The Importance of Nurturing Mind, Body, & Spirit

I’ve spent the last three days in bed, dealing with the worst case of flu in recorded history. (Okay, so maybe a little exaggeration there.)

And though it takes a lot to keep me from my work, I had to cancel all my sessions this week.

This month, in my SoulWorld Community membership program, we’ve been exploring U.S. presidents as a way to learn more about souls and their purpose.

During our class, I talked about President Teddy Roosevelt who, while preparing to give a public speech, was shot twice. Despite being seriously wounded, he gave his speech before seeking medical help. 

He and I are very different. The moment I got sick, I headed to bed and slept for 12 hours. He just kept on going. 

Am I a big baby compared to Roosevelt? Is he to be admired for his stoicism?

When I was a young illustrator in London, my studio mates commented on how my acne seemed to be getting worse by the minute. Turned out, I had a bad case of chicken pox.

While they insisted I go home, for their wellbeing as much as mine, my instinct back then was to plough through any illness that came my way. The fear of missing a deadline and waking up to a blank page in the Daily Telegraph kept me from taking time off when I needed it most. I’m a different person now, thankfully.

Your soul can't separate mind, body, and spirit. Click To Tweet

When you get sick, your soul will encourage you to take it easy and do what needs to be done to recover.

When I cancelled my sessions this week in favor of bedrest, a part of me felt I was giving in. The part of me that felt nurturing myself was a form of defeat was my conscious self.

That’s the same part of the mind, body, spirit bundle that caused Teddy Roosevelt to carry on, regardless of two bullets in his body.

Your soul, on the other hand, is always trying to get you to look after your body.

When you take care of your body, your soul gets the message that you value it. And when you nurture body and soul, your mind will soon catch up.

If Teddy Roosevelt had been listening to his soul, he’d have cancelled his speech and headed straight to the emergency room. To do otherwise was to simply pander to his ego.

Today, I’ll be following my soul’s guidance by soaking in the tub, sipping green tea, and listening to the flamenco guitar music of Paco De Lucia.

In other words, I’ll be nurturing mind, body and spirit.

 

How do you nurture your mind, body and spirit? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!


 

30 replies
  1. Diane
    Diane says:

    Your body is talking to you. If you don’t listen, you’ll get a slap in the face. Still don’t listen, you might get a brick. Unfortunately in our crazy society, people who get sick and still go to work are perceived as good employees, even if they contaminate everybody else. If you call in sick, they always make you feel like you are weak or they think you want a day off. The only way to get better is to rest.

    Isn’t a cold a way of your body to tell you that you have to slow down?

    Hope you get well soon. I know a man’s cold is always very bad.

    Reply
  2. Melinda Gordon
    Melinda Gordon says:

    I love this blog!!! What a great reminder Ainslie for us to listen to our bodies, for that is what our soul’s want us to do. I am so glad you are taking care of YOU, for you enlighten and touch our hearts each and everyday. I am sending love and healing thoughts your way.

    Reply
  3. Amie & Stewart
    Amie & Stewart says:

    Thank you for these insights, Ainslie. They’re both “common sense” yet so hard for some of us conscientious ones to remember at times when we’re feeling unwell and beating ourselves up. This spoke to me so much: “When you take care of your body, your soul gets the message that you value it. And when you nurture body and soul, your mind will soon catch up.” SO important for me to hear as I recover from a chronic illness. The process has actually been going well overall, but is also going much slower than my ego would like it to.Your message brings my mind and spirit so much peace. May you get some deep healing rest and be feeling better soon – much love to you, Ainslie!

    The Bastyr-trained herbalist in me hopes you find some tasty elderberry syrup to add to that green tea (Super Supplements, PCC, Whole Foods, The Herbalist all carry it) – one of the only herbs Western science & alternative medicine both agree on, as it’s so effective at shortening the duration of the flu and improving symptoms. It deactivates the protein spikes on the virus that allow it to invade your cells. 🙂 Sorry if this was too forward!!!

    Reply
  4. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Valuing myself enough to be devoted to my own self-nurturing is a lesson I learned the hard way a number of years ago. I believed myself indispensable from a high-pressure, high-power job. I didn’t allow others to care for me, and insisted on doing my job full time as well as taking care of everyone else in my family. But a cancer diagnosis smacked me awake from that ego-dream. I am oh so grateful for the lessons it taught by coming into my life.

