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Author Topic: Healthy Body Healthy Mind  (Read 8674 times)
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« Topic Start: May 21, 2007, 07:23:16 pm »

This is an interesting one for me, and I have been discussing it at length on another forum I belong to. It started off as a discussion about how should a christian tenet of "your body is your temple" apply to a pagan path. It was posted by a 1st BTW whose HPS suggested they might like to sort themselves out a bit more before they were admitted to 2nd.

Now a few years ago I might have shrugged it off, used the "but it's christian" excuse, but of late I have become totally addicted to "crossfit" see www.crossfit.com and have the luxury of having one of the first UK crossfit gyms a short jog from my front doorstep.

And all of sudden I have more time for life, for research, for family, for magic. Lol I'm almost evangelical about it as it changed my life profoundly and I'm not talkng just the stone in weight and the 2 clothes size drop I have incurred as a nice side benefit. I still drink, I still smoke although not the the extent I used to do; but what I have done is become very profoundly aware of me.

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?
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« Reply #1: May 21, 2007, 07:33:02 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

Most definitely it makes a difference for me in the way I practice.  The healthier I am, the more energy I can expend in spiritual and magical matters and the more focus and attention I can give to them.  Let's face it, it's not easy to focus on directing magical energy when you've got a terrific migraine (or chronic back pain or other physical ailment).  I'd say the same applies to emotion wellbeing also.
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« Reply #2: May 21, 2007, 07:48:07 pm »

This is an interesting one for me, and I have been discussing it at length on another forum I belong to. It started off as a discussion about how should a christian tenet of "your body is your temple" apply to a pagan path. It was posted by a 1st BTW whose HPS suggested they might like to sort themselves out a bit more before they were admitted to 2nd.

Now a few years ago I might have shrugged it off, used the "but it's christian" excuse, but of late I have become totally addicted to "crossfit" see www.crossfit.com and have the luxury of having one of the first UK crossfit gyms a short jog from my front doorstep.

And all of sudden I have more time for life, for research, for family, for magic. Lol I'm almost evangelical about it as it changed my life profoundly and I'm not talkng just the stone in weight and the 2 clothes size drop I have incurred as a nice side benefit. I still drink, I still smoke although not the the extent I used to do; but what I have done is become very profoundly aware of me.

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

I wrote about it here: http://www.flamekeeping.org/?p=43

I think that if we believe that we are to serve well, we need to do so from a state of health as much as we can - if only because when we mistreat ourselves, we can't do anything for anyone else either.

In my belief, we are Divine.  And we need to treat ourselves that way.
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« Reply #3: May 21, 2007, 08:05:29 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

My physical fitness affects my life and thus my spirituality. A lot of the exercise I do is outside in the woods etc. and I love being able to do that, even to the extent of it being spiritually important to me. If I was unfit (and I was for a long time) I would feel cramped and suffocated both physically and spiritually, I have to be able to run and feel the world around me and feel the control I have over my body and test the limits of what I can ask it to do. So yes, my body is my temple. On an offshoot, I think of the tattoo I am planning as an alter, always with me and showing my devotion to my spirituality, I guess this just amplifies the my body is my temple idea.
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« Reply #4: May 22, 2007, 12:07:09 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

Part of it, for me, is being aware.

I'm aware what I put into my body, and why (and part of why I'm looking at moving is that I feel a need to make different food choices than are currently practical for me.) I'm also increasingly picky about what I put into my mind. (I watch almost no TV, I've been swapping my radio - which is entirely NPR - for more music and books-on-CD, and so on.)

I get teased for being obsessive about sufficient sleep and water - but both of those make a huge difference in my general well-being and ability to function.

I've been seeing a herbalist since December, and am delighted with the results. I've been walking with a friend since last summer, and that is excellent.

It's possible some of this has resulted in weight loss - I only weigh myself once a year at my annual physical, and need to schedule that for this summer - but really, I don't care. I'm feeling better, I'm finding more ways to listen to my body, and that seems to be the part that matters to me. 
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« Reply #5: May 22, 2007, 07:49:00 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

I have been overweight for years.  I was skinny as a teen so I assumed I could eat whatever I liked because I was tall.  Bad idea.  I started putting it on in midtwenties after stopping smoking and save for yo-yo dieting, it's been pretty much like that ever since.  A little while ago I started to walk regularly, getting a pedometer because that seems to motivate me.  Over time I have been upping the frequency and the number of steps.  My other big motivation was to dedicate those walks to a particular deity - didn't want to let them down.  Have I lost weight yet?  I think it's probably just a few pounds so far but I haven't checked.  I am feeling other benefits though.  I am not feeling so creaky in my limbs, my problem with plantar fascitis seems to have largely receded and I'm not getting out of breath so easily.  Although I have been building up slowly, those changes started to show quite quickly after I got out of couch-potato mode.

