Struggles are a part of life that cannot always be avoided. In order to strengthen the connection between the mind, body, and spirit, it takes effort—conscious effort at that. A healthy mind keeps the brain exercised regularly. Stress and worry are kept at bay by choice. Positive thoughts, gratitude, and a feeling of joy are present, and there is a thirst for knowledge and learning. Just like the brain requires sleep, it also requires things to think about and to consider.
A healthy body is free of disease and illness, and it is not riddled with pain. This is also made possible by a healthy diet, good nutrition, and regular exercise. A healthy body naturally wants to move and seeks activity.
Being spiritual is having an understanding that you are part of something much bigger than yourself. A healthy spirit requires love. These five resources have helped transform my mind, body and spirit. I hope they serve you as well.
1 “THE ALCHEMIST” BY PAULO COELHO
I read this book in high school, then again in college. I just recently bought the 25th anniversary edition for my son, who is in the eighth grade. This book is life-altering. I hope you experience it for yourself.
2 “WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES” BY CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS
In this book, Clarissa explains that within every woman lives a powerful force filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the “Wild Woman” who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. And because we tend to shape-shift so often, when I read this passage from her book, I have never been the same: “Having a lover/friend who regards you as a living growing criatura, being, just as much as the tree from the ground, or a ficus in the house, or a rose garden out in the side yard… having a lover and friends who look at you as a true living breathing entity, one that is human but made of very fine and moist and magical things as well… a lover and friends who support the criatura in you… these are the people you are looking for. They will be the friends of your soul for life. Mindful choosing of friends and lovers, not to mention teachers, is critical to remaining conscious, remaining intuitive, remaining in charge of the fiery light that sees and knows.” ClarissaPinkolaEstes.com
When I started college in 1996, I exercised regularly in some way. After two kids, and managing insomnia, my in-and-out states of depression, three herniated spinal discs, stress, and life, I discovered yoga about four years ago. I struggled to find a rhythm the first few weeks; with time, the physical changes were noticeable, and my yoga practice has become my altar. The breathing exercises are my moments of meditation and prayer. My practice has become the time of day when I am most connected to my body, my mind, and God, and when I am most myself. A great place to start if you’re wondering is going to DownDogApp.com
I started keeping a diary at 7 years old after my parent divorced. I couldn’t verbalize it then, but today I understand the power that lies in the written word. In this ever-changing tech-filled world, nothing compares to the release you feel when writing your emotions and thoughts down on paper. Journaling can help you improve your mood and prioritize your problems, fears, and concerns. In simple terms: journaling makes the world seem clearer. Need a great journaling resource? Pen and paper. Just write. You can also pre- order a copy of my 360o Lifestyle Journal + Planner coming out soon. Go toBellaMag.co/Begin-Anywhere-a-Journal
It saves lives. There, I said it. And to me, therapy can come just as much from a trained professional as it can by having a phone call with your mom or BFF. Verbalizing the thoughts in your head also helps you make sense of them. Our mind can play tricks on us. We begin to believe stories that have not happened. Speaking to someone you trust is cathartic, life-changing, and life-saving. We have Medical Advisory Board members who can assist as well. To learn more, go to the Mind + Body section of BellaMag.co.
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