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Physical Discipline and Balance


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#1 Ravenshaw

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 04:30 AM

Does spiritual balance necessitate physical balance? Is there a connection between physical health and fitness and spiritual ability and fitness? I've noticed that whenever I am overweight or letting myself go, my spiritual discipline lacks (something I need to work on greatly). However, I hear of people going through shaman sickness, or people with chronic illness using their pain as a strength through meditation and focus.

Does the difference between those who are sick and using it as a strength and those who are sick and out of balance rely on Paths, personalities, calling? Perhaps for some, balance is needed all around to be successful in one area, and for others they are able to swing their spiritual "pendulums" to the extremes since their body is already being hindered by factors beyond their control? I'm interested to hear others opinions on this.

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#2 ArcticWitch

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 06:57 AM

Does spiritual balance necessitate physical balance? Is there a connection between physical health and fitness and spiritual ability and fitness?

---
I do indeed think taking care of one's physical health enhances one's spiritual health. Making physical health a priority means we take that part of ourselves (body) seriously, and that self-care feeds into overall balance of body, mind, and spirit.

However, I don't think that physical balance and fitness are the same as being not ill. I deal with several chronic health conditions that impact me on a daily basis, but I'm surprisingly fit! I can out-hike most of my friends and maintain an exemplary diet. New "real life" acquaintances are amazed that my medical issues are as severe as they are, because I refuse the exude the persona, attitude, or body language of someone who is "sickly". So I feel that, despite life-altering health issues, I'm physically fit and more balanced than many "healthy" people who abuse their bodies. And yes, I do use the pain sometimes as a power source for Workings: it would seem irresponsible to not harness all that power.

All that being said, I do think that the higher the desired level of spiritually discipline, the more effort needs to go into physical conditioning- if only because of the physical stress that some Workings demand, as you mentioned. No one would run a marathon after being a couch potato for a season, so why would a witch take on a major working after months of neglecting her/himself spiritually and physically?

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#3 RoseRed

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

What she said +1

Discipline is discipline. I find that when I use discipline in all aspects of my life it comes easier than when I try to compartmentalize it.

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#4 travsha

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 05:27 PM

I have seen sick and overweight people who were amazing with magic.... But maybe they were disciplined in other ways. I know weight doesnt seem to say much about magical power, because I have seen all weight sizes have power. I know some shaman who are incredibly disciplined about their medicine, and will even fast to work deeply with medicine, yet who are still overweight - they have lots of power but not the greatest health.

However - we know some people might let emotions get in the way of health, like emotional eating, and emotions effect magic real quick! So maybe it would depend on self-image and emotions and discipline more then specifically health or weight.... But in many cases, health and weight can be symptoms of emotional or discipline problems, so they could be related more on a personal level depending on what is causing the illness or weight issues...

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 05:49 PM

I tend to think one needs to define what balance is and means to them before you can answer this question.

One might have a catastrophic illness and be in balance with it even though they know it will led to their deaths eventually. So health does not need to pertain to how we define good and poor for instance. As a defining aspect I personally think we presume to much as to what balance is and how we define it. A compound that is 1 - 99 is in balance just as a compound that is 50 - 50 is in balance though potentially stagnate. Nor does the ratio have to impact upon the chemical / magical / energy actions / reactions being performed at any given instance.

Many seem to equate magical success as a degree of attainment obtained. Yet then why do all the major stories, edda's, sagga's etc indicate the body is left behind in some fashion and the practitioner has moved beyond the limitations of their body. Figure in many practices the ideal working place is outside and beyond the confines of the physical and mental, thus the body has little to no influence upon ones capabilities or abilities. Of course others may read them and come to a differing conclusion.

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#6 RoseRed

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 06:47 PM

And then we get into the whole concept of broken shamanic practitioners. We've had long talks about that here before but I'm way too lazy today to go looking for the threads.
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#7 Caps

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:53 PM

How about other physical factors like fasting, forced insomnia, and using chemicals or herbs? Sensory deprivation during sex? I think that it's all intertwined... but I am also the type of person who gains weight when I'm happy and lose weight when I'm depressed.
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#8 Nikki

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 06:22 PM

^^^ I hear that, Caps ^^^

I don't think it does, Ravenshaw.

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#9 Lilitia

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 02:42 AM

I push myself. Physically, mentally, spiritually, in all ways. The harder I try, the more miles I run in a day, or the longer that I can hold a trance state all are intertwined for me. I also have found that when I let myself go, my mental acuity is absolute shite. If I eat nothing but crap food and lie about on the sofa then try to perform a working or research a paper, I am so screwed.

This is not the case for everyone, for much like Travsha mentioned, there are several very powerful practitioners who are overweight but more mentally spry than a Rutgers professor.

Perhaps this is more of a personal thing than I had considered. I have also experienced debilitating physical illness and have tried to perform workings during bouts of poor health, which have led to varied results. The best results in such circumstances occurred when I harnessed the pain I felt and used my rage to push my intent. I use a similar technique now that I have regained my health, and the flare is over (for now).

As a healthy-me, though, I am what would be considered an "intense" or "extreme" person. I free run, run long distance (an average of 6-8 miles, five times a week) and am getting into parkour. I use my intent and will to push me farther as I run, and do the same in workings.

Edited by RachelLiz, 22 January 2015 - 02:43 AM.

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#10 RoseRed

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 02:47 PM

Can you bottle that?
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#11 Roanna

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 11:59 AM

As a healthy-me, though, I am what would be considered an "intense" or "extreme" person. I free run, run long distance (an average of 6-8 miles, five times a week) and am getting into parkour. I use my intent and will to push me farther as I run, and do the same in workings.


The way this is phrased is excellent. "A healthy me" Introducing subjectivity to the topic is spot on.

I think it is likely that we perform our best work as witches when we are most in tune with our own natural states. For one witch that may well be regular punishing exercise, for another it may be living a very sedentary lifestyle. They key to my mind is knowing yourself well enough to understand your own natural state and then working to maintain this.

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#12 Michele

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:43 PM

I think it's very important to be at peace with yourself , with who and what you are and how you feel and your own limitations. I also think it;s extremely important to know your desires and to be what you want, not what society says you should be.

I try, within reason, to not do things I don't want to do on any sort of regular basis. Yes, I have to go to the dentist next month, lol, and I will go get my teeth cleaned. But on the other hand, I hate making beds, and never (rarely) make mine. When my son was little he was never required to make his, either. It's not a life-changing detail.

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#13 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 08:15 AM

---
I do indeed think taking care of one's physical health enhances one's spiritual health. Making physical health a priority means we take that part of ourselves (body) seriously, and that self-care feeds into overall balance of body, mind, and spirit.

However, I don't think that physical balance and fitness are the same as being not ill. I deal with several chronic health conditions that impact me on a daily basis, but I'm surprisingly fit! I can out-hike most of my friends and maintain an exemplary diet. New "real life" acquaintances are amazed that my medical issues are as severe as they are, because I refuse the exude the persona, attitude, or body language of someone who is "sickly". So I feel that, despite life-altering health issues, I'm physically fit and more balanced than many "healthy" people who abuse their bodies. And yes, I do use the pain sometimes as a power source for Workings: it would seem irresponsible to not harness all that power.

All that being said, I do think that the higher the desired level of spiritually discipline, the more effort needs to go into physical conditioning- if only because of the physical stress that some Workings demand, as you mentioned. No one would run a marathon after being a couch potato for a season, so why would a witch take on a major working after months of neglecting her/himself spiritually and physically?


What she said +1

Discipline is discipline. I find that when I use discipline in all aspects of my life it comes easier than when I try to compartmentalize it.

+2

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#14 travsha

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 11:30 PM

I used to work out all the time and I was super buff... Most people probably thought I was healthy, but that was the most unhealthy I have ever been. I just used exercise as a way to ignore my problems at that time and pretend I was healthy... Sometimes the hardest part of discipline is being honest with yourself. Busy isn't the same as disciplined - I can think of many people who are always busy but never get important things done because they make themselves busy to help them avoid the work they really need to do. Those are often the ones who everyone thinks is doing great till they finally collapse or snap... These are some of the reasons I regularly try to put myself out of my "routine" - so I can truly hear my body without the habits and distractions I might have made for myself... Getting out of the disciplined routine can take discipline sometimes!
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#15 Lilitia

