Health and Healing: A Spiritual Path to Wholeness

Yesterday at yoga the instructor started by asking us to “Go inside to that inner space and openness that is always available to you.”  I understood what she meant, but fifteen years ago I would not have done so, because I then had no concept of an inner spaciousness where I could go to find peace and comfort.

Wholeness vs Filling The Inner Hole

To heal and to be healthy is to become whole, but for many of us the feeling of inner wholeness is replaced by an inner gaping hole that needs to be constantly filled if we are to feel good about ourselves.  The hole often comes from a childhood where we were not seen or nurtured, and so were left with an inability to see and nurture ourselves.   This is where addictions  start – the urge to feel better by filling our hole with alcohol. cigarettes, sex, drugs, fast driving, shopping, or whatever our choice of addiction is.

erase addictionI think that an addiction is so difficult to break because once we stop doing whatever it was we were doing to allay the inner pain  and emptiness, our angst comes roaring back.   We are not addicted to the substance or habit per se but to the dopamine rush we get when we indulge in the addiction.  Gabor Mate, in his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction tells how those who have received morphine or heroin for physical  pain, even for long periods, can easily withdraw from the drugs without any withdrawal symptoms once the pain has gone. It is taking drugs for psychic pain that leads to addiction.

Not all addictions are physically harmful. I used to be addicted to reading, to the extent that if there was no book, magazine or newspaper available I would take things out of the kitchen cupboards and read the lables.  I think that the most boring thing I ever read was a butter wrapper and the next was my address book.  I knew it was stupid to be reading these things, but I could not stop myself.  At least it was cheap and not harmful to my health.

The Path to Wholeness

The path to wholeness is a path back to the self, and so is a spiritual path.  It is not necessary to have a religion or even to believe in God.

The spiritual path is not about religions or dogma.  It is not about finding the one true way.  Rather it is simply the wonder of  one’s own beauty revealed to oneself, or discovering inner sources of power and guidance, and following the path your  heart shows you.  It is about opening ourselves up to the amazing possibilities that life affords us.  For there is more here  than we can possibly imagine, and all will be greatly rewarded  who venture within. John Kehoe – A Vision of Power and Glory

So it is becoming clear to me that this blog will be as much about the inner game, the spiritual path, that leads to health, as about the outer actions of  nutrition, exercise, medication and the like.

Gabor Mate In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

photocredit: alancleaver

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35 thoughts on “Health and Healing: A Spiritual Path to Wholeness

  1. Thanks, I’m glad you found it interesting. I am interested to hear what you would like to write about and some details on the approach you would take. You can e-mail me at jennifer@creativehealthsecrets with these details.

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  7. I just wanted to comment and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more in the future

  8. I am 27 years old and started smoking at the age of 17. I stopped when i was 19 to the age of 20 (roughly 12 months) then i relapsed and didnt quit again until i was 25. I quit for about 10 months the relapsed on day when i was drinking with some old friends i had not seen in a long time. I thought it would be ok to just smoke once since i had gone for so long.

    1. Don’t give up. Apparently most people who stop smoking fall off the wagon a few times. Don’t make yoursef wrong for smoking again, but look back at the success you have had. You obviously want to give up smoking. Keep trying and eventually you will succeed. Maybe a plan for what you will do in the future when you are tempted to start again will help.

  9. Im so grateful today words cannot express how i feel. In 2 days it will make a month that ive quit smoking pot for 33 years. The first 3 weeks was pure hell. Then this last week has been a total turnaround. Im grateful that i quit smoking im grateful than my sideaffects are almost gone im grateful to be taking the steps to get better each and every day.

    1. Well done – you have a lot of strenght to overcone such a long-standing addiction As I mnetioned in the post it is not easy to give up an addiction because often the pain that drove you to the addiction is still there. Gratitude is a great way to start turning your feelings around. Focusing on good feelings and not on the inner pain is very helpful in overcoming addictions, as well as in any chronic condition, and will help you live a heathy life. I send you all good wishes for your future.

