Vitalism

by Jiling Lin

Questions, Interpretations & Practices

What does it mean to be VITAL? What does perfect HEALTH mean to you? What does it mean to LIVE fully?

“VITALITY” means to experience vibrant ALIVENESS in body, mind, heart, and spirit, a feeling of deep internal and external connection and interconnection.

Vitalism focuses on a balanced lifestyle for optimum health and life enjoyment. “Health” includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

– Body –

How does your body feel? What type of body were you born into? What kind of body do you have now? What is your innate constitution? What do you like and dislike about how you look and feel? What tends to unbalance you? How would you like to change?

A vibrant, vital, wholly healthy person complements their constitution with supportive foods and lifestyle practices. There is an abundance of energy in the body, a feeling of deep connection with nature and a solid commitment to the wellness of all beings, including oneself.

How do your eyes and skin look? What is the quality of your voice? How is your posture? What are your daily routines? Which routines nourish you, which are rote and which negatively affect you? Do you like yourself? How do you take care of your Being?

Here are some physical exercise ideas:

  • Practice 5 minutes of aerobic exercise first thing in the morning, or right after getting home from work.
  • Practice a full set of stretches first thing upon waking, or after work.

How is your appetite and digestion? What foods and activities are you drawn to? How often do you exercise? How much water do you drink each day? Where does your water come from? How is the air that you breathe? What is the quality of your breath?

Some food/water practices you can try:

  • Drink 1 qt. of warm water first thing in the morning. (You can add 1 TBSP of lemon juice, if desired.)
  • Say a brief gratitude prayer before eating.
  • Eat in silence for at least one meal each day.

How much do you sleep each night? Are you connected with your dreams? Where do you live? Do you know the names and habits of your plant, stone and creature neighbors? Do you notice seasonal changes? Do you feel connected with your environment?

A few nature connection practices you can try:

  • Take a silent walk for 30 minutes each day, maintaining internal awareness on your breath, body and mind. Simultaneously cultivate external awareness with wide peripheral vision and deep listening.
  • Find a natural place outdoors within 3 minutes walking distance of your home that resonates with you. Come here daily to just sit in silence and observe internally and externally for 5-10 minutes each day.

– Mind/Heart –

How do you feel right now? How do you generally feel? What are your emotional and mental tendencies? Do you allow yourself to cry? Do you belly laugh often? Do you feel a full spectrum of emotions? How do you react or respond to adversity?

A fully vital person is aware of, expressive of and responsible for their mental and emotional states.

What makes you come alive? What are the supporting pillars of your life? Which pillars sustainably support you? How can you further cultivate these? Which pillars are unstable? How can you transform these? What is your role in your community? Who is your community?

Here are some centering exercises:

  • Meditate for 5 minutes each day.
  • Integrate ritual into your life. Set intentions with each new moon, create community celebrations with each full moon.
  • Go on a retreat once in a while (for at least a week each year) to retreat, rejuvenate and revitalize.
  • Journal a page of stream-of-consciousness thoughts and/or feelings each night before sleeping.

What challenges you? What are you grateful for? What excites you? What frightens you? What delights you? What do you live for? What are you passionate about?

More life-affirming exercises:

  • Do a gratitude prayer first thing in the morning, listing all the things you are thankful for.
  • Say a prayer before going to sleep.
  • Repeat a positive mental affirmation first thing in the morning and right before sleeping.

– Spirit –

What is your connection with Spirit? Why are you here? What gives you purpose in life? What is your life philosophy, in one sentence?

All of the above practices support connection with Spirit. Vitalism tends to the roots of each person’s tree of life by nourishing, supporting and care-taking the foundations of life itself, through lifestyle practices and supportive treatments as needed. Instead of treating the fruits (the surface manifestation of sickness), we treat the roots (the underlying origins of health and dis-ease). Sometimes, things must get worse to get better. In adversity, medicines/actions are taken as needed to restore the body to balance, through resting and supporting the body through its natural responses.

May your Life Journey be filled with vital health.

May you THRIVE.

林基玲


Journal, Volume 2 Issue 4