When talking about living a spiritual life and walking a medicine path, I’m reminded that it’s not necessarily a gradual thing.  Some people can transition their lives gently over time and look back wondering how they got from point A to point Z, but others get confronted with aspects of it as if someone had taken a spoon and stirred up their entire life and everything is now whirling around them uncontrollably.   The details vary, but the principles are basically the same.  To walk a spiritual path means healing yourself first and foremost.  Whether your path is what would describe as being a ‘healer’ or whether you are doing something not directly related to people at all, you still have to go through ‘healer heal thyself.’  And if you haven’t already done it, that process will shatter the notion that your body and spirit are separate from each other first and foremost.

I’ve talked about this before and you can see more information on my blog here,Body Soul Reflection, and here, Living Sacred.

The healing process that ensues can seem amazingly random and completely chaotic.  In some very dramatic cases food preferences change like the person has crossed a big, bright line.  One day they love pizza and pasta and ice cream and the next those foods don’t interest them one way or the other and they are eating protein and vegetables and buying cookbooks to try out new recipes.  For others old physical issues or traumas that they thought were long done become front and center again.  It’s one thing to just accept that you will have a physical limitation, it’s another when you step on the path and your spirit challenges you to truly heal the nagging condition.  You’re not just changing the way you think about things, you are literally changing how you walk in this world with your body, which is not a meat suit, but part of your integral being and how you interact with the world.

Something that I have learned over time and that helps in these situations is to look at your body, the entire system, with that symbolic, meaning generating system that bridges the right and left brains (which are part of your body, btw).  Chinese medicine and Hindu spirituality chart out how this works in various ways and helps us understand how the emotions, the spirit and the mind interrelate with each other and with the body.  For example, having knee issues talks about our ability to be flexible, to absorb shocks in life, to be able to move with what comes.  Issues with digestion talk about our ability or inability to digest what is coming to us or to provide nutrition and support for ourselves.  Perhaps we are internalizing other’s issues and pains instead of setting correct boundaries and this is ‘eating us up’ inside.

Starting down the path of a spiritual life is not a daily exercise, but a life choice.  To be in harmony with everything around you starts with being in harmony with yourself.  What issues do you have shoved in the background that might need some airing?