Question: What do you think your personal degree of balance is according to your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects? (My answer was written before doing the lesson)
Answer: I believe that my degree of balance, in relation to these aspects, comes from moderation. If I excessively work-out and only focus on my physical self, then my body burns out. If I only focus on my emotional state, then my emotions get the best of me. If I only focus on my mental and spiritual states, then my physical health is affected, and I get sick. I believe in order to keep these aspects in balance, I have to focus a small amount of time and energy on all of them at the same time. For example, let’s say I am very emotional one day. To bring about balance within myself I would, channel that emotional energy, whilst sorting out my mental and spiritual states. For me this is achieved through physical activity like running. I am able to tune into my physical self, whilst working on my internal conflicts arising from my emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, thus clearing my mind and helping me sort-out the root of my problem.
I also believe that what you put into your body, as in food, water and environmental chemicals, can have an effect on one’s state in relation to mind, body and spirit. If I am in a loud setting, surrounded by pollution, eating processed foods, and doing little exercise, then I have nothing for my bodily cells to work with, thus causing a lack of homeostasis. This lack of homeostasis on a physical level is then translated into a poor emotional state, which does not allow me to become attuned with my spiritual self because I would be lacking a meditative and spiritual focus.
I believe it is necessary for me, as well as all people, to maintain moderation in relation to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, but also keeping in mind that doing what one likes, is important in obtaining and maintaining this balance. I cannot simple give up everything just because “it is bad for me”. If I did, I would not be happy, which in-turn would cause a personal degree of mental/emotional imbalance.
Question: What can you do to bring about a total balance in relation to the principles taught in this lesson? (Written after the lesson)
Answer: In relation to bringing total balance into my life, and eventually unto others, to the best of my ability, I feel I need to tailor my diet to myself as an individual. I eat quite a lot of raw foods, because I like them and also because I am a Pitta constitution, whom runs “hot” most of the time. I find these foods to be cooling for me, but I never thought about how they affected my stomach as a “pot on a burner”. I am well aware that my digestion is compromised as I have many allergies to foods and I have IBS. I realize now, how important even slightly cooking vegetables and fruit might be to my digestion and eventual absorption of essential nutrients.
Throughout the lesson I also realized that I do not eat enough protein in relation to my ancestry or climate. I am of Irish and Scottish decent, and similarly to these countries, I live in a cold climate. Canada can be a chilly place, and I never really realized that eating more whole proteins could help boost my immunity and strength during the coldest months. I feel I should add more whole proteins like chicken, not only for the boost of protein but also due to its drying ability, as I live in a very rainy area and winter causes noticeable dampness within my body.
In relation to fats, I usually avoid butter. Now that I have a better idea of its energetic properties, its building qualities without adding heat, I feel ghee could be incorporated into my eating regime, and I see how it can be used to build weak constitutions if used in moderation.
Fasting was an interesting section for me because I never related it to the shedding of emotional and mental issues. I feel like this type of detoxification and ultimately healing process, if done correctly, can be extremely helpful to many overly excessive Westernized types.
The TCM approach opens my awareness to food and food preparation, including their energetic’s and holistic usage within one’s body. As much as I feel that total balance can be achieved by some, the many, I feel, would struggle to give up the temptations we have so diligently surrounded ourselves with.
Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care