We are seeing a crisis in health worldwide; part of the world is still dying from poor conditions, while the other is dying of poor choices. It is time to ask ourselves why? As we stand here on the edge of expanded human consciousness, we each have the opportunity to choose differently, deliberately. We can choose to embrace this moment with clarity of mind, a healthy body and an open heart or we can stand in resistance. Just as each single celled organism has an effect on the food chain, each person has an effect on the larger environment. This is the truth of our holographic nature. By using our health as a catalyst, we create the conditions in each one of our hearts, minds and bodies that creates a better world. By appreciating the larger implications of bringing balance to these five areas of self-care, we understand that many of the same things that will heal the body, will also help heal the world.
1. Stress Reduction & Relaxation
Studies will tell you that 60-90% of doctor’s visits are indirectly or directly related to stress. So there is no doubt that stress impacts the body in negative ways. Stress reduction techniques have a couple of things in common, they bring relaxation to the body by eliciting the parasympathetic nervous system and they bring the attention into the present moment. So much of our stress is a product of the mind living in the past or in the future. When we can bring the mind into the present moment, we decrease the stress response. A calm mind leads to a calm body.
A by-product of creating this state is that it helps people to experience our oneness. It moves us from an intellectual ideal to the experience of unity. We live in a culture where stress is often equated with success, but when we can calm the mind and body, our wholeness becomes undeniable. Understanding our oneness is critical to our survival on this planet. Through such things as meditation and mindfulness, we not only elicit the relaxation response in the body, but we set the conditions within ourselves to experience our connection to one another and the earth.
2. Diet Awareness
Diet awareness is not about going on a diet, but it is understanding and living according to your particular biochemical needs. Though, whether you need a plant-based diet or more protein based, you need to eat whole foods. Processed foods wreak havoc on the body, causing wide spread inflammation and toxicity.
Processed foods also are devastating to the environment. There are many reasons why I don’t eat fast food, but one of the most important to me is the effect that it has on the environment. Nothing has changed our food production and delivery methods more than this industry. We have seen the destruction of our rain forests, the rise in monocultures and the increased use of chemicals in our food as processed foods have become more popular. They are not only nutrient deficient, but create a huge burden on our bodies and our earth. There is little life force transfer which serves to dampen our consciousness and widens our disconnect between ourselves and our food. Switching to a whole foods diet will not solve all the problems in our food production, but it is a great start in improving our health and the planet.
3. Creative Movement
Our bodies were designed for movement and they need to move every single day. Accumulating 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is all that is necessary to decrease your risk factors for most chronic illnesses. Next to our diet and stress reduction there is nothing that affects as many dimensions of wellness than physical activity.
Get out in nature and feel your connection to earth. Get in touch with the seasons and flow of the natural world. We have moved away from the understanding that we are not part of nature- we are nature. Nature has an amazing way of promoting gratitude, balance and harmony. Be mindful in your movement and find your flow. Your body is the vessel that allows your spirit the opportunity for expression. Daily movement calms the body, balances the emotions and invites the spirit to take the driver’s seat.
4. Right Thinking
Right thinking is the understanding and conscious awareness of our thoughts. It is understanding how our body and mind work together to create our environment. Every thought we have has an emotional and a chemical component. When we have the same thought, for example a negative self-deprecating one, it creates the same emotional response, the same chemical communication that often leads to the same behaviors. Now what happens when we change the thought? We create new neural networks in the brain, new emotional responses, new chemical communication and perhaps a new action. The more conscious we become with ourselves, the more conscious we become in the world.
So much of the larger societal issues we face happen because there are too many unconscious participators. We have lost our sense of accountability and many are complacent. This leads to a very reactionary model, where we create Band-Aid solutions to problems, without ever questioning the systems themselves. Conscious people create a conscious world.
5. Energetic Awareness
Our bodies need balance mentally, emotionally, physically and energetically. We are energetic beings, living in a vast field of energy. There is no better way to grasp our oneness than to understand the field of consciousness. If we begin to see how consciousness shapes our world than we learn how it also shapes our health and healing potential. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all energy.
We cannot force people to see things our way, but we can change our energy around it. If we change our energy, we can change the action. Just in the way a happy co-worker can spread her enthusiasm, a cranky co-worker can bring everybody down. We can do this globally as well. If you begin to see the world through an energetic lens, we can shift the way we engage in the world energetically. Through this we can change the world, not through force, but through love and connection.
Everything in our universe is interrelated. When we engage in our world with a calm mind and calm body, we begin to see things differently. We can grasp the world in a more balanced way, make choices in alignment with our values and find more purpose and joy in our daily lives. As multi-sensory, aware beings we have a vast untapped potential. It starts with each one of us. Many of the self-care techniques not only create a calm stable physiology in the body, but they also create a vessel from which expanded consciousness can thrive. This potential is a powerful creative force that can be used for healing the earth and ourselves. It is all connected. Let’s heal the world one body at a time.
Angela Levesque is writer, healer and health educator. She is the author of Healing Environment: The Conscious Creation of Health. Angela also hosts On Health & Healing and House of Iris Radio on a2zen.fm. Angela works with clients doing intuitive lifestyle coaching, and teaches several classes on self-care, meditation & weight loss. Visit www.hestiahealth.com for more information. Find her on https://twitter.com/HestiaHealth and http://www.facebook.com/hestiahealth.