Connecting the dots
“Your toe bone’s connected to your foot bone
Your foot bone’s connected to your heel bone
Your heel bone’s connected to your ankle bone…
… Now hear the word of the Lord”
So the lyrics of the catchy spiritual song, ‘Dem Dry Bones’ tell us. Our bones are all connected to each other, making our body structurally sound and biologically complete. Connecting is crucially important not only to keep our bodies together and functional, but also from a mental and emotional point of view. Not only making the right physiological links between our own mind and body – connecting with the wider world around us is equally as important if we want to live a fulfilled and happy life.
Being able to understand where we are in the world and what our purpose is starts with the ability to connect with other people and share what we are all about. We need to be authentic and proud of who we are, opening our hearts to others, learning by making mistakes and growing in empathy and compassion by opening our minds to other people’s thoughts and experiences.
Embrace your human-ness
People often speak of needing a sense of purpose, or a reason for doing what they do with their lives. Defining exactly what that means in practice is less clear. It is very much an individual process to work out what you are going to do with the time you have been allocated on this planet and the body you have been given to inhabit. Whatever people may think that process comprises, one thing is agreed upon almost unanimously. Those with a solid sense of purpose to their existence tend to live longer, due to having stronger sense of control and feeling that their life is worthwhile.
For many of us, the human connections we make form a large part of that sense of purpose. Our human need to reach out to others and make a difference to other people’s lives is huge. We cannot live in isolation. Human beings are social creatures who love to share, learn, laugh and interact. From an mBraining perspective, we experience greater success in sharing more of ourselves with the world by using our head, heart and gut brains to share compassion, creativity and courage in our interactions with others. If you believe that your life is a gift, perhaps it should be one that keeps on giving – perhaps it is time to share your human-ness round.
There can be miracles…
Time to quote another song, this time from the 1998 animated musical film, The Prince of Egypt. Called ‘When you Believe’, the uplifting lyrics include the optimistic message:
“There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe”
“There can be miracles
For many of us, having a belief system or spirituality also forms a large part of who we are and how we connect to the wider world. Whether that is belief in a higher presence, or conviction in the amazing possibilities of human achievement, believing in something that is important to you and drives your motivations and personal values is a powerful thing. According to Grant Soosalu, belief should be seen as a verb, rather than a noun. It is something that is ‘done’, rather than owned or handled.
Similarly, the discipline of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) describes concepts such as belief as ‘disguised verbs’ – processes that are thought about like a noun, but are actually ‘doing words’. In other words, belief isn’t something passive that exists around you. You must actively understand, respond and live out what you believe, in order to achieve a truly authentic sense of purpose.
Belief in yourself and your values is just as important as belief in an external power or system. Self-belief empowers and protects you, guiding your decisions and helping you figure out the way ahead. Your head brain is crucial when you start exploring your self-belief as it focusses on whether or not it is something safe and connected to your core identity. Your heart provides the compassion and sense-check that it inspires you and produces positive feelings, while your gut adds that all-important courage to see things through to their conclusion.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Moving away from the mind and further down the body, another key aspect of feeling connected to ourselves and the world around us is taking good care of our bodies so that we can physically do the things that are intrinsic to our sense of purpose and belief system. The more energy and vitality we can muster, the fuller our lives will be. Making poor choices around nutrition and exercise will have adverse consequences, both in the short and long-term, ultimately stealing your happiness and sense of fulfilment.
Good health, or as good a health as your body and genetic make-up will allow, is crucial if we want to love ourselves more wondrously. If you are too busy fighting against immediate health concerns brought about by bad habits, there is not much room left in your body and soul for anything else. Even your emotions will be affected, which can leave you physically drained at a time when you really need your body to be firing on all cylinders.
Good health starts with balance. You can’t achieve robust health and happiness through good food or exercise alone if the rest of your life is skewed. As well as the physical basics your body needs of nutrition and the chance to move about to stay fit, you need to concentrate on the benefits gleaned from regular socialising and friendship, managing emotions, getting enough rest and sleep, keeping up a positive attitude and good humour and looking after your immune system. Work on reducing stress and building up strength.
Stay active and take steps to let go of negative feelings such as anger, resentment, jealousy and fear. As our body and mind are connected, so these feelings will have a physical impact on your wellbeing if left unchecked. Every time you feel an emotion, your brain triggers a series of impulses that tell your body how to react. This is a throw-back to pre-historic times when we had to be ready to ward off woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers, but the connection is no less connected or important now than it was for our cave-dwelling ancestors. The only difference is that, nowadays, we are more aware of such links and how to manage them to live and react to emotions and stimuli in the best way possible.
Just as belief should be considered a verb rather than a noun, so ‘health’ is also a concept that we shouldn’t see as something that can be owned or put away on a shelf somewhere. By taking action, ‘doing’ health and staying connected to your body and how it functions in the wider world, you can take greater control over your life, its sense of purpose and the fundamental essence of your human-ness. What’s not to like?
 Source: https://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/d/demdrybones.html. Accessed 28 April 2021
 Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-for-finding-your-purpose-in-life-4164689. Accessed 28 April 2021
 Source: ‘Loving Your Life’, by Grant Soosalu, 2015, p98
 Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/whitneyhouston/whenyoubelieve.html. Accessed 28 April 2021
 Source: ‘Loving Your Life’, by Grant Soosalu, 2015, p27
 Source: ‘Loving Your Life’, by Grant Soosalu, 2015, p193
 Source: https://psychcentral.com/blog/emotions-are-physical. Accessed 28 April 2021