Have you noticed how popular spirituality and holistic therapies have become lately? Last summer, as I sat and bit into a corn-on-the-cob in my backyard, I wondered if there was a connection between the two. I opened up my laptop and started reading up on this. Here’s what I found…

A Holistic View

A holistic view means looking at a person, problem or thing as a whole with parts or aspects that are interrelated and interconnected. It understands that the condition and action in every part influences and impacts the whole in a small or big way.

As I read, I noticed that a tiny corn fiber had got caught between two of my front teeth. If you’ve had this happen to you, you know how annoying this can be. I forgot about what I was doing on my computer as I repeatedly inserted the nail of my thumb between the teeth in an attempt to pull it out. After a few minutes, I gave up. I got up and went into the house to get a tooth pick.

Suddenly, it hit me. . .My teeth are a part of the whole ‘me’ and when I get even a tiny piece of corn in them, the discomfort is experienced in my entire being. I’ll do what it takes to remove the problematic fiber and never think of ignoring it because I know handling it will be for the good of all of me. The whole body suffers when one part suffers.

When I looked at this holistic view and compared it with spirituality, I found that the same principle of wholeness or oneness applied.

A Spiritual View

Spirituality asserts that there is only one Spirit or Source of creation. It affirms that all things, beings, plants, the earth, the sky, the seas, the stars, planets, galaxies and cosmoses are permeated by the one Source. In fact, the Source itself expresses as all things and beings. All things and being have a part to play that sustain and support the whole. What happens in one area affects the whole.

At every stage out our lives, we face a choice: we can take the higher path by choosing oneness, or follow the easier path, which provides a quick fix and feeds into our laziness, selfishness or short-sighted vision of life.

At the body level, we can decide whether to:

  • Take the antacid or avoid eating the greasy burger.
  • Replace dental fillings with harmful mercury or dental composite.
  • Take painkillers and suppress the symptoms of back pain or take some time to do some simple breathing and stretches.

At the level of relationships, oneness guides us to to put into action the golden rule, ‘Do unto others what you would want done to you”. So we can…

  • Forgive someone for a past transgression.
  • Be kind and caring with others.
  • Be accepting of who people are, instead of judging them

In everyday decision-making, the principle of oneness guides us to:

  • Ethical shopping, buying products that are respectful, supportive and provide win-win solutions for all.
  • Buy and use ‘green’ products.

So, a holistic view is a spiritual view. It’s important to understand that all aspects of our lives contribute and are essential to our overall well-being.

This means that even if you are healthy, have a good partner and family with a secure job, but have an awful tendency to blow up in anger, or have an addiction, this one thing will affect your all the other parts of your life.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Man cannot do right in one department of life while he is doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole.”

In essence, this is a spiritual or holistic view of life.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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