Way way back in my early 20s, I learned about the complete triangle. I was getting my Masters in the Arts of Teaching, MAT, and the head of our program, Karen Carroll, was a firm believer that in order to be the best possible teacher you need to first focus on being the best possible human. That meant nurturing your Mind, Body, and Spirit.
At the time I thought this was a waste of time. I wanted to memorize the facts and figures, get As on all my tests and be done with it. Breathing exercises did not belong in the classroom. I thought it was out of her place to ask me if I’m eating enough fruits and vegetables. I hated all the journaling assignments, and how we were always prompted to talk about our feelings, and our development (I know that sounds weird for you to hear me say that, but there was a time when I was a lot more cynical).
Now that I’ve reached my wiser late 20s, I’ve come to appreciate what a rare blessing that kind of holistic education really was. Anyone can teach you the facts to pass a test, but it takes genuine concern and passion to look at a student as more than just a brain. The best way to create a healthy, balanced life is to think of everything falling under the three categories of mind, body, and spirit. If you develop each side you’ll be far more happy and balanced – after all, as I learned at Space Camp, a triangle is the strongest geometric shape.
If you focus on one side of the triangle you become a one-dimensional person. Everyone knows someone who’s really smart but has terrible relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, and their bodies are mushy, sallow afterthoughts. Everyone knows someone who talks about horoscopes and healing and other spiritual things, but they come off as flaky because they don’t ground their interests with any sort of intellectual support. Everyone knows someone who has a hot body, but it seems like that body is the only thing they find interesting enough to talk about.
But then there are those rare people who seem perfectly balanced. They have an inner sense of calmness (spirit), they eat healthy, exercise, and walk with poise (body), and they make intelligent, thoughtful comments (mind). I knew when I started the HeSo project I wanted to be one of those balanced people.
It was very easy to focus on the brain. Read a lot, think a lot, write a lot and the brain gets stronger. Check. Next up was body. Since last February I have been going to the gym 3-5 times a week. I’ve lost approximately 12 pounds and I have lots more energy, and my pulse, cholesterol, and dress size have all gone down. Check. Now we’re up to spirit. Writing this blog has felt like an exercise in spiritual development. Since I made it my mission to have a positive ad motivating blog, its made me look at life in a more positive and motivating manner. I’m more aware and I see coincidences all around me. I’m not a religious person, but all the aspects that I appreciate about organized religions (unity, loving your neighbor, believing in something greater than yourself, realizing that everything has a purpose) have all been heightened for me in the last few months.
While my triangle is growing stronger, I have no doubt that it can keep growing. In the next post I will tell tell you about two things I have been doing that have made this triangle even stronger.