Health, Wellness and Wholeness

Health, Wellness and Wholeness

Health, Wellness and Wholeness

Today, I would like to begin a new conversation around health by looking at the difference between health, wellness and wholeness.

 

Health is a state of the body. 

When we talk about health, we usually mean the state of functionality of the body.  Does it operate at a ‘normal’ level without pain, or at least minimal pain?  When we seek to help our body function better, we look to physical treatments.  Medications, herbs, massage, diet, exercise.  Medical doctors, naturopaths, functional medicine practitioners.  

The focus here is usually attempting to diagnose and change the biochemistry of the body.  Often this approach to health is an outside in approach meaning we need to control the biochemistry of the body in order to feel healthy.  We are doing something to our body to make it function properly. 

 

Wellness expands our concept of health. 

Along comes the wellness industry which redefines the concept of health.  Wellness expands our definition of health to include the mind, emotions, lifestyle factors and searching for happiness in our lives.  We engage in positive thinking, lifestyle modification, honoring our emotions.  Perhaps finding work that inspires, re-evaluating our relationships.  In addition to the physical modalities, we seek out counseling, therapy, life coaching.  

 

Then emerges the idea of Wholeness. 

The overriding name of my business is Integrative Wholeness.  This idea expands the concept of health to include all dimensions and parts of who we are.   It focuses on understanding our multi-dimensionality and bringing all parts of our multi-dimensionality into balance and harmony.  

Integrative Wholeness embraces our physical body, our emotional body, our mental body, our energy body, and our spiritual body.  The intent is to create balance in each dimension.  When balance in each dimension is established the dimensions begin to resonate in harmony with each other.  The soul, mind, heart and body are in alignment with each other.     

Integrative Wholeness is also a process of meeting, greeting, embracing and integrating all parts of who we are.   We each have a personality that includes parts of us that we deem acceptable.  Yet there are parts of us that are wounded and/or considered unacceptable. These parts need to be accessed, healed and integrated.  Some of these exiled parts are the innocent inner children who hold our joy, gifts and talents but were deemed unacceptable by those who raised us and/or our society at large.  When we integrate these parts, we begin to feel more whole.  We reclaim our joy and our passion for life.  

It is this experience of integration that will create health from the inside out.  When all dimensions and parts are in balance and harmony, health on all levels is the natural result.  Your body will be healthy.  Your mind will be clear and focused.  Your emotions will be balanced.  You will feel a connection with your spirit and God.  You will be expressing your gifts and live abundantly.

 

In Summary 

I began on a search for health many years ago.  I discovered that health was more that just the body.  I also needed inner peace.  I discovered that the path to health involved the process of healing and integrating all parts of myself.  

This is my vision and what I am here to teach others.  I invite you to listen, learn, evaluate and apply what feels right to you.  

Stay tuned.  Read my weekly blog.  In 2020, l plan to begin monthly webinars.  I hope you will join me so we can support each other on this journey. 

Wishing you peace, love and vibrant health, 

Bindu

 

How to Give and Receive Kindness

How to Give and Receive Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Aesop

In the last few posts, we have explored what kindness is and its power and benefits on you and the world.  In this post we will explore ways to integrate the practice of giving and receiving kindness into your life.

Kindness begins with yourself.

Be kind to yourself when you take a misstep. Notice if you judge yourself for making mistakes or not doing something according to a preconceived notion of how it should look.  As you become more aware of that, practice letting the judgment go.  Find something to appreciate about yourself instead.  Take some time each day for yourself.  Something that you enjoy or feels nurturing.  

Begin with compassion, then with kindness.

Recognize that we all have challenges before making a an assumption or judgment about another person or situation.  Sometimes an act of kindness is simply holding back our criticism and/or trying to see things from the other persons perception.  I love the quote “Never judge someone unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.”  Understand that everyone is doing the best they can.  Look for something that you can compliment in others.  

Be of service to others.

