It’s a four-part affair
Thinking about starting to make some changes in your life? Needing to do some life assessment, some self-exploration? Looking for a more balanced reality? Don’t know where to start? There is some important information here that could help you with your self-enquiry. My personal belief is that we are spiritual beings living human lives through the medium of love. We come into this lifetime with a carefully prepared plan for our life, yet through the process of birth, and with the dense frequency of life on earth, we forgot that life plan the moment we were born. If you are not familiar or resonant with those concepts, leave them aside for now, but I invite you to read on because everything else is relevant to all people, everywhere, regardless of their personal beliefs.
We spend our early years learning how to become a human and then once we are grown, we begin the quest to develop spiritually and learn to embody our enlightened soul. In order to achieve this, we rely completely on our parents, family, teachers, communities, religious leaders and so forth, to teach us. We may well have been raised to become the best version of ourselves that our caregivers could imagine for us or could manage with their limited life experiences. This however, is sometimes not the ideal life for us and we may have been taught to become a completely different version of ourselves than that which we incarnated to experience. This leads to disharmony in our lives. Disharmony can show up in our lives as boredom, frustration, malcontent, feeling unsettled, anger, apathy, people pleasing, aggression, over-achievement, confusion, despair, body image distortions or even ill health. This isn’t a complete list by any means, but it serves to illustrate the point quite well.
A disharmonic life if left unchecked can generate some real problems. When a problem becomes big enough for you that change is inevitable, the process of self-examination begins. We start to search for clues as to why we are feeling unsettled or unhappy. Quite often though this search is not inwardly focused and many years are wasted as we decide it is our partners’ fault that we are unhappy and we jettison significant relationships, or we change jobs because… well that boss is a disaster! Perhaps we move homes thinking a new environment will make us happy, or we have more children, we rescue animals, we take up a new hobby, a new sport, anything that distracts us from our feelings of discontent. It is only when we stop expending our energies distracting ourselves, and we go quiet and turn our attention inwards, that we will find what we truly need to begin to make meaningful change in our lives. The answers we seek are inside of ourselves and no amount of changing the window dressing will give us what we seek if we are living a life out of balance with our purpose.
Something that many people lose sight of, or perhaps are never taught, is that life is a four-part affair. A balanced life experience encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. It is essential for a balanced existence to encompass all four aspects. Let us take a closer look at those four aspects of self for more clarity.
- The Physical aspect is the most commonly understood part of our lives. When we start to take stock of our physical reality, we might begin by examining how we eat, drink, rest, sleep, and exercise. We look at our environment, both living and working, and this is where we often resort to house swapping, new habit forming, diet and exercise distractions, or, if our health is challenged as a result of us living disharmoniously, we begin to move through the medical profession looking for answers that are not always forthcoming. Everything on this list is, of course, critically important to living a well-balanced life, but it is only one part of our story.
- Emotional health and wellbeing governs a significant part of our life experience. In this aspect we may ask ourselves if we are balanced and healthy in our emotions. Do we repress how we feel because we have been taught that to express ourselves fully or truthfully is bad or undesirable. For example, “boys don’t cry”, “women have to submit to men”, “don’t argue, just do as you’re told”? “Let uncle John hug you”. Are we overly emotional because we feel afraid or unseen? Are our emotional responses appropriate for the circumstances we are facing, or are we inclined to react with rage at what we perceive as the slightest infraction of our rights? Do we burst into tears if questioned, or have a panic attack if someone calls us out in front of others? Emotional health is a critical component of our wellness and one that is so often distorted by childhood learning and painful life experiences. Fear-based living is one of the greatest distortions of the emotional aspect.
- Mental health is one that gets a bad rap in most societies. Thank heavens that is changing as we become more enlightened. I am not referring to medical mental health issues here as I am not in the least qualified to talk about those and would never wish to disrespect anyone struggling with such challenges. For the purposes of this article, I am referring to living a balanced mental life in terms of what we allow ourselves to learn, and how we apply our learning to our life and circumstances. Are we allowing ourselves to think about our lives or are we simply feeling our way through each day in an emotional haze? Do we onboard new information and allow ourselves to make informed choices in life or do we simply do as we are told without thought or enquiry. Do we know how to apply critical thinking to our lives and situations? Do we accept a lack of learning as our lot in life or do we strive to expand our knowledge base? Are we aware of our intuition and do we harness it in our lives? Do we know why we think what we think, or do we blindly accept the current popular narratives, and follow the crowd?
