Monday, February 9, 2015

A Spiritual Path to Healing

A Spiritual Path to Healing
Ever said to yourself, "I knew I shouldn't have done that!" We all experience promptings and insights that tell us what to do or what not to do. The question is whether or not we listen and follow those subtle impressions.

When it comes to health, we also get prompting and answers to questions and concerns. The trick, however, is distinguishing between what we are being told by the inner voice of our spirit and what may be the influences of what we want or don't want to do.

I frequently have patients who have totally surrendered the notion that they can not receive any kind of spiritual guidance and just want to be told what to do - promising to be a good and obedient patient. Well, it doesn't work that way. Of course, general advise and recommendations can be very effective, but sometimes there is more to the resolution of your health issues than taking an herb or getting an adjustment that is just right.

Listening to the inner workings of your spirit, especially as it relates to inspiration, direction and revelation is one of the Hard Doctrines of Christ. When we are taught to "surrender to Christ" - it does not mean to surrender your decision making to someone else (however good intentioned they may be). It does mean that whatever recommendations or directions are given must have a spiritual stamp of approval. Which means that in your heart of hearts, it feels right.

In my practice, I have a handout that I often will give to someone.  This article, entitled
Valley of the Shadow, discusses overcoming depression and offers a list on things to consider in the recovery process. 
I give this article, not because someone suffers from depression, but as a review of what you may need to consider in your own recovery - for whatever may be going on in your life.  The recommendations are so basic that many simply overlook them.  They are mostly things that we all know we should be doing anyway, however, for whatever reason is being neglected. 

Here's how it works.  Prior to reviewing this list of recommendations, offer up a prayer.  In essence you are asking God or Heavenly Father that whatever I need to start doing - make it jump out at me.  You are looking for one, maybe two things, definitely not everything.  You are seeking a starting point - not the complete package.  For some, the inspiration is as easy as sitting in the sunshine for 30 minutes each day.  Others, simply to drink more water - trying to work up to 8 cups per day. 

More important than what you do, is that you have listened to an inner prompting and direction.  As you listen and obey, you will be guided step by step to better physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

I must warn you however, this process requires you to be brutally honest with yourself.  The spirit will whisper to you things that you may not want to do.  It may tell you to exercise or change your diet in ways that will be difficult. When you begin rationalizing or justifying why you cannot do a particular thing, that is your signal that you are arguing against the inspired direction. 
So, are you ready for a challenge?  Remember to ask for direction and for something to jump out to you.  
Exercise - 6 days a week, you must be moving you body doing something that would be considered exercise. Walk, swim, or cycle, you've got to do something. Log how many minutes each day. Set some goals. Remember: A goal not written, is only a wish.
Sleep - we've been taught from childhood that we need eight hours each night. Understand that hours of sleep BEFORE midnight are more beneficial than those after. Schedule bedtime so that you get at least 8 hours. You may need more or less, but plan on eight. Figure what you really need and sleep in a DARK room. 

Deep Breathing - Oxygen is vitally important for good brain function. Take time to breath deeply each day. Think of it as clearing out the cobwebs in the lungs and brain. You may want to try Dr. Andrew Weils programs.

Avoid Negative Thinking
- Stinkin Thinkin!  Are you sarcastic, pessimistic or talk too much about what is wrong? Certainly, we must live in this world of grief, sorrow and gloom, (and we are not promoting naivete), but as you focus on the positive, your brain will begin to change in good way.  

Water - Drink Eight - 8 oz glasses of water per day. Start each morning with 3 cups at least a half hour before breakfast. It should be pure, filtered water. Drink from glass containers. Avoid plastic.

Diet - This is what has gotten so many in trouble as far as depression is concerned. You cannot expect to be healthy if your body is taking in harmful chemicals, preservatives, food additives and the plethora of unnatural foods. Eat whole natural foods! Enjoy a plant-based diet loaded with fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. At our home, we are vegetarians that cheat. Bottom line is you need to grow up and eat healthy. 

Spiritual Activity - Truly, this is a key to overcoming depression. Develop a spiritual pattern of daily prayer/meditation/contemplation and scripture study. Avoid reading a certain number of chapters or pages, rather spend 20 to 30 minutes each day. It is okay to spend all of your time on just a verse or two. Ponder and reflect on what scripture means in your daily life. Memorize favorite verses.
Classical Music - Music can fill your soul with light or darkness. Relaxation or tension. Classical music, harp music and lovely melodies really can soothe the soul. Download or purchase music that will lift your soul. Listen to it. Really listen. I'm not talking background music, I'm suggesting sitting and consciously listening. 

Sunlight - We all need light. Make the effort to get in the sunlight every day. It is healing, it will increase your vitamin D. Most depressed people are vitamin D deficient and taking a supplement is not as good as the Vitamin D created by sunlight touching your skin. Depending on the fairness of your skin, you will be able to tolerate more or less direct sunlight. Remember, you do not want to get sunburned.

Of course, this list is not all conclusive.  By taking the step to listen for and receive personal revelation, you are inviting truth from wherever it may come.  Can it really be as simple as this? Will this simple procedure turn your health concerns around? I can make no promises, other than by following this light, you will be directed down paths that are good and will bless your life. You can also expect to be directed to resources that you may not have considered.

Kyle D. Christensen
February 5, 2014

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