You don’t have a spiritual life, you are a spiritual life. – Rob Bell
At the very core of my convictions, I whole heartily believe this. This has major repercussions that I am still working out in my own life.
Some people compartmentalize their life. They have their work life, their family life, their hobby life, and their spiritual life. This is helpful to be able to examine the different areas of one’s life and reflect on how they are finding meaning in each area. That being said, this can easily lead one to see life as distinct from spirituality. I think this is a mistake.
All of life, every aspect, is spiritual.
Your work is spiritual, your family is spiritual, your school is spiritual, taking care if kids is spiritual, doing laundry is spiritual, grocery shopping is spiritual, and yes…cooking is spiritual. In fact, the table may be seen as an altar that binds people maybe more than any other act. Think of it, deep relationships are often built by eating together and sharing stories.
Health is spiritual.
Health is not separate from spirituality, but it is part of who your are as a spiritual being. I’m not at all against western medicine, but one of the things I find most compelling about naturopathic medicine, is that at it’s core it correctly understands that everything is connected – your nutrition, exercise, sleep, work, stress, and overall happiness not only affects your attitude, but it affects your mental state and your overall well being including health. Naturopathic medicine looks at the whole person and seeks to bring about healing in a holistic way.
As I am learning about health, how my individual body reacts to certain foods, what is most nutritious for me to eat and not eat, and learning how to be disciplined in these areas (work in progress), I am learning that this is a spiritual act. In fact, it may be one of the most spiritual acts a person can do and this is why.
The best gift you can give to the world is you.
You can offer a healthy, whole you, or you can offer an unhealthy, broken you. Of course we are always a work in progress, and I don’t think we ever fully arrive, but I think you would agree with me that there are clearly healthy people and unhealthy people – and that can be understood on a number of different levels (emotional health and maturity is also impacted by physical health).
I have talked to a number of different people lately who have shared their journey to becoming more healthy and how that has changed their life. This has inspired me and made me more passionate. I have a conviction that one’s overall health is a deeply spiritual thing. Depression, anxiety, stress, fear, heaviness, motivation, can all be helped by living a more healthy lifestyle.
We live in a culture that is working against us in this way. Our lives are so busy and the fastest cheapest food is often garbage. Who hasn’t been in a hurry to get somewhere and grabbed the quickest thing? Becoming a healthy person is a process and it takes time, but I believe it is one of the most worthwhile endeavors we will make. In the process, I think it’s important to take small steps and celebrate these. I think it is also important not to judge others or look down upon them, we don’t know their circumstances, history, or story. You are trying to be the best you. You are not trying to be better than someone else.
My hope in writing this is that it helps you realize the spirituality of health, and I hope it may inspire you to make small changes. This is not a selfish act, in fact it is just the opposite. Becoming a more healthy person is, I believe, one of the most beneficial things for our world. We need more healthy and whole people. We need you to be the best, healthiest person you can be.