By Dr. Marcel Hernandez, ND
Long-time friends of these articles know that we love to extol the value of healthy lifestyle choices, high-nutrient foods, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and lots more.
These positive activities promote a vibrant immune system and a strong bodily defense against stressful events.
We also write about how mental and emotional factors influence immunity.
Many studies have shown over the last 70 years that unrelieved stress, negative thoughts, and contractive emotions can literally suck the life out of us – by depressing our immune function and leaving us vulnerable to disease and premature aging.
Research clearly also shows that our emotional and mental health is powerfully enhanced by healthy relationships and positive, serviceful personal attitudes.
Boosting our “spiritual resilience” is quite a different story – yet no less powerful.
In our medical practice and our personal lives, Dr. Connie and I have clearly seen that the spiritual realm creates the map for our existence.
A strong “spiritual immune system” empowers us not only to survive adversity, but to welcome our challenges as opportunities to grow, and to live with greater focus and purpose.
In simple terms: spiritual health is about finding true, lasting happiness.
Ask yourself “What makes me happy?”
If you imagine that happiness comes from material comforts, and that your happiness will always be short-lived because material objects are forever arriving and departing like hotel guests, you’ll become depressed to see how these transient shiny “things” leave only emptiness behind.
The path to true happiness (and a healthy spiritual immune system) has little to do with manipulating the material pieces of our world. It’s an inner journey through the heart, to the essence of joy.
It’s a constant prayer to a higher power to use us to bless others. It requires an attitude of giving, because the channel is blessed by that which flows through it.
There are powerful practical steps we can take to strengthen our spiritual immunity.
Awakening. The first step on the spiritual path is to become aware of the call of our hearts to greater joy.
Inside us are inklings of spiritual truth, hints of our true identity, and silent urgings to love.
“Awakening” is an apt description. As we begin to stretch our spiritual muscles, we find the sleep of worldly illusions being wiped from our eyes.
You may not understand precisely what’s happening to you, but you become aware of whispers inwardly calling. And once the call to greater happiness becomes strong enough, you cannot help but follow.
This is the stage of discovery. It’s the period where we are eager to learn from others’ experiences, and to seek connections with people who are hearing the same call. It’s an energizing and exciting phase – change is afoot!
Realization. Self-realization begins as we gradually begin to understand that our identity, our consciousness, and our very existence do not depend on the external world, but that they are waiting to be explored within.
As you receive hints of an inner happiness, you begin to long for a deeper connection with your inner identity.
You begin to shed the arrogant thought that you can do it all on your own.
You find yourself seeking a path or a wise guide who can help you keep pointed in the right direction. There’s no turning back now – you’ve opened an inner door that will never be closed again.
Transformation. After considerable inner work, you begin find that you are changing on fundamental levels.
Accepting the truth of your identity, you want nothing more than to deepen the connection you’ve begun to experience.
You begin to sense a divine energetic consciousness that permeates creation. You begin to understand that it’s only our restless desires that separate us from our true self.
Compassion for human suffering replaces indifference.
You begin to gather the strength to “stand unshaken amidst the crashing breaking of worlds.”
Finally, you reach a point in your explorations where no matter what happens on the physical plane, your natural state of being is inwardly calm and surrendered to God’s will.
There is no fear. There is no “you.” There is only the great soul that for a short while has chosen to occupy this particular body.
Your spiritual immunity soars, and your heart sings in joy. You recognize that you are invulnerable and immortal. You are free!
For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, or use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch. Thank you!