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 12:52 AM

I used to work out all the time and I was super buff... Most people probably thought I was healthy, but that was the most unhealthy I have ever been. I just used exercise as a way to ignore my problems at that time and pretend I was healthy... Sometimes the hardest part of discipline is being honest with yourself. Busy isn't the same as disciplined - I can think of many people who are always busy but never get important things done because they make themselves busy to help them avoid the work they really need to do. Those are often the ones who everyone thinks is doing great till they finally collapse or snap... These are some of the reasons I regularly try to put myself out of my "routine" - so I can truly hear my body without the habits and distractions I might have made for myself... Getting out of the disciplined routine can take discipline sometimes!

It's funny you say that...I was talking with my dad about this very thing just earlier today. I also used to do that very same thing, and only recently did I learn to "check out," as 'I like to put it, in order to truly evaluate my situation (mentally, physically, spiritually), or to simply just let myself recharge. I used to push myself to the point where I would just simply fall over with exhaustion, which led to some serious health issues. I know (am still learning tbh) that I need to take some time away from everything and everyone and simply just be for a little while (a day? an hour? it can vary depending upon the situation).

I guess this is where the "balance" in the OP comes in...finding the way to mentally remove the bullshit white noise of one's daily life in order to see the truth of one's self, and use that knowledge to grow, spiritually, mentally, etc. Whether one uses meditation, a runner's high, a chemical such as LSD or ayahuasca (sp?), or is lucky enough to be able to do so just kicking it on the couch is merely a matter of personal preference. It is merely that one reaches that point that is what truly matters.


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My mama used to tell me 'bout these
Broke, poachin' ass bitches in these streets,
So many people wanna see me fall,
Invite me to the table but don't want me to eat at all.... ---- Z'Ro the Crooked

#16 ArcticWitch

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:01 AM

Getting out of the disciplined routine can take discipline sometimes!

---
This is so true. The problem I ran into with discipline is that I equated it with routine. To me, routine is rigid. It took a while to figure out that discipline is as much about maintaining harmony among various disciplines (physical, mental, spiritual) is more valuable- to me, at least- than stringent, routine self-discipline.

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#17 Wexler

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 03:56 AM

I love my routine, or rather I love structure in my life. I'm a mess without it.

I also need discipline to be healthy. I agree with what others have said - it's not compartmentalized. It's not because being lazy in one area automatically makes me lazy in another -- it's because there is an overarching cause for my laziness that will affect all areas of my life. Tackling that problem will require discipline from all areas in my life. It would be like trying to stop a flood by damming up only one corner of the river.

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#18 Caps

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 11:04 AM

I actually really despise routine, doing the same thing day in and day out...the funny thing is that I excel at doing it. I always become more irritable and mentally drained when I'm not regularly switching things up in my life. New life challenges and puzzles are what keep me focused and interested in this world, not the same old shit all the time. In fact, this uncomfortable feeling is a major driving factor in my life at this moment...I need some stimulation.
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#19 RoseRed

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 07:50 PM

There's a huge difference between discipline and routine although, they do work well together as a general rule of thumb - for me at least.

I find that routine helps me to be more disciplined or just remember what all I need to do, sometimes.

Discipline is what got us where we (my family) are today. It's also why I really am at the point of exhaustion. I accomplished the goals that I had set. I found a way to power through and do what needed to be done. Now it's time to rest and heal. And while I'm resting - I'll get all the paperwork caught up. It's discipline that's going to get me through hours and hours of receipts to get the taxes filed this year. It's also discipline that's going to park my ass on the couch when I need to. It's very hard to go from GO, Go, Go, gung ho to rest and relax. And it does not come naturally for me. I have to work at it.

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#20 Michele

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

I thrive on routine and get very cranky if it gets upset. I'm actually very predictable and tend to do the same things at the same time everyday. But my routine is also what suits me... I never make my bed, I hate unexpected company and usually don't answer the door, I don't do things without warning. If you want me to meet you somewhere, tell me in advance because I'm not going to drop what I'm doing to go hang out, lol. I don't mop the floor unless I feel like it. But I want my coffee a the exact same time every day. I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch almost ever day. I'm not what one would call overly flexible in personality, but I am very flexible in body interestingly enough.

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