Do at least one kind act for someone close to you, an acquaintance or stranger or yourself every day. It can be as simple as bringing a coworker a cup of coffee or giving a stranger a smile.

Choose to be kind even when others are not.

Being kind is a choice you have every day.  It can be difficult being kind when the another person is not being kind.  Yet, being unkind back can often lead to ongoing conflict.  Saying or doing something kind can reverse a situation.  

Give for the sake of giving.

Don’t expect anything in return. When you give kindness expecting thanks or some form of credit, it is self-serving and some form of making the recipient feel indebted. The rewards are better when we are kind without expecting any payback.

I heard a story about a little boy from a family who had very little money. He really wanted fishing lures but had no money to buy them. This anonymous person bought a handful of fishing lures and a package of gummy worms and left them in the family mailbox along with a note saying they were free. The boy was thrilled, and the anonymous person was filled with happiness at seeing the boys joy. Now that is kindness!

Practice being kind more often.

Like everything, we become kinder the more we do it. Random acts of kindness get easier. Do one small, kind thing each day for someone and pay attention to the impact you make. Notice the impact of kindness on the other person.  And notice how it makes you feel.  Being kind is its own reward.  It will make you feel lighter, kinder and notice more opportunities to be kind.

Kindness is contagious.

Be the one who shows kindness every day and others will begin to do the same. Be the boss, leader, coworker, family member or neighbor who people follow your actions in kindness.  When you are kind to someone, it make them feel good.  They will naturally spread that.

Kindness lasts.

When you do an act of kindness for someone or it’s done for you, it is remembered. Maybe you were shy in college and you had a staff member compliment you on your looks. Do you still remember the unexpected kindness? How do you want to be remembered?

I remember as a child visiting my aunts.  I was impressed with the kindness they showed me.  I don’t remember the details, but I do remember the feeling that I had around them. 

In Summary: 

Studies have shown that when we do kind things it makes us happier and increases our self-love and respect. Doing some act of kindness daily can put you in a better mood more often. Go ahead and do some random small act of kindness today!

Awareness Practice:  

This week, observe the role of kindness in your life.  Contemplate ways that you can include the practice of kindness on an ongoing basis.  Which of the above suggestions appeal to you?  How might you incorporate them into your life. 

 

May kindness fill your heart,

Bindu

Character Traits of Kindness

Character Traits of Kindness

“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for empathy, your hands for helping others, your mind for truth, and your heart for compassionate love.”

– David Scott

Kindness is not only about what you do but how you do it.

It can accompany every type of action from praise to criticism. When an action comes from a place of empathy, you experience kindness.

Kindness comes in many forms. It’s about honesty, empathy, forgiveness, trust, patience, compassion and humility.

Honesty:

Honesty doesn’t always mean you are being kind. You can be honest and kind at the same time though. When you need to be honest, but it feels like a criticism, you should find a way to deliver it with kindness, say with a soft voice, a hand on someone’s shoulder or the way you word your response.

Forgiveness:

When you forgive others and yourself, you are freeing yourself from blame and condemnation. It allows you to be happy. Forgiveness is a form of kindness as it lets you accept others as they are. “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace”

Trust:

Trust is different from honesty. When you show kindness to others, it builds their trust in you. There are many ways to do this; keep your word, ask what they need, then help them get it.  

Empathy:

Kindness requires empathy. It means putting yourself in another’s position and feelings. Empathy allows you to understand and be sensitive to what others are feeling. It is important to building positive relationships and for good communication.  

Patience: 

Patience is needed when being kind. Patience makes us take the time to get our thoughts and actions in order before we react.  A kind act is often given with patience. “A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.” 

Compassion:

This is when we feel for another’s problems and take action to help. Compassion is an action of kindness. It is a guide for kindness.

Humility:

Being humble means you do things out of the kindness of your heart, not expecting anything in return.  This is a true act of kindness.

