For me, good health involves all levels of the personality—the physical body, vitality, the emotions, the mind and the spirit. The body, emotions and mind are designed to function as an integrated unit. When they are harmonised, we experience a sense of wellbeing.To improve or maintain good health, the rate of our regeneration has to befaster than the rate of our degeneration. For this, we need to activate the Trinity of Power, which results in the virtue of good health.
Good health incorporates will-power, balanced with Love [emotions] and creative intelligence [mind]. In the Hindu philosophy, the Trinity mirrors Shiva [power], Vishnu [love] and Brahma[intelligence].
Why will-power matters
While emotions may bring a desire to change and the mind may generate images of a better future, we are not able to breakthrough negative habits and patterns that carry past expressions of thoughts and emotions forward—even if the patterns are no longer applicable toour life now.
To break through this barrier, you need the crucial booster rocket of will-power. It is the predictor of how likely you are to exercise, to follow a healthy diet, to avoid smoking and drinking or to meditate. Therefore, the level of your will-power is a good predictor for your overall fitness.
Will-power is the four wheel drive to pull you out of the past. After all, to live one's greatest life means to be able to give your all to whatever brings the deepest experiences of success and altruism leading to fulfilment in the present and future.
Difference between emotions and thoughts
There are two other aspects of personality that are not well understood—feelings and thoughts. Survey several people and you are likely to find they have difficulty differentiating these important components of the personality. How often do people respond to a question about how they 'feel' by telling you what they 'think'? On the other hand, how many people tell you what they 'feel' when you ask them what they 'think'?
So, what are emotions and feelings, versus thoughts and the mind?
The energy anatomy
Every person has an energy anatomy that is invisible to ordinary sight. This energy anatomy includes auras or fields of energy that are just beyond the physical body. The Etheric Aura serves as your battery for vitality and stamina.
The next, more refined layer is called the Emotional or Astral Aura. Feelings emanate from here at the emotional level of the human energy anatomy.
The Mental Aura lies beyond the emotional level and is responsible for thoughts.
Thus, thoughts and feelings involve two distinctly different parts of your personality and your energy anatomy.
The emotional aspect
The Astral Aura is an energy field comprising the substance of feelings. Greater emotional health fosters emotional intelligence expressed through love and devotion to others as well as to great ideals and goals accompanied by compassion and understanding. It is also a manifestation of the power of the heart that discriminates right from wrong, which is known as conscience.
The higher aspects of emotional intelligence are demonstrated in the power to lead. Influential leaders have the charisma to be liked by team members at all levels as well as by experts in their fields. A prime example of this would be Mother Teresa. She embodied the power of passion to help the poor, the courage to establish the Mother Teresa Foundation, and the determination and commitment to steer its success. Her personal charisma drew media attention around the world and magnetised influential supporters to help her mission.
The thought aspect
The mind is the mechanism or energy software to think. It produces thoughts and receives thoughts from others. The mental energy field or the mental aura is like a radio; it has seven different frequencies. The first four frequencies are lower frequencies. These form the concrete mind and are an aspect of the personality. The higher three frequencies form the abstract mind, which is part of the soul and is dormant in most people.
Let’s try some experiments. First, close your eyes and spend two minutes imagining you are drinking the juice of a lemon. Notice the response of your salivary glands. This is the effect the mind has on the body, even in the absence of a physical stimulus.
Now, close your eyes again. For two minutes, think of an adversary or someone who has hurt you. Again, analyse the effect on your physical body as well as your emotional reactions. Did you feel devitalised, depressed or agitated? Did your stomach or solar plexus respond? What was the effect on your heart rate?
For emotional and mental fitness
Internally criticising others is like throwing mud—you have to dirty your own hands first. In this case, it is your energy system that gets affected, and as we have seen through our experiments, even our physical body suffers.
So, to improve your overall fitness, you need to intentionally culture your emotions and mind with positive thoughts—it’s a hallmark of a person who has embarked upon a path of advanced development and evolution. It results in positive, powerful words and actions; better relationships ensue.
Research is often physical level-oriented focussing on its mechanical functions. However, unfolding the cause of much of the emotional and mental suffering in people lies beyond the physical body. Improving emotional and mental health inner aspects that can bring solutions. When you understand and incorporate strategies that benefit all your levels of functioning, you will experience a big change in your mental and emotional life and vitality.
Harnessing the power of Trinity
However, begin by physically exercising so you can boost your energy. Here’s a strategy to harness the power of the Trinity for good health. It takes only five minutes and generates a tremendous surge of physical power:
Step 1: Shoulder-Spine Stress Release
Releases tension in the abdominal area, upper body and spine.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale rapidly as you pull your arms towards the back with your head tilted backwards and your back arched.
- Exhale rapidly as you curl forward, chin in and bring your hands to the front.
This exercise slows down ageing, increases will-power and enhances blood and vitality circulation throughout your body. [Not recommended for people with knee problems.]
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale fully in the starting position.
- Exhale completely as you squat down.
- Inhale fully as you return to the starting position.
When practicing these physical exercises, it is important to intentionally direct the actions of your body with elegance and strength by focusing on your breath. Haphazard movements will not build the power needed to transform the emotions and mind.
Step 2: Synchronized Breathing Method
Synchronized Breathing Method, that I have developed, rapidly releases stress; calms the emotions and mind fast; and purifies and revitalises the auras and power centres. This activates and aligns the energy centres regulating emotional, mental and spiritual energies and faculties.