  10. Ok…Lets talk about Marijuana impacting a marriage. I have a problem where my husband and I have had numerous problems with marijuanna and betrayal all together. I cant trust him, he knows I cant, and doesnt do anything to change that. We used to smoke weed together. When I got pregnant with our first kid we said we would quit smoking. Since then I have been on and off cause I catch him doing it and he convinces me that i cant CHANGE him and that he wants to smoke. So after so much fighting… I end up doing it with him and his friends.

    1. Unfortunately we cannot change other’s behaviour – only our own. If you really want to quit smoking marijuana then you will have to do it even though your husband is still smoking. I think that making a firm intention to stop is the first step. Then you may want to make a plan as to whet you will do when your husband smokes with his friends. Fighting is obviously not working. If you know that your child (or children as it sound like you have more than one) will be safe, you may want to leave the house while he is smoking, or perhaps you could take the chikldren with you to a friend’s house, or out somewhere enjoyable where you can focus on something other than what your husband is doing. In any event, being exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke is not good for your children’s health.

      There is a saying that what we resist persists. It is possible that resisting your husbands smoking behaviour is keeping him stuck in doing it. Accepting what is (that he is smoking) is important in stopping resistance- it does not mean that you have to like it or approve of it. You can even calmly tell him that you do not approve but you know you you cannot change him. Then go somewhere, even to another room, and put your focus on something you like to do. You say you can’t trust him. Is there any area of life where you do trsut him – maybe he is good at fixing things around the house, or works hard to support you and the chilkdren. Focus on the areas where he is trustworthy and let him know how much you appreciate that (without mentioning the smoking and betrayal). Knowing that you appreciate him and trust him may actually make him more trustworthy in other areas as well.

  11. I am 33; have been smoking daily since i was 16. Over the years i gave up for 1 year only but started again (stupidly). Had a bit of a rough time through teens; when i was 23 had an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in losing the baby; 1 of my tubes. from there I found out I wouldn’t be able to have children naturally, smoking has put these things to the back of my mind which was great short term but long term i have ran away; never faced up to these things.

    1. Ashley, I know how hard it is to be unable to conceive since I have been in that position. I ended up adopting a wonderful child – I know that is not for everyone, but it is something you may want to consider, But the most important thing is to forgive yourself for losing your baby and for not being able to conceive another, and for the hurt you suffered as a teen. Foregivenss of self, and of others who have hurt us, is the start to self-love and living a spiritual life. You may want to get some help in coming to terms with your past. I wish you all the best for your future.

  12. this is a question by a person who is a novice to medicine in general. alternative medicine today is what was called allopathic/standard medicine many years ago. people regularly healed what ever with herbs, food, exercise, water, and the mind . Drug makers pushed this aside little by little and became the norm and herbs etc. became alternative. American Indian medicine was very healing for example.

    1. Dannie, I agree that the traditional medicine in most, if not all countries, is generally more effective than current allopathic medicine. The latter is better at dealing with major trauma where, at least initially. a holistic approach is not the best option. Antibiotics also, when used judiciously, can be lifesaving, though their overuse has created problems with anti-biotic resistant bacteria. However, I think that there is hope as more physicians are taking a holistic approach and people are returning to a less drug-ridden culture as they turn to (so-called) alternative practitioners to help with their health.

  13. This may be off base, but how about changing the layout every now and then? Maybe not if it won’t look right, but I just get tired of seeing the same thing all the time. My own computer has about 1000 wallpapers that randomly rotate every 15 minutes, lol. Adult ADD I guess. Good post though, thanks.

    Mary Fisher
    consulting boulder co

    1. I’m trying to build a brand, so that people will recognise it when they arrive. Obviously, that is not important to everyone. Does anyone else out there want to see a change in the layout or other aspects of the site?

  14. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

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