Spiritual Practice: A Soulful View of Good Health

Good health in our culture generally means good physical health.  It may be part of the materialist bias of Western thinking that automatically associates health in terms of physical qualities and a lack of physical illness.  To be sure, physical health is an important aspect of our overall health. Occupation and enterprise require varying degrees of physical health. Good physical health allows our bodily vehicle the opportunity to do its job.  And it may also be true that if we are distracted by poor physical health we MAY have more difficulty achieving self-actualization.  Please note the word MAY was represented in uppercase/bold letters.

Many of us realize that good health can be achieved through the integration of spiritual, mental/emotional, and physical health.  These three aspects of health each have independent and interconnecting qualities that contribute to overall health.

In this view, a strong physical body combined with lack of mental clarity and emotional instability would not constitute good health.  A photograph may fail to reveal underlying disharmony or disease.  And stagnation of spirit is bound to lead to regressive experience, stunted potential, and a shallow or deadened existence.

There are spiritual paths that seek to optimize physical, mental, and spiritual health.  This approach still has the potential to fall short, in my opinion.  That’s because we have failed to mention the Soul’s potential.  While it is true we live on a physical plane of existence, the goal of our life is to express our soul’s purpose.  Therefore, the true measure of health is whether a life has the capacity to express our life’s purpose.   All of the physical, emotional/mental, and spiritual aspects of our being are ultimately in service of our life’s purpose.

As healers and stewards of human potential, we need to pay attention to this angle on health.  Is a life progressing toward individuation and/or the capacity to enhance personal and community relationships?  What medicine can help someone back onto his or her path?  What blockages can be removed?  How can individual and group circumstance become enhanced?  It is admittedly more difficult to diagnose and prescribe treatment for spiritual/psychic illness or a broken dream then it is to diagnosing and repair a broken bone.  That’s all the more reason to focus on the subtle aspects of health.  When we get to the end of our life, the first question will not be: “Did you maintain near perfect physical health and maintain an enviable body image?” And you will not be able to defend your life with bench press statistics.  On the other hand, someone can be limited by physical challenges or a lack of “normal” physical wholeness, and may come closer to the expression of their life’s purpose.

All right, it’s not difficult to admit that physical vanity is not a gateway to the soul (though physical gifts can be expressed for the Soul’s pleasure).  The following are suggestions for enhancing good health that are more soulful than material, and can contribute toward overall health even when they do not necessarily contribute towards optimal physical health.

Love/compassion
Many of us realize the importance of grooming these qualities.  But do we recognize that a lack of these qualities should be “on the table” for the healer’s consideration and skill.  A lack of love or compassion can be compared to a disconnected soul, and can be approached with similar spiritual techniques for healing.  The disconnected links to love can be restored and reinforced.

Perseverance/effort
Perseverance is that specific quality of sacrifice that makes the effort to overcome obstacles standing in the way of life tasks.  Again, if perseverance is in service to Spirit, then our overall health will be improved — even if that perseverance takes a toll on some aspect of our body or material goods. It is important to persevere for a genuinely soulful cause.  To “break a leg” in service to the ego does not accomplish good health.

Personal sacrifice
Personal sacrifice simply means knowing when to put other people, principals, or life tasks before the needs of our ego. For example, parents sacrifice for their children and individuals sacrifice to a relationship in the name of love. Sacrifice involves giving up something you possess in service to others.  That something can be time, a material good, spiritual or emotional energy, or even the sacrifice of a portion of our bodily health through effort or exchange.  We can also sacrifice to a situation or community.  Whether our gesture is genuine sacrifice or unnecessary martyrdom is a matter for careful and soulful consideration.  A genuine sacrifice may deplete material resources but can enhance overall soulful health (which I submit is good health).  Note: it is good practice to engage helping spirits with our sacrifice (helping sprits are not likely to suggest we sacrifice to the selfish intent of others).  But that does not automatically eliminate the affect of sacrifice on our personal being.

Contributing to consciousness
Any effort to expand our personal awareness and to awaken moreHealth Rumi IV fully to the potential of Universe adds to the general field of consciousness and feeds the soul.  Like adventurers in the world, some adventurers in consciousness will become measurably stronger in every way, and some adventurers in consciousness may overextend their abilities, which can take a toll on their resources.  In either case, the effort will contribute to an expanding universe and the growing consciousness of our species.  Think of Carl Jung, who was both strengthened and suffered for the endeavors of expanding his consciousness.

Healers should always keep in mind the importance of keeping alive the connection between themselves and helping spirits or soulful strengths. As in any healing work, working to re-balance these additional aspects of health in others requires permission and ethical considerations.

While we may not always restore connection with our initial efforts, we can, at the very least, hold the space that keeps the available links potentially available – the pathways more clear.  And if Potential shines on our effort, and if there is a convergence of best possible outcome, we may even be able to retrieve favorable circumstance.

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