This analogy came to me recently, and you all know I love a good analogy! As I was pondering how to talk about the importance of balancing all three of our major aspects – body, mind, spirit. Often I see people become obsessed with one to the detriment of the others. But essentially all three need to be maintained and developed in order for the entire journey to be smooth.
Your body is your vehicle for awareness/consciousness/God to express itself. No body – no ability to create, sense, feel, build, or grow. Your vehicle is obviously very important in order to allow you to enjoy your journey, and in order for you to even take the journey in the first place. A broken or ill body is no fun dragging along the road – so it makes sense to look after it. In practical terms this means looking after your diet, exercising, keeping flexible, personal grooming etc. Healthy car, smooth ride.
Ah, the driver! The mind controls the way the car is driven, the way the car is maintained and looked after. Grumpy driver with no gratitude for the car leads to low/no maintenance. If the mind does not care about the body, or feels the body is worthless, ugly, useless then there is no proper maintenance – the body degrades, illness sets in, the mind gets more grumpy…not fun. If the driver feels the body should move faster, should go without breaks, should do this or that, same problem. If the mind is constantly chasing this achievement, this accolade, keeping up with this person or trying to reach this goal then the body again degrades by being literally driven into the ground.
However, if the mind is mindful, it takes into consideration the needs of the body and also nourishes it, exercises it, and makes the right decisions to allow the body to function optimally. This requires loving care and respect.
The spirit is the life force that courses through us – our awareness or consciousness. The God in all of us, this spirit is already on an unstoppable route towards creativity, expression and joy. It is flowing through us like an enormous river, our route through life. It is not something we can plan, or something we can ‘life purpose’ our way through. The road is the irrepressible flow of life that courses through every molecule in the universe – it exists whether we drive or have a car, it is independant of us, yet part of us. The road exists, it is infinite. We are aware of it for the time we drive on it, that is all.
The idea of ‘spiritual development’ is laughable. How do you ‘develop’ the infinite? This third part of ourselves is not ‘worked on’ or ‘developed’ as it is already whole and perfect, our only job here is to be aware of its existence.
If the mind is awake, it will be conscious of this road, the sheer delight of driving on it with a smooth and well oiled car will make the journey an expression of joy and creative outpouring. Like a road trip through amazing countryside, we feel so blessed to be awake during the flow, to be able to feel the full force of life taking us along with it.
So how do we do this?
Stop obsessing!! Some of us obsess with the body – we obsess about what we eat, how we exercise, what we wear, we obsess with diets or how long we can sit in lotus, we obsess about the toxins in the environment or the electromagnetic pollution giving us illnesses we can’t pronounce. Yes! Look after your body, but stop obsessing about it! Your car will never leave the garage!
Others obsess with the mind – we tangle ourselves up with processing this belief, releasing that trauma, digging into our past lives, trying to justify and understand every last negative thought in our head. We categorize our thoughts into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and we cannot get in the car to drive it until we have got rid of every single last thought. Good luck! But NO, you will also never get out of the garage!
The process of life happens during the drive. When we are driving of course we take steps to look after the body, and we take steps to be mindful of our limiting and draining beliefs, but the journey is seeing the road. The road is your irrepressible flow of life – everyday life happens to you, do you even notice? Or are you too busy polishing your car and trying to figure out your GPS?
Reiki is the process of balancing and becoming more aware of all these aspects of ourselves. We become more aware of how we are mistreating our body, we become aware of how our beliefs limit us, and often during our self-treatment we become aware of the wonderful acceptance and love of life that courses through us. Keep balancing all these aspects, but take care not to become obsessed with only one aspect to the detriment of the others.