There are many parts to you and me. We each have parts that work better than others and parts we know need work. A part of you decided to read this blog post. A part of you is looking for enlightenment and empowerment and believes life is more than what meets the eye. I’m not talking about literal components of your body when I say there are six parts of you and every person that need constant tending to or life just isn’t fulfilling. Giving care to these parts is essential to our health and well-being. They cannot be ignored if you want a full and balanced life. If you don’t give them enough attention they whither and atrophy like a neglected or sedentary body part. If you treat them right and regularly, these sacred parts become steady pillars on which to build your life and can help you find the power, success and happiness you desire.
The parts I’m talking about you already know but may not realize need routine investments of time, care and positive energy to make your life work in a holistic way. To find such wholeness and wellness in your life you have to examine yourself and assess what your needs are and then begin the process of fulfilling them. Taking a closer look at these parts of you on a daily basis makes you feel more complete, happier and more healthful. Am I holding you in too much suspense?
It’s a really simple but profound idea: attend to these sacred parts of you for a little while each day and you will start to find your life working better in every facet. Here’s the list of the “Big 6” parts of you that you can enhance just by giving them regular attention. I’ve also included some proven ways to heighten each part’s energy and help you find more peace, prosperity and balance in your life. Try it for a month, practice for a set amount of time every day and witness the powerful results for yourself… greater health, wealth, wisdom and happiness!
The Body: the temple, the vessel, the form and function that is your human self. It, above all parts of who you are, cannot and will not be ignored. You already know this. When you neglect to take care of it, it complains with pain and stops working the way it should. The body is always talking to us – if only we would listen more carefully. You step wrong off a sidewalk and your ankle tells you, “Smooth move!” by aching for the next two weeks. You lift weight heavier than you’re used to and your shredded muscles remind you the next day. If you eat a cheeseburger, fries, pizza, egg foo young and a milkshake in a 24-hour period, doesn’t your body put up a form of protest? If it doesn’t, you have an iron gut and I’m jealous! Enough years of eating junk, sitting too long, being inactive or injuring yourself with thoughtless workouts, poor posture and repetitive stress your body will always inform you. You’ll be the first to know your body hasn’t been getting the right attention when you scream, “Ouch!” An ounce of prevention is they key to keeping your body healthy and strong.
Some simple tips to make your body happy and have it return the favor: drink more water, eat less/exercise more, sleep in quiet darkness for 7-9 hours each night, buy a rice cooker so you can conveniently make whole grain meals (my passion), eat more fruit and veggies than any other food, do 30-60 minutes of exercise each day and make yourself sweat. Then drink more water. Yoga is my fitness choice on any day I’m not weightlifting, on the Stairmaster or swimming. Whatever works for your body – go for it! We have the most control over what we physically do in life – our actions, behavior and activities. So let’s put that power to work by giving the body the regular care and attention it deserves. It’ll thank you with vibrant health.
The Mind: the seat of reason, logic, memory, wisdom, consciousness and creativity. It’s a gray matter of fact that when we fail to feed our minds with new knowledge, regular mental challenges and periods of rest things can get fuzzy fast. We lose focus and start forgetting names, numbers and appointments. Our thoughts and plans become mismanaged. Everything else suffers when the mind isn’t clear, too. Our confidence and self-esteem can slip. Depression and anxiety can set in. Imagination, creativity and ambition lose their punch. Relationships can become confused and harder to maintain. Sensible goals and activities can become frustrations. We have less to give and our sense of worth becomes diminished. A dull mind becomes a dull life.
Playing games that increase your neuroplasticity like you’ll find on websites like Luminosity.com or watching “Brain Games” on Nat. Geo. can help retrain your brain for peak performance. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku and word finder games can work, too. But I think reading good books, writing a regular journal, listening to classical music or binaural beats, meditating, chanting mantras or just varying your daily tasks can help you keep your mind sharp. The biggest challenge to maintaining a neat noggin is that we deal with too many distractions each day. Be it your cell phone blowing up, a TV buzzing in the background, cascading emails, texts, social media updates and posts or any other hand-held, electronic or entertainment device, it can keep your mind too busy to be clear and concentrated. Yes, your smart phone can make you dumb. Every day we should turn off, unplug and disconnect for a while and enjoy some good, old-fashioned quiet time or curl up with some legit literature to save our cerebra!
The Heart: I’m talking about the emotions – the feelings that flow into and out of our hearts. For maintaining a healthy cardiac muscle, please refer back to the body’s needs. The heart, in terms of emotion, is like an energy switching station. It interprets the energy moving toward us and directs how we should respond to that energy before the brain even knows what’s happened. Instinctively, we can feel before we have a chance to think. The vibrational waves that our hearts emit have been measured to be over three times as powerful as our brainwaves! The emotions are powerful forces that can become beautiful expressions of love, mercy and joy or can become twisted into fear, anger and shame. If it endures enough emotional imbalance the heart can close, harden and grow cold or break.
