Finding our real self (who we are) and establishing a healthy balance in our lives are worthy goals for all human beings. We are part of nature and are one with all living things; therefore, we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves participating in a healthy lifestyle promoting our personal development.
The criteria for this process includes:
- Self-honesty which involves finding out who we are by taking inventory of self;
- Accepting all parts of ourselves, whether good or bad;
- Making goals for where we want to be and defining steps to get there;
- Balancing the physical, emotional, and mental selves to reach our creative potential or spiritual self; and,
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that heals and protects who we are throughout the vicissitudes of daily life. Understanding the self and our motivation helps manage behavior in our work and in our relationships.
Finding a healthy self involves dedication to self-discovery and understanding our physical, emotional and mental selves. In ancient Greece, Aristotle and Plato believed that children, during the first seven years of their lives, are only ready for physical games, sport activities and physical development. From seven years to fourteen years old, children would be ready for emotional activities such as, mastering drama, poetry, music and dance. Once they were more proficient in these activities and evolved emotionally, they were then able to process more logical, abstract or complex problems, thus developing their cognitive parts of self from fourteen to twenty-one years of age. Children were not pushed. The ancient Greeks believed that only after development of each stage in steps could they then achieve their maximum best. Acceptance of all parts (physical, emotional and mental) of who we are in different situations helps us achieve our optimal self to reach our full creative potential.
Self-honesty consists of being truly honest with our actions and how we perceive ourselves. Supportive environments help; however, the work of taking inventory of our traits and attributes can only be done by each individual. The parts of self that are not identified can act covertly and control our behavior and motives which could result in self-sabotage. Who are we really and what do we want for ourselves? Can we face the ultimate truth and accept the real self? Can we move ahead after self-knowledge and commit to a life-long goal of “know thyself” as the ancient Greeks proclaimed? These questions can only be understood by you, as you answer these questions everyday. We have to be absolutely sure of where we are presently in each moment before we take action or plan where we want to be. The ultimate goal for our personal journey is self-honesty, which entails hard work and is not easy, but the rewards are great. Accepting all parts of ourselves involves self-awareness; however, we can still sabotage ourselves with mixed messages that can confuse us and keep us from a balanced lifestyle.
Making goals for where we want to be follows self-inventory and self-acceptance, which is a constant way of life. Self-inventory elucidates our strengths and weaknesses through self-honesty, giving us tools for making paths to where we want to be.
In order to reach a goal, the first step would be clarity in understanding where you are and how to reach the goal since life has wayward paths where breezes can take you anywhere.
All our individual goals are reached by understanding the steps required to reach them, followed by dedication, internal commitment and acceptance of who we are or what we need. The clearer one is with what is required to reach one’s goals, the easier it will be to get there! Self-sabotage can create havoc in our paths and how we achieve our goals can take longer without patience and perseverance.
However, as long as we are committed to our quests, we will reach our goals. Self-honesty keeps us on the path. Keeping our self-inventory and goals on target, by utilizing our attributes or qualities to get us where we want to be, clears our paths for our self-discovery.
Balancing and aligning our development for our physical, emotional and mental selves leads us to spiritual growth and fulfillment. Our physical development could involve maintaining a healthy weight and agile body in sports such as swimming and dancing. Our emotional self also has to be open to art, connections and relationships to reach a balanced state Then we’ll more readily handle advanced mental activities or complex problems. Once emotions don’t rule us, we can manage them by keeping them working for us and not against us. The cognitive or mental self can be achieved when our balanced physical and emotional selves have developed. Our culture does not promote the development of the emotional self; instead, we tend to bury feelings by focusing on mental tasks. A balanced or aligned self can lead to the ultimate spiritual and creative life that is fulfilled, leading to external happiness and internal joy. As we learn our personal needs and develop tools to gain healthy eating, exercise, emotional stability and mental development, we can use our optimal self to become healthy and creative, living a happy and joyful life.
The process of finding our healthy self and maintaining it is built on the development of our physical, emotional and mental selves. This individual journey is personal and can be supported; however, the work and the knowledge of self-acceptance has to come from within.
What is a healthy life? How can I maintain my health and still develop personally? These questions can only be answered by you as you develop each part of yourself.
Once achieving a healthy lifestyle, the maintenance of it can be enjoyable and exciting since it is about prevention and not stumbling from dedicated paths. Hippocrates was a Greek doctor who preached about preventative medicine by taking care of one’s self before disease sets in. He believed life was about living a balanced and healthy lifestyle that gives fulfillment and great satisfaction. We can do this! Do not give up! This is not rocket science but requires lots of dedication, time and patience with a dose of perseverance and curiosity to find out who you really are and what you need to be the real creative you! Enjoy!
| By Dr. Powell |
Perception and imagination either limited or limitless creates our emotional and biological reality. In this first part, “Finding a Healthy Self and Maintaining It”, Dr. Powell highlights the relevance of self honesty, accepting all parts of yourself, and ultimately making goals to establish self inventory which congruently sparks self acceptance. As she so well states, “The Cognitive or Mental Self can be Achieved”, when our balanced physical and emotional self has developed. Everything of profound value is evident and simplistic. What you are reading in this clear road map back to the essential is what we have experienced, believed, and teach here at the Institute. We want to congratulate Dr. Powell for her contribution and hope to continue a life long relationship with her so that we can together render even more tools for you to utilize.
Hippocrates Health Institute