Sanctuary for Humanity

What is path of health & wholeness?

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Come, my friend. Take my hand and walk with me on the path of health and wholeness. Along this path we will find that health is not just a physical state that concerns the body in isolation. We are multi-dimensional beings; therefore, health is also associated with dimensions of ourselves and our existence that we may not consider as healthy or unhealthy—that which is intellectual, energetic, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, environmental, creative, community, global, and cultural. Our health is the whole of our being; it embraces mind, body, and spirit and is a natural state of harmony with ourselves and our world.

What are the benefits of cultivating wholeness?

When we come into balance with all these aspects of ourselves, we not only heal ourselves—we begin to heal the world. Healing then is nothing less than a shift in consciousness bringing wholeness back into our lives. This harmony can change the way we view ourselves and our existence. The realization that we control the healing in our own lives will forever set us free from whatever limitations may be holding on to our current imbalance.

Various scientists have calculated that in less than 1 year, you replace about 98 percent of all the atoms in your body, making a new liver every 6 weeks; a new skeleton every 3 months; a new stomach lining every 5 days; a new skin once a month. . . and the actual raw material of the DNA, which holds memories of millions of years of evolutionary time, comes and goes every 6 weeks.
~Deepak Chopra, “Timeless Mind, Ageless Body”

How can we cultivate wholeness?

If we lack health within one or more of the 12 dimensions listed above, we will need to find our way back to wholeness. In this quest we must remember:  “Healing” is what we do within ourselves. “Curing” is done to us through a specific intervention from an external source (therapy, surgery, pharmaceuticals, etc). In addition to this sense of internal vs. external is the relationship of part to whole. Curing focuses primarily on symptoms (part), while healing goes much deeper. Healing involves the whole being by returning the individual to wholeness and balance. In true healing, not only does the physical function of the body return to balance, but also the harmony and resonance between all parts of the inner being. Health, therefore, becomes a result of an authentically expressed life.

Healing requires us to trust our inner voice and the messages from our body. It requires that we carefully observe how the body (or one of the other dimensions) is trying to repair itself. This is difficult to do if we put our healing entirely in the hands of Western trained physicians who are focusing on curing our symptoms. Both healing and curing can occur together, so in addition to your physician’s treatments, you should also take part in your own healing and return to wholeness.

Picture of the SunIf you are having difficulty finding your inner voice—or trusting it—or if you are out of touch with your body (which is common in our Western culture since we spend too much time in front of the television and the computer) you will want to find a healer. This isn’t a weird New Age idea as you might first believe. Healers have been around since the beginning of time and continue to play an important role in the cultivation of our self awareness. The right healer for you will not claim to heal any specific ailments or conditions; in fact, it shouldn’t be necessary to tell the healer what your specific ailment is at all. This is because YOU are the one in control of your healing. So why do you need a healer, you ask?

In the book Healers on Healing, editors Carlson and Shield offer a passage that has profoundly changed the way in which I have come to view the role of healer:  “The healer empowers us to look within for healing, rather than to external sources for curing. The healer and the person being healed can then explore the idea that disease may not be a random event; it may be a message telling us that we have deviated from our true path.”

The healer then must be more than just a facilitator; the healer must be a mirror to help people see themselves as they are. (The truth is often difficult to accept.) Once they see the truth before them, they can decide if there is something they desire to change to bring their body more in balance and harmony with their expectations of authentic living. The healer is your partner in the healing relationship.

WaterMy healer, my mirror, is the natural world. You may also choose this route—or you may choose a human healer. There are many qualified spiritual and transformational life coaches as well as healers of various healing modalities. Regardless of your choice, YOU must pay attention to the wholeness of your being, looking and listening closely within each dimension. The Sanctuary for Humanity website is designed to help you with this. Start by completing our Wholeness Assessment.

After completing the assessment, there are numerous healing and wholeness resources available to you on the Resources page. Here are the practices that I adopted to help nourish my wholeness after my assessment. Many of these work multiple dimensions simultaneously.

