What is holistic living? What’s it all about to live a holistic lifestyle and why is it important for women’s empowerment?
In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of holistic living, what it involves, and why it’s important for women’s empowerment. Whether you’re new to the concept or looking to deepen your understanding, this article will provide a valuable guide to living a more balanced and fulfilling life.
The concept of being holistic is something I’m very passionate about.
Holistic comes from the word “holism,” which is rooted in the idea from Aristotle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is a really important thing to consider because we live in such a reductionist society.
The patriarchal dominance culture has really reduced everything into its parts, even our food. We’re taking supplements as a part of the nutrients that are in many different foods, collectively with other vitamins or nutrients. We’re reducing aspects of our being, and we see lots of modalities, whether it’s healing modalities or coaching and mentoring like what I do, focused on one thing. There’s the relationship, the career, the money, or the health and wellness. In the realm of healthcare, there’s dentistry, the podiatrist, the chiropractor and so on and so forth. Everything gets separated out.
What we’ve lost in this separation and reductionism is this holistic approach.
When we only look at the parts of our existence, our life, our health, our learning of our family life and relationships, we’re not able to fully thrive, see the bigger picture and understand how all of it works together.
One of my biggest passions is understanding and helping others see the connectedness in all things.
What Does Holistic Living Mean
What does holistic living mean? What does it really look like?
First and foremost, in order to live holistically, we have to look at all domains of our life.
How is our health and wellbeing, physically speaking? Are we physically fit? Are we physically energized? Are we physically flexible and stable?
We also want to look at the emotional aspect. What’s going on with our emotions? Are we ignoring them and stuffing them under the rug? Are we letting them run amok with no emotional mastery? Are we understanding the root of our emotions and what triggers them? What makes them happen?
We want to look at our thoughts or our mental capacities. What are the stories we’re telling ourselves? What are the old patterns, pathways and mindsets that we’ve been holding onto that might also be dictating how we live in our life?
We want to look at the spiritual and the Soul elements of our life and our existence, and understand our connection to Spirit. Do we even have a connection to Spirit? Is it important to have a connection to Spirit? Why or why not?
Living holistically is all about asking questions and really stepping back to a bird’s eye view.
Too often in our patriarchal dominance culture, we get stuck in the details. We get stuck in the muck, and we struggle to understand that all these aspects of our being are interrelated. We can look at the aspects of our personhood like the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, but we can also look at the aspects of life holistically. When we look at the aspects of our life, where are we living, what’s the environment that we’re in? Where are we working? What kind of work are we doing? Does it align with some of those personal aspects of our nature?
We can look at our education and learning, and the ways in which our children are educated. Is that education looking at the whole of their being? Is it addressing their mind, their body, their spiritual life, their emotional life? Is it allowing for expression of creativity as well as the intellectual academic sides of things? Is it allowing their personality to thrive and come out?
We can begin to look at life itself with all these domains and aspects of our being, and then each of those aspects can be broken down further to look at it holistically within that domain.
Ultimately, it’s all about this bird’s eye view and being able to look at all domains of our life, and not just one part.
If I just have enough money…
If I just have enough time…
If I just have a better relationship, everything else in my life will be better…
Most likely, if you’re struggling in one area, other areas are suffering too. They’re all related.
There’s something in medicine called referred pain. I might have an ache in my shoulder and yet I go to the chiropractor and I find out that my hips are out of alignment. The real problem is the hip, not the shoulder. But in the reductionist society we live in, and the ways in which we tend to reduce everything down to the thing that’s bothering us, all we look at is the symptoms. We look at only the thing that’s top of mind. Our shoulder hurts, and we don’t think about what may be the source of that pain.
It’s the same in our life. In the case of the chiropractor, the source of the pain was coming from a misaligned hip. In the course of our life, we might be thinking, “My career is getting nowhere. I’m not happy, I’m not moving forward. I’ve got to find a new job. I’ve got to get some new skills. I’ve got to figure out how to make this work.” We may think it’s all about the career. In reality we might actually be suffering in our health, maybe our mental health, our emotional health, or maybe it’s referred to as pain coming from another domain of our life.
Maybe it’s financial, not really about the career itself, but more about our lifestyle and the way we’re living. The career isn’t aligned or fitting with that financially, or maybe situationally or environmentally. Maybe we have a really long commute that’s stressing us out a lot of times.
We put the blame on one thing without looking holistically at the big picture.
Having a Holistic Lifestyle Is Connected with Nature
Another aspect of having a holistic lifestyle is it’s so intimately connected with Nature.
Nature is holistic. Everything relies upon everything else.
We’re hearing so much about more species going extinct in today’s world. We’ve heard about things like the honeybees, the reduction in the quantities and how necessary the bees are for pollinating and offering so much to the world. We know in the forest there’s all the science behind what’s going on under the surface of the soil, the connectivity, and the ways trees can speak with one another.
