If I had to write something short and poignant that effectively explained the connection between the mind, body and spirit I would give up before I began. I am still years away from understanding that let alone explaining it simply. However my life has taught me that these three are tightly woven together in each individual and it is impossible for one to fail without effecting the other two. And on the opposite I think success in one area can lead to success in the other two areas. Lets say you are really digging in spiritually, then I think the Holy Spirit may get after you about your physical health. Or if you study the intricacies of the human body, how could you not wonder about a creator? And finally many extremely intelligent atheists have found God just by voraciously digging for truth, God is at the bottom of any quest for truth if you dig long enough. These three areas cannot be ignored as you go through life and proper care of these three areas leads to successful living.
We all know that we should eat fruits and veggies, get adequate cardio and give a portion of our day to relating to God. We should, but so often we don’t, and then when we don’t do what we know that we should, we find ourselves in guilt-land. And no one enjoys a visit to guilt-land, it’s the suckiest vacation destination of the century. So for me the obvious question is how do I transition from should to do in these three areas? I already know that I will be happier, wiser and healthier if I do. Every aspect of my life will benefit from this and so will everyone around me, then why is it so freaking hard to do what we should?
As for why it’s so hard, the answer is simply that we are bent away from success and happiness by a flawed and sinful human nature. You know when you get a shopping cart at the grocery store that insists on veering left and running into every end cap display? Well that’s you. You are that cart, completely geared to veer. One alignment will not fix this issue, you need daily tune ups otherwise you will knock over displays of Corn Pops and Tuna Helper like they are target practice.
So that’s why it is hard, so now how do you do it? Well it’s a choice just like everything else, but to set yourself up for success I have found three things helpful. Knowledge, community, and prayer. If you want to be a healthier, wiser person who is closely connected to God and his truth you have to make yourself aware of how to be successful and what to avoid. This means reading, and googling and discovering some new truth. The second part is community, talk to some people who seem to be embodying authentic (key word) success in these areas and ask them what they do. It is silly to try to reinvent the wheel, God made us to help each other so swallow your pride and talk to someone who is farther along the journey than you. And thirdly is prayer, you have got to continuously talk to God and ask him to give you strength and resolve. Remember you are geared to veer so be faithful and if you fall keep getting up.
And a bonus lesson. I was once talking with a dear lady in a recovery ministry who gave me one of the best advice I have ever heard. “Don’t should on yourself.” Because you can’t gain anything from dwelling on should. You can only make new choices now.