- Sit straight with your feet on the floor.
- Inhale fully and rapidly through the nose as you tilt your head back while inflating your abdomen.
- Exhale fully and rapidly through the mouth as you bow your head down while compressing your abdomen. Repeat 10 – 15 times.
- Return to the starting position. Relax and concentrate on your heart, mid-brow and top-of-head centres and breathe slowly for 30 seconds. Repeat steps 2 – 4 three times.
Now, you are ready to de-clutter the emotions and mind—essential for fitness at all levels.
Where forgiveness figures
Most people need to learn how to forgive and forget the negative past, especially traumas and bad experiences.
You can release past negative experiences easily after completing the Shoulder Spine Stress Release, the Expanding Squats and the Synchronized Breathing Method. As if this were the last day of your life, ask forgiveness from those you have hurt and grant forgiveness to those who have hurt you or are still hurting you. Try this:
- Make a list of people who have been hurt by you, and highlight the lesson[s] behind it.
- Also list people who have hurt you or are still hurting you, and summarise the lesson[s] behind the problem.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in front of an ocean. Inhale and exhale slowly and relax. As you exhale slowly, externalise all negative feelings and thoughts about any relationship issues as if the ocean were absorbing these discomforts like a magnet. Do this for about three minutes or until you feel better and calmer.
- Visualise all those who have been hurt by you, one at a time, and mentally ask for their forgiveness sincerely. Express inner apology and imagine yourself forgiven. Make a firm resolution not to commit the mistake again and imagine that the relationship is healed, reconciled or freed from disturbances.
- Visualise the people who have hurt you or are still hurting you, and express your forgiveness to them, one person at a time, as if this were your last chance to do so. Mentally give your inner advice or comments objectively, and imagine them taking the right actions or learning the proper attitudes.
- Mentally say the following affirmation at least three times:
I am a being of love and kindness.
As I ask for compassion, I show compassion.
As I ask for forgiveness from people whom I’ve hurt,
I give forgiveness to anybody who has hurt me.
Let all be completely forgiven. Let all be free. So it is!
Do this exercise few times a week to make the new positive emotional and mental programmes permanent. And teach this technique to others who would benefit from it, including your children. By following this practice in work settings, your attitude can be mirrored by both subordinates and superiors.
While a reconciliation process is almost always required, the first step has to start with the good intention to forgive both yourself and the other person. When the situation that caused the problem is understood, detachment follows, and forgetting the experiences and traumas follows naturally and spontaneously.
When you clear emotional and mental clutter, spiritual growth becomes inevitable. Enlightenment does not come from sitting in meditation and hoping you will grow. Evolution towards a greater light is a gradual undertaking that involves growth and maturity of the incarnated personality to use the body, emotions and mind properly to contribute to life from a local to global influence.
Fostering and harnessing will-power, and purifying the emotional and mental auras by forgiving others and yourself, leads to better health, more cultured thoughts and actions, improved relationships and deeper satisfaction on all levels of your life. It is an essential aspect of flying with two strong wings, one spiritual and one material that brings health, fitness and fulfilment enabling you to create a positive legacy with your life.
True health includes physical body and vitality.
Good health is one of the most important virtues a person can possess. Without it, discipline, altruism, benevolence, sacrifice of the mundane for a noble cause, and even group consciousness are hard to sustain. Success becomes more difficult to achieve and fulfilment is even more distant. This is why I proclaim good health as a virtue. For me, good health is not only the absence of physical maladies or discomforts—it is complete physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
One of the most important factors to attain bodily health is physical fitness. Yet, many people think of exercise as something they will do in the future if they want to shed a few pounds or to help them age more gracefully. In a culture where tiring commutes, long work days and quick meals taken at the desk are commonplace, many people are almost exclusively focused on their career goals. On the spiritual side, many practices traditionally encouraged the renunciation of the body in favour of the spirit.
Why are physical fitness and health so important? When a person is sick with cancer or uncontrolled diabetes for example, or if s/he is depressed and suffering from emotional pain, it is difficult to exercise, meditate, or muster the power of the will. Talent, university degrees, family and things that once brought pleasure are of little consequence if someone is bedridden or their time and attention are consumed by getting from one health appointment to the next. It is as if life shrinks and what once brought a sense of meaning or purpose is eclipsed by the need to focus on the issues of the body.
Thus, true health and fitness includes the physical body and vitality. Researchers report that everything—from your experience of anxiety or depression, to your risk of type-II diabetes and heart disease—improves with a regime of moderate exercise undertaken several times a week.
You need to follow some dos and don’ts for maintaining physical fitness such as avoiding addictive substances like tobacco, alcohol and misuse of drugs. Dos include having a balanced diet and taking adequate rest. Doing the Synchronized Breathing Method before going to bed helps you sleep deeply even if you only have a few hours to rest. Along with de-cluttering the emotions and the mind, it is also important to clean and organise your physical space, and then to maintain that sense of order as part of the rhythm of daily life.
All of this serves as the backdrop for daily physical exercise, which could be of only five minutes a day [like the exercises explained earlier]. The exercises are effective because they co-ordinate physical movements with deep breathing.
Incorporating activities that can improve your physical stamina and health is like engaging a four-wheel drive car up a mountain; reaching the summit is much easier. With increased physical fitness, everyone can experience a greater sense of wellbeing on every level.
A version of this article was first published in the April 2010 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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