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By Claudia Lee
On the mirror of my dresser I have an orange post-it note taped on the side with the question: “Are you treating your mind, body, and soul right?”
Although there are many different qualities of each separate entity, the three must work together in order to achieve harmony. All these compartments must be nourished correctly in order for our whole being to be balanced.
The mind is in control.
It is the headquarters, the boss, the thing that puts us to action in order to complete tasks. Without the mind, we would be mindless—drifting along with no motives. The thoughts we have manipulate much of our lives. Are you thinking positive and encouraging thoughts? Or are you talking yourself down with negativity? What we think, we become. The greatest visionaries and leaders of now and the past did not become great without a mind challenge; they had to believe in themselves, not drown in self-pity when they came across failures or hardships, and not give in to hopelessness. They talked to themselves in a way in which they would encourage the ones they love; with tenderness and a demeanor that says “your feelings matter.” The mind is where self-love begins. It is powerful and sets us apart from animals.
The body is the function.
Without it, we would not be able to carry out tasks or accomplish anything—just as it would be without a mind. The body is sacred like a temple, yes, but I like to compare it to a lush evergreen forest. An evergreen forest can never be destroyed permanently in a way temples can be. Forests grow back. The earth springs new life after tremendous fires and the trees refuse to die. The power of life trumps even the most advanced human designs, as evident through sprouts of weeds in city sidewalk cracks. That is your body; it refuses to stay defeated after a fire. Your skin sheds itself approximately every twenty seven days. The stardust that composes our body is like an eternal magic matter—never letting us remain the same after the most damaging of accidents. We must treat our bodies with respect. We must appreciate all its functions and abilities; we can run, dance, sing, paint. We can form human life inside us. Our bodies are strong enough to survive with only one kidney. Are you appreciating all that your body does for you? Are you treating it right by fueling it with healthy foods in order for the forest to grow lusciously, with magnificent flowers of blues and reds? Are you drinking enough water for the roots in the dirt to absorb?
The soul is the highest self.
Without it, we would have no passion or ambitions. Life would be meaningless. The soul is unseen, but we must feed the invisible mouth. Feed it poems and paintings, music and films, flowers and aesthetic scenery. Are you appreciating the moments you know you’ll one day be nostalgic for? Are you living long in these moments despite how transient life is? Are you creating a forever in these moments? Are you off your phone and paying attention? For the soul to grow, we must try things that are new, different, and perhaps even scary. Courage is an important nutrient the soul needs. Love, light, compassion—all intangible things, much like the soul, is what fuels the soul to burn like solar flares. Are you in tune with your spirituality? Are you listening to the ocean’s waves—really listening? Are you acknowledging the beauty, goodness, and truth? Are you reading to understand yourself? Are you evaluating your character?
If the mind is filled with toxic thoughts, our body shuts down and our soul’s fire becomes embers. If the body is absorbing unhealthy food, our mind will be fueled with negative thoughts of shame and self-consciousness because of what we’ve eaten. We will feel the roots of our trees die. Our soul will not be able to focus on the higher self because the mind is working off of negative energy. If the soul is not fed its nutrients of courage, passion, and inspiration through works of art, music, or literature, our mind will repeat the same mundane thoughts and ideas. Our body will be sluggish if we engage in anything new or challenging because without a soul, our mind will think, what’s the point? It is through this balanced triangle of mind, body, and soul where we can fulfill our potential and reach enlightenment.