A Healthy Body Needs a Healthy MindOct 25, 2021
Equal parts serendipity and determination recently brought me the enviable gift of two weeks in Greece. I have wanted to visit the birthplace of western democracy, philosophy, and theatre for decades; I also desperately needed a vacation—a change of pace and scenery to help me reset and recenter. When my plane touched down, I resolved to open every pore of my being to absorb what this place had to offer. The insights, awakenings, and inspirations were innumerable, but I share four of them with you here, as well as some corresponding coaching questions, in a Too Long; Don't Read format.
In ancient Athens, the Athenians built the Sanctuary of Asclepius (the god of medicine, whose symbol—a snake curling up a staff—remains the symbol for medicine throughout the western world), directly next door to the Theatre of Dionysus. The Sanctuary was both a place of worship and a health clinic. It was a place you visited when you needed healing. And it was placed next door to the theatre because the Greeks held a wholistic view of health—that is, medicine should treat the body, mind, and soul. A body cannot be healthy without a healthy mind and soul.* The theatre was a place of imagination, play, and learning. It treated the soul and the mind, so that the body could also be healthy.
Coaching questions: How do you know when your mind and soul are healthy? What does it feel like, what kinds of thoughts are generated, what kinds of behaviors do you display? What activities bring health to your mind and soul? What would it look like to give an equal amount of attention and practice to the health of your body, your mind, and your soul?
*I interpret mind as “consciousness” and include thoughts and feelings as the building blocks of consciousness; Soul could also be described as spirit, which I define as our interconnectedness, our connection to that which is larger than all of us, the reality that we are just one life, but that all life is sacred.
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