Monday, November 03, 2008

Spirit, Body, Mind

How often do you consider the care and feeding of YOU?

I don’t mean the indulgent, “I deserve an ice cream” kind of care…I’m talking about the priorities you place on your own well-being.

If you are a woman – and most of my readers are – you are most likely giving yourself away day by day in the care and feeding of other people or business.

I think most of us have heard of the external priority mantra set forth by Mary Kay Ashe – God First, Family Second, Work Third.

But what about the priorities you set for yourself? When you need feeding, what do you feed first?

When you need answers, which part of you do you satisfy first?

If things are tough and you have but a few moments, which part of you gets those few moments?

I propose that usual mantra – Mind, Body, Spirit – is actually backward.

I believe it should go this way: Spirit, Body, Mind. Allow me to explain:

Your spirit is the most essential part of you…it is the life cord to God, the well-spring of creativity and the birthplace of compassion. Without Spirit, the other two priorities in this equation get out of balance, start to overwhelm the rest of your life. Spirit provides the deep meaning in our lives – the WHY. It deserves first dibs at whatever time we can give it. We should feed our Spirit the best we have and first – mediation, prayer, time alone with the Bible, time alone in nature, moments of silence and attention to keeping the junk out of are Spirit are the essential first step to real health.

Second should come the body. The body should come second because it provides the shell in which we navigate this world. Its is essential to keep it healthy, exercised, rested and cared for. Our body deteriorates over time. No matter how strong our spirit or well-fed our mind, if the body is not willing, nothing will happen. We must care for our bodies!! By care, I mean BALANCED eating and BALANCED exercise and BALANCED rest. These things are hard to balance. Some people eat too much and don’t exercise enough. Some people rest so much they are slack and lifeless.

The Body should never come first – worship of the body tends to fall into two categories – either you give into every fleshly desire you have – eating too much, eating too little, promiscuous sex, obsession with cleanliness (germ phobias) – or you deny every single thing to the body and over work it – fanatic exercise, worship of your muscles over your spirit, etc.

The Body should never be last, because…well…then because we would have no time left for the body and it would be completely neglected all together. Not a good approach.

The Mind should come last. Let me state for the record that I believe most people put the Mind first. They feed it horrible things like racy books, violent movies, negative news programming, trashy reality TV. I say – Garbage In, Garbage Out. We tend to regurgitate what we feed our minds…and these days, most of it is junk. Not to mention the fact that we also tend to feed our mind LONG before we get to our spirit.

And, well…an over-fed mind is a bit like Fran Drescher’s The Nanny – loud, rude, uncompromising…and too full for new ideas, for fresh ideas, for alternative points of view. It tends to stifle the Spiritual wisdom we could be hearing internally with loud comments like “That just isn’t possible.” And “Give me the proof!” Our spirit suffocates and dies when the mind is over fed.

The Mind is always “on.” We literally have zero ways to stop the input of information our senses bring in. We only have filters to categorize, file and retrieve information. So…your mind doesn’t actually need encouragement to take everything in – everything within the range of your senses that is. So, if you surround yourself with junk, your mind takes in junk through all your senses as long as you are breathing. The nearly pornographic bill board? Check – its in there. The nasty song lyrics? Check – they are in there too. Witnessing the horrible way that people treat each other on MTV’s the Real World – oh, yea…got that too. And when the mind is filled with that stuff…it’s been categorized and filed…when there is SO MUCH of it going in – well…that is what comes out.

Yes the Mind should really be force fed and given LAST priority when taking time for you. If you start with the Spirit – especially meditation, spiritual or soothing music, holy reading material – then the Spirit is fed and strengthened and the mind is force-fed good things to categorize, file and recall.

If you follow with the Body, then the body is strengthened and made healthy. And the Mind is force-fed things like vitamins, minerals, oxygen, great views if you are feeding the body outside (this is highly recommended!)…the Mind will be FAR more healthy this way.

This seems like a less toxic way to live..its about living life on purpose and filling yourself up in the right way so that you have good things to offer your world, so that you don’t burn out, or wear out, or lash out.

What do you think?

No comments: