Living A Holistic Life
By Rachel Eva, C.HT, M.NLP, MTILC
Founder of IWA (Integrative Wellness Academy), Integrative Life Coach & Health Practitioner
We hear the word holistic and holism tossed around a lot in integrative wellness and natural medicine. These terms have already flooded the health and wellness markets and made their way into popular culture.
But what exactly does this mean? What is ‘holism’ and how can it be ‘lived’ in everyday life?
As the founder of IWA (Integrative Wellness Academy), myself and the IWA team trains and certifies thousands of integrative life coaches each year. As part of how we teach our students to coach their clients we educate them on holism as a core element to help their clients achieve health, success and balance through applying ‘holism’ through the Holistic Life Model, which I will share with you!
First, let’s define holistic and holism so you can get some simple clarity. According to dictionary.com, here are the definitions:
Philosophy - characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Medicine - characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.
The theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to mental states, language, and ecology.
What does this mean in more simplistic and applicable terms?
Every part of us, our minds (mental), bodies (physical), emotions (emotional) and spirits (spiritual) are interconnected and have an effect on each other, as well as an effect on each of the major areas of life; health, career & finances, family & relationships, spirituality & self-development. Furthermore, each of the major areas of our life have an effect on all aspects or parts of self (the 4 systems); mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. We need to VIEW and CARE care for the whole picture collectively, versus just a few parts in order to live the best life possible.
Before I dive in and introduce you to the Holistic Life Model, I need to further share my definitions with you for the four systems or parts of self:
The Mental System is your thought life, including your self-perception and thought patterns as well as our beliefs and conscious perceptions. This is also the way we view other things out in the world.
The Emotional System are your feelings and your emotions. It’s also your relationships with other people and also the relationship you have with yourself.
The Physical System is your physical health, as well as the tangible physical things you have in our life.
The Spiritual System is our true-self, our personal development, connection to community, world and our connection to a higher power, whatever that definition is or is not for you.
The Holistic Life Model
The holistic Life Model is living your life, caring for, balancing and bringing health to all aspects of self and all major areas of life, in other words, caring for the whole self with a ‘big picture’ approach.
So how exactly can you begin to care for and bring balance to all of these aspects of self? Here are a few steps to begin moving your life towards aligning with and practicing the Holistic Life Model:
1. Set an intention to pay attention to and care for ALL of the systems/aspects of self and all of the major areas of life
2. Put this intention into daily practice through actions!
3. Make a ‘to do’ list of actions you can take to bring more wellness, health and balance to each system and to each major area of your life
4. Schedule it! Put these actions steps into your schedule and stick to them
Remember it’s a process, not an event and the goal is to MOVE towards what you want to have, do, be, experience and achieve!
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