We invite you to consider the contributions of every aspect of your being to your health and healing – in body, emotions, mind, relationships (with other people and with the environment) and spirit. This holistic healing is a very complex interweaving of various levels of our awarenesses of the world and of our interactions with the world. Each level can contribute to the development of dis-ease and disease and can provide wholistic approaches for assessments, self-healings, plus caregiver conventional and complementary/alternative treatments and healings. Each of these levels may need attention individually for healing to occur, and at the same time each is intimately related with all of the others – so that several levels may need to be addressed in order for insights and changes to occur.
In Western society we have subdivided the house of our being in which we live into rooms that are, in truth, completely interconnected. Yet many of us choose to live in one or several of our inner holistic rooms and rarely, if ever, to visit the others. Some of us have lived for so long in our restricted habitats of upbringing or choice that we have forgotten what the others are like. Some have even come to find the other rooms so strange that they doubt or deny they could exist.
Our holistic definition is intended to broaden both the awareness of how problems arise on various levels of our being, and to open doorways to achieving wholeness through each of these holistic healing levels. Ideally, we will eventually come to a place where fully integrative care is increasingly offered – to include conventional medical wisdom with holistic modalities that are used with wholistic healing awareness.
The functions and interactions of these holistic levels are enormously complex. The poetic and humorous counterpointing quotes below help to highlight and bridge these complexities – which are to a great extent artifacts of our limited, left-brained, analytic ways of describing the full essence of our whole beingness. We’ve subdivided whole people into many sub-categories that are convenient for discussion, research and therapeutic sub-specialties, but which distort the underlying holistic realities of our existence.
CLICK ON THE BARS BELOW for more on each level of Holistic Healing
Body is subject to problems from many causes: congenital, infectious, metabolic, traumatic, allergic, toxic, degenerative, neoplastic, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual.
Physical conditions may influence psychological states and alter relationships. Conversely, emotions and thoughts have strong effects upon the body, particularly when we ignore or repress them.
Changing the body directly without intellectual understanding is the fastest way to help a person change. When the body changes, the mind, emotions and social ways change…
– Jaentra Green Gardener
Body may influence relationships with other people through changes in hormones, pain and other symptoms. Satisfaction of our sexual and procreative needs are primary, moving forces in human nature that draw us into relationships and bond us together.
Our striving for body comforts and physical safety lead us to seek to control our environment. Modern society has chosen power over the environment rather than learning to live in harmony with the environment, as Native/ Indigenous peoples do.
If it’s war between man and nature, I’m on man’s side. But must it be war?
– Ashleigh Brilliant
Physical problems often lead us to spiritual awareness through prayer and healing. Intuitive/psychic awarenesses, near-death experiences and peak experiences during sports may open our spiritual awareness. Particularly around the end of our own physical life and the lives of family and friends, we are moved to seek spiritual explanations for our physical existence.
Spirit is matter seen in a stronger light.
– L. P. Jacks
Wholistic care can address the physical body with touch, massage, bioenergy interventions conventional Western medications, hormones, surgery, and genetic manipulations.
Wholistic care can address the biological energy (bioenergy) body with bioenergy healing, acupuncture and its derivatives, homeopathic medications, flower essences, craniosacral therapy/ cranial osteopathy and other bioenergy interventions.
Emotions are feeling responses to inner and outer experiences.
Our emotions may influence our body through our nervous system, stress hormones, and behaviors. Specific emotions may produce positive sensations and experiences in our bodies, and may promote health – as in love, contentment, joy, satisfaction, gratitude, enthusiasm, happiness, peace, compassion and elation may calm our body. Negative emotions may stress our body, as in irritation, frustration, tiredness, anger, traumas, sadness, grief, comfort eating, food cravings, and substance use and abuse. Negative emotions get our body ‘wound up.’
With chronic negative emotions we may develop hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, addictions and more. Addressing our negative emotions facilitates healings of these problems
Emotions are also stored in the body and may be expressed through the body. This is why we may literally develop a pain in the neck when we are suffering from a relationship with someone whom we call a pain in our neck, or may develop stomach problems when we are always swallowing down our feelings.
Much illness is unhappiness sailing under a physiologic flag.
– Rudolf Virchow
A little, caring touch or hug when you’re expressing empathy, sympathy, regret, sorrow or condolences can touch the heart as you touch the body.
Our mind may soothe and perk up our emotions through focusing upon satisfaction, self-praise, setting and achieving goals and other positivities. Our mind may wind up our emotions by generating anxieties, fretting, worries, negative memories or anticipations, irritations, jealousy, disappointments, regrets, self-criticisms and low self-esteem.
