Earlier in the month we talked about “neural pathways” which can be deeply ingrained like a stream winding through the landscape for years wearing a ravine in the earth. Like that stream, the course of its path can be altered, but it requires intentional intervention. If we find there is healing that needs to be done and streams needing to be altered, it is helpful to have ideas about where to start.
To begin exploring ways to heal yourself- mind, body and spirit – let’s start by offering some definitions around each.
Mind – “the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges; the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities” (Dictionary.com); “the elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons” (Merriam-Webster.com); “mental states including thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotions” (Chopra.com)
Body – “the physical structure and material substance of an animal” (Dictionary.com); “the main part of a plant or animal body especially as distinguished from limbs and head” (Merriam-Webster.com); “the physical structure of a person or an animal, including the bones, flesh, and organs” (oxforddictionary.com)
Spirit – “the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul” (Dictionary.com); “a person’s total self, an active or essential part, a moving spirit, the moral and emotional nature of human beings, the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment” (Merriam-Webster.com)
How would you define mind, body and spirit?
Let’s do some activities to engage each part of you.
Body – Recognize what is going on in your body. First, sit comfortably in a chair, and take a deep breath to get yourself settled in this space. Scan your body starting at your head and flow down through your shoulders, torso, legs and feet noticing and tension, tightness or stress. Sit with that noticing. Is it trying to tell you something? Is there something you should “know”? In the story I shared at the beginning of the month, what I noticed about my body was a difficulty breathing and tears started streaming down my face. I was very anxious, and my whole body wanted to leap off the gurney and leave the room.
Mind – Taking what may have come to you as you reflected on your body, what can you be curious about? Is there a pattern or a connection to this body sense? What do you need to learn about this? When I reflected on what was behind the anxiety and the tears, I immediately connected to the memory of being on the gurney six years earlier and all the subsequent pain that ensued. Is there anything you wish to capture in your journal that you are noticing or connecting as you reflect on patterns and/or what your body is telling you?
Spirit – Breath is often a way to tap into our spirit. Take a deep, cleansing breath and hold it for three seconds before slowly releasing it. Breathe slowly as you reflect on what word might bring you comfort or relax you. For me, I breathe in “peace,” and I breathe out “love”. For others, it is helpful to breathe in what they wish to claim and breathe out what they wish to release. Spend five minutes breathing your words in and out.
This is a practice you can do anytime you may notice something going on in your body.
1. Slow down to notice what is going on/what you are feeling,
2. Be curious about what this sensation and awareness may be connected to,
3. Settle your spirit with you breath. If you have a faith practice, this is when you can invite the Divine Spirit to be with you.
Remember, at Survivors to Thrivers, we are committed to journeying with you on your path to healing and growth. We would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, know that we are cheering you along the way!
We are very excited that the book, Awakening the Light: A Survivors to Thrivers Going-Forward Story was released October 1, 2020! You can purchase the paperback book or e-book through our website book tab or by clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1943070946. Here is one review of the book:
“As an Internal Medical primary care provider, one of my most repeated phrases was “your head is connected to your body.” Psychological, emotional, and spiritual issues a patient was experiencing often complicated, exacerbated, or were the primary cause of their physical symptoms. Awakening the Light is a comprehensive, empathetic guide for all abuse survivors wanting to live a freer, thriving life.” Dr. Debra Coles
If you would like to learn more about the mind, body, spirit connections, here is a link to an interesting article: https://chopra.com/articles/mind-body-connection-understanding-the-psycho-emotional-roots-of-disease