When we live in a way that feels in alignment with what we know to be true in our minds, and what we feel to be authentic in our hearts, it is of great benefit to our health. We are all unique and have our place in the world, in our community, and in our family, based on God-given traits and our own soul path.
In this modern information age, there are many examples of ways to be. It takes a lot of effort to find what feels authentic and true for our personal identity and preferences, often against an onslaught of other people’s opinions and ideas. The cues that our body gives us are the best source for finding what’s right in each moment. Even though we were conditioned throughout school and in our culture to ignore these hints from our bodies, in our adult life we can turn our awareness into regaining body wisdom.
For me, listening to my body became especially important after some traumatic events which, in hindsight, I could have avoided if I had listened. Only relying on the mind can be as if in a maze. Feelings and sensations, as well as intuition, which is the quiet knowing underneath our thoughts, are a valid protection system and also a compass that can lead to a life that benefits the soul and teaches us inner wisdom.
This orientation towards inner wisdom is known to many people, often silently. It’s something that has to be developed individually, and it functions in a unique and often private way. There aren’t rules, and it may be recognized and necessarily distinguished from outer rules, norms, and expectations. One of the hardest parts for me in developing this capacity was that inner wisdom felt against what I believed I “should” do, based upon outer expectations and concepts. But the reality is that when we do what others think we should (or what we think in our minds that others think we should do), we may be ignoring this inner knowing. Doing this is actually one of the main causes of failing health. Studies have shown that a major contributing factor for longevity is living in alignment with one’s own beliefs (Kimberly V. Oxington, Psychology of Stress). Even religious and spiritual concepts can seriously impair our ability to touch into our own inner knowing.
Personal volition, or will, is of the utmost importance. To know something, to believe in it, and to not act on it can be damaging to the soul. The soul needs to feel actualized, and it needs its hints and cues to be followed in order to build self-trust. It takes practice but it becomes easier faster than you would think. Our will, like our heart and mind, is distinctly human. We can observe, solve problems, and act.
Integrity occurs when we have these three aspects of our being functioning together; we think, feel, and act in harmony. In this way, we actualize ourselves, we create our life and honor the spirit within us. To act from someone else’s volition is slavery; it is self-betrayal. For many generations and still in many parts of the world, many people were not allowed to live by their own volition; and it causes real damage. The best way to honor those who came before us is to honor our bodies, our instincts, our truth, and ourselves; no matter how small or insignificant the act itself may seem. Building inner integrity is a very private matter, but others can feel the harmony it creates in all areas of life. It gives strength to our hearts, connecting us with our soul, to all of nature, and all beings around us.