In Summary:

Kindness has all these character traits in it. Being honest, building trust, being humble, compassionate and empathetic all work together to perform true acts of kindness.  Kindness flows from an intention to be in harmony with yourself and others.  Kindness looks for a win/win solution to challenges and differences.  Kindness values connection over being right.  Kindness creates inner peace and outer harmony.

 

Contemplation for this week:

This week, consider the character traits of kindness.  Look at the ones that you are strong in and the ones that are more difficult for you.   Become more aware of how the characteritics that you are strong in flow through you and what that creates in your life.  Pick one characteristic that you are weak in that you would like to strengthen.  Contemplate on how you can strengthen this characteristic.  

Above all, have fun with this.  Enjoying getting to know yourself better. 

 

Wishing you much kindness this week,

Bindu

How to Be More Kind

How to Be More Kind

How to be More Kind

“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

Kindness is a simple act.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or resources unless you want it to. The smallest acts of kindness often go the longest way to changing lives. You can cultivate more kindness in your life in many ways.

Here are some examples:

  1. When you believe in someone, tell them and show them your support. This support may be just what they need to drive them to achieve things greater things.
  2. Think about your words before you speak. If what you’re thinking isn’t kind, stop what you’re doing. Think about how to better phrase what you’re thinking or perhaps don’t say it at all. Remember to be kind in how you deal with the person.
  3. When you receive kindness spread it around. Continue to spread the kindness by paying it forward.
  4. Everyone faces challenges even if they don’t outwardly show it. Don’t discriminate on who you are kind to.
  5. Be an example. Be a role model to others by always being kind.
  6. It doesn’t matter if it’s a close relationship or a stranger, it’s important to be mindful of how you treat others. Be considerate of everyone.
  7. Practice having good intentions. Try to have good intentions when you say something nice. Don’t expect something in return.
  8. Reach out when others don’t.
  9. If showing kindness is hard for you, try to remember how you felt when someone was kind to you.
  10. Be kind every day. Holding the door for someone while giving them a genuine smile is an easy way to brighten someone’s day.
  11. Create a kindness calendar. Add some type of kindness you can do to each day. For example, take a cup of coffee to your coworker, help your elderly neighbor with their groceries, thank the mail carrier with a card, give your umbrella to a mom and her kids waiting for the bus in the rain, share your lunch with a homeless person or any other act of kindness.

There are many ways you can be kind.

Some acts of kindness take only a few moments, such as a smile or quick complement.  Some acts of kindness take more time and/or effort on your part.  Don’t dismiss the impact of those that only take a few moments.  They are often the most powerful.

If you are stumped for ideas, here are a few to get you started.

  • Let someone in front of you at the grocery store because they have fewer items.
  • Smile at someone who really needs it. Maybe you see a struggling mom trying to shop with her three kids. Give her an encouraging smile.
  • Talk with a friend who is having problems. Lending a ear may be all they need.
  • Buy food for a homeless person the next time you go for fast food or a restaurant.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Help a coworker on a project even if you have a full schedule.
  • Let someone in your lane in a traffic jam.
  • Donate old clothes to someone in need.
  • Call your grandparents or parents instead of waiting for them to call.
  • Say please, thank you and your welcome.
  • Compliment someone on their hair, outfit or something else.
  • Offer your seat on the bus or train.
  • Bake something for a neighbor, older relative or nursing home and visit with them.
  • Text someone good morning or good night.
  • Plan to meet with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Wash someone’s car for free.
  • Have a sick neighbor? Mow their yard or shovel their snow. Take out their trash. See if they need you to pick anything up for them – medication, groceries, etc.
  • Stop and help someone broke down on the road. Or see if they have help coming.
  • Plan a surprise party for a friend’s birthday.
  • Wish someone a good day.
  • Leave a nice note on someone’s car or in their mailbox.
  • Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Help a stranger in some way.
  • Actively listen when someone is talking to you.
  • Give an unexpected gift to someone.
  • Thank someone for something specific they’ve done for you
  • Make a donation to charity.
  • Volunteer your time.
  • Share a memory with a child or friend.

