Guest Blogger, Carolyn Hyman, certified in Healing Touch and Surgical Coaching.
Hey, I’m 71 years old! How did that happen??? The day before yesterday I was 40 and yesterday I was 60. Today I am 71? How in the world did that happen? I don’t feel like I thought I would feel at 71. I don’t even look like I thought a 71 year old woman looks. When I was younger, 71 year old women were definitely considered “old.” Today, through my 71 year old eyes, these women are quite the “opposite.” They are wise, courageous, passion-chasers, dream makers, strong leaders, and let’s not forget “beautiful.” Beautiful in spirit, soul, and body.
Now I’d like to give you the rationale for my perception of these awesome women. It’s all about balance – holistic balance – balance in spirit, soul, and body.
Sometimes, in my personal or professional life, I come across a word that jumps off the page and lands right in my lap. When that happens, I know to pay attention. Recently the word “balance” ended up in my lap. So I paid attention and began looking for the new and special meanings of yet another powerful word to add to my collection. I am introspective so I began my journey of finding out the significance of the word “balance” and how it applies to my life.
Webster defines balance as “equal; in correct proportions.” We read about work/life balance and balanced nutrition. We balance our checkbooks and sometimes we feel off balance. Since I’m a nurse, I thought about balance from a health and wellness perspective. I began to focus on my personal health and wellness balance. As a holistic nurse, I am always teaching my clients about holistic health and wellness and assisting them on their health and wellness journey.
Holism is a word meaning “whole, entire, complete, and balanced.” As a whole person, I am actually “three” – spirit, soul, and body. The goal of health and wellness is “balance” in the “three of me.”
Holistic health care professionals address the “whole” person – spirit, soul, and body.
SPIRIT - Connection with God and the Spiritual
SOUL - Mind, Will, and Emotions
BODY - Physical
The goal of my personal health and wellness is to strive for “balance” or “fitness” in each area. Let me share a personal example:
In terms of spiritual fitness, I am of the Christian tradition...
It is important and valuable for me to spend time in spiritual practices that help me grow stronger and wiser spiritually. I read, pray, listen to music, participate in church activities and spend quiet time alone with God. These practices help me strengthen my spiritual muscles as I work toward my goal of spiritual fitness.
In terms of physical fitness I struggle a bit – actually I struggle a lot!
This is the area where this 71 year old woman is off balance. I know I need to exercise and eat mindfully to be as physically fit as possible so I recently decided to join a gym, (can you hear my husband’s loud applause?). My husband and I go to the gym together at least 3 times a week and, much to my amazement, I actually enjoy going. I get on the treadmill, put uplifting music on my blue tooth device and lose myself in the music as I walk. Before I know it, 20-30 minutes have passed. Scheduling time for the gym and being aware of what I eat really helps me strengthen my physical muscles as I work toward my goal of physical fitness.
Finally, there is soul fitness...
My calling, both personal and professional, has always been focused on soul fitness, which I believe is the bridge between spirit and body. The soul is our mind, will, and emotions:
Mind - Intellect and thought
Will - Choose or refuse
Emotions - Love, joy, peace, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, etc.
Throughout my personal and professional life, I have found that one of the most debilitating parts of the soul is the “mind.” To be more specific, I’m talking about the “pattern of thinking” of the mind. We have between 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour or between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. Wow! That’s a lot of thoughts. For every thought there is a physiological reaction. With good thoughts I feel good and with bad thoughts I feel bad.
Here is the good news. With the simple tool of “changing our pattern of thinking” we can positively influence not only our soul but our body and spirit. How do I know? From personal experience. But this is a story for another time.
In conclusion, let me say that the example of my treadmill experience is actually the integration of the “three of me.” During those short 30 minutes, I engaged my spiritual muscles in my communion with God, my soul muscles as I made the decision to walk and as I lost myself in the music, and my physical muscles as I took each, intentional step.
Finding balance in the “three of me” is definitely challenging. I’m so glad I have family and friends who are willing to walk alongside me as I walk my personal path to health and wellness. Helping others along their journey is my personal and professional calling. I believe, as expressed by the lyrics of a beautiful song, that “We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.” Blessings to you along your journey.
About the Author:
Carolyn Hyman has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. Her clinical experience has been in the fields of medical, surgical and mental health nursing, education and wellness. Her nursing care has always been focused on "the whole person," spirit, soul, and body. Along with her education and clinical experience, Carolyn's personal story of hope and healing helps her bridge the gap between health care provider and consumer. Carolyn has a private practice, HOPE23, and is certified in Healing Touch and Surgical Coaching. She is also the Coordinator of The Wellness Center at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, FL. Carolyn lives with her husband of 51 years, Mark, in St. John's County, Florida.
For healing touch services or to contact Carolyn, she can be reached at email@example.com or through the church's wellness center at firstname.lastname@example.org