***Holidays originates from Holy Days, a time for spiritual reflection***
Life is far too complex to compartmentalize your activities into three broad categories. But it may be helpful to consider the motive behind all your endeavors and the ultimate benefit you derive as it relates to your Mind, Body and Soul. Because if you are living your life with purpose, you will aspire to focus on the following: 1) Challenging the Mind, 2) Nourishing the Body and 3) Feeding the Soul.
These are not mutually exclusive as many activities are interconnected with a collective combination. But to be mindful of your actions can help successfully achieve proper balance among these three critical qualities as it’s easy to pivot to an extreme in our daily lives. An obvious example is the workaholic who buries himself in a career – he may be challenging his mind in projects and meetings but neglecting time for proper diet and exercise. At some point, he may find himself perched atop the ivory tower, only to realize how empty his life is despite professional success. It is, indeed, lonely at the top and he may feel like a lost soul.
There are countless examples of extreme behavior which ultimately leads to our detriment. We all need balance in our lives and the more obvious paths are discovering new ways to challenge the Mind or nurture the Body, such as taking on a new hobby or exercise regimen, respectively. The Mind and Body are more in the forefront of our awareness too so, in the spirit of the holidays, allow me to focus on Feeding the Soul.
A cynic would describe this time of year – cold nights and dormant days of winter – as plunging into the depths of despair. And yet, ironically, the holiday song reminds us It’s the most wonderful time of the year. In the shadow of darkness, how can we possibly claim to find light?
The holidays are festive because we traditionally use this time to Feed the Soul. It is a time to reflect, to slow our fast paced lives and be with loved ones, to reconnect with our religious/spiritual beliefs. The world around us purposely slows down, ultimately coming to a grinding halt on Christmas Day, allowing us to focus our attention on spending quality time with family and friends and being more active with church and community. Holidays originally morphed from the term Holy Days, signifying a time for spiritual reflection, to come together and Feed the Soul (sadly, most of us are more concerned with Feed the Body!). But the key is to be mindful of all this and fully embrace it, acknowledge that you are enjoying time to nurture your inner spirit and seek comfort with purpose. We all need to warm our hearts through the human connection and rich sense of community and now is the time so don’t deprive yourself of this important necessity. We have precious few opportunities to nourish our Soul.
Once the holiday hangover kicks in, try to continue your desire to Feed the Soul. Your work schedule may demand more time to Challenge the Mind and your bathroom scales most certainly will remind you to Nurture the Body, but remember to proactively find ways to warm your heart. Managing our relationships with friends and family is a year-round endeavor, but walking your dog, volunteering in your community or hiking in nature touches your soul too. Creating awareness and being mindful to carve out time daily for activities that feed your soul are imperative to a healthy lifestyle.
So, for now, raise a glass and break some bread with your loved ones and appreciate this precious time to Feed the Soul. A healthy lifestyle is a delicate balancing act but the time is now to let the scales tip towards nourishing your soul during these Holy Days.