Whether or not you were raised in a Christian family, we have all heard the phrase “your body is a temple”, which originated in the biblical book of Corinthians. Regardless of your religious or spiritual background, this statement holds true, as our bodies are the vessels in which our souls are anchored during this lifetime, and as such, we should take the utmost care to provide the best possible environment for our spirits. As spiritual beings, we are not defined by our bodies and these particular vehicles will not last forever, but that does not mean that we should not take care of them and treat them well during this lifetime. In fact, the better we treat our bodies, the more our spirits will thrive in this particular incarnation.
Imagine for a moment your body as an automobile. If you are careful to provide your car with the highest quality fuel and equipment, it will undoubtedly remain in better condition than if you were to provide it with the bare minimum. The same is true for how we treat our bodies. Someone who is very careful to eat only the most nourishing organic foods, drink clean water, and engage in regular exercise will be far healthier than another person who chooses to eat fast foods, drink sugary cola, and lead a sedentary lifestyle. The amount of rest one gets is also of great importance to one’s physical and spiritual well-being. To continue with the automobile analogy, a vehicle that is constantly operating won’t last very long; the more mileage it accumulates, the greater the likelihood of problems. On the other hand, if one takes great care of their car, there is a much better chance of it continuing to operate well once it has reached a higher level of mileage.
The foods we eat have a direct correlation to the way we feel mentally, physically, and spiritually. Our minds and bodies respond to the foods we eat by the particular sensations we experience after finishing a meal or snack. When we eat healthily, we feel energized, happy, and light, but when we eat poorly, we feel tired, depressed, and sluggish. Unfortunately, many people in our current society have become addicted to some of the ingredients in nutritionally-lacking junk foods, and their bodies and minds initially respond positively after indulging. However, as in the case of other addictions, this sense of well-being is short-lived and fades to reveal the true feelings of exhaustion, illness, and even increased hunger, as their bodies crave the nutritional content they have been deprived of. It can be acceptable to indulge in fast foods every once in a while, but limiting yourself to these unhealthy fares is a recipe for disaster, as our bodies require and crave a variety of nutrients. If possible, it is also highly recommended to eat the highest quality organic and non-GMO foods you can buy or grow, as our bodies also absorb preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals which can have adverse effects on our minds and spirits.
Many different spiritual teachers advocate a strictly plant-based diet for everyone, but our bodies are a reflection of our souls in the fact that certain forms of nourishment will resonate differently between individuals. A spiritual teaching or concept that greatly inspires one person may not feel right to another, and the same is true about nutrition. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all model of spirituality, there does not seem to be a particular diet that works best for everyone. While some people may operate at their highest level by eating a plant-based vegan diet, another may thrive on a vegetarian diet. Although someone may wish to lead a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, that person may require meat in their diet in order to function at their best, and may find it ideal to eat fish, or even poultry and red meats. Some people may swear by a paleo diet while others find it absolutely necessary to eat grains. No matter how any spiritual teacher may tell you to eat, it is in your best interest to follow the diet that works best for you. A qualified naturopath/nutritionist can be a great help in determining the optimal diet for you as an individual, but unfortunately not everyone has access to or can afford to see one. Although it can be difficult, in this case you may have to experiment and observe how your body responds to different diets before learning which is most appropriate for you.
Maintaining hydration with clean, high-quality water is just as vital to your holistic well-being as eating nutritious foods. While soft drinks like colas may seem tasty to some people, they are almost always loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals that can be quite harmful to our bodies. A lot of so-called fruit juices are loaded with sugars and artificial flavours as well, so what may seem like a healthier choice can also be undesirable. There are now plenty of organic options available for soft drinks and juices, and although the ingredients may be more wholesome than their counterparts, they are still no substitute for the water we require for survival. Our bodies need water in order to perform a vast number of functions, and we lose a significant amount each day as we breathe, use the washroom, and perspire. Unless our water intake is equal to the water we expel, we risk becoming dehydrated and compromising these functions. It is recommended to drink a litre of water per day for every 50 pounds of your bodyweight.
The quality of the water you drink is of equal if not greater importance than the act of drinking water itself. Unfortunately, due to the industrial nature of our society, water pollution has become a major issue. Although most communities in developed areas of the world have water treatment facilities, the end result is not always entirely acceptable for consumption. Even after being treated, much of the water that comes out of our faucets in urban and suburban environments is still adulterated with many different contaminants like micro-organisms, organic and inorganic chemicals, disinfectants, and more that can be detrimental to our minds, bodies, and spirits. Fluoride, an inorganic chemical often added to drinking water under the guise of strengthening teeth, is of particular concern to our spiritual development, as it can have very adverse effects on our pineal gland or third eye. The third eye is integral to spiritual growth, and allows us to access hidden faculties like clairvoyance and precognition, and it facilitates out-of-body experiences like astral travel and remote viewing. Fluoride is not only known to cause the pineal gland to calcify and thus inhibit these abilities, but it has also been linked to reductions in IQ after prolonged exposure.
These harmful additives can be avoided in a few different ways. Most spring water is very clean and free of dangerous chemicals, but some varieties do contain added fluoride, so it is always important to check the label before purchasing. Distilling your drinking water is another option, but this unfortunately also removes the healthy, naturally-occurring minerals that the water contains, so it is also not entirely ideal for consumption. One of the best alternatives is to obtain a water-filtration system for your household if you can afford one. There are a few different options, such as reverse osmosis, but a high-grade filtration system can unfortunately be quite expensive and although the initial investment may end up saving you money in the long run, many people are not in a position to spend the money to get started. In such cases, there are services in many cities that offer large bottles of reverse osmosis water at relatively reasonable prices. It is understandable that not everyone will be able to afford to be so selective about the water they drink, but it is extremely important to do everything in your power to ensure access to the cleanest supply possible.
Taking care to ensure that we maintain a proper diet of fresh, organic foods and clean drinking water is integral to our spiritual development and growth. Positive changes in diet are often among one of the first steps taken along the path toward spiritual awakening. As we purge our bodies of all of the toxins, preservatives, refined sugars and other additives found in so much of today’s food and water, we raise our vibrations and open ourselves up to the greater, spiritual reality of our existence in this third-dimensional plane. Nutrition and physical health are directly connected to mental well-being, and unless we are able to maintain a clear and highly-functioning mind, our souls will have more difficulty shining through the layers of ego that we have developed throughout the course of our lifetimes. When our bodies are healthy and our minds are clear, we are able to maintain a stronger connection with our divine selves and open ourselves to spiritual guidance from the higher realms.
This is part one of a series. To see the introductory statement to the series, see here.