what does 'living holistically' mean?
it means taking into account all aspects of life... mind, body, spirit, and environment.
for good health, happiness and wellbeing.
it's treating the whole, not just one aspect. if you were to experience a physical ailment (such as a cold) you would not just treat the ailment on a physical level - by say, drinking hot honey + lemon drinks and keeping warm - you would also assess the mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental inputs to that ailment: what have your thought patterns been? have you been stressed? what emotional issues have you been processing? what energetic vibration have you been putting out? what environmental factors have contributed? and so on.
many years ago, before I'd even heard the word holistic, I happened across a book called the body is the barometer of the soul, so be your own doctor by annette noontil. this book shows how your body reacts to thoughts and feelings, and emotional + spiritual reasonings for physical dis-ease.
it was one of my first practical insights into the physical - spiritual connection, and how we can influence it, and over the next several years I found myself testing the theory, and the book, every time I or a loved one had a physical issue. (wait! let me check the book!) sometimes, it was eerily accurate, other times I could not make sense. but essentially, it was a book that opened my mind to the idea that everything is interconnected - and of course, why wouldn't it be?
everything. is. energy.
annette's insights came from her spiritual guides (she specifically says angels) and I now know that the guidance we receive is variable to a) our perception of what we receive and b) sometimes applicable to us alone, not everyone (ie: the same goes for dream interpretation... what a black cloud in a dream means to me may be different to someone else based on the context of our perception and understanding. guides/our higher consciousness will use context that we are able to decipher. which is why we often partly dream about things that are going on in our lives, or pertain to recent conversations we have had etc).
to further cement my understanding of this idea of all aspects affecting each other, oneday in a metaphysics class we were introduced to aura combing. this exciting new exercise involved having a person lie still while you literally combed your fingers through their aura, from head to toe, feeling the subtle energies for any denser energies that shouldn't be there, and combing them out. I almost couldn't believe it when I felt a very dense, very real, hard spot in my person's aura. had this not been combed out what would have happened? where would this have manifested physically in her and what physical dis-ease would it have manifested as?! (from memory it was nearest to her root chakra so could have resulted in any number of root chakra related illnesses, and was probably caused by root chakra issues, possibly from childhood or even past life.)
so living holistically, not just in relation to health, means factoring in all the things that affect all the things.
what you eat, when and how you eat, your thoughts, how you are feeling, how you deal with stress, where you live, how you create, how much time you spend in nature, your work life balance, your level of joy, your relationships, your finances, your health + fitness, your spiritual connection, how you see yourself, how much gratitude you have, your sleep quality, your sex life, what toxins are in and around you, what emotional issues you resolve and don't resolve... creating a life where you pay attention to all aspects of your life, and adjust them accordingly to live in a natural, healthy and happy way... is living holistically.
5 ways to get started
1. CLEAN OUT YOUR BATHROOM CABINET
everything that you put in and on your body affects you. everything that you put onto your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. (think about that for a sec...)
cleansers, toners, moisturisers, masks, scrubs, serums, makeup, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soaps, deodorants, fake tan, nail polish, hair dyes, hairspray, dry shampoo, shaving cream, perfumes... the majority of these products on the market, and now in your bathroom cabinet, contain a cocktail of seriously harmful chemicals (carcinogens, neurotoxins), allergens and irritants. ew.
so step one is to safely throw out (I would say 'or donate', but I'm not sure you want to be gifting chemical-laden products to other people?) all the things in your bathroom cabinet that are not completely safe and natural, and to start researching/trialing better alternatives.
a huge bonus to this - aside from doing your body the biggest favour ever - is that you'll probably realise you really only need a few key products in your bathroom, and it will probably save you money too!
DID YOU KNOW? organic coconut oil is an amazing cleanser! (buy a big jar, it can be used for so many other things.. a moisturiser, a hair mask, as a base to homemade deodorants + lip balms, add coffee to make a body scrub, and for oil pulling *for mouth health). witch hazel is an incredible toner. rosehip seed oil regenerates cells, and honey + avocado makes a gorgeous mask.
or, if you aren't ready to go full hippie, check out some of the top rated natural skincare companies that are also ethical and cruelty-free, such as KORA ORGANICS (my fave, their citrus mist toner is a must), and INIKA ORGANIC. *I have no affiliation with these companies.
2. CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY
the same rules apply in your kitchen as they do in your bathroom. everything you consume affects your body - and actually your emotions + spirit too, eg: dairy foods clog your aura. become a master of label reading! as a general rule, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. (which probably means you'll only be in the fruit and veg aisle from now on...)
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND...
1. never trust the sales pitch on the front of the box. if it says it's low-fat, it's probably high sugar. if it says it's low-sugar, it's probably high in fat or has artificial sweeteners (why would we ever consider eating anything artificial??? when did this become okay???). and just because a product is keto friendly, or vegan, or whatever the claim, that does NOT necessarily mean it's good for you.
2. check the serving size it's usually ridiculously small, meaning you will probably eat 3 times the recommended serving portion.
3. make sure you're reading the calories as per serve - don't forget to multiply that by how many servings you're actually consuming.
4. check sodium levels, sugar + fat content and types of fats and oils - get to know good from bad. (PLEASE avoid buying anything with palm oil, unless you're okay with supporting deforestation...)
and theeeeeeen... you'll want to think about the packaging.
items that come unpackaged are the obvious choice. failing that, try to choose products that come in reusable or recyclable and biodegradable packaging such as glass jars and bamboo containers. our planet is drowning in plastic so avoid this wherever you possibly can. buying in bulk can also reduce packaging.
3. SWITCH TO NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS
as far as toxins in the home go, cleaning products are pretty much lethal. mostly highly poisonous to humans and animals.
again it's very easy and economical to make your own household cleaners, using ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, eucalyptus oil etc... but also there are now some amazing all-natural cleaning products available, such as EUCLOVE 100% natural using pure essential oils, and are australian made. (I use these products myself, they are fantastic + smell amazing!)
4. START BUYING CLOTHES THAT ARE BODY + PLANET FRIENDLY
washing synthetic fabrics releases gazillions of microplastics that are able to bypass your washing machine filter, ending up in the oceans as fish food. and before you think how big could this problem really be?... an estimated 60% of all clothing globally is synthetic.
avoid polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetics and instead look for organic cottons and linens, hemp and bamboo. all of these, as well as being more planet-friendly, will also allow your skin to breathe! will they cost you more? yes. (unless you find them in thrift shops which is the best clothes shopping option from the planet's point of view!) will they last a lot longer? yes. (so you won't need to clothes shop as often.)
5. SUPPORT SMALL, LOCAL, ETHICAL BUSINESSES
the lil' guy at the local market is far more likely to have your best interests at heart than the faceless giant overseas corporation.
we need to stop feeding big businesses who for too long have gotten away with unethical practices, and start supporting those who are trying to do good for humanity and the planet. + logistically, it's far less stress on the environment to purchase locally made products than those that have travelled half way across the world by ships and trucks (ie: pollution).
wouldn't it feel much better to buy an organic glass jar of all-natural face cream from miss molly at the sunday market, contributing to her livelihood and getting a product that is far better for you and mother earth, than giving your money to a huge company who's only actual concern is their profit margin?
plus! going to your local markets is a great day out!!
if all of this seems a little overwhelming (we hear you!) just choose one to start with! it's not a race and there are no points for who's the most holistic. Every little change you make is an achievement!!
We would love to hear how and why you started or want to start on your holistic journey! Please share with us in the comments below.