I subscribe to “Spirituality & Health” magazine, a bi-monthly publication exploring the dimensions of spirit and body and the connections between those aspects of our existence.
The latest issue (Sept/Oct. 2014) is devoted to food, our health and wellbeing in relation to our nourishment, how and what we eat and how that affects us spiritually as well as physically. It also features a guest editor. On reading her editorial, I initially felt invalidated, swiftly followed by feeling irritated and resistant to both the article and author. Am I really that clueless, unaware and uncaring about food?
I love to read about new information, ideas and awareness, but I am also acutely sensitive to how that information is imparted. As a result, when I resist some area of information or new ideas, I will look for the source of that resistance. Is it a deeply-rooted concept of mine that is being challenged? Or am I being preached to by someone who feels they have “the answer”?`
I, myself, have done my fair share of eye-rolling at a person or people’s apparent lack of knowledge or awareness about an issue near and dear to my heart, and so I understand that “holier than thou” mindset, very often stemming from a focused devotion to a passion or cause.
And so, I moved beyond my irritation and resistance to the article and editor in question, and was able to see someone passionate about a cause that, for her, could possibly change the entire course of the world and solve all our problems if we would just wake up.
Balance is what came to mind, yet again……
Without passion, focus and devotion to new ideas, causes or advances, nothing would change. We would still be back in the dark ages!
We need people who push the envelope, champion for change, boldly brandish radical new ideas, as much as we need those who vehemently object to “looking outside the box”, who hold firmly to what appears to have worked for centuries. For somewhere between those polar opposites, we find balance, harmony and peace and a sustainable level of growth for the human race as a whole.
Instead of putting down my magazine, I continued to flip through the pages, scanning or reading the articles and information presented within.
Then I came across a short paragraph written by Thich Nhat Hanh which caught my attention. It said, “Your body is not yours alone. It belongs to your ancestors, your parents, future generations, and to society and all other living beings. All of them have come together to bring about the presence of this body. Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos. If you are healthy physically and mentally, all of us will benefit.”
I was intrigued by this perspective. In part because I spend much of my time teaching or counseling students and clients how to claim ownership of their physical body, releasing energy that is not theirs, separating from ancestral, family and cultural programming. And yet I also teach and counsel that we are all inter-connected, part of the whole, originating from one source whatever you choose to call that – God, the Supreme Being, the Creator, the Big Bang, a higher power…..
And so, once again, balance came to mind….. the balance between separation and connection, a point in time and space that is continually shifting.
I have no doubt that debates on opposite ends of the spectrum, polar opposites will continue to rage across the globe be they about religion, politics, the health of the planet, natural resources or the like. For that is what helps us learn and grow.
My hope is that the more we grow and learn, the more we will see that those polar opposites are not really so far apart. Could Creationism and Evolution actually exist together in harmony, rather than be contradictory to each other? Isn’t one a physical perspective and the other a spiritual concept?