Many years ago I did a Reiki Practitioner course and learnt about the four pillars; Physical, emotional, spiritual , mental. If I recall, Karen called them aspects. But I called them pillars because if one cracked, the other 3 would fall down too.
I was thinking a lot about this as we head into a new work year and I want to do some value mapping before I head back to the grind on Wednesday. The reason I want to do a value mapping is so that I can make sure I stay focussed on my own values and ensure that I am living in alignment to them and not slipping into old habits. But I was also reminded how I have spent a great deal of my time off doing very little and eating way too much sugar; to the point of feeling the usual sugar induced inflammation in my hips.
The Physical Pillar:
In order to feel good, we need to eat healthy. I watched “Stutz” and Jonah Hill mentioned such a pearler about what we usually associate eating healthy and exercise with; how we look! And while we all want to look good, I think we put so much focus on the exterior when we speak of diet and movement. We should rather put the focus on feeling good. I have accepted that I will never look how I did when I was 25; granted, it would be nice, but at the end of the day, as I am in my 42nd year, I want to feel good inside. I want energy and ease of movement.
This is something I have to work on because I am an emotional eater, I get comfort from the tactile sensations certain foods create. I need to learn to get comfort another way.
The Emotional Pillar:
Ever find yourself afraid or too proud to feel a certain way? As though sadness and Anger is not allowed for those who are trying to remain calm at all times? Well suppression is not the answer. I stand testament to the fact that a good tantrum or giving the loudest roar in traffic really works. Crying until you have the poofiest eyes or throwing something is actually quite good sometimes. If you don’t release it it gets stuck and that when those things start to manifest themselves physically; so in other words sucking it up and suppressing it is not the answer, it is bound to come out eventually, when that lid pops and it all comes out at the most inappropriate time.
What you resist, will persist. We need to allow ourselves to really feel our emotions. Of course there are times when feeling anything is inappropriate and in those times, just hold it a little, put a calendar entry in to deal with it. There needs to be time daily for self care, resist the urge to turn the telly on and that time we always think we do not have; honour the emotions, walk through the emotions and really feel them and when you get to the other side, release them into the wild.
The year 2022 was a year of opening up to feeling everything. It was like flinging Pandora’s box open and it was frightening. But what it allowed me to be was more empathetic, throw out way less toxic positivity and be more authentic. And this shall continue until I take my last breath. It just needs focus because again, old habits die hard.
The Spiritual Pillar:
I must admit, my spirituality has been neglected. It’s been hard to be any kind of spiritual when you start to open your eyes to some of the horror and challenge that has been your life and you wonder why the “universe” just hands out so much drama sometimes. But I was seeing spirituality as something outside of myself.
There needs to be quiet time; some time to just reflect. Even if you don’t believe you are a spiritual being, having quiet reflection time, the time to ask yourself the hard questions and letting your inner guidance system do its thing is super important. Allow messages to be delivered to help you make sense of whatever is cooking in that cooking pot. And those messages could come in the form of your own thoughts when that “penny drops”.
The Mental Pillar:
The Mental Pillar; this involves learning and growing.
Reading, questioning and researching also exercises the brain, it keeps one engaged and excited. Learning new things, new skills or adding some general knowledge to the encyclopedia in your head is a break from the hum-drum routine, it is like a breath of fresh air that is so often most welcome and it needs to be continued. Find what makes you tick and learn more.
Last year I learnt to make soaps and other formulations. I learnt how to create formulations and I am always reading up on ingredients and the benefits. I have very little interest in learning vocational things, but I love learning more about what interests me. I can go deep into those things and I do have a habit of moving on to something else when I feel like I know something and get bored. But I like to my keep my neurons firing.
One of, what I believe to be, one of my shortcomings is that I have a problem with commitment. I can start something guns blazing, but the spark can fizzle out very quickly. What sounds like a good idea when I am in a good mood, becomes a terrible idea when the time comes and I am not in the mood. This goes for my commitment to social engagements, commitment to a yoga practice, a commitment to eating healthy, a commitment to meditation; yes, even a commitment to sitting and doing nothing is a challenge for me. But I do want to make small strides to getting my pillars healthy and strong.
My Goal is to live consciously, even when I want to switch to auto-pilot, I must have the ability to recognise and and get back online and in tune with myself. Wishing myself safe travels and a fun journey of attempted commitment to more self discovery and learning as life pushes on. Can I commit? We shall take it day by day.