The balance between mind, body, and spirit is emphasized almost everywhere as the secret to a better life. It’s relatively easy to understand the mind and body, but what is the spirit? I am aware of my mind, and I use it in many different ways in my life. I am also aware of my body, and I use it however I like. But what about my spirit? Do I really know it? Am I truly aware of it? It surely plays a vital role in my life, yet I am far less aware of it when compared to my mind and body. Well, this poses a question: Under these circumstances, how am I supposed to balance something that I’m not even fully aware of?
My journey of spiritual discovery started with various questions. How can I discover my spirit? How can I become more aware of my spirit?
When thinking about spiritual awareness, the first thing that came to my mind is having a third eye that can see things that are invisible to others. Sometimes, I thought about mastering astral projection or communicating with spiritual beings. Back then, I was intrigued yet terrified by these things.
If you’ve practiced transformational breathing, you’ll know we start each breathing session with a particular intention. Back then, my intention was always “to become unified with my essence and to make a clear and substantial connection with it.” It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, I was actually expecting a miracle to happen while repeating this goal to myself. As a result, my meditation sessions resulted in nothing other than a comforting feeling and a very deep emptiness. I was so dissatisfied with the result that I felt like a hunter returning empty-handed at the end of the day.
As the saying goes, you find what you look for when you stop looking for it, so I stopped looking for it. In reality, I was only pretending. My ego still secretly expected a miracle to happen. This was its devious way of getting what it wanted.
So, what happened next? Nothing! No amount of spiritual improvement would satisfy my ego…
On the other hand, something actually did happen. Certain things started to change in my consciousness. Most importantly, I realized how my ego was chasing the impossible and came to terms with the fact that my expectation was pointless. Although I’d set out to improve my spirituality, all I did the whole time was feed my ego.
These decisive moments that raise our awareness are priceless, and I love them. Your mind finds itself in a state of bewilderment, and you look at yourself from a very realistic point of view.
Now, let me tell you what I saw from this point of view.
The practices I’d used so far were mostly about my mind. I did quite a bit of mental cleaning, and my mind became less active. Therefore, I was able to set my mental course much more easily and replace the paradigms that hadn’t worked for me.
But what about my body? Well, I realized I hadn’t made any progress in this department either, even though I believed I was aware of my body and able to use it proficiently. I am quite sure that many people think the same. On one hand, we want our bodies to be in perfect shape, but on the other hand, we abuse them with what we eat, drink, and wear. On top of that, we don’t appreciate the effort our bodies make, so we dislike them.
Eventually, my spiritual journey brought me back to square one, my body’s state in other words. The school of life said to me: “Child, you can’t start the third grade until you pass the first and second grades.”
Although it seems easy to work on your body, it requires a lot of waking consciousness. Our bodily habits have grown strong, deep roots over time, so only a strong determination can replace them with new habits.
Here’s a list of what we can do to improve our bodies.
1- Eat a Healthy Diet
We must first ensure that we understand what a healthy diet is. For instance, a mother might believe her child has a healthy diet if she feeds him or her with plenty of food. Another mother, meanwhile, might think her child has a healthy diet when nourished with tasty food. But do these really have anything to do with healthy eating?
Everyone has a different opinion about what healthy eating is. In my view, it means eating clean food. By clean, I mean raw, unprocessed food. This food provides the most nutrition while being easily digestible.
I haven’t eaten red meat or chicken for over two years. I used to drink now and again on social occasions, but I quit that as well. I haven’t drunk any kind of alcoholic beverage for a year and a half. I started eating less bread. I also stopped drinking acidic beverages such as cola. What more could I do to improve my diet?
When I had a deeper look into my diet, I realized I was still eating pasta even though I’d stopped eating bread. I was also eating all kinds of pastry, and I never turned down dessert. I realized how sugar was still very present in my daily diet. What’s more, chips were my guilty pleasure food.
After seeing the truth, I decided to exclude all sorts of processed food, including sugar, from my diet. This was quite a challenging task, however, so I gave it a one-week trial period at first. I said to myself, “Don’t give up without a fight. Try it first, and if you can do it, just carry on. If it’s too much of a struggle, tweak it a bit and try again.”
I know very well that I will end up losing if I need to fight my mind to achieve something in my body, so I always cooperate with my mind during the process. I negotiate with it and eventually reason with it. My mind likes being self-indulgent, so if I ask for its permission by saying to myself, “Could you please let me do this thing for just a week?”, it won’t deny me. I once asked for its permission to have a one-year break before quitting my job. Every time it falls into the same trap, and this makes me laugh. As you can see, our minds aren’t that smart.
