My Mind, Body, and Soul Revelation

ImageSo I went and got inspired and decided to tweak my blog to reflect this.

These past few weeks have made me increasingly aware that happiness is more than having a straight mind. Ironically, I sort of stumbled upon this revelation by accident.

For whatever reason, I have been on a health food kick lately. I began eating mostly whole foods and felt so much healthier and energized that I started thinking of other ways to attain this good feeling.

I began working out more consistently, switching up my workout routine. I ran along Lake Michigan and started a yoga class. Once again, I was feeling so good that I wanted to keep it going.

Then, it dawned on me that I could reach a higher level of happiness by nourishing not only my mind, but also my body and soul. This is by no means a new revelation I have stumbled upon. But I guess I had to experience the benefits of it before buying into it.

This idea of nourishing mind, body, and soul has really opened me up more to life. I find myself more open to new experiences that I know will leave me feeling good about myself. I welcome all positivity.

This “good feeling” feels almost like a drug. I want to find it wherever I can and as often as I can.

The best part is, unlike seeking the pleasurable, short-lived feeling found in alcohol, relationships, or money, I feel I am attaining this feeling through bettering myself.

It is like a double reward: I am feeling good in the moment and making long-lasting  benefits to my mind, body, and soul.

So this trinity will now be the focus of my life and this blog. I hope that through my experience, I can help others strengthen their minds, bodies, and souls.

What could be better?!

Does it take a death sentence to finally start living?

ImageMorrie Schwartz said it best: “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

How should we be living? Are some better at it than others? What qualifies as a ‘good life?’

Those who are provided warning ahead of time, often remark how they did not truly understand what was important in life before they were told they did not have much longer to live it.

Does it take a terminal diagnosis to fully understand how precious life is?

Must we all first be dying before finally living?

I don’t think we can fully grasp the awareness and appreciation that comes with being informed your time on this planet is limited. But do we need a medical doctor to give us permission to live before we finally decide to do so? In reality, aren’t we all living on limited time? Just because someone isn’t sitting across from you in a white coat giving you an estimated timetable of how many days, weeks, months, or years you have left, does not mean you cannot live as if, God forbid, this may one day be the case.

What if we spent our lives as if we were preparing for a theoretical doctor’s visit where we discover our time is running out?  For many of us, living with this mindset would generate different conversations, different actions, an overall different life.

Our smiles would be wider, our words kinder, our hearts fuller. A shift in focus from the everyday hassles to the everyday beauty we are often too busy to take notice of would change our perspective.

We all live on the same planet, yet we each perceive life on this planet differently. Essentially, our reality is not life itself but how we interpret life, the good and the bad. It is difficult to fathom how we all breathe the same air and look up to see the same sun, but yet, our perceptions of what goes on around us is so subjective.

This difference in perception is proof that we are in control of what makes a happy life and what makes a miserable one. If you have the ability to look at something in a negative, distaining light, you also have the power to look at with joyful, loving awareness.

So don’t wait for a death sentence to set a fire under you to start living the life you have always dreamed. Always bear in mind that we are not promised more than this day, this moment. We are all dying but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take advantage of every breathing moment to live.

To quote everyone’s favorite Shawshank Redemption quote,

“Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”

Learning to live strong from feeling weak

Wednesday morning I woke up and started my daily routine. I did some stretches on my mat where I noticed I could just barely touch my toes. It wasn’t completely out of the ordinary, because I am rather inflexible but my body felt weaker than usual. I didn’t think much of it as I began preparing my coffee. While impatiently waiting for it to brew, I suddenly felt a wave of nausea rush over me and the sharpest back pain I have ever experienced. I felt like I had been run over by an 18-wheeler that had come completely out of nowhere. Now I will admit that I have a rather low pain tolerance when it comes to illness, but I knew something wasn’t right. I was in the fetal position on the couch; unable to move when I realized it might be a good time to give my doctor a call. They had me come in to rule out kidney stones or any infections. Luckily, it turned out to be a nasty virus that required lots of fluids and Pepto Bismol. Safe to say it wasn’t life threatening. Every time I am hunched over in pain like that, though, and trying to pray it away, I always think of people who are suffering with real, life-threatening illnesses. They experience unspeakable pain and discomfort everyday, to the point where it becomes the norm. They suffer and fight because they have no other choice.

How often do we take our health for granted? We walk around with perfectly healthy bodies, other than the occasional cold and flu, and yet the things we worry about seem catastrophic. Even though our bodies are healthy, many of us stress over things in our life that are actually within our control. Bills, relationships, traffic; we can control how we react to these things. Imagine how minimal these things would all seem if God forbid, you were to be diagnosed with cancer. How would you react to something that was so much out of your control? We all like to think we would react strongly and positively but given our outrageous reactions to simple things like being cut off by the driver behind you, we may not respond in ways we would like.

Choose to react positively to things in your life; both the good and the bad. If you get cut off, don’t explode. If you feel overwhelmed with your finances, take a deep breath and try to put it into perspective. Often people who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses say that the moment they were given the news, everything else that seemed so important before, slowly fades away. I have been trying to make a habit of remembering this. Remember what is important, what is within your power and control, and keep it all in perspective within the grand scheme of things.

I wanted to share Mitchell’s story, which along with thousands of others, I have been following on facebook. Ten year old Mitchell passed away last Saturday from muscular dystrophy. His family courageously chronicled his brave journey on facebook and if you are on the social networking site, I strongly recommend following it. The strength of this young boy is indescribable and inspiring beyond words. As his physical health continued to decline, his spirit strengthened at an even faster rate. Check out the incredible video and read more about Mitchell’s journey here: http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/12308

Mr. Happy Man

I just came across a documentary short by filmmaker Matt Morris entitled, “Mr. Happy Man.” The happy man is Johnny Barnes, an 88-year-old friendly, old man who stands at the corner of a busy Bermuda intersection for six hours everyday waving and shouting, “I love you” to drivers passing by. This has been a part of his daily routine for 28 years. Barnes’ infectious enthusiasm for love and life is beautiful and refreshingly authentic. The documentary speaks for itself so check it out!