I like the expression, “emotions are energy in motion.” That makes sense to me. We take the energy we receive from other people and our experiences into our hearts and then we let out some corresponding energy through our emotional response. The feelings we feel carry a lot of weight and often define our needs and desires. That kind of power can’t be neglected or abused without negative effects. And ignoring one’s emotions simply makes them fester and if left to wallow in pain long enough they can develop into dysfunction and disease. Luckily, the emotions are a part of us that we can change and that we have ultimate control over.
Some times we all need some help and encouragement when our emotions get the better of us. Asking for help from friends and family or spiritual advisers or seeking professional help with an emotional issue you might be facing is a sign of courage and willingness to change. That’s the beginning of growth and healing. Manifesting better emotions is a matter of will, not chance. Like all things wild and unpredictable the emotions must be harnessed for good purposes or they backfire. Some emotional states just aren’t worth suffering forever and you have to move on and get the help you need to make yourself feel better. Sometimes our desires or feelings aren’t as important as what we need to move ahead emotionally and we have to turn them off. Somehow order has to be made out of chaos.
Tending to the heart and getting the most positive energy out of your emotions can be as simple as showing compassion and gratitude more often. Finding a charity or worthy cause and lending your time, talents and energy to support it can make your heart feel warm and well. Helping others anonymously or “paying it forward” is a rewarding emotional experience, too. Having a secret project or creative endeavor that only you know about can give you a safe emotional outlet for expression. I think journaling, painting, singing, dancing or any form of artistic expression helps the heart to heal and grow.
Music soothes the savage beast, as well. Ever notice how some songs come on and you have an immediate emotional response? Those good vibrations are harmonically tied to your heart, making music a most valuable tool for feeling and dealing with the emotions. Taking long walks, getting fresh air, growing flowers and cleaning out closets often does your heart good. Forgiving the past and clearing up old emotional residue within can also make your heart lighter. If it’s a person you need to forgive so your heart can move on, write them a letter and don’t send it! Throw it in the toilet and flush. That way your heart knows you’re resolved to let it go and move on to a better state of true emotional well-being.
The Spirit: The seat of your soul, the life force that you embody, your connection to the “God-head,” your higher self. I think the spirit is the most often ignored and neglected part of most modern people because we don’t know how to attend to it regularly. Many people can no longer relate to organized religion or community and tribal beliefs. For others, agnosticism and atheism have blocked a connection to higher spiritual truths. Materialism and individualism also prevent many from bothering to invest in their spiritual growth. But still we yearn to believe in some greater wisdom to make sense of our lives. How do you address something you can’t see or touch? Can you feel or sense your spirit? You know when you see a breath-taking view, your spirit seems to soar and you are uplifted. Lifting up your outlook and mood and those of others is important spiritual work. That’s why it’s crucial to remain inspired, to believe in yourself and celebrate the good in others. If our spirits are high we know all will be well. When we feel our spirits sink, it’s hard to see the light.
Believing in something beyond you, trusting in what seems magical, having faith in the unseen and unknowable spirit behind all things helps us live the enlightened life. Regular prayer, meditation and other rituals and ceremonies of spiritual significance can help us connect to the “God” within. Inspiring and helping others with your gifts and talents can also lead you to experiencing freedom of spirit. Giving generously without expectation makes your spirit shine, too. Indulging your inner-child now and again can also bring you spiritual fulfillment. Buy yourself a toy or game or play hide and seek with your child, niece or nephew to lighten your load. Being silly, telling jokes or getting your giggles on always lifts your spirits. Take action and connect with that part of you that wanders and wonders. Talk to it; nurture it. You’ll be glad you did and curious to seek out more of that hidden aspect within, so powerful and intrinsic to your health and whole being.
The Means: The resources, income, investments and finances to properly manage your affairs and build wealth. This part of you extends to your job, career and ambitions, too. It can also include your education and knowledge, your travels and experiences and your creativity and sense of self-worth. Let’s not forget your money and how much it matters to you when you examine this part. If we neglect our financial worth and material needs we wind up impoverished and unable to help others or ourselves. If we pay careful attention to what we make and how we spend and invest it we can build great wealth and become paragons of prosperity.
Besides having a savings and retirement plan, a 401-K, stock portfolio or real estate investment we can use our finances to better the world and thus better ourselves. You can tithe a certain amount from each paycheck or dividend toward a worthy cause like disease research, feeding the hungry or saving animals or the environment. Or give to your favorite local charity or spiritual institution. People can be very funny about money – what they believe it means, how they feel about it and react to it. It means something different to everyone. For some it equals security, for some its a way to do good, for others it represents success and luxury and for some its a symbol of power or control.
