You are immortal. Your body is not.
When you were born, a new perspective was created. A part of our formless self (pure awareness) squeezed itself into a new form (your body) in order to have another unique experience of the infinite variations of physical existence. Seeing the world from your unique perspective, you became identified with your body and circumstances, and this became the basis of your character.
The mechanism of separation allows for the experience of relationship, one of the main purposes of life as more than one incarnation. The other main purpose is creation. You were created and you can create, and you can create things that can create other things themselves. So, the ultimate purpose of life is 3-fold: Experience, Relationship and Creation. You are succeeding in this in every single moment.
Your body will last a lifetime, and then it will die and rest in peace. Your consciousness will return from whence it came and you will once again be fully aware of the truth of who you are. In the meantime, while you are your physical incarnation, the most fulfilment you can have is to fully express your unique self. To that end, it is a good idea to do more of what you love to do and are naturally gifted at, and to take care of your body the way you would a pet.
Pets need the right food and clean drinking water, plenty of exercise and fresh air, an appropriately stimulating and clean habitat, and (depending on the pet) a certain amount of company and cuddles. Is your body getting its RDA of cuddles? Do you live in a home that nourishes your body, mind and soul? How often do you exercise and spend time in nature? Do you drink plenty of fresh, clean water every day?
The foods you eat affect not only your body but also your mind. Emotions are chemicals that are released by certain thoughts – such as stressful thoughts releasing adrenaline and noradrenaline into your body’s chemistry as part of the “fight or flight” response. In the same way, different foods will break down in your body and activate different chemical reactions. Some of these are beneficial to the body and mind, and some are not. The wrong foods can cloud the mind, attract stressful thoughts and activate negative emotions. The right foods for your particular body will promote positive feelings, peaceful thoughts and clarity of mind. This will, in turn, affect your physical health.
Another way the body can affect the mind is through exercise. Exercising the body releases endorphins, which are feel good chemicals. The flip side of this relationship can be found in the use of visualisation as part of athletic training. Athletes who visualise themselves performing their chosen sport to the best of their body’s ability have been shown to significantly improve in their actual performance.
A similar principle is applied in Laughter Yoga, where the body and mind are fooled into releasing happy chemicals by the gesticulations of smiling and laughing. It seems the body doesn’t know the difference between a real and a fake laugh or smile. Speaking of which, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, I’d say Love is even better for the body and the mind. I recently read that cuddling relieves anxiety and depression, and strengthens the immune system; and I’d well believe it, especially knowing what I know about Oxytocin (the love hormone).
While the effect of your physical well-being on your mental health is strong, the effect of the mind on the body is even stronger. Physical health is a good foundation for a happy mind, but the cultivation of a clear mind can lead to the most amazing physical and transcendental experiences of life. Doing this, you can bring more of your god-self into your physical manifestation, and increase the beneficial effect you exert over the Law of Attraction.
Happy Mind + Healthy Body = Wonderful Life.
First published in the spring 2013 issue of Positive Life magazine.