Nothing happens in isolation.
We don’t realize that when we attack or blame one thing, or only focus on one thing, everything gets impacted in some way or another. The key is to step back.
Nature is such a powerful tool for us to model after. It has this incredible ecosystem that works or doesn’t work, depending on what’s going on.
We can observe in Nature the ways in which things work well together. If one thing suffers, other things suffer.
We can begin to apply Nature’s principles to our own lives.
The Role of Holistic Living in Women’s Empowerment
Why is a holistic lifestyle or living a holistic life so important to women’s empowerment?
Holistic living is a very feminine focused lifestyle.
We have lived in a patriarchal dominance culture, being taught that we have to push forward, keep doing more, and give until we have nothing left to give. We keep that stiff upper lip, make things happen and keeping the focus on the goal – this goal oriented ultimately toward a dominance and control lifestyle.
As women, when we try to feel empowered, we often adopt the idea that we have to go after a high paying career, that we have to find a way to be taken seriously, or we have to compete with the men and find our position.
We see tremendous burnout because we’re not looking holistically at what that’s doing to the rest of our lives. We’re not looking at how we could be relating in a more balanced, harmonious way with life itself. We’re not tuning into feminine ways of viewing life from a bird’s eye view and understanding diffuse awareness – this idea that we understand the bigger picture.
We’re not going to rely on just one piece and only focus on that. That being said, the river, the flow of the river, needs the riverbanks. We do need structure. This is not to say that we don’t need the masculine. However, medicine, education, government, politics and healthcare, all of that has become so ingrained and encapsulated in this patriarchal dominance viewpoint that it’s not holistic. Ultimately, these areas of life have lost the feminine, and living more holistically supports us to bring empowerment to these areas of life, and ultimately all of life.
What Is Living Holistically Really About
By returning to a holistic lifestyle, allowing holistic living to enter into our lives and to practice holistic living, we begin to have a greater awareness.
We start to notice what’s going on. We don’t blame one thing when it might be caused by something totally unrelated. We don’t only look at the symptoms when there are root causes happening.
There are so many different ways in which holistic living supports us to be more empowered women.
When we have that awareness, when we can look at all of it, we’re able to tap into our intuition, and to connect more deeply with our dreams and our sense of meaning and purpose. We’re able to allow for inspiration to flow through us and not be so focused on one thing.
I can’t tell you how many women I talk to and coach that tell me, “I don’t even know what I want anymore. I’m not even sure of what I want. I don’t have a dream for myself. It’s always been about my career, or it’s always been about my kids, or it’s always been about my family, but I’ve never really thought about other aspects of my dreams or how that plays into my wellbeing.”
When we don’t look at the bigger picture, life will show up to tap us on the shoulder and say, “You’ve got to pay attention.” Maybe we get ill, forcing us to slow down. Maybe we end up significantly burnt out. Maybe we have a fluke accident. Life will give us moments to shock us into realization.
Going back to Nature, we can do things like lay upon the Earth, sit under an oak tree, observe the birds and the hawks in the sky, or allow ourselves to be bathed in the light of the full moon or bathe ourselves in a frigid, cold mountain stream. These are things that I personally love to do to rejuvenate myself and bring myself back to that wholeness.
Living holistically is about remembering that we are whole.
We are inherently whole. We are multidimensional beings with so many gifts to share and many ways in which to share them. When we only look at one thing, we’re not able to stand in our True Nature.
Empowered women are standing in their True Nature.
They’re able to tune in to their Inner Wisdom, connect to those depths, course correct if they feel off course, and keep moving forward. They’re able to navigate the extremes of life, and they’re able to allow themselves to be with difficulties, have acceptance, even while striving toward new possibilities and new opportunities.
Some of the benefits of holistic living include a sense of inner calm and peace. It reduces stress and anxiety. We can move beyond the overwhelm and the self doubt, and begin to find our center when we live holistically. We have a sense of wellness, a sense of overall well being, that good old saying, “All is well with my Soul.” That is what so many of us want. Many of us long for that.
To say, “All is well” is not just, “My family is okay” or just “My career is okay” or just “My finances are okay” or just “My health and wellness.” All is well is about holistic living, and it’s something we’ve been forgetting. It’s something that keeps us from feeling empowered as women.
I hope this has been helpful in offering you these different thoughts of what holistic living is, why it’s important and what the benefits of holistic living are.
To support you in living more holistically, I have a free gift for you. It is a guide called “Journaling As A Path to Come Home.” Journaling engages our will. It engages this part of us that’s writing physically, and it engages our thoughts, and it also allows us to express our emotions. It’s a beautiful way to begin to connect with all parts of our being. I encourage you to download this free and fantastic guide. It’ll help you come home to yourself and see more parts of yourself so you too can begin living holistically.
For a video version of How to Live Happy & Healthy With A Holistic Lifestyle, watch here: