“The way we use and treat our bodies, for better or worse, will profoundly shape our spirit and our relationship with God, others, and life itself.”(Ken Shigematsu – God in my Everything)
Just as we often create separate categories for our lives of secular and spiritual, so too we often separate the spiritual from the physical. I think this is a profound mistake.
What is happening with you physically affects you emotionally and spiritually.
In one section of C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters”, the senior devil tells the junior devil to try to persuade the Christian whom he is tempting to believe that the body is inconsequential:
“At the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget…that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affect their souls.”
So, writes Ken Shigematsu:
“the care of our bodies through regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating constitutes a foundational part of our rule, our trellis that supports our life with God. The body, mind and spirit are interconnected. This means that physical practices are also spiritual practices”
At a personal level, I know my life looks and feels very different when I am exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep. My “spiritual capacity” rises exponentially.
When I am stressed, not sleeping well, not exercising, and not eating right, it is a whole different story.
Some questions to think about:
1) Are you getting enough sleep?
2) Do you have good night-time routines to help you sleep?
3) Are you switching off from technology enough?
4) Are you constantly feeling tired and jaded?
5) What are you going to change about this?
6) Do you have a regular sabbath?
7) Do you eat healthily?
8) Do you get enough/any physical exercise?