Sunday, April 25, 2010
My Plan for Integral Health
My Plan for Integral Health
“Integral Health is a perspective on health, personal transformation, and optimal well-being that addresses the entire range of human experience: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, and sociocultural.” (Integral Health Resources). Starting with our body, we should realize that the body is the context in which the brain and the spirit connect. Therefore, no one could dispute the importance of physical health as an essential component of integral health. On the other hand, we deal with our mental health that influences our physical being as well as our spiritual being. In a physical sense, the East say our mental life can affect our body like writing on water, on sand, or on a stone. Light mental disturbance disappear rapidly from our mind and body just like when writing on water with a figure, stronger disturbance will stay longer like writing on the sand with our finger, but huge traumas will be like engraving in a stone and will leave a permanent mark on our mind and body as well as soul (Dacher, 2006, p. 19). Nevertheless, the spiritual aspect of our health is the unseen, but felt part of our being. Think of it as a newborn with the best breast milk, but no kindness or love provided, what do you think will happen to the newborn? Will he thrive? The answer is no and he may even die. Our spirit is as important as our body and mind. The healer is a key ingredient for the success of his healing approaches. Education alone will not grant the healer or practitioner the opportunity to achieve integral health for his patients. On the other hand, mastering integral health is a hands-on learning process. Incorporating the integral process into the practitioner’s life will enable the discovery of profound possibilities of integral health and healing. Knowing firsthand how we can achieve integral health will give us the insight to help other do the same. After all, we cannot preach what we do not practice, therefore our honest advice would be the one we applied on ourselves first (Dacher, 2006, p. 167). In my own experience, I realized my need to devote more time for my spiritual flourishing. I do practice breathing and visualization exercises, yet I think I need to do more.
An honest and accurate assessment of our cultural level of development will allow us to plan for the future. There are six principles to integral assessment:
• Alleviate needless suffering
• Recognize the short-term relief and the permanent relief.
• It recognizes the distinction between immediate pleasure and long-term flourishing.
• Psychospiritual development is an essential component of integral health.
• Integral assessment relies on deep listening and guidance.
• Integral assessment addresses the aspects, levels, and lines of development that are available to our current circumstances. (Dacher, 2006, pp. 105-106)
The assessment that I have done on myself revealed that I lack in my interpersonal quadrant. I would say I am on level one on my development in this quadrant. Although my body, mind, and spirit are all underdeveloped interpersonally, yet I am on the right track to enhance my spirituality through the exercises that I learned like the loving-kindness and the visualization exercise. Psychospiritual, biological and worldly developments are all where I want them to be and I am happy with the results, yet nothing wrong with more improvements and commitments.
III Goal development:
Setting goals for the future is to add further lines and levels to my developments in the four integral quadrants. On my physical level I need to work on my self-regulation. Although I follow a healthy diet and do my best to stay physically active within the range my back injury allows me, yet I do need to self-regulate my homeostasis through a mind/body practices to break the cycle of stress. Psychological, I need to control unneeded emotions and sufferings. I tend to react very emotionally to situations and for a very long time I did not know how to work on this problem. What I learned is that intentions are very close to attentions and subtle mind, breathing exercises, and meditation could help me hold my attention on a certain experience and train my mind to recall positive images and feelings in bad situations which will help balance the negative emotions and help me put a tight lid on my reactions. Last my goal on my spiritual level is to be able to maintain what I already achieved and may be try to pass it to others. I would love to be an inspiration and influence for people to explore their spiritual side and feel the connection between their inside and the universe.
IV Practices for personal health:
First we should know that all integral practices should be supported by inner development, second is that integral practices should be based on the individual’s specifics needs and the totality of the available resources (Dacher, 2006, pp. 119-120).
Ken Wilber’s had a vision to reach an integral health point in which we achieve three goals; profound and enduring health, happiness, and wholeness (Dacher, 2006, p. 3). Integral mean from the inside out, so what I want to do is to start with my body, then my mind, and ending with my spirit to revolutionize the way I acquire health, happiness, and wholeness.
Physically I ride my bike every day, especially early in the morning or at night to clear my mind from all the chatter; it really calm me down and give me clarity.
I also like to do breathing exercises because I do believe that engaging my brain and body in the rhythmic movement of breathing benefit me manage my back pain and tension headaches.
Psychospiritually, I do loving-kindness and visualizations exercises; both help me balance the negative energy and give me a feel of peace, satisfaction, and happiness. Counting my blessing through the loving-kindness exercise or by recalling the wealth of happy memories that God gifted the human mind to store is priceless for me.
Spiritually I believe in God existence and that alone got me through so many hard times and heartbreak. I practice prayer every day and if I skip my prayer I feel guilty and disconnected from God, so I will have to continue my praying. The other thing that helps me spiritually is to help others. I cannot walk by a poor person or injured animal without helping. I believe that we are here for a reason and the universe is connected somehow. When God send a person in need our way, it is like God is helping us redeem ourselves or feel better, so I never waste the chance and it really enlighten my spirit to make someone happy. In the future I really wish I can find a job where I can do both my job and help others at the same time because that would be my dream comes true.
