This is the third installment of a four-part series on holistic living. You can find the foundation here, What is Holistic Living?, and a more in-depth look at the mind here, Holistic Living: The Mind. You can also check out these resources that can help you infuse holistic living into your daily lives.
Holistic living is the attempt to live in complete balance between mind, body, and spirit. Let’s continue our journey towards a deeper understanding of holistic living by looking a little closer at the body.
Our bodies are something that we can never escape during our time on this earth. In the brief period of time that we have been given our bodies, it is our responsibility to take care of them. We have been made the caretakers of ourselves.
Every moment is a chance to either bring our bodies to life or to bring them to death. Every choice we make and every action we take can lead our bodies to wellness or brokenness. When left to our own devices, surrounded by an imbalanced culture, most of us have chosen laziness and self-destruction.
It does not take too much observation to see that many people live unhealthy, deleterious lives. Although millions of people are suffering due to processed foods and lethargic lifestyles, there has been a tremendous change in the culture to live more natural and active. This change does not appear to be a brief fad or a passing craze.
We have begun to see more and more people begin to eat naturally and organically, while also becoming more active. Whether it be through a regular workout regimen, yoga, or taking walks, the culture is ramping up their activity level in order to make their bodies work more efficiently. We are starting to eat healthier to counteract the tragic state that processed foods have left us in.
Hope is on the horizon. The world is changing in our attitudes towards our bodies, and it is our responsibility to encourage each other to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Our bodies are far more important than we think. They are the vessels in which our minds and spirits are carried. Buddha once said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” To live holistically is to nurture each component, the body, mind, and soul, equally. Henry David Thoreau said, “Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other.”
The danger is to focus too much on the body to the neglect of the mind and spirit. The key is to love your body for the temple that it is and not overwork it. It is to be treated gently and with care but not left alone. Do not let your body rule you, and do not let a concern for your body consume you. Your body is a temple, sacred and holy. Treat it with respect and love.
This body, full of faults,
Has yet one great quality:
Whatever it encounters in this temporal life
Depends upon one’s actions.