I'm also feeling quite upbeat lately, for someone who has had depressive tendencies at times, although I think that is down to a few positive factors in my life presently, not just exercise.  And by walking, I'm out there observing all the gradual changes of the seasons in my local area.     
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« Reply #6: May 23, 2007, 09:50:12 am »

This is an interesting one for me, and I have been discussing it at length on another forum I belong to. It started off as a discussion about how should a christian tenet of "your body is your temple" apply to a pagan path. It was posted by a 1st BTW whose HPS suggested they might like to sort themselves out a bit more before they were admitted to 2nd.

Now a few years ago I might have shrugged it off, used the "but it's christian" excuse, but of late I have become totally addicted to "crossfit" see www.crossfit.com and have the luxury of having one of the first UK crossfit gyms a short jog from my front doorstep.

And all of sudden I have more time for life, for research, for family, for magic. Lol I'm almost evangelical about it as it changed my life profoundly and I'm not talkng just the stone in weight and the 2 clothes size drop I have incurred as a nice side benefit. I still drink, I still smoke although not the the extent I used to do; but what I have done is become very profoundly aware of me.

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

Dance was like that for me.  When I first started, it was like I was bringing energy to places that had never really been opened up to energy before.  Doing it in classes was even more intense, since there was a group of other gals all doing the same thing, and an instructor who wasn't always the nicest gal, but drove me to work.  I not only had to push my boundaries, but had to do it in front of people.

I think the progress might have really been sped by the intense amounts of yoga I was doing at the time.

The changes I noticed were in raising energy.  I had more immediate access to it.  When something called for letting the energy roll back into the earth in waves, it went from being a tingle and a visualization to full sensation in HD and stereo.  The kind of thing where you find yourself pulling out as to not embarrass yourself with twitches and jerks.  No really, I'm having convulsions and it's a good thing... :blush:

Recently I've started doing the workouts that I was doing when I was dancing, and am happy with the results.  They are pretty much immediate and noticeable.  I'm thinking it might be because they are so familiar that muscle memory wants to put things where they've always been.

That and I mountain bike at least 3-4 times a week when I can.  My eating habits include anything slower than me, so I can't say I really do much for myself in that department.

With the worlds of allergies, there is always SOMETHING causing issues, so sometimes it gets as 'healthy' as  shredded cheese on corn tortillas, but for the most part, I pick at whatever looks like it's safe.  Even then it's a toss up sometimes.  On the other hand, with allergies, most fast food is out of the question unless I'm having a desperate craving and am willing to suffer the consequences.

The type of dance I've worked with is Middle Eastern.  Which I think is pretty key as well, since it focuses on muscle isolations.
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« Reply #7: May 23, 2007, 08:21:34 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

Yes. When I lived in the city I did yoga every morning, walked everywhere and went out dancing religiously. When I moved to the sticks I stopped walking (since there was nowhere to walk TO) and my yoga practice also suffered. Clubbing was also likewise out. Not only did my ass expand a bit, but I found I was just generally lazier - my magical/spiritual practice and my artwork both languished.

I've been making a concentrated effort to get back in shape because I miss having more energy and feeling more alert. (Also, I'm moving in with my sister again and the little brat's been playing football for months so she'll be able to kick my butt and we just can't have that  Tongue)

I also plan to start eating healthier. (Not getting any younger, and the ol' metabolism just can't process as much junk as it used ot be able to. Heh.)

But, mm, yes. I notice a huge connection between my physical health and my spiritual.
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« Reply #8: May 24, 2007, 02:36:40 pm »


what I have done is become very profoundly aware of me.


This hits the nail right on the head for me.  When I'm fit, I'm aware of my entire body.  Each muscle, each reaction, everything.  And when I'm aware of everything about me physically, I'm able to be more aware of myself psychologically AND spiritually.
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« Reply #9: May 30, 2007, 01:00:58 am »

Yes. When I lived in the city I did yoga every morning, walked everywhere and went out dancing religiously. When I moved to the sticks I stopped walking (since there was nowhere to walk TO) and my yoga practice also suffered. Clubbing was also likewise out. Not only did my ass expand a bit, but I found I was just generally lazier - my magical/spiritual practice and my artwork both languished.

