Guest Author Kara-Leah Masina of be Conscious now introduces Shift Your Spirits readers to her series on Mind-Body-Spirit transformation and her unique professional life coaching/ spiritual advisement service called the Physical Manifestation Overhaul.
You mean I made this body up?
- What does your body say about who you are?
- What does it say about the physical way you interact in life?
- The mental way you interact with life?
- Or the emotional way in which you interact with life?
- How does it represents your spiritual self?
For everything that you manifest in this world represents YOU -- your relationships, your possession, your job, and your body.
This is not a new way to interpret the world. This is how spirit and body has always been perceived -- the unmanifest made manifest.
To quote directly from today's great source of knowledge, Wikipedia:
"The general principal in the spiritual traditions of India is that the characteristics of each level of manifestation are determined by the characteristics of a more subtle level whose form is determined by an even more subtle level of manifestation ultimately determined at the level of the immortal spirit, Brahman (God). By understanding and mastering the subtlest levels of reality one gains mastery over the physical realm."
What does this mean to you in your life?
That by understanding your emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual bodies, you can understand -- and change -- the way your physical body manifests.
This is most apparent when one deals with dis-ease holistically. Both Brandon Bays in The Journey, and Bri. Maya Tiwari in The Path of Practice outline how they healed their incurable cancers by going inside their Selves to understand how and why they had manifested this particular dis-ease.
Many of us will never face a major dis-ease like this. Although some will. Yet all of us live inside a body that we are mostly disconnected from. We feed it chemicals and preservatives, we starve it, we poison it with toxins and intoxicants... and then we act surprised when it rebels with a complaint.
Yet this body is the temple which houses our soul -- it is the temple of our God.
Our body is a miracle of movement -- that a thought in the brain can cause my fingers to dance across the keyboard and allow the intent of my words to spill out over your computer screen so that you may understand what I mean. When our bodies suffer, WE are suffering.
To dose and medicate and subdue and placate the suffering of our body is to run from the understandings our soul is trying to communicate to us.
When Bri. Maya Tiwari realised after four years of invasive surgery and chemotherapy that she was going to die of cancer... she was finally motivated enough to face up to the lessons it was trying to tell her. She finally made peace with herself. And the cancer disappeared.
When the body breaks down... we must ask ourselves why?
- Why did I get this cold when my husband didn't?
- Why did I break my leg?
- Why have I contracted hepatitis C?
Yes, there are the starkly physical reasons --
- I breathed in the germs
- I fell down the stairs
- I used a contaminated needle
But you know what? Other people breathe in the germs, fall down the stairs and use contaminated needles... and they don't get sick.
Physical ill-health is a symptom of ill-health in the more subtle bodies we posses -- the mental, emotional ,energetic or spiritual body. To truly heal, from the inside out, we must dig up the root of the problem. We know what it is, we must acknowledge this to ourselves. Then healing can take place.
Our great obsession with diet and body image is pure folly, because we seek to eternally control that will is internally manifested.
Yes, you can cut calories and exercise more and perhaps you will lose weight. You might even keep it off -- provided the weight was not manifested because of an emotional issue, or a spiritual issue. But when you fail, time and time again -- Oprah, I wish I could explain this to you! -- it is not because you are bad, or a failure, or genetically predisposed to carry weight... it is because you are chopping off the leaves of the tree and failing to yank out the roots.
Get in there and find out WHY you carry weight. Jeff Lilly of Druid Journal has been taking this journey for the past two months. Despite the best healthful efforts of his wife to fill the house cupboards with only unprocessed food... Jeff couldn't control his cravings and subsequent binges. his wife lost 40 pounds. He remained steadfastly overweight.
Jeff started asking himself why? He started paying attention to when he craved, when he binged, how he felt before and after... And via this method of honest self-inquiry, he was able to ascertain that he binged because he needed to ground himself. His body was naturally balancing excessive mental activity (like writing and thinking) with a grounding action -- eating.
By understanding WHAT was going on, he was able to choose a course of action that still honoured his soul's needs, while also looking after the body. Now when he feels the cravings start to hit, he uses breath work, or a short walk, or a meditation, to bring himself back down into his body.
Our bodies will always seek balance -- when they are too hot, they crave a cold drink. Too cold and they want a warm fire. We can understand and appreciate this on this physical level.
But our bodies are always moving through the different elements --
- earth (physical body)
- air (mental body)
- fire (energetic body)
- water (emotional body)
By knowing where you are, you know how to balance yourself.
- If you are too much in the energetic body -- as can happen if kundalini is active for example -- taking a bath draws the excess energy off.
- If you're too much in the mental body and need to ground, anything that connects with the physical body is useful -- eating, walking, sitting on a big rock.
- If you're overwhelmed with emotions, you often reach for the comfort food because you need to have something solid to ground yourself. But just as effective is to ground via a walk, or to fire up some energy and turn the water into steam by running, cycling, or dancing. Using the mind is also an effective way to get out of the emotions -- so many of us pour ourselves into our work rather than face our emotions.
- If you're feeling lethargic and dull, all earthed out, then you need to fire yourself up and get the energy flowing -- you don't feel like moving, but when you do, the energy moves within you.
The key is balance, each of the elements equally represented and supporting the fifth element -- ether, our soul. In this way, a balanced person can be walking with a friend, talking, and sharing emotions. The physical body is engaged, the mind, the heart and the energy... all is present.
So if you want to shift your physical manifestation -- perhaps heal dis-ease, or rehabilitate injury, maybe lose or gain weight -- start paying attention to why you've manifested the way you have.
Seek out balance between the four elements -- paying attention to where you habitually reside. Too much air? Fire? Water? or Earth?
Shifting to this understanding of the world empowers you to change your self. It takes awareness, it takes work, but it is so rewarding.
It means you can manifest the healthiest, happiest version of your physical self.
Much joy and love, Kara-Leah
About the Author K-L Grant is more than a yoga instructor and writer in Queenstown, New Zealand. K-L's blog be Conscious now is about experientially exploring the mind, body and spirit via conscious living. In her own words: "It is time for us to evolve consciously, to understand that our minds are merely the programming system that creates the world we experience. By consciously using our minds as the tool they are, we can free ourselves from the tyranny of mind-as-master. This is what I mean when I say, be conscious now."
UPDATE: Kara-Leah Grant's current site is The Yoga Lunchbox.