Monday, September 24, 2007

Balance-The Physical Pillar

The physical is usually the best place to start as it is the one we are most familiar with, but is also the most neglected. Since the body is the temple of the soul, we need to treat it with respect, providing for it’s needs. Do we provide clean air, nutritious food, sufficient rest and medical attention when needed? Or do we eat too much of the wrong foods, or too little food? Do we pollute the air we breathe with no regard for the damage to the temple? Do we allow ourselves sufficient sleep, knowing that it is during sleep that the body can work at healing and renewing itself, or do we burn the candle at both ends, assuming that we can deprive the body of it’s needs and catch up at some future time? Do we seek medical attention when illness occurs or protect the body from those things that can make it ill?

Much of the problem we encounter with balancing the physical pillar centers around food, and why we eat the way we do. Many of us use food as an instant gratification of a poorly understood urge for comfort, for pleasure, to fill up an empty spot. As children we are given sweets to comfort a bump or a bruise, a tearful face or to distract us from something else we want. In time, we learn to reach for food as an instant cure-all for any unhappiness we experience. It is even called comfort food. Usually high fat or high sugar or both, our comfort food is not eaten for sustenance, but for consciousness altering.

The result of all this eating is a body that is over-weight, over fed and undernourished. We develop medical problems, causing us to feel bad, then we reach for another chocolate bar, another donut, for the quick fix, the sugar high that makes us feel better for a short time. The larger we get, the sicker we become., the more we eat.

To break the pattern, we need to understand what we are doing and why. We also need to teach ourselves what is healthy food, what we need to replenish our bodies and what to do to comfort ourselves instead of reaching for that comfort food.

Once we have examined the physical pillar and seen what improvements are required, we can begin to become more healthy. Keeping a journal can be very helpful while working at bringing our lives into harmony. We can record the areas we need to work on, the work we are doing and the results. Since instant results are seldom seen, the journal can help us to see results over a period of time. We must set goals that are reasonably achievable within a time frame that makes sense. We would not start taking vitamins today and expect to get a major improvement tomorrow!!! If we record each day what we are doing to achieve the goals we have set, the journal will become a useful tool to not only record our progress, but help to keep us focused as well.

When doing this we need to keep in mind that we are not perfect, only the soul within is perfect. Knowing this, we need to be gentle with ourselves when we slip, and we will slip, more frequently at first, less so as we become accustomed to our new way of living. We should treat ourselves like we would a child, calmly and gently bringing our attention back to the task at hand. Even if we take three steps forward and two back, we are still making progress.

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