But, mm, yes. I notice a huge connection between my physical health and my spiritual.

That's me too!!!  That and the fact that I moved from a very warm climate into the mountains where it snows 4-5 months out of the year -- yikes! 

I notice a marked difference...  Sad

The post and the commentary inside has been a bit of a reminder though to get off my arse -- it IS nice outside -- I really ought to be there enjoying not only the temporary warm, but my body's response to the physical activity.
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« Reply #10: May 30, 2007, 09:58:20 am »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

I still haven't "landed" anywhere spiritually, and I don't practice magic (unless rally caps count), but I think it makes a difference for me anyway.

I never bothered with magic because I thought I was practically the opposite of self-disciplined, but yet somehow I've managed to stick to the diet and fitness plan I started a few months ago.  A few months of a project where I don't have any outside supervision is almost a miracle for me, again, no self-discipline, no attention span... or so I thought.  Because here it is three months later and I've written down every single thing I've eaten and worked out six days a week in that span, with few lapses.

It didn't have to be a diet, of course, I have no idea why this particular project was the one that worked.  But whatever the trigger, I was glad to find out that I'm not so hopeless after all.  And it feels good to know that I can stick with something.  So maybe I'll take up Tarot cards or astrology next. Wink

The side bonus of being in better shape is great too.  I agree that it's easier to attend to spiritual matters when your body is not complaining of being sick and tired.
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« Reply #11: May 30, 2007, 06:11:22 pm »

So I suppose I am interested in hearing other people point of view, does your physical wellbeing affect your spiritual and/or magical practises or do you think it doesn't make a jot's worth of difference?

When I'm taking better physical care of myself it definitely spills over into other areas of my life. I've been an active person most of my life though. When I was a kid I was a gymnast, high school I had activities that kept me physically fit and busy everyday and then as an adult up to a point I was either addicted to the gym or coaching gymnastics. It isn't what I see in the mirror that makes me say "you need to start working out and eating right again" it's the feel of the thighs rubbing together or the lack of spring in my step. Though I don't like seeing it either.

When I'm taking the proper care of myself I have more energy, my brain works better, my focus is stronger, and my senses are more accurate. So yeah, there's a definite spiritual benefit to physical wellness.

It seems to be the striving for wellbeing that has the positive effect rather than the arrival at wellbeing. I think it's making conscious decisions about taking good care of yourself that's important. That reinforces the message that your body is a spiritual tool just as much as your mind is. It's all in that mind/body/spirit link.   

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« Reply #12: June 04, 2007, 04:07:16 pm »


Quoting violentsound because that post had me nodding and thinking "me too." 

When I lived in San Francisco, I walked everywhere, or at least to the bus stop if it was going to be a long way and I was on a schedule (and of course the stops were mostly several city blocks away).  I practiced yoga at least once or twice a week (Bikram yoga is demanding enough that I was getting a lot of bang for my buck as it were just doing that much). 

Then I fell ill, and needed to be carted around by car everywhere, because I couldn't take in enough calories to even stand up for more than a few minutes.  When I finally was able to go back to work, I was back to walking but not my yoga practice.  Then I was laid off and we moved to Texas, which is very much a car culture.  The city of Austin just isn't laid out in a way that you can get places without a car.  Public transit doesn't even go everywhere that the work is.  It's taken me a number of years just to get back to my yoga practice, now that I've found a Bikram studio, and it feels so much better.  My mind doesn't feel so much like a lump of mud.  More physical energy is translating to more emotional and mental energy, and spiritual energy.  I can't believe it's taken so long just to get back to getting exercise.  While I've never had weight issues, not moving around still had me feeling sluggish and stiff and mentally-slowed.
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« Reply #13: June 04, 2007, 06:40:55 pm »

The city of Austin just isn't laid out in a way that you can get places without a car.

IMHO, the city of Austin isn't even laid out so you can get places with a car. It's the biggest traffic jam in Texas. Even freeways in Houston and Dallas generally move faster than I35 through Austin.
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« Reply #14: June 05, 2007, 03:01:05 pm »

IMHO, the city of Austin isn't even laid out so you can get places with a car. It's the biggest traffic jam in Texas. Even freeways in Houston and Dallas generally move faster than I35 through Austin.

Well, yeah, there's that too.  I avoid I35 as much as humanly possible.  I'd actually rather go through town and stop at all the traffic lights than sit perfectly still on the "freeway."  I'm fortunate in that my daily driving doesn't have me on it for more than one or two exits.
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