I remember, as a small child, being puzzled by own identity. I recall thinking “if this is my hand, and this is my brain, and this is my body…what is the me who owns all these things?”
Now I understand that that “me” is comprised of three different integrated components: the mind, the body, and the soul. Happiness is difficult to reach when one or more of these elements are not working correctly.
If I have pain in my body, I may not think clearly, and my soul may feel weak.
If I am heartbroken (soul-sick), I may actually feel pain in my chest and my mind may feel defeated or depressed.
If I have a mental illness, my body can reflect the disease with aches and pains, and my soul may feel dark and lost.
Each element is integrated into the others. It makes sense therefore, that if I want to elevate my spiritual life (through a daily spiritual practice), I need to engage my mind, my body, and my soul.
In school, I was the girl with her face stuck in a book. Learning, thinking, and growing is an important part of who I am. Simply studying, reciting affirmations, and/or journaling is not enough, even if you do these things every single day. They are wonderful, but they are only aspects of the mind, and the human mind is limited.
I love exercise. I love working out. I love to swim and hike. I love the endorphins. I especially love yoga and tai chi, because they connect me with my body and with my surroundings. But even if I work out and spend an hour on my yoga mat every day, something would still be missing. I guess I’m greedy. I want the whole, blissful enchilada—so to speak.
Finally, my favorite activity in the world is sitting in meditation. I will not go into the details just yet, but it’s what gets me out of bed each day. This is my connection to God. This is where I recharge my soul. Although this peace and joy is just about all I could ever want, it only lasts (in a real and tangible way), until I walk out the front door. Inviting my body and mind to this experience, gives me a practical means of holding onto my joy.
I believe that God is Love, and Love travels as a form of energy. It is the creative energy that allows our minds to think, it is the force that holds our cells together, and the unexplainable power that lifts our spirits. In order to maximize our time with God, it only makes sense to fully engage all three aspects of ourselves.
In the next several installments of this series, I will share with you how I engage my mind, body, and soul in a daily spiritual practice. I have a simple routine that clears my mind, helps me focus on what’s important, makes my body feel good, and gives me a balanced, mindful attitude.
That’s the morning routine. I know, it sounds a bit daunting, but I can jump-start my day in less than an hour, and you would not believe the difference it has made.
In the evening, we will engage the mind, body, and soul, but in a short, compact way. (15-20 minutes, max.) I go to bed each night feeling calm, accomplished, and grateful.
Ready? Let’s get to it.