The word “holistic” has been thrown around a lot in modern times, especially in the health and wellness industries as of late. Anything cutting edge seems to be based on the holistic principle declared in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “Relating to or concerned with wholes or complete systems rather than the analysis of, treatment of or dissection into parts.”
More and more people are understanding that we are in desperate times where everyone is sick on some level and we can’t seem to escape the backlash of the times we have created for ourselves or the planet. So we turn toward holistic approaches to care, cure and treat ourselves. We pool our resources to optimize our health instead of allowing illness to kick us in the rear.
When wellness wears off and illness/stress starts affecting our bodies and building up, it can take physical shape in a multitude of ways. For some, that looks like a tumor, for example. The old way has been, to cut out tumors over and over again, instead of dealing with the “why” behind the growing essence of tumors – to look beyond the flesh and approach the feelings and stressors that impact the affected individual.
From all of my years of working with East-West wellness and curiously testing alternative routes to gain access to self-knowledge and optimize the body to regenerate itself, I have discovered that a holistic approach is the most effective one. And my definition of holistic is based on the above mentioned definition, as well as with energy roots of the word “holy”.
It is perhaps time to look at yourself through holy eyes, since you are a holy being. Holiness is your heart beating every second of every day, without you having to do anything to make it so. There is a sense of holiness that comes with that if you tune in and check in.
By starting to view yourself as a full entity with multiple layers of being, adding the ecology of your environment and how it affects you, as well as the cards you were dealt from birth, you approach a holistic view of how you show up in life.
As we are interacting wholes, it would be advisable to view ourselves and our lives as wholes as well. Whatever our environment is mirroring to us, we internalize eventually. Whatever we eat, we become, and how our emotions rule our psyche will manifest in freedom of mind or chains of anxiety. These are examples of manifestations; it could very well look different depending on who you are.
To tap into a holistic lifestyle, we need to start operating on a whole-being level. Instead of divorcing life arenas and separating ourselves, we can refine and tune in by mapping out the larger picture first, and then dive into the parts that make the sum of it all.
If we are experiencing a lot of down-spiraling thoughts on a certain week, it tends to attract a whole slew of other negative energies and experiences. This happens so we can come to realize that we need a wake up call and make sure we align ourselves with a different type of thinking. The thinking itself is the minor piece that is powerful and makes up the fabric of the whole experience of our week. Eventually this manifests into physical interactions or happenings. Maybe tension in the neck or poor sleep at night. Then the lack of sleep affects performance at work, and we have a cycle that needs breaking.
Taking a step back, we can see that the image of life that week can be seen as negative as a whole. The way into the solution is to measure it as a full bird’s eye view landscape. If this goes on week after week, then it doesn’t mean we need psychiatric medication or to think we are depressed. We could very well be in need of a reminder that our thoughts and emotions are a part of a whole picture that needs refining and readjusting. It also doesn’t mean the neck is damaged, it means one really needs to re-align those thought patterns. If we don’t check ourselves and re-adjust, eventually we will have chronic neck pain and our bodies will be screaming for help. If we keep ignoring the signals, then it could at its worst lead to surgery at some point in the future.
This example is simply a reminder to look at things from a larger overview, to tune in and allow the intelligence of the body speak for itself, pointing you to a holistic map for how you can take care of yourself.
A truly healthy lifestyle comes with all realms of consciousness, not just eating well and focusing on consuming organic produce, and then thinking negative thoughts all day. Or by being in a toxic work environment, we allow our bodies to be pestered with negative frequencies that over time can manifest into disease (think: dis-ease because you are not at ease on an everyday basis). These are other examples of how we can be fully healthy in one realm, yet not see how it’s affecting the larger, holistic image.
There are differing parameters for how we individually measure health, and some things can be applied as a blanket solution for most people. Holistic living is one of those, but with differing individual methods and results for everyone.
A personal parameter is how I feel in my body. My energy levels are a massive indicator for if I have been aligned on a holistic level or not. When I forget to take into account all of the different moving pieces of who I am, how I show up and what I use to operate and come alive in my body, I plow down the energy stairs. This means I’ll bump my head hard to wake up and create a change. Eventually, doing this over and over again leads us into permanent change where we can start noticing signs before we get sick or get too stressed out.
A holistic lifestyle solution requires us to check in on ourselves on an ongoing basis, and quiet down long enough to actually acknowledge our being and how it is feeling. From there, we can approach each individual part step by step, so the whole can be vibrant and magnetic.
In other words, by applying a holistic way of operating you are practicing deep self-love. By building a strong relationship with yourself, on an ongoing basis, you will eventually become your own healer. You’ll know how to slow pain and illness down before it gets too impactful.
Practically speaking, holistic living is a roadmap to self-love and good health.
Written by Hengi Hawk
Entrepreneur, consultant and creative