Finally! After a lot of research, reading, writing, and hard work, I finally achieved my Doctorate as a Doctor of Holistic Ministry! My official title now is Rev.Dr. (though I still prefer to be called Karen). Writing my dissertation has been an adventure, that’s for sure. But what a wonderful learning experience!
Holistic Ministry has to do with Mind, Body, and Spirit. You hear the terms bandied about individually and separately, but it takes a balance of the three to be a healthy whole. This is termed ‘holistic health.’ An imbalance in one affects an imbalance in another. Even though it seems these are three separate entities, they actually work together as one.
The mind is a very fragile and yet strong entity. It can get people through the most horrendous circumstances, and yet it can snap in an instant. The jury is still out as to where the mind is actually located. Normal thinking says that the mind is in the brain itself. Yet new scientific findings say it is quite possible that the mind and memory are in our cells throughout our whole body. This may be why some organ donor recipients may have memories from the donor. The mind is also associated with our thinking processes, feelings, emotions, and memories.
The body is another amazing entity. It, too, has the strength to survive the greatest traumas and has the power for self-healing, and yet it can be consumed with the most debilitating of illnesses and diseases.
The Spirit is an entity that is really indescribable as no one really knows exactly what the Spirit is or what form it takes. We all have our beliefs as to what the Spirit is or isn’t, but if you ask a hundred people, you may get a hundred different answers. Some will use the name God, Universe, Spirit, Allah, Nature, and thousands of other labels. Like the mind, there is no proof of it; you can’t see it, and you can’t put it under a microscope. We only have our beliefs based upon our experiences of it to describe it. Even then, we humans are limited in our terminology when it comes to describing Spirit/God.
The science of holistic well-being is constantly changing. I think it is wonderful that whole ministries are being developed around it. Most people in ministries will specialize in one area or the other, but it is only when we concentrate on gaining knowledge and wisdom in all three areas equally that we are really able to see the bigger picture. Like puzzle pieces, they need to fit into each other to make a whole. The wisdom and knowledge in these fields is unlimited and we are now only really beginning to understand the magnitude of this fascinating realm.
To become totally and holistically healthy in mind, body, and Spirit, we need to open our hearts and minds to learning all things new. What worked in the past may not necessarily be what works for today. We need to be open to constantly tweaking our lives in order to move forward into being the greatest expressions of who we were meant to be. When we have our health, we have more hope for our lives and our futures. We can accomplish more. We can feel more love for ourselves. We enjoy life, are happier, more joyful, and can have a positive outlook. When we work on mind, body, and Spirit together, they all weave into each other to make a beautiful tapestry of these magnificent and miraculous Spiritual and sacred beings that we are.
How do we become healthy? What are the thoughts that we are thinking? Positive or negative? What are we putting into our bodies? Pure foods from the earth or cheap junk foods full of fake foods, chemicals, and preservatives? Are we consuming drugs (illegal or too many legal), alcohol, tobacco smoke, sugar, and other artificial substances? What addictions do we have? Do we have a spiritual practice whether it is religious or nature related? How are we feeding our souls? All these feed into our total health.
Hippocrates said, “A wise man ought to realize that health is his most valuable possession.” And it should be because it is the temple for our souls. Michelle Longo O’Donnell said, “The Spirit of Life is that portion of the Being of God that formed all things, and causes all things to exist in harmony, balance, and perpetual order throughout all eternity.”
If we really knew how glorious and magnificent we really were, we would take better care of ourselves to be the best and healthiest that we could be. We are a light onto the world and we deserve to be healthy, happy, and whole!
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper September 5, 2014.