“Give us today our daily bread…” Matthew 6:11 (TNIV)
Goal: To grow your Physical/Biological Core Area, which includes your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and experiences regarding living a bio- balanced life, evidenced by engagement in health and wellness producing activities and responsibilities.
The Importance of this Core Area: This is one of the harder Core Areas to address in this book because when we think of the breath of Physical and Biological differences of people on this planet, we can’t help but notice there is so much variation regarding the ability of human beings to access food, clean water or other resources that are vital to their ability to survive, live and to engage in physical activity that ultimately results in their personal wellness and overall well-being.
In thinking about our differences, we know some are younger and their bodies tend to be more efficient and resilient than those who are older, whose overall function, ability and effectiveness could be (and is typical) slowed with age. Others live where there is an abundance of food, water and nutritional resources yet others live where there is scarcity, and research reveals 1 in 10 people on this globe are food insecure or don’t have access to clean water, which impacts not only their physical and biological development but possibly their ability to reach and achieve higher levels of self-actualization as documented by Abraham Maslow. Finally, some people are healthy and may have full use of their limbs whereas others live where their body is exposed to trauma, disease, violence or chronic medical conditions or mental health disorders.
Regardless of our differences on this Earth one thing we all have in common is research has consistently confirmed that a healthy diet and regular exercise results in the well-being of the brain and the body over one’s lifespan. Do you remember the Greek word for “Compassion” (Splanchnon, used by Jesus in Matthew 9:36) in our previous post? That same word is also the medical term for that part of our body called the viscera (your trunk), and when this word was used in scripture, it typically led Jesus to heal, serve, feed or minister to another person or group of people (Matthew 14:14; Matthew 15:32). As I consider the citizens of Earth, this really drives home the significance and importance of paying attention to the Physical/Biological Core Area of people, so much so that I hope you’ll research and consider what you could do to exercise compassion and help others in this core area, especially when we look at your Environmental Core Area, which encourages you to be a positive change agent in the lives of others.
The Fruit and Wisdom in this Core Area: We’ll explore the fruitful benefits of the Physical/Biological Core Area (and there are many!) throughout the totality of this book, as good nutrition and regular exercise benefit the body, mind, spirit and relationships of the individual over the course of their lifetime.
For now, I really want to highlight the physiological effects of exercise. Engaging in some form of regular physical activity helps to discharge energy when you’re worried and distressed, and since exercise typically involves the rhythmic movement of the right and left sides of the body you’re getting both hemispheres of your brain to work together (the emotional Right and the logical Left). You’ll find that anytime you “bio-balance” by getting both hemispheres of your brain working together you’re positioning yourself to experience a calmer and focused mind, better intellectual functioning, creative ideas and increased memory functioning, which are all needed to help you create and enjoy your Triangle of Well-Being and good Interpersonal Neurobiology!
Contaminants in this Core Area: Just think about the opposite of what we just discussed in the Fruit and Wisdom section. Infrequent to no physical activity, in addition to poor nutrition impacts your body (hypertension, heart disease, poor bone density, obesity, diabetes), mind (distress, anxiety, depression, cognitive delay, decreased memory function), or spirit (reactivity versus reflection; flooding versus focus and flow; cranky and criticalness versus comfort and creativity). Remember, the wisdom of Hippocrates, who reminded us to “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” It makes sense, but it also makes sense that if food is not our medicine, then we stand the risk of having medicine become our food!
Suggested Activity: If you’re able to safely go outdoors, I encourage you to walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes in one direction, then do the same in reverse as you head toward your starting point (thanks Dr. Jess Montgomery!). If you’re able to pray to your Higher Power about all your problems, worries and concerns as you walk in one direction, then upon your return silently allow your Higher Power to speak to and address those matters you just prayed about (especially if you’re able to do so along the bike path in Santa Monica! Thanks Pastor Jim Kermath!).
A variation of this activity would be to practice it when you’re experiencing conflict with another and you’re taking a “time out.” When you’re walking in one direction review your thoughts, feelings, needs, suggestions, etc., that is, “on your side of the coin.” On you way back, think only about your partner’s thoughts, feelings, needs, suggestions etc., that is, “her side of the coin.” If you’re able, come out of your time out and share your insights and remain open to feedback from your partner over a meal. Could you see how practicing this bio-balancing activity optimizes your creativity and helps your body, mind, spirit, and relationships?
Make sure you have water and some form of healthy nutrition with you to fuel your effort and optimize your brain function. You’ll find doing this engages your body, mind and spirit with no cost to you except time, however you’ll also realize you receive short-term and long-term benefits to your person and your relationships by practicing this simple activity! If you have access to the Internet, research reputable and trusted sources regarding what diet and/or physical activities are suggested for your age group, then as safely as you’re able, integrate them into your daily life.
Skill to develop: Your ability to consistently come to your own assistance by practicing integrated principles of self-care, which help your body, mind, spirit and relationships over the course of your lifetime.
Thanks for reading this excerpt from Cultivating Love: Wisdom for Life. As time permits, please visit the other blogs written by Dr. Ken McGill: Daily Bread for Life and “3 – 2 – 5 – 4 – 24″ for additional information that could be helpful.
I welcome your comments below or via email and your favorites, your retweets and your “+1’s” if you have a brief moment and find the information helpful. Again, it is my desire to provide the very best info for your consideration.