- Spiritual aspects of life are often abandoned during our formative years. Either we rebel against their strict teachings, or our caretakers fail to introduce us to spiritual learning. Living a spiritually balanced life does not necessarily translate as attendance at the religious institution of your understanding. Although that can be very spiritually nourishing, it is one aspect only. Living a spiritually balanced life is about honoring yourself and your journey. Meditating, yoga, walks in nature, listening to music, laughing, playing, being still with your soul. Seeking expansiveness and internal harmony. Tapping into that limitless potential you were born with. Personal boundaries fit in here as well. I worked in a rehab center and it was astounding how many alcoholic or drug addicted patients told me there was no god. They had abandoned their spiritual aspect and it had thrown their lives into disharmony and imbalance, yet they were all desperately seeking solace in a bottle of spirits… now that’s what I call irony!
A great analogy for the four aspects of self would be a printing press. As a little girl I would often go to the printing factory with my dad and sit watching in awe as the boards ran at high speed along the printing presses, creating Smartie boxes. As each colour was laid down, every colour you could think of was suddenly created. All those lovely colours on the finished boxes resulted from varying proportions of only four basic colours, CMYK or cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black. At each pass of the machine a different colour plate is laid down on the paper. The image with, for example, only the blue ink on it is indistinct and unclear. That same paper is run through the press again and the magenta ink is laid down. The image is definitely clearer, although still largely ghosted and poorly defined. The third pass lays down the yellow ink and the combination of these three colours brings the image more to life as many new colour combinations start to become apparent (yellow and blue give you green as an example). Then finally the black ink is laid down and suddenly you have absolute clarity. You know exactly what you are looking at in the finest detail possible. All four plates have to be present to get the best possible image. If however, one of the printing plates is slightly out of alignment then the resulting image will appear fuzzy and indistinct, not as clear at it could be… lacking absolute clarity.
The same is true for the human experience. Not having all four aspects of our life in balance will leave us with a fuzzy, unclear view of life. You might consider that if we only take care of our physical being and neglect our emotional, mental or spiritual selves we will not be getting the full picture. Our lives may never be fulfilling and complete. We may not have meaningful relationships, could end up neglecting our learning and mind expansion, and may live lives lacking in soulfulness, feeling unfulfilled and adrift.
If we were to live life relying solely on our emotions, allowing sadness or anger to rule our lives, as an example, without paying attention to our food, water intake or exercise, or we neglect our health, we again may never have a fulfilling life, may never learn the skills needed to change our lives and will feel spiritually abandoned.
Spending our days hanging out in the libraries of life indulging only our mental capacity without ever allowing ourselves to feel human connection or take care of our physicality and spiritual health may lead to us becoming one dimensional, boring, lonely, and unfulfilled in life.
Those who spend all of their life focused on their spiritual growth without a care for learning, health, or meaningful connection to others can become cut off from humanity as they struggle to connect to reality.
There are so many distortions of the human experience that are caused by imbalance in these four aspects. Too much of one and not enough of the other and any variation in between will affect your vibration, will cause you to lose resonance, and will result in you living with a distorted reality that could be far beneath your full potential.
Instead of looking at everyone else when trying to find answers for your life, turn your focus inward. There is much to be explored and much that you can do to bring your life back into balance. In truth nothing changes until you decide to change it. Without meaningful action you are simply having a discussion with yourself about the possibility of change. But don’t be disheartened, all you need is one first step and you are on your way. Hopefully this article will have given you some ideas of where you can look to begin assessing what may need attention in your life. Then you can begin moving towards a full and rewarding life that is in harmony with your soul.
Nothing is a problem, until it becomes a problem for you, and then change is inevitable.
As always, I offer you my understanding of things. I encourage you at all times to question and decide for yourself what you want to accept and onboard. I am always interested to hear your opinions and I encourage feedback. However, it is essential to understand this vital truth as we journey together:
We don’t have to agree on a single thing to be kind to one another.
So, disagree with me by all means, own your different perspective, but please remain respectful of other’s beliefs and journeys.
Treat yourself with EMpathy and EMbolden yourself to dream. EMerge from your learned way of being, allowing yourself to celebrate life as you EMbrace your full potential. EMancipate yourself from your limitations, EMpowering yourself to live with greater clarity and joy!
Until next time when I shall introduce you to self-examination: a time to get real with yourself, be kind to one another and honor yourself as the unique and incredibly special soul that you are.
© Copyright 2020 – Janice Melmed