Come, said my Soul
Such verses for the Body let us write. (for we are one,)
Wellness. Mind/Body/Spirit. Soul.
In an attempt to heal and find balance from what has been a difficult time nationally, and to a lesser extent, personally, I determined to read beauty. Yes, read beauty. I got this far. First line, first poem in Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”. Seriously. I had such lofty reading plans, and I have spent a few days on THIS ONE LINE.
In my experience (for that is all I have) mind/body/spirit (or the SOUL as the aggregate of all three shall be referred to) are. not. separate. They just aren’t. And it’s somewhat damaging and even dangerous to attempt to isolate each.
I spent the majority of my 46 years attempting and thinking I could isolate my mind from body from spirit. There was church, there was school, and there was food/exercise. (this is a gross simplification, but you get my meaning).
I have worked and lived within groups and cultures that tend to have a lot of obesity. Mormon women and Teachers. I have my suspicions as to why this is. AND YES, I realize I am painting with a very broad brush, if this does not apply, COOL. These are simply my observations and opinions. My sandbox, my rules.
- we*** don’t drink, so dammit, we need carbs (this is the Mormon subset, teachers, I have discovered, drink like fish)
- we*** tend to place extremely high standards for self, and are total stress cases as a result
- we*** have a million babies (again, the Mormon subset)
- we***give and serve and fill everyone around us, and this is exhausting and stressful. AND, stress makes you fat. (seriously, google it)
- we*** think focus on body/self is “selfish”
- we***also tend to be subject to ambivalent sexism, which will make anyone overeat, but that’s just me talking.
With all of this physical dysfunction, we*** still fool ourselves into thinking we are fully functioning spiritually and mentally.
***I say “we”, because although I am no longer a practicing Mormon, I lived, breathed, and ate the culture for most of my life. As such, this culture is a part of who I am.
This is NOT unique to Mormon women and Teachers, but that’s my experience, so there you go.
I offer this: When I had (or continue to have) a broken body, it is a very outward indicator that I also suffer a broken spirit and mind. Feel free to rotate body/mind/spirit into any position in the previous sentence.
You are totally free to tell me to fuck off. You can tell me that you can weigh 300 lbs, or rely on multiple prescription drugs, or not be able to walk around the block without pain, or exhibit any other multitude of chronic physical illnesses and ailments, and still have a fully healthy and joyous mind and spirit. And I would call bullshit.
Because, as Whitman said: We are one.
(I love it when Whitman agrees with me, makes me feel somewhat intelligent.)
Perhaps, for ONE day, or even ONE hour, before engaging in any activity or ingesting any substance, ask: “How will this affect my SOUL?” And act accordingly.
For me? This probably means less social media, more dirt, and some hugging.
Light and Love,
Big (bossy) Laura