For the past couple of decades, many of us have become accustomed to viewing life in this way. We want to make sure that we honor each part of who we are. We want to ensure that we give adequate importance to our spiritual component. We also hope to find balance between these parts.
However can looking at life in this way have its downside?
Although viewing ourselves in this manner can have its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. For example, it can encourage us to compartmentalize life, and view who we are merely as pieces of a whole. It can lead to a dysfunctional separation between these parts. It even has the potential to invite self-judgment based on our perception of how those parts should be balanced.
You know how that inner rant can go...
Didn't quiet the mind and body in meditation today? Inner judgment may say, "Well that will diminish your spiritual connection!" Yet in actuality, some of our most inspired and connected moments can occur on non-meditation days.
Feeling angry? Inner judgment may say: "Well that's not very spiritual!" However, the truth is that our anger can guide us toward important healing and change—mind, body, and spirit.
Reaching for a piece of cake while at a birthday party? Inner judgment may say: "That’s going to hurt the body!" Yet it’s possible that enjoying a few bites of that carb-loaded treat may help you to feel more socially connected to the celebration, which in turn could bring you greater calm when making future food choices.
Looking at ourselves in terms of "mind, body, and spirit" has served an important purpose, helping us to understand the importance of each piece of that sacred triad. However, we need to recognize that the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
It's time to stop compartmentalizing our lives and integrate all parts together. It's time to let go of the training wheels of categorization and embrace the navigational freedom of integration. It's time to welcome the power which comes from the synergistic, beautifully complex combination of these pieces.
In. Every. Moment.
Instead of myopically assessing the state of our mind, the health of our body, or our connection to spirit—or even evaluating the balance between these three parts—perhaps it is wiser instead for each of us to ask ourselves the following question:
"Am I honoring the wholeness of who I am?"