Be discrete when carrying out acts of kindness.

When carrying out your act of kindness, be sure to not intrude or embarrass the receiver. Discretion is key. Give your smile or gift then move on, unless the receiver wants to talk. Some acts of kindness can be carried out anonymously as well.

Above all else, carry out your acts of kindness because you genuinely want to make yourself and others feel good. Not because you expect something in return.

Contemplation for this week:

1.  This week, create and intention to carry out one act of kindness per day.  More if you would like.

2.  At the end of each day, notice if you remembered or not.  Be kind to yourself if you forgot.  That can be your act of kindness for the day.  Reinforce your intention.

3.  If you did remember to carry out an act of kindness, take a moment to remember how it felt and how the other person responded.

4.  Pat yourself on the back for each act of kindness your carried out.

5.  Continue this practice indefinately.

 

May kindness fill your heart with love and compassion for yourself and others. 

Bindu

Transform Negative Situations with Kindness

Transform Negative Situations with Kindness

The Transformation of Negativity with Kindness

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Ian Maclaren

There are times in life when you are stressed, frustrated or angry with yourself, someone or a situation. You may end up annoyed, rude and sending out negative emotions. Learning how to manage your negative reactions in stressful situations with kindness is key to staying centered and balanced.

Begin with Kindness toward Yourself

First and foremost, forgive yourself for being human.  Acknowledge what you are feeling and accept that as part of being human.  It is simply what you are feeling in the moment.

Acknowledge and Accept Your own Emotions. 

What are your feeling?  Anger, sadness, fear, worry, frustration? Emotion is short for energy in motion.  Once you are aware of your own emotions, allow yourself to slow down and deepen your breath.  Experiment with feeling the emotion without needing to suppress it or act outward with it.  See it as an energy moving through you.  Your only need is to feel it and experience it.

Inquire into the Emotion

What is creating the stress and negative emotions? Are you overwhelmed at work? Is it a person that is triggering the emotion? Discovering what is triggering  the emotion can assist in transforming it.  Sometimes simply feeling the emotion and inquiring into it will defuse the emotion.

Often, under an emotion is an unmet need.  Perhaps you don’t feel heard.  Perhaps you feel slighted or disrespected.  Maybe you feel unloved or unaccepted.  Maybe you feel threatened or attacked.  Maybe you feel left out or disconnected.  By understanding the unmet need, you can more clearly understand what you need.

Ask yourself what you need.

Do you need to feel love, valued, appreciated, respected?  Perhaps you need to feel safe or secure.  Maybe you need more space or freedom.  Maybe you need to feel included and heard.  By understanding what you need, you can explore ways to get that need met.

Listen to hear what the other person needs.

While it is important to feel our emotions and understand our triggers and needs.  It is also important to understand what the other person feels and needs.  When we understand both, we can work together with the other person(s) to find a win/win resolution. 

Ask, what can I do to take care of myself.

Sometime the need can be met from within.  By accepting yourself even when another is criticizing you.  By, taking a walk and giving yourself some breathing room.  By speaking your voice, sharing your perspective or opinion.  Listening to the other person, perhaps drawing them out with questions.  Maybe by removing yourself from an unsafe situation.  The choices are unlimited.  Your inner self will be able to guide you.

Change What You Can

If an external change needs to happen take action.  Speak your voice, walk out of the room, go for a walk.  Once you find the root cause, take action to change it. If it cannot be changed, can it be cut from your life? While making changes, cut out other stress triggers as much as possible. Change negative thought and communication patterns into more positive ones.

Incorporate Healthy Outlets

Regular exercise can give you an emotional lift and an outlet for negative emotions. Physical movement helps to clear emotions from you body.  Take a warm bath.  Meditation can help to calm the mind and get a better perspective.  Volunteering and helping others may help see things with a different perspective.

