Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eat To Live ... Cultivating the vitality to lead functional lives

There is a feeling of "emptiness" that will not go away despite the acquisition of all the material stuff we think will make us happy. This persistent sense of emptiness reinforces the reality that our bodies and our souls both hunger for nourishment. Notice that I said nourishment, not just food. The error that we make in seeking to satisfy the emptiness we feel both physically and spiritually, is that we fill ourselves up with stuff that does not nourish us. Our propensity to yield to the overabundance of ‘junk’ to the detriment of our bodies and our souls is a pitfall that we must avoid at all cost. The harm that we cause ourselves may not ultimately be irreversible, but it denies us the vitality we need to lead fully functional lives on a continuous basis.

Proper nourishment of our selves requires that we be knowledgeable about how our bodies and souls work together to establish the equilibrium that makes us thrive as whole persons. When we understand how our bodies work, we are able to more intelligently address the question of what we need to put in them so that they serve us optimally. The same applies to our souls; we need to be very careful about the spiritual and intellectual influences to which we expose ourselves.  Seeking appropriate nourishment of body and soul as a daily act must become a priority in order for us to experience the fulfillment we desire. We must be careful about what we put into ourselves. It is absolutely vital then that we discriminate between what we really need ... and what is being served.

To avoid spiritual/physical obesity/malnutrition there is a dictate we must remember... eat to live! This is important. Unfortunately, too many of us live to eat. As a result of this we develop our many problems with leading really robust, functional, healthy lives. Poor decision-making and general over-indulgence are powerful lubricants on the slippery slope of impaired living. The habits that come with ignoring the essential ingredients of a healthy existence impairs our minds and bodies. Ultimately, we do ourselves no good by filling ourselves with stuff that does not truly nourish us.

Robust, functional, healthy living is a function of quality nutritional input. This is as true for the cultivation of vibrant healthy bodies as it is for the cultivation of viable spiritual lives. Don't sit in front of the TV all day long soaking up all the stuff that is being served via the news and other warped cultural phenomena. Choose what you watch and listen to with the aim in mind of improving your mental health. When was the last time you read an uplifting book? Don't consume stuff just because of the powerful suggestions that are used to sell to you. Remember the old saying - Not all that glitters is gold.  Buy a good cookbook and learn to cook yourself and your loved ones healthy meals. A fast food sandwich won't make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex despite what that commercial portrays. How about a good garden salad made from fresh organic ingredients? Drink some water. Go for a walk. At the end of the day, our ability to endure the challenges of this life is as dependent on a robust physicality, as it is on a viable spirituality.

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