Unpleasant hunger pangs, that growling stomach discomfort and awareness of sagging energy, are physical reminders that our bodies need to be refueled. But what about our minds? Do people have a signal like an inner voice that urges them to nourish their minds and hearts? I believe some do – perhaps not everyone.
Based on my observation of human behavior it would seem whatever that voice is saying is gentler than the voice of a grinding stomach and no match for human stubbornness. However, there are some who discover a way to align their free will with their whispering conscience. A person like this responds by making good choices about feeding their body and mind and heart and spirit. No matter how crazy life gets, they are prepared at every level and able to restore balance.
Here’s what I know – people need nourishment and exercise to be healthy and happy and they know it. Still, they are inconsistent in both areas. Tragic as this is culturally, we are significantly more neglectful about mental, emotional, creative and spiritual health. How else can we explain the people problems that exist in every sector of society?
Here are estimates on what America spends in a year on our bodies and our physical appearances:
- Food: Nearly $1.35 Trillion (USDA-2013)
- Cosmetics: Nearly $60 billion
- Tattoos: $3 Billion
- Surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures: $12 billion
- Fitness Industry: $40 billion
- Hair, nails & tanning: $10 billion
- Fashion: $250 billion
- TOTAL: $1,745,000,000,000 ($1.745 Trillion)
Now, look at how we as a nation, after formal education, continue our personal and professional development. Businesses and other organizations spent an estimated $55.4 billion on training in 2014. (That’s less than $25/month per American adult.) As the numbers show, it’s a tiny fraction of what we spend on our bodies. The ratio is approximately 97 to 3 in favor of the body. The difference becomes even more dramatic when we add the cost of repairing our broken bodies (i.e. health care.) Maybe if we invested more wisely, focusing more intentionally on our inner selves, we would make different choices for our outer selves.
Human bodies are like a mobile home. It’s where a person can reside and a vehicle that moves the person from one place to another. In these ways, the mobile home is very useful. Therefore, we need to take good physical care of it. However, if the person inside is neglected to the point of starvation, what’s the point of the mobile home?
None of these thoughts are intended to place moral judgments on tattoos or nice clothes nor are they to suggest we neglect our bodies. The lesson is about prioritization. I believe Americans would be healthier, happier and more productive if we would invest more in the person inside. This suggests we probably need to redirect some of our resources. Oh NO!
Here’s the good news. You can do this and you don’t have to wait until the next January 1st, spend a fortune or give up everything that is fun! You can begin one new practice — today that will put you on a path to a better life. Ask your self, “What could I read to get started? What could I sign up for? What wisdom could I seek? Who could I reach out to for the help I need? However, the first question you need to ask yourself I this, “Am I hungry enough to change my diet today?”
The body is a home for people.
We are wise to take good care of ours.
But if we don’t care for the person who lives there,
what’s the point? — Clancy Cross