Respond to Negativity with Kindness

By responding to negativity with kindness, you can diffuse a potentially negative outcome.  Here are some tips to try:  

1.  Don’t mirror others negative actions and thoughts. Treat them kindly. This could mean apologizing if it’s appropriate. Acknowledge other’s points of view without judging.

2.  Speak in a pleasant, friendly voice as if you were talking to a friend. Keep your voice controlled and without anger.

3.  Keep an open and relaxed body posture. Don’t roll your eyes, sigh or make other negative body language movements.

4.  Breathe! Take a few long, slow, deep breaths in through your nose, pause slightly, then let your breath out. Deep breathing relaxes you and re-centers your emotions.  It puts you and others at ease.

5.  Distract yourself by engaging in something pleasant or helping someone else.

In Summary

Just because you are stressed doesn’t mean you need to react negatively to others. Instead, act in a way that is kind and considerate of the feelings of all involved.  Seek to understand your needs and the needs of others concerned.  Dialogue in a way that communicates your needs and also be able to hear the needs of the others involved.  Work towards a win/win solution.  

By holding the intention to create a positive outcome, negative situations can be transformed into a co-creation and positive situation for all concerned.  

As Mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, states:

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”

Contemplation for this week:

1. Create and intention be more aware of your thoughts and emotions in a difficult situation.

2.  Experiment with inquiring inwardly to understand your underlying needs. 

3. Listen more fully to others with and intention of listening for their underlying need. 

4.  Experiment with some of the suggestions in this article for transforming negativity into something positive.  

 

Wishing you peace,

Bindu

Personal Benefits of Kindness

Personal Benefits of Kindness

Personal Benefits of Kindness

The benefits from kindness are more than just feeling good. Kindness affects both our emotional and physical body in different ways.  Here are some of the benefits of being and showing kindness to others.

  • Kindness slows down the aging process. People who volunteer tend to experience less aches and pains than others. Kindness and helping others will protect your health in the same way aspirin helps against heart disease.
  • It improves our relationships and connections with others. Kindness helps us relate to other people and have more positive relationships with everyone we encounter.
  • Kindness increases happiness. In a study by The Journal of Social Psychology, who practiced an act of kindness or tried something new each day enjoyed a higher level of happiness than those who didn’t make any changes.
  • The release of feel-good hormones happens from acts of kindness. Doing nice things for others can increase your serotonin levels. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for our feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Kindness also releases the endorphins known as the “helper’s high”.
  • Kindness improves our own self-respect and self-love. It makes us happier and in a better mood more often by doing kind acts often. Buy someone coffee or lunch, help someone in need or volunteer your time to get the pick-me-up you need.
  • Kindness helps prevent illnesses caused from inflammation. These health problems include diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity and migraines. Volunteering seems to lower the levels of inflammation. Oxytocin is released, even from small acts of kindness, which in turn reduces inflammation. Share a smile, make a donation, help others in some small to feel the effects of kindness.
  • Kindness eases your anxiety, whether it’s mild nervousness or you’re having severe panic. Being nice to others is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to fight of anxiety. Look for ways to help others when you are feeling anxious. Smile at someone, call a friend or lend your time to an organization.
  • It is good for your heart. Kindness not only makes your heart feel good; it also affects the actual chemical balance of your heart. It releases the hormone oxytocin which reduces blood pressure thereby protecting the heart.
  • Kindness helps reduce stress. Helping others lets you move away from your own worries and problems.

For those of us with fibromyalgia, taking on extra responsibilities may be daunting or impossible.  If that is the case, begin at home.  Begin where you are.  How can you offer simple acts of kindness in your everyday life?  A smile, a kind word, a compliment.  Holding back on an unkind word.  

Remember yourself among those you are kind to.  Compliment yourself.  Remind yourself of the things that you are strong in.  Counter an inner criticism with a compliment.  Stop a moment to take a breath or gaze at a flower.   

Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness every day. You’ll notice changes in how it affects your life and begin to see the ripple effects on other people as well.

 

May you experience kindness in your heart.

Until next week,

Bindu