Cultivating our Inner-life
Meaningful Relationships & Belonging
As discussed last month, the root of the word Health means to be whole. To be whole, I am putting forth, means to be close to and resilient in our essential nature.
This next section of Health Re-Imagined is aimed at what I like to call the Inner-life. The Inner-life is made up of the less visible parts of ourselves that are not easily seen yet permeate our sense of the world. The Inner-life is subjective experience of being that is not easily quantified or found in anatomy books, but nonetheless, it illuminate so much of who we are!
The Inner-life is as much a part of our health (wholeness and essential nature) as water and food. The outcomes of broken inner-life have serious consequences on our physical and mental health of ourselves and of those around us in our families and communities.
In my view, the Inner-life includes at least these::
- Having Meaningful Relationships & places of Belonging
- Having Creative Outlets of Expression- including play, art, projects, & sexual intimacy.
- Living a Purposeful Life
- Having an Imagination and Narrative of Meaning
Meaningful Relationships and Belonging provide the following:
1. Social connections help us reduce stress. Talking or spending quality time helps discharge and regulate our stress responses. This is true across all primates. Regulation of stress reduces the narrowing energies of the stress response and brings us back into our wholeness.
2. The validation and acknowledgement we get by being seen in our relationships assists us in our maturation. It is by being known and seen over time that helps us grow as well as giving that to others. We develop in relationship.
3. The measured health outcomes of people who have significant health issues are improved with the support of relationships and with places of belonging. We fair better in life with a nourishing circle of friends and family.
Making & tending your relationships is a core component of a healthy lifestyle/inner-life. As much as the nutrition in food and the need for shelter… the presence and love of others, giving and receiving is part of our Essential Nature too.
In January, I’ll write about core aspects of physical health, to line up with the New Year and the resolutions that come along with it. And later I’ll circle back around to the other pieces of the Inner-life I mentioned above.
As always, my practice is concerned with caring for your health. Please call if you would like to get my perspective on a any of health concerns you or someone you care about.