Long ago, Plato said (in his dialogue named The Charmides) “The cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” He then adds: “And therefore if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing.” Yes!
Plato knew. We can never be well in our physical bodies unless we address our physical symptoms in the larger context of who we really are, that is, spirituals beings, embodied souls.
And that sure has been my experience. You see, when I was a teenager and got really interested in my health, I focused primarily on diet and exercise. In my late teens I experimented with various diets, ate tons of tofu, drank chocolate and vanilla protein shakes, danced and worked out like crazy wearing what, in France, we called “sudisette”. Some sort of light and plastiquy pants that was supposed to make you sweat more, faster and get trim in no time. Not to say that anything’s wrong with that picture. But let’s say it didn’t bring me the kind of vitality and peace of mind I was longing for.
Vitality and peace of mind came a little later when I understood that my mind played a huge role in how my body was doing. And that, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a French Jesuit priest it so happens) once famously said I was “a spiritual being having a human experience”. Waouh! That one spoke to me like nothing else.
It meant something I had been sensing all along, that if I were to experience the highest level of well-being I needed to address all that makes me…me: the physical, the mental/emotional and the spiritual.
Today, our culture still places enormous emphasis on diet as a means to experience…everlasting bliss it seems! But where did that get us? We’ve become “a tad” neurotic about food don’t you think? So many fad diets, restrictive diets, so many do’s and don’ts and must-have power foods. And how about the supplements? If supplements were the key to perfect health I think we can agree the 11 billion dollars we annually spend on them would have got us there.
Clearly it’s going to take something more than a balanced diet (something different for everyone anyway) and the optimal cocktail of supplements to experience perfect health. Even the World Health Organization defines health as : “… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”, to which spiritual well-being should be added, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it is.
So why am I telling you all that? Because too many people focus solely on how they feed their body when they decide to get in shape. Are you one of those? Big mistake! How about the other parts of you? Your mind? Your emotional heart? Your soul? How do you nourish those?
Ancient traditions such as Ayurveda (the oldest system of medicine in the world) already knew 5000 years ago that mind, body and soul must all be properly nourished in order to experience a deep sense of wholeness.
Would that be something you’d like?
In my signature Ayurveda-based 3-month wellness program, Self-Care & Shine, that is just what we do. During 10 weeks we learn how to integrate in our everyday life simple, self-care practices for every part of ourselves.
The next Self-Care & Shine wellness program begins on April 1st (no joke!). We will wrap up slightly before summer arrives, on June 3rd, at which point you’ll be ready to shine your fit and fabulous self outward! To get all the details and to register click here (special offer if you register before March 5th). If you’d like to speak with me, book your complimentary 45mn phone session.
Before we part I’d like you to take a moment to ponder and ask yourself: what do I do daily to feed my mind? My senses? My soul? Go to the comment section and share any ahah! you may have.
Here’s to feeling whole and well again,