I would be assessing and re-assessing my integral health using Dacher four quadrants and their lines and levels of development. I have been on the road of integral health for a while now and it is just getting better. I assume in six months I would master the contemplative practices that I learned about. In order for me to maintain my progress I would like to get involved in some kind of compassionate service, provide mentorship to those who would like to learn about integral health, and above all continue to commit to prevention approach to health rather than treatment when it is late. As I said before I have been working on my goal of integral health for over a year now and I think in six months I will be in a better place than today thanks to all the knowledge I got in this class.
Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (p. 19).
Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (p. 167).
Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (p. 105-106).
Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (p. 119-120).
Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing (p. 3).
Integral Health Resources. Retrieved Sunday 25, 2010 from http://www.integralhealthresources.com/
Sunday, April 18, 2010
We meet again. This course taught me a lot about relaxing and although certain things were alien to me, others turned out to be familiar to me although I did not know their significance to my health.
Both loving-kindness and meeting Aesculapius are close to my heart some how. I loved loving-kindness because it was like a hopeful exercise; it was like hypnotizing ones mind to function in a positive direction, I do it all the time to myself and others in my life, I guess when we tell our children "I know you can do it" ot "You always make me proud" that is a form of loving-kindness and we can say it to ourselves that we are good, we are strong, and most of all we can make a difference.
Meeting Aesculapius on the other hand is a visualization exercise that I did all my life without realizing it was some kind of meditation. When I am sad or stressed I always take the time to remember better times and remind myself that I was blessed and lucky and definitely the black cloud will pass and things will be good again.
Both of those exercises gave me hope and confidence and those are very important factors to my success. As long as I am moving forward knowing that I am doing my best, having the confidence in my abilities, and hoping for better results then I am happy and healthy, at the same time I will have a feeling of wholeness being a contributing part of my society.
The key word for health in my opinion is balance and as long as we are happy, we are balanced. Those exercises make me happy, I will practice them and advice people to try them or find what work for them best, after all we are our own uniques selves.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Meeting Asclepius is a visualization exercise that I have done before with little luck, yet this time I had better luck connecting with the visual individual I created and for the few minutes I did the exercise I felt calm and positive. I realized that we are what we think. If I think of someone giving me love, I would feel loved and if I visualize what is inside me as power for healing I will feel healed. At certain point of my life, I used my imagination to draw a positive picture of the world and my future and that helped me survive war, I guess in the future I need to use more visualization exercises that develop a positive feelings toward life and the future. It is like one of "Harry Potter" movies that he found a mirror where he saw his deceased parents and his friend saw himself in a dream job, both of them felt great until his teacher told him this mirror shows what ones deepest wishes are, but the result is feeling happy and calm, the happiness they felt were real not an illusion, although what was in the mirror was an illusion basically. This mirror is inside each of us that God created to give us strength, happiness, and hope.
"One cannot lead another where one has not gone himself” The concept is simple, I can not teach my son swimming if I don't know how, or dancing if I never danced, and I can not say I hate roller coaster if I never rode one. It is the same with healing, if I did not achieve physical, psychological, and spiritual healing myself, I will not be qualified to help others achieve it or I will be a fraud or a hypocrite, I am neither. In my life I use moderation to help my physical health, I use family to ground my mental health, and I use God to keep my spirituality. I love life, I love people, I believe in God and I believe everything is for a reason even the bad things that happen to us, they turn out to be for our own sake years later, life taught me that much and I am grateful for everything.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Of course the Spring break still not finished, hence my late blogging, but late better than never in this case.
The loving-kindness exercise seemed to me like hypnotizing myself to think of a world free of suffering, like Michael Jackson's (RIP) son "heal the world", but in this case and although I felt better for a while, I realized nothing had changed. I am not a patient person, if I am on a diet I want immediate results, if I pray I want immediate answer, if I study I want immediate success and so many times I give up something if I did not see immediate results. I am wrong though, I know I am, so I guess this exercise is meant to make me feel better for a reason, to expand my spiritual experience and to make reflect my positive feeling towards others, so I guess at the end I got it.
The assessment was another story. I lack spirituality in my interpersonal quadrant, I did not before, but recently or for the last two years I do not look at people the same way, I kind of froze and not willing to get in the social game anymore. I know things happen for a reason and my failure in my relationship had its own benefits and I appreciate that failure that set me free of so many things, but I do not feel like getting emotionally involved or even be with people as much as I used to be. I would say I am on level zero on my development in this quadrant and I would be lucky if I managed to get back to any level other than zero, I am saying zero because my body, mind, and spirit are all underdeveloped interpersonally.
I am not sure how I can enhance this area if deep inside I do not see why, I do have family, but I have no personal or community activities like I used to be. May be if my school is done and I have more time in my life I would invest in this area, I am trying to think about it now that I recognize my short-coming.
I need to prepare the ground for my upcoming development may be by commiting more to social events in my community, of course I have to chose things that involve my son as well. I recently became a member of the wild life reserve society because I am an animal lover so is my son. I think I will get more involved in the Summer because may starting with animals will lead to better ralationship with people as well. I do have friends by the way, but I stopped visiting or going out with them for the last two years, making all kinds of excuses and I just e mail them, I even hate talking on the phone!