Emotions may influence or trigger mind to respond according to mind’s beliefs and habits from past experiences. Negative emotions are often buried in our unconscious awareness. Though emotions are buried, our unconscious mind is very much aware of them. The Unconscious mind stands on guard to distance and protect us from anything that might rattle the emotional skeletons in its closets. For instance, we may stay away from angry men or even from all men as a way to avoid awakening buried feelings of hurt from negative experiences with a man in the past. The challenge for mind is to identify and to deal with traumas that set up our distorted or exaggerated emotional responses that were born in traumas but are no longer needed in today’s better and safer circumstances.
Wholistic healing can help mind and emotions through counseling/ psychotherapy, self-healing, spiritual healing, homeopathic medications, flower essences, craniosacral therapy/ cranial osteopathy, acupuncture and its derivatives, and other wholistic healing approaches.
Much of the above may require hard work on our part. In many cases, before we find the solutions to our traumas and other emotional problems, rather than finding solutions for understanding and controlling this heart, we may have no recourse but to honor its mysteries and continue our lives as emotionally walking wounded beings.
Emotions color our relationships with other people. When we are in harmony with ourselves and others, we experience positive emotions. When we are in disharmony with others, our relationships with others often stimulate us to awareness of our emotions and theirs. Strong emotional responses are stimuli to explore our past emotional experiences and our inner rules about relating to people – often exposing inner fears that block us from being in the now; awakening us to see and hear others as they really are; and leading us to reassess how we may be behaving according to inner rules we established long ago for handling our emotions.
Emotions are stirred and manipulated by politicians for their own ends. They may inflame us to go to war or lull us into accepting illogical solutions that line their pockets.
Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
– Source unknown!
Modern civilization can survive only if it educates the heart,
which is the source of wisdom,
for modern man is now far too clever to survive without wisdom.
– E. F. Schumacher
Nature speaks to us of spirit. The beauty of nature and the pathos of erosion of natural resources and environmental devastation stir our feelings and call to us for healing our planet.
I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me. For I am the Soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return. Let May worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold – all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
Charge of the Goddess, Traditional prayer,
adapted by Doreen Valiente and Starhawk
Spirit moves us towards quiet awarenesses or to epiphanies of resonation with the transcendent, as we respond through our emotions to inner and outer experiences in our lives. Spiritual upliftment may make difficult and challenging emotional problems more tolerable. We tacitly acknowledge this in our language, as the origins of the word ‘heal’ are in the Germanic and Old English roots of haelen, “to make whole.” This is likewise the same root for “holy.”
The heart is a mystery – not a puzzle that can’t be solved,
but a mystery in the religious sense: unfathomable,
beyond manipulation, showing traces of the finger of God at work.
– Thomas Moore
I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise
Of ordinary people leading ordinary lives,
Filled with love, compassion, forgiveness and sacrifice.
Heaven’s in our hearts.
– Tracy Chapman
Mind organizes our perceptions and understandings of the world. Many of mind’s basic assumptions and conceptual building blocks are laid down by a child, and these become our default beliefs and operating systems for the rest of our lives.
The vast majority of mind’s capacities are unconscious. Mind has the self-observing abilities to realize that its rules for living may be only partially accurate or actually faulty, and to learn new ways of dealing with inner and outer worlds. People’s abilities to activate this ‘observing ego’ vary enormously. Many are completely unaware of the fact that they are blinkered or blind in various situations to vital aspects of their body, emotions, mind, relationships and/or spirit.
Mind works closely with emotions. Mind may help sort out emotional responses, deciding how much we allow of our feelings into conscious awareness; how much external expression to give them; whether we ask for help in dealing with them; and learning lessons about ourselves through our emotions.
There is a wisdom of the Head, and…a wisdom of the Heart.
Mind can express itself in cerebral language and concepts, or in heart-felt awarenesses. The mind of heart is much more likely to connect in healing, caring ways with others who are in distress, and to activate their innate, self-healing potentials. Mind of heart also knows about our issues and about the world at large intuitively.
Mind of head is often essential in sorting out the clues of diagnosis and ways forward with remedies and treatments for healings.
Body participates in memory, often storing detailed recall of traumas and responses to experiences in muscles, tendons, the immune system and in other cells and tissues.
Meditation, contemplation and prayers may calm and soothe the mind when it is agitated or overwhelmed. Regular practice of meditation disciplines the mind to stay centered, offering the meditator more stability in weathering the storms of life.
Mind can plan and program healing activities on many levels.
CHECK OUT HOW IT FEELS WHEN YOU:
Deliberately look for occasions to smile and laugh with people, and for ways to compliment and thank people sets up warm fuzzy vibrations for you and for others.
Make it a family ritual to acknowledge three happy things from your day in the evening, and list three happy things in the morning that you’re looking forward to for that day. See how this can set your expectations in a positive direction.
Mind and emotions are often activated and motivated by relationships – through the feedback of nurturing and positive interactions or of hard knocks. Relationships shape our mind. During childhood, we acquire our rules for living from our family, community and culture. In many cases these rules are healthy and nurturing, but in some cases they are counter-productive and self-defeating.
Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man.
I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. As a result, there shines forth fleetingly the ever-threatened truth that each and every man, on the foundation of his own suffering and joys, builds for all.
– Albert Camus
Mind has sought forever to understand the mysteries of Nature. Mind, distanced from spirit, fears death, and the unpredictability of Nature heightens these fears. In recent centuries, mind has turned itself towards dominating Nature, in the belief that human understanding would lead to better control over the unpredictability of Nature and greater safety for humanity from the variability in nature that includes storms, floods, famines and numerous diseases. To a significant extent, mind succeeded in mitigating many of these dangers. But the collective mind of humanity has not been wise enough to live within the limits of natural resources and has not respected the needs of our planet for maintaining a stable environment that is supportive to life.
]Mind must open again to the oneness of all sentience within Nature – humanity being but a small part of the whole of Gaia, our planet, and the universe beyond.
The fact that…humanity does not understand nature is the prime reason for humanity’s failure to exercise its option to attain universally sustainable physical success on this planet … I am confident that humanity’s survival depends on all our willingness to comprehend feelingly the way nature works.
– Buckminster Fulleer
Mind is challenged to sort out beliefs that separate us from the ALL, to find truths that serve our highest good individually and collectively, and to guide us to the path that is of highest good for all.
Yes, my child, go out into the world; walk slow
And silent, comprehending all, and by and by
Your soul, the Universe, will know
Itself: the Eternal I.
– Jane Goodall
Individual minds may connect intuitively, functioning as a collective consciousness.
Mind can contribute to spirit through prayers, intent and dedication to healing of the All. Mind seeks to understand what life is about and may learn through linear reasoning or heart wisdom. Spirit informs mind, for the most part through whispered intuitions but sometimes through the thunder and lightning of major revelations, as in near death experiences.
What is arising now is not a new belief system,
a new religion, spiritual ideology, or mythology.
We are coming to the end not only of mythologies
but also of ideologies and belief systems.
The change goes deeper than the content of your mind, deeper than your thoughts.
In fact, at the heart of the new consciousness
lies the transcendence of thought, a newfound ability of rising above thought,
of realizing a dimension within yourself
that is infinitely more vast than thought.
– Eckhart Tolle
While conventional medicine and science view the brain as the origin of mind, and spirit as merely a product of mind’s beliefs, wholistic healing perceives the brain and mind are a radio/ TV receiver for individual telepathic, clairvoyant and precognitive awarenesses and for collective consciousness. There is impressive scientific research confirming these intuitive abilities, but many of those who are locked into conventional beliefs disparage and dismiss this research out of hand. They call themselves skeptics but most are actually disbelievers who are unaware of the research on intuition and don’t want to know anything about it. An outside validation of this research can be found in the fact that the US Parapsychological Association (PA) has been accepted as a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1968.
Mind of heart extends beyond the collective consciousness of our planet, connecting us with cosmic spirit, and is a transmitter for each pixel’s participation on the ginormous screen of the All.
This pure Mind, which is the source of all things, shines forever with the radiance of its own perfection. But most people are not aware of it and think that the Mind is just the faculty that sees, hears, feels, and knows. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing they do not perceive the radiance of the source.
Relationships with other people provide lessons – through each of the wholistic levels – in offering and giving of ourselves; and in asking and receiving on all levels of our being.
Relationships with other people may influence the body, calming it or stimulating stress reactions. People who are in nurturing relationships with other people and with animal companions heal more quickly from illnesses and injuries and live longer.
Touch, a friendly massage, emotional support and encouragement can contribute to relaxation, body harmony and healing.
At first, it seemed the only thing they had in common was heart disease. But over time we began to realize that many of them had something else in common: an emotional or spiritual heart disease. By that I mean the sense of loneliness, isolation, and alienation that I think is epidemic in our culture.
– Dean Ornish
Relationships stimulate us to emotional responses that arise from memories and habits born of previous relationships. These reactions may be grossly out of line with our current-life experiences with others. Such exaggerated or inappropriate responses invite us to delve into our emotional past (in this life and previous lives) to clear old patterns of behaviors and responses that are no longer appropriate.
Our individual emotions also join in a collective consciousness that contributes to collective, species-wide and planetary-wide experiences. For instance, when many humans have suffered traumas – leaving residues of hurt, fear, grief, anger, betrayal and other feelings – there can be a collective post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that leads humanity as a group to be abusers of each other and of our planet.
What counts in making a happy relationship
is not so much how compatible you are,
but how you deal with incompatibility.
