Where do you put the emphasis in your life? Is it on the mind, the body, or the spirit? Most of us have one area where we feel most comfortable, and there is where we put the emphasis if we don’t give it some conscious thought. I think each of us is born with some special knowledge about life and living… and that special gift is not the same for everyone. I have a friend who can put a room together with great style – belissimo! She didn’t go to school for this, she just has a natural, great sense of style. With me, I just know something about myself that I think is true for other people too. I need balance in my life. I need always to remember that I am a person of three parts—mind, body, and spirit. The rule I live by is to give each part of me some time.
The YMCA stumbled on this a long time ago. It’s their motto (“…developing a healthy spirit, mind, and body”). What this means is different for each person. I like jogging; you like judo. I like to attend adult classes; you like to read books. It soothes my soul to walk along the beach at sunset; it soothes your soul to sing in the choir or paint a picture. As I learn everyday, people are different but the same.
When I start putting the emphasis on one of these areas for a long period and leave out the others, then my life gets out of balance. Something is missing and it starts showing in how I feel and the way I live my life. Because this was something I realized about myself early in life, I’ve made it a habit to keep a fairly good balance between these activities within each week. It’s difficult to do them all in one day, but I can usually find time for activities that satisfy these needs throughout a week.
If you’ve learned to do this—exercised your body, exercised your mind, and exercised your spirit—then when difficult times come along, you’re resilient. Like an athlete who has trained, who has skills in her repertoire, you have skills for living, a body healthy enough to withstand stress, and a spirit that can give you courage and perseverance for the hard times. When my husband became chronically ill, all of my inner and outer resources were stretched, but I came through. Believe me, I relied on each of these—mind, body, and spirit—to get me through.
For me a typical week involves all three areas. I may jog, walk, attend a Y class, practice yoga, or walk my sweet Boxer. I may meditate, go to church, walk on the beach, read a poem I love, or write an essay. I may read a good book, watch a news program, attend a workshop, or write. My body is kept healthy, my mind informed, and my soul nourished. It’s a very satisfying way to live.
Tree works and lives in Lexington, N.C. with her husband and son. She likes to run, practice yoga, walk her Boxer, and write while sipping on a latte’(which is her one vice). She is a member of Valle Crucis Writers.