“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indulge the Soul

I am very committed to a healthy lifestyle. I exercise regularly and eat a very healthy diet that focuses on lots of veggies, fruits, lean proteins and good fats. And I can say that together, this combination helps to make me feel energetic and happy. But that’s only part of the story. To truly be happy, one must also be content from within. Our outer Worlds truly reflect the state of our inner Worlds and our health is certainly an integral component of that concept. A strong mind and body connection exists within us all. Every thought we have generates an emotion and leads to a biochemical reaction in the body that can have a positive or negative effect. As Deepak Chopra discusses in his book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind:

“…Our cells are constantly eavesdropping on our thoughts and being changed by them. A bout of depression can wreak havoc with the immune system, falling in love can boost it. Despair and hopelessness raise the risk of heart attacks and cancer, thereby shortening life. Joy and fulfillment keep us healthy and extend life. This means that the line between biology and psychology can’t really be drawn with any certainty.”

Now, with this in mind, I return to my diet. Although it is healthy and I enjoy the foods I eat, there are certain things that I love that I would simply not eat on a daily basis. Pizza, chocolate desserts, rich, fatty ice creams are a few of these. But the idea of total deprivation leaves me a bit empty. Likewise, feelings such as guilt or failure associated with eating these things seem equally as harmful as the physical consequences of eating them at all. And I believe this idea is especially important to those who are trying to lose weight.

So how do we get around this? By knowing that, on occasion, we should enjoy the things that we love and that everything can be good for us in moderation. When we allow ourselves these indulgences and fully enjoy and appreciate them, free from guilt, we feed an empty place in the soul. We replace feelings of deprivation with abundance. And we nurture our inner World, which strengthens our outer World.

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