Pay close attention to how money makes you feel and you’ll better understand your relationship with it. I like to do a specialized savings plan for enjoyment that I call “fun money.” I’ll take whatever money I have left in my wallet at the end of each week and put it into a sealed envelope and label it something like, “clothes shopping” or “road trip” and hide it. It gives me extra savings and something to look forward to even if I never spend it on my apparel or a vacation. It’s already marked and set aside so I no longer see it as disposable. It tricks me into saving more and gives me available funds for a rainy day or when I really need to have a good time. Try it and see if it helps you conserve the value of your dollar. It beats a penny jar any day and develops a worthy part of you! What you do to serve the world becomes your wealth so that part of you is money, baby!
The Masses: Yes, I mean people and more specifically, your relationships with them. People are a part of you! I’ll state it again; people are part of who and what you are, essential parts of your life. There’s no escaping it: from our knowledge and culture to our sense of society and self, we are defined by our relationships and our connections with other human beings. Our friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, co-creators, supporters, employers, employees, vendors, servicers, customers, clients, teachers, scholars, students, champions, inspirators, healers, guides, critics, authorities, celebrities, intermediaries and strangers and everyone else we meet are all part of our own living network. It is the company we keep that makes our world go ‘round.
We are each, in many profound ways, our brother’s keeper. Our good always comes from someone else’s hands. All the good we have to give we are meant to share, to serve, to benefit others. We live in an interdependent web and all parts affect the whole. If we fail to give we fail to receive. But if we take good care of each other and our relationships, the entire world is our oyster. Nowadays we’re more connected than ever through lightning fast social and mass media, smart phones, email and the miracle that is the Internet with blogs like the one you’re reading now. So why do so many people feel they’re disconnected or even isolated?
I think its because we don’t have enough “third places” or locations where people meet to carouse and unwind. We move from one box to another; racing from our car to our cubicle to our home or apartment to a computer or TV screen. We all have enjoyed social outlets like weddings, sporting events and parties but still much of what we do together socially involves watching screens, buying more stuff or eating too much. The focus of many social events is the entertainment, the distraction, the experience or the payoff. The people and their shared enrichment often get left out. Everyone also wants to be different, forgetting we are all the same inside. It puts a distance between people when they don’t know how much they have in common or if they feel they don’t need each other. We want to be politically correct, too, because people can get so offended and ignorance doesn’t help. We avoid getting involved with people in need because we don’t want to chance the drama. We gaze at our computers and forget to pay attention to the person sitting next to us. We’ve taught our kids to be even more distracted. Half the kids I meet can hardly make eye contact!
We are social creatures at our base and we need each other. In agrarian times people used to be part of farming communities tribal networks with unavoidable social intersections like going to church or town meetings, planting crops and harvesting, building shelters, keeping livestock and helping each other survive. It was impossible to be isolated unless you were a hermit. Now we can avoid each other with almost no effort at all. They say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Well, we’ve disintegrated and I feel the greater mass consciousness has suffered for it. How do we reconnect with people when everyone is caught up in their own private lives? Contact! Reconnecting with old friends and school chums can spark enriching relationships. Sending thank you cards to show your gratitude can help, too. Showing those you love and even perfect strangers that you care through good deeds is a way to reinforce your relationship with the world. Reach out and touch someone – with a compliment or a kind word, with some assistance or a shoulder to lean or cry on, by sharing a laugh or by lending a sympathetic ear of understanding. Such actions can help you and the world to have a better sense of your relationship.
Everything in life is a relationship – its all relative! You cannot make others treat you any better than you treat yourself. You can influence others by your good example but you can’t bend their will in how they relate to you. You only have power over how you relate to them, which is kind of a relief! Love, trust and please yourself and you wind up getting the same from others. It starts with you! Investing in your relationships will always bring you more enlightenment and improve the state of your body, mind, heart, spirit and the means to give back more. Give until you’ve given all you can. The smiles and thanks you receive in return are priceless!
We are all a part of a bigger picture but on the individual level we can make big changes that help us to improve our lives and help the world in doing so. No one has control over another person’s will but we can always control our own choices. The main things you can control are your state of mind, body, emotions, predominant thoughts and feelings, how you treat others and yourself and the decisions you make, the actions you take. That’s a lot of power! If you pay attention to the six sacred parts of you and apply your power of will to practice holistic routines a bit each day you will be enriched and enlightened more all the time and have a more peaceful, beautiful, happier, healthier, wealthier, wiser and more wonderful existence. Please let me know how your practice pays off. I bet you’ll have great news!