– Daniel Goleman
We are born into a family and develop further relationships with others who are friends, colleagues and opponents in this spiritual school that we call life. Our lessons are endless in their varieties of content and form, but the common denominators are the challenges to overcome negative, angry, hateful, vengeful relationships and to establish, build and strengthen positive, loving, caring, healing, forgiving and accepting ones.
Relationships with other individuals are mirrors, helping us perceive, experience and understand ourselves better. Points of friction and points of harmony in these relationships invite us to consider contributions to our present experiences that are made by residues of earlier experiences in our current and past lives – the journey of our spirit through many lifetimes, each of which is a course of learning.
We generate our own environment.
We get exactly what we deserve.
How can we resent a life we’ve created ourselves?
Who’s to blame, who’s to credit but us?
Who can change it, anytime we wish, but us?
– Richard Bach
Relationships awaken awareness of spirit. Spirit grows in experience and wisdom as we learn ever more deeply about ourselves. Spirit guides us in creating and processing relationships, in concert with other spirits in our soul group and with higher levels of guidance, on our paths of learning and serving our higher purposes.
Synchronicities in relationships – meeting the right person at exactly the right time and place, or having the perfect solution to our problems arrive unbidden – are invitations to awaken to deeper awarenesses of our place in the universe, and to consider the plans of the Infinite Source and our collective consciousness.
[nbsp][/nbsp]Continued relationships with the spirits of people who have transitioned from physical life to the afterlife are reported by two out of three people who were asked, after someone close to them had died, whether they ever saw, heard or had a strong sense of their presence. The authors reporting this research in the American Journal of Psychiatry dismiss these as anything more than aspects of a psychological grief reaction. But if you ask someone who has lost a person close to them whether they had such an experience, you will be doing them a great favor, as many of them hesitate to mention this to anyone, lest they be thought to be losing their minds.
When great forces are on the move in the world,
we learn we are spirits – not animals.
– Winston Churchill
Spirit is that part of ourselves which incarnates aspects of our soul and serves as our continuous connection with our higher self and the All. Spirit brings with it life purposes and lesson, which are expressed and learned through all of the levels of our being. Spirit is experienced as intuitive knowing of rightness and wrongness in our lives; as inspirations; awakenings; and transcendent awareness that comes through communing with nature, with spiritual teachers, and through meditation and prayer; through synchronicities – those wonderful ‘coincidences’ that hint to us of a transcendent choreography in our lives; through challenges in our lives that waken us to ask questions about the meanings of life, to ask for help, and to marvel at the miracles of healings that are given to us.
Spirit supports life and participates in each and every aspect of our lives – individually and collectively. Spirit may contribute to health and to illness, always with lessons for our physical world self, our higher Self and the collective consciousness.
The meaning of life is to embody the Transcendent.
– The Dalai Lama
Diseases of the soul are more dangerous
and more numerous than those of the body.
Spirit participates in emotions through the love and healing we allow into our hearts, to transform the negative emotions in our lives. Spiritual cravings may be masked as physical, mental and relationshal cravings.
I did not then recognize the symptoms of metaphysical malnutrition. I was hungry for a kind of food that I could not even name. Therefore I began to overeat the foods I could name, especially junk food: candy, potato chips, cookies, soda.
– Joseph M.Felser
Spirit participates in body as we listen to body messages and as we invite energetic and spiritual healing for the hurts that are buried as symptoms within our body. Religious affiliation and practice (presumed to include spirit) are good for our physical health. Spiritual perspectives may make difficult physical problems more tolerable.
We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.
Spirit participates in relationships between people as we incarnate from spirit existence into earthly life, bringing us into a family constellation and society in which we are learning personal, individual lessons through our relationships and at the same time are parts of a group soul that is learning and growing as a collective consciousness. Spirit is available for healing as we encounter challenges in relationships and open to the spirit level of awareness.
Ramakrishna’s image of God’s grace is being like the wind;
it’s everywhere, but you have to raise your sails to catch it.
We can now recognize that the fate of the soul is the fate of the social order;
that if the spirit within us withers, so too, will all the world we build around us.
– Theodore Roszak
Spirit participates in relationships with the environment on many levels. Everything in nature is alive and participating in the wondrous lessons of physical existence. Nature spirits and angels guide and nurture the form and functions of everything in existence. Humans can participate with nature in spiritual stewardship of the environment.
To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
– William Blake
Spirit is experienced by many through their religious practices. Each religion offers deep wisdom through its own insights. The Infinite Source speaks all languages. Even within a single religion, each person may hear for themselves the Voice of the Infinite Source and perceive the IS as a uniquely experienced Voice and Presence.
[nbsp][/nbsp]Spirit participates in mind as intuition, creativity, inspiration, healing of negative thoughts and beliefs, and as collective consciousness.
As long as I can remember I feel I have had this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all of these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.
– Bruce Lee
Something inside me has reached to the place
where the world is breathing.
This entry was recommended by Christopher Stanley-Stevens