The past few weeks have been an incredible experience for me, both personally and professionally.
I have enjoyed the highs of attending life-changing workshops and conferences hosted by the world’s leading teachers of mind-body science, leadership and personal and spiritual development, and I have experienced the lows of being caught up in an energy zapping illness, that hijacked my body for what seemed like weeks. But, what doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.
It has been an incredible couple of months to say the least. A time of challenge, and a time of growth. I have experienced the elation of meeting and creating some amazing connections with leading doctors, authors and health professionals in this field, and being invited to engage in exciting opportunities and professional experiences that may potentially change the course of my professional career, and my life.
I have struggled through the disappointment of a failing body as it fights off an illness and made me terrified that I would not fully recover, like other times before.
I have struggled with the lows and heart wrenching reactions I feel in my body and mind when I witness the horrible events unfolding due to the current world climate and the heart pulling issues that are coming to light as a result of human fear, ignorance and lack of compassionate action.
My saving grace in all of this, was that I also experienced the most incredibly intensive and mind blowing learning journey on a 4 day meditation course that has reinforced my purpose and focus and helped propel me in the direction I need to go. Alongside the best teachers in Australia I learnt so many things about myself, the mind, the body and how we are so magnificently interconnected with others and our internal and external worlds.
In the 4 days of the meditation course I got to enjoy the sounds of the beautiful Australian bush whilst deeply immersed in the mountains that skirt around the edges of Brisbane’s western suburbs, in a timber clad yoga studio with floor to ceiling windows that made you feel like you were literally sitting in the tree tops.
The course had me heavily engaged in 3 hour stints of silent sitting meditation, loving-kindness meditation, walking meditation, body scans and body-breathing. The whole 4 days were infused with intensive theory sessions based around the latest research and science of how the body and mind work and how they are intricately linked, how the brain changes during meditation, and how our genes are switched on and off depending on how our mind is reacting to our experiences and our environment.
It was a mind boggling and life changing experience to say the least, and I have no doubt that it was what kicked my acute illness way out of the ball park, and reset my path to healing and wellness, once again.
But, all of this, the highs and the lows, the elation and the darker moments, has been an incredibly enlightening journey for me, forcing me to take a step back from it all, go inwards and reflect on what is. And whilst I was deeply nestled in my little cocoon of contemplation and introspection, this is what I kept coming back to. To truly change, transition, transform and become all that we are meant to be – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we must embrace it all – the dark and the light. There is no separateness. There is no point at which one experience starts and another stops.
The pleasant and unpleasantness is all part of life’s process, and for us to keep surging our way forward with equanimity, balance and inner contentment, we must embrace all facets of the lived experience, the yin and the yang, the shadow and the light, the sun and the moon.
And something that I am both learning (and struggling with) along the way, is how to remain warmly engaged with this constant flux, to remain warmly engaged with the environment we live in and the day to day experiences we have, and to remain warmly engaged with the world, without being sorely troubled or adversely affected by it. Perhaps this is an ongoing life-long learning experience we must wholly embody, to truly experience its potency ?
Perhaps the only way forward to embody this learning is to train our minds with an essence of love and heartfulness, to assist our minds; our heart-mind, our thinking-mind and our body-mind, to feel all that there is to feel with great love, compassion and kindness…but without the fear. This is my personal quest, and this I believe is my purpose.
At Mind Body Living I follow my Nurtured Mind, Nurtured Body Approach to whole-life fitness and wellbeing. I believe that this is what changes people’s lives, improves the lives of those around us and improves the climate of the world we live in, in a profound and sustainable way.
Essentially, if we can nurture our minds (including our heart-minds), and in turn nurture our bodies, the rest will take care of itself. I’d like to share a little bit more about my Nurtured Mind, Nurtured Body Approach.
I have developed the Nurtured Mind, Nurtured Body Approach based on the scientifically grounded notion that our mind has the potent capacity to influence every aspect of our lived experience. When we tap into this, we can powerfully influence the way we experience our world, including the way we think, sense, experience pain, ill health, and even emotions.
When we look at the relationship between mind and body we need to expand our awareness and recognise that our ‘mind’ extends far beyond the boundaries of just the brain or our thoughts.
Our mind, both conscious and subconscious, permeates into all aspects of our physiological, spiritual and emotional makeup. It is not just made up of conscious thoughts (the ‘thinking-mind’) but also extends into what I like to call the ‘heart-mind’ (our heart-centred essence; our core), and ‘body-mind’ (our subconscious conditioning and our emotional archiving system)
The Nurtured Mind, Nurtured Body Approach is about engaging and caring for our mind in every way available so that a physical thriving body, one which is healthy and balanced, will naturally follow.
This is because the mind and the body are not in fact, separate from one another.
As Dr Darren Weissman so beautifully describes:
“The body & mind are inextricably linked; synergistic aspects of existence, with the patterns of the mind directly influencing the cycles and rhythms of the body, and the body being a direct reflection of the mind. Therefore, we should really be describing mind and body as a complete entity (mind-body), rather than two separate isolated parts”.
And, because our minds and our bodies are so intimately linked, nurturing and caring for ourselves must happen two-fold. We must also nurture our bodies in order to effectively care for our minds.
In fact, when our physical body is in desperate need of the right care and attention, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to restore mental balance and emotional wellbeing.
Physical or biochemical imbalances can occur due to a whole host of internal and external influences. Diet & lifestyle, hormones, immune system/nervous system dysfunction, impaired digestion, lack of sleep, environmental toxins, susceptible genetic pre-dispositioning, or even the effects of physically embedded emotional burdens or trauma. All of these things impact on our body’s delicate homeostatic balance.
With so many variables in play, nurturing and honouring our whole-body systems, respecting and acknowledging the impact of our immediate environment and past emotional burdens and trauma, and taking care of what we put into our body and how we use it, are critical aspects for restoring balance.
Are you looking after your mind and body?
Are you feeling nurtured?
Maybe it’s time to fulfil your quest towards greater inner peace and contentment, so you can live the life you want to live and be the person you want to be?
At Mind Body Living I focus on a holistic, integrated approach to restoring mind-body balance, and moving you towards a healthier, more balanced, vibrant way of living. If you would like to book in a session with me, or would like to know more about my consulting sessions, classes or courses, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org