    When I entered treatment, I took advantage of the many offers of help I received, took a couple of months off work to devote myself to healing, and decided soon thereafter to retire early. Even if my nest egg is smaller than I had planned, I have discovered other easier means of income and I will never regret the decision. Each morning I awaken when my body decides, take a walk on the very special homestead my husband and I have crafted on a special Puget Sound Island, tend a small farmstead that grows much of our fresh, organic food and can sit for hours talking with my chickens. I joke to my husband I have gone from being someone “important” to being a crazy chicken lady and I couldn’t be happier. I could not more strongly support your words to lovingly care for ourselves in mind, body and spirit. We need to all love ourselves that much, especially if we want to have a true role in healing the wider world.

    Hope you feel much better soon!

    Reply
  5. Tamara Lyday
    Tamara Lyday says:

    But it’s so hard to let go of your ego thinking that no one else can do it like you can. Or that you will be fired if you don’t show up. So funny to think that in seven years as a physician I didn’t call in sick to work one day. Not to say that I wasn’t sick but that I valued showing up to work for my patients and neglecting my own health. I’m not doing that anymore.
    It’s so interesting being in another country and watching the work ethic and how it compares to the US that I use as my standard. My friends son had a cold and she has kept him home from school for over a week. Wouldn’t happen in the US.
    As I learn to nurture my soul more than my ego I feel genuinely more rested and cared for. By doing things like massage weekly, yoga, Epsom salt baths, sleeping in, exercising my soul is responding to the good care. Now I just have to figure out a way to do that and work too!!!

    Reply
  6. Jana
    Jana says:

    A first let me say, bravo to you for not only listening but following what your body, mind and soul needed! I hope you will be feeling better quite soon and during your rest you may even create something during this more silent of times! You asked us to tell you what we do to nurture our body, mind and soul. The three best practices for me are doing self-Reiki for I am a Reiki Master so I practice what I preach. I also perform EFT Emotional Freedom Technique, ride my bike, dance, laugh a lot and touch and be touched by others. Of course eating well and getting daily exercise. Sending you healing energy!

    Reply
  7. Deb
    Deb says:

    Well, my illness is of a different sort. If I eat the wrong foods I get sick, pure and simple. There are many times I have inadvertently eaten something not knowing it had ingredients my body just can’t tolerate; there is so many hidden ingredients in even healthy foods. Specifically, I have celiac disease which, in my case also includes corn. Now I’m here to tell you, corn is literally in everything. Your shampoo, lotions, jams and jellies, American made cheeses, it’s even in the coffee you drink.

    As time goes by you are going to see more and more people end up like me, with food intolerances. And it’s really a good thing because it will eventually force those responsible for our food to stop doing what they are doing: poisoning us.

    Reply
  8. Rob
    Rob says:

    I go for the Buddhist approach; accept what is, whether illness or the darker, colder, wetter days. Embrace it with a good book by the fire and hot mug of tea. Similarly, deal with past life trauma and nurture your soul’s purpose. You are who you are and you need what you need; denying that isn’t productive or fun.

    Reply
  9. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    Sending you healing, healthy thoughts during your rest period. I agree 100% as I have been home the entire week. However, for the first time in my working history, I do not feel one ounce of guilt.

    I second the Elderberry syrup!

    Reply
  10. Kristie xx
    Kristie xx says:

    I love when you said “when you take care of your body, your soul gets the message that you value it.” Learning to practise self-care has been difficult, and I still have the tendency to get off balance, but with increased awareness and self-compassion, it has become easier. I love that my soul appreciates it. I guess when we don’t listen it’s because we don’t want to let ourselves or others down. Definitely a learning curve! Hope you feel better soon, Ainslie! Rest up ??

    Reply
  11. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Ainslie – trust you’ll feel better soon. Great conversation from all. I see this body I have as a miracle. How do 2 cells unite and become such an amazing thing that can breathe on its own, function in this world with 2 feet, hands, a heart and mind. I do as some of the others in taking care of this miracle – a balance of sleep, good food, and movement. As a Nia teacher I so enjoy moving this body and leading others to move theirs and become conscious of the gift they have and how it affects the mind and spirit. Nia keeps me healthy! Yea. And when I do get sick, my body says rest. And that can be hard work but well worth. Here’s to everyone’s health and finding what works best for you.

    Reply
  12. Mark Swain
    Mark Swain says:

    When I really need to reintegrate myself, I head for the wilderness–literally. I drive out into the desert or up into the mountains. I get as far away from other human beings as is possible. Then, I let the quiet and beauty of nature renew me. It seems that nature knows exactly what I need, and she delivers every time.

    Reply

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