So, my one-week trial had begun. I didn’t eat any bread or pastry for a week. Instead, I had plenty of vegetables, eggs, yoghurt, and so on. I substituted dried nuts and fruits for candies, chips, and other unhealthy junk food. In order to satisfy my sweet tooth, I started eating dates, dried mulberries, dried apricots, and so on. I went for unroasted, unsalted, raw nuts, such as raw almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts.
I then realized that living like this was actually possible. I even found it quite easy and enjoyable. The me who couldn’t live without desserts and candies was long gone. However, I still perceived myself as my former self. Eventually, thanks to this trial period, I managed to bring my perception to the present. Once again, I realized we shouldn’t judge anything without trying it, even if there are issues we think will never change.
Based on this experience, my advice is to consider how you approach nutrition and take a new approach from a different angle. Take some things out of your diet and replace them with new things, and stick to this for at least a week. Don’t stop after just two or three days. If you made a promise to yourself, keep it. You can decide whether to stop or carry on at the end of the week.
2- Quit Smoking
There’s little to say about this subject. We all know the many disadvantages of smoking, even if we choose to ignore them. It’s not just the physical damage it causes; it also lowers the frequency of our energy.
One week, I joined a meditation group for the day, and the coach said to me, “Your smoking shows in your relatively low level of consciousness.”
As it was, the level of consciousness among the group was above average, and some of these were smokers. Stating that smokers have a low level of consciousness may sound like an insult, but us smokers should just accept it and regain our consciousness. There is seriously no other way! It is impossible to maintain the balance of mind, body, and soul and live a good and healthy life while smoking. Smoking pollutes your body, mind, and soul. It’s as simple as that.
I smoked at least a pack a day for ten years, so I know all too well how addictive it is. Addiction is an awful thing, but after quitting seven years ago, I never smoked again, not even once. Although I managed to physically cut it out of my life, I know my mind is still addicted to it. It still remembers the illusionary pleasure it found in smoking. For instance, my mind still recalls the pleasure of smoking a cigarette while drinking a cup of tea or coffee after a nice meal on a pleasant spring evening. On the other hand, it also remembers how restrictive this addiction was on my lifestyle. You need to make a choice at that precise moment. Smoking is the opposite of breathing, and if breathing means life, then smoking means death. Therefore, I choose breathing or, in other words, life.
3- Don’t Forget to Exercise
To be perfectly honest, the only exercise I practice regularly is the Five Tibetan Rites, which is ideal and effective if, like me, you don’t like working out much. If you want to learn more about the Five Tibetan Rites, please click on this link and read my article to start practicing. Maybe you would prefer something else, such as yoga, Pilates, cardio, tai chi, walking, dancing, and so on. The important thing is that it’s something you can practice every day, not just every two or three days. Just like how we brush our teeth every day and eat and drink regularly, we should also work our bodies daily using a certain pattern and technique. I have been repeating the Five Tibetan Rites 21 times, and this only takes 13 minutes including short breaks in between, so please don’t tell me that you don’t have the time.
4- Use Good Quality Personal Care Products
Although this may seem aimed at women, the market for men’s cosmetics continues to grow at a rapid pace. Try to be selective about what cosmetic products you use. While deciding, try to go for the most natural products with the least chemical ingredients. For instance, you could use mineral makeup products. If you are looking for a deodorant, try natural solutions before buying antiperspirants or other products containing harmful chemicals. Try to wear less perfume, and use fluoride-free toothpaste.
When doing your laundry, use liquid detergents, so your washing can rinse much more easily.
The more you stay in the present moment of your life, the easier it is to improve it. Moreover, remember that when you’re aware of something, you have the power to achieve it. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have noticed it. Therefore, always give yourself the chance to try things.
I’ve been diligently working on my body for the last couple of months, yet there are times when I’m tempted to give up. At these times, I remind myself that I need to make a choice. As I said before, it takes considerable determination to keep working on your body.
Working on your body brings priceless benefits, trust me on this! Personally, I feel much more liberated in terms of energy, and people around me notice this too. My communication with children has improved immensely. I’m now capable of establishing strong connections with them, even when I don’t know them. I also see how my communication with my clients has improved. I feel they are more comfortable and safe with me when they’re expressing themselves.
In my opinion, all these improvements refer to one thing: spiritual development. What I understand spiritual development to be is feeling happy and peaceful without a specific reason. In other words, it’s about accepting life as it is. You can only reach this point after purifying yourself mentally and physically.
To wrap it up, we should accept that we cannot express anything about our souls while ignoring our bodies, because our souls came to this world in those bodies. Therefore, if we want to live our lives with spiritual awareness, we should get to know our bodies first. We should look after them and honor them. Only then will our souls be in a better state to face every aspect of life.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas Edison