’ai Chi, Qui Kong, Yoga, or Meditation. The second is through finding out what inspires you and making a habit of it. This might be spending time in nature, reading uplifting books, watching inspiring films, spending time with likeminded people etc. They key to optimising your spiritual wellbeing is to view these kinds of activities not as luxuries, but as essential parts of your life.
For many who favour a simple life-path, those two remedies go hand in hand and the best results, in terms of re-kindling joy, are obtained by adopting both of them together.
The stresses imposed on our body, mind and spirit by living in a rat race can lead to ill health that affects every part of our being. In contrast, by simplifying our lives and freeing up our time and mental space, we have the potential not only to heal ourselves, but also to maintain our optimum wellbeing and thus increase our overall happiness.
(Image: Spiral Sun – ancient symbol of the Sun’s universal healing intelligence.)