Nature Walks and Nature Connections ~ These have become my primary modes of physical, emotional, energetic, environmental, creative, and spiritual healing.  Want to know more? Walk a Path of Spirit.

Qigong for Health and Wholeness ~ Qigong, pronounced "chee" (life force) + "gung" (skill), is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been scientifically documented to aid in stress reduction and overall wellness. Because Qigong includes both sitting and standing versions, it can be performed by almost anyone. The exercises consist of simple, repetitive movements that stimulate the flow of life force energy in and around the body. No formalized training is required. Qigong is a versatile practice that nourishes the physical, energetic, spiritual, and creative dimensions—and can also nourish the dimension of community when practiced in large groups. For detailed information on getting started with Qigong, click here.

Meditation and Mindfulness Practice for Health and Wholeness ~ In this fast-paced information society, stress is an inescapable fact of life. Although some stress is a normal and natural function of our physical body, the constant barrage of stressors in our daily lives and our general lack of adequate coping strategies places us at greater risk for stress-related conditions that imbalance the body, mind, and spirit. It is not so much the external stressors that disable us

More people die in our age, in our culture, on one particular day of the week and time of the day—Monday morning at 9 o’clock.
~Deepak Chopra, “Timeless Mind, Ageless Body”

but our inability to deal with stress that magnifies its negative effects. Since you cannot escape from routine stresses of your job, finances, relationships, schedules, etc., you will need to learn stress management.  Meditation and mindfulness practices are excellent methods for learning how to manage stress internally. Vipassana or insight meditation in particular addresses the dimensions of the physical, emotional, spiritual—which in turn promote harmony in the occupational dimension. For an in depth look at how to get started with meditation and mindfulness, Walk the Path of Mindfulness.

Spiritual Practice for Health and Wholeness ~ An excellent way to enrich the spiritual dimension of ourselves is by participating in a spiritual practice. Spiritual practices bring the sacred into to our daily lives, adding more depth and meaning, and they help us to connect our head and our heart. Author and educator, Nancy Mangano Rowe, suggests that it is important for you to choose a spiritual practice “based on your spiritual goals and your personality and your own way of connecting to spirit.”  In her document “Choosing a Spiritual Practice at ITP” Rowe provides a series of questions to assist individuals in the selection of a practice. It would be worthwhile endeavor to ponder these questions and notice any patterns that arise:

There are as many spiritual practices available as there are people in this world, for everything can become a spiritual practice if done with reverence, intention, mindfulness, and connection to spirit. There is the spiritual practice of running, kayaking, sewing, creative writing, nature photography and so many more. You are the creator of your practice. Your practice, if carefully chosen, can sustain you every day and help balance many other dimensions of your life on your journey to wholeness.
The website Spirituality and Practice is an excellent resource that provides a self-test to determine possible practices based on your responses and an A-Z listing of spiritual practices and their descriptions. Enjoy this selection process and you will find the meaning you seek.

Community, Cultural, Social, and Global Dimensions for Health and Wholeness ~ Enriching these dimensions of ourselves can be accomplished as easily as performing volunteer work in whatever capacity interests you. Let your heart guide you. If you believe that you are too busy to volunteer, you might want to check out the Global Coherence Initiative by the Heart Math Institute. The Global Coherence Initiative is a science-based, co-creative project to unite people in heart-focused care and intention, to facilitate the shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace.

As an online volunteer for this initiative, you will assist in research on a global scale—online. The projects often focus on sending your own deeply felt intentions for compassion and healing to various parts of the world at specific times on specific dates. The results are fascinating, and the ability to help increase interconnection and social harmony is extremely rewarding. There is no membership fee to join.

A Final Thought on the Path of Health and Wholeness ~ Even if we are not part of an organization for global or community change, we will still play a critical role in global change and the shift of consciousness. As we become more involved in our own healing, our personal transformation will extend beyond our bodies to our relationships, our social values, and our institutions, resulting in collective social change. As we heal ourselves, we heal our Earth.