Since starting the Healing Tree Network, I have repeatedly been asked to explain what I mean by "Holistic". Holistic (or wholistic) should in itself give you a clue. As someone living a Holistic Lifestyle we are aiming to be complete. As I often explain to my clients, tackling one aspect of your life and ignoring the rest can only lead to imbalance. You may choose to enlist the help of Holistic practitioners along the way, but there is a lot you can do all by yourself.
So, the starting point is inside. Not physically, but spiritually and emotionally are you whole? Sounds a bit strange, perhaps a bit airy fairy? Actually your emotions effect every other aspect of your being. I'm not talking about being ecstatically happy, but simply being comfortable with who you are. Do you allow yourself to express your emotions or do you bottle them up? Do you carry emotional scars which still have an effect on your daily life. This is the starting point for wholeness.
Are you secure in your own spiritual direction? (Not religion, that's a different thing). Are there things in life which call you and make you feel wonderful - a walk in the woods; playing with your children; listening to bird song; dancing; listening to your choice of music - things which are spiritually nourishing? And do you allow yourself time to do these things? No? Well you know what the next step on the path is!
Whilst working on our emotional and spiritual well-being, we could start looking at what goes into our bodies. This isn't a lesson on good nutrition, but by following a few simple rules, we start to bring our bodies into the holistic state. Good food, not too much of the things we all know we should avoid - saturated fat, salt, sugar.... you know the beasties! Increase fresh vegetables and fruit; eat meat and fish from humane and sustainable sources if you choose to; increase pulses and seeds; eat local and seasonal. If you choose to eat and drink 'naughty' things which nutritionists discourage, do it in moderation and try to have a little of the best rather than a whole bucket of rubbish! And drink enough water!
Look after your body! Whatever shape it's in - it is all yours! Treat it kindly beacuse it has to last a whole lifetime. Exercise it, but try doing something you enjoy. (If you were put of all exercise and sports at school try something new.) Your skin is effectively your largest organ so use gentle products which aren't full of chemicals. Maybe try dry skin brushing to get rid of the layer of dead cells, add natural (dilluted) oils to your bathing water, and moisturise using a tiny spot of pure coconut oil. Protect it from too much direct sunlight, without keeping it shut away from the fresh air. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Being holistic extends beyond what's going on inside!
Then there's your environment. Do you feel safe and secure? If not, what are you going to do about it? Are you surrounded by nurturing, supportive people and offering that same support to those around you? Are you happy in your work? Sometimes we can't avoid being in places with people we don't really want to be with, or in jobs we'd prefer to leave, but what can you do to improve this environment? Again, try looking for a reduction in chemicals that you use to keep your surroundings clean.
You may need help and advice along the way, so don't be afraid to ask. There are hundreds of different Holistic Practices and products to explore. If you don't know where to start when looking for help, contact me (in confidence if you prefer) and I will try to point you in the right direction.
Ultimately, I don't think Holistic is in any way alternative and it certainly isn't about being not pure or holy! It is simply being and feeling the best you can, and learning to love yourself and all around you!