Does your body dominate your day? Are most of your actions body-focused? An example of this is working out: are you working out to become healthier, or in pursuit of a beach body? Both answers are ok if they are relatively equal in your mind. But if the beach body is the primary objective, it’s important to search within yourself for WHY.
The body is the container of the soul– the “vehicle” in which the soul rides throughout life. Yes, it is important to take care of this “vehicle.” You deserve to be physically well in your own unique way, get regular workouts, stay hydrated, and be nourished. In fact, by taking care of the body, we help the spirit to flourish. But wellness of our soul is equally important, and must not be forgotten about.
The body and the soul are a team. They are made to work together. Even in the case of comas, multiple sclerosis, or paralyzation, both the body and the soul need care and attention. A body may be getting physical therapy, but if the soul is not nurtured in the way it needs, the body heals slower and may not ever function as well. This is why therapy animals and therapeutic activities such as painting or listening to music are becoming more popular in extended medical care and injury recovery facilities.
I like to think of the the body as the younger sibling of the soul. The body tends to behave more primitively compared to the soul. Specifically, the body wants instant gratification; the soul wants to feel connected with something greater. This tension is exacerbated by the world we live in– common marketing tactics are essentially professional temptation, feeding into our body’s desire to feel good and our insecurities. Our modern Western food system seems to be all about right-now-tasty rather than long-term-nourishment. The fitness and fashion industries capitalize on directing our focus to our bodies and away from the bigger picture of life skills, cultivating love, and other ways to feed the soul.
Another way to consider the body and soul is body as a car, and soul as the driver. A car in motion without a driver– or with an intoxicated or inattentive driver– will move erratically. It may weave all over the road, or stop, or crash. Whereas a car with an attentive driver will get from point A to point B efficiently. Everyone’s point A, being born, is the same. Each of our point B is unique. It is up to us whether we want to have a conscious drive in between. Is your soul awake inside that car of yours?
Take time to stand up for your soul and balance your care of your soul and body. By nurturing your soul through regular meditation practice, enjoying the outdoors, spending time with upbeat friends, helping people in need, enjoying hobbies….the health and wellness of the body will begin to follow. The body is a wonderful vehicle and should be treasured. But that vehicle isn’t going anywhere fulfilling without a healthy soul in the driver’s seat!
Written by Aja Uranga-Foster, Holistic Life Coach