The Greek word for health, “hygieia” describes a condition of completeness and contentment, which says a lot about the Hellenic attitude to well-being. The ancient Greeks were well aware of what so many doctors today are telling the world via bestselling books and trendy podcasts – that it is vital to maintain both physical and mental health while nurturing one’s spirit with art, good company, nutritious food and a positive, holistic mind frame.
Passionate about the importance of participating in athletics and regular visitors to Asclepions (more sophisticated versions of today’s spa and retreat centers), the ancient Greeks doubtlessly considered wellbeing as a top priority for an empowered existence.
Today, most of us turn to the East and to life traditions there for ways to relieve ourselves of pain, heal trauma in our lives, and maintain balance. But Ancient Greece –which is so closer to home– holds dozens of secrets of wellbeing and health that very few know about.
In the wake of painful or traumatic life experiences, it’s common for us to instinctively build protective barriers, becoming guarded, defensive, and critical of both others and ourselves. Paradoxically, to unlock our hearts and embark on a more balanced and joyful life, we must confront our suppressed emotions and embrace our past with acceptance. It’s only by releasing these negative emotions that we can infuse our lives with greater vibrancy and vitality.
What’s the difference between Hippocrates and Asclepius, you ask? Here too Ancient Greek wisdom responds holistically: Hippocrates represents diagnosis and treatment, Asclepius healing and recovery.
In other words, for complete wellbeing both medicine (a “manmade” science) and faith (a “divine” gift) are required to bring about balance and unity in body and mind. It is the Greeks after all who said: “Nous Ygieis en Somati Ygiei” (A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body).
The S.P.E.M. Approach is designed to help individuals reconnect with their personal narratives and usher in a brighter future. It offers a safe space for you to share your truth, receive compassionate support, and find inner peace. Through a process of positive self-dialogue, you’ll come to terms with your fears and be prepared to lead a more harmonious and meaningful life, guided by spiritual wisdom and connection.
My S.P.E.M. approach offers a comprehensive and holistic way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and energy.
Here’s a summary of the key benefits it aims to provide:
Ultimately,my S.P.Ε.M. approach is designed to help you achieve a state of balance and well-being, where your mind and emotions are harmonized, and you can experience greater peace and joy.
It’s a holistic approach that takes into account the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and energy, offering a path to self-discovery and positive transformation.
Wellness is a broad concept. I invite you to think of wellness as meaning being healthy in many dimensions of our lives. That includes the emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, financial, social, environmental, and spiritual parts. These dimensions are interconnected, one dimension building on another.
Ιt is about how we live our lives and the joy and fulfillment and health we experience.
When we worry about money (for example, debt or being able to afford what we need), we sometimes experience anxiety (emotional). This can lead to medical problems (physical), and trouble at work (occupational). When this happens, we may even question our own sense of meaning and purpose (spiritual). At the same time, when we are not working (occupational), we may lose opportunities to interact with others (social), and may not be able to afford the good food and medical care we need to stay well (physical). We may even need to move our home to a place that feels less safe and secure (environmental).
Creating balance in our lives is an important part of wellness. Overall, a balanced life can mean many things, depending on culture, circumstances, resources, and other factors.
Balance means making sure we have time to do the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. This includes working (paid or unpaid), having fun, spending time with family and friends, participating in the community, being physically active —including sexually—, praying, and relaxing and sleeping.
Because we each have individual needs, preferences, and capabilities, what we consider “balance” will also look different.
And it’s important for us to re-balance from time to time, to adjust to what is going on in our lives. When we’re trying to get through a tough time—whether it is stress, an illness, trauma, or an emotional challenge—balance is especially important. In these times, our habits and routines can help us get that feeling of control back.
This means focusing on ourselves as well as the roles we play in the lives of others—like being students, friends, parents, spouses, coworkers, hobbyists, community members, and citizens.
Our roles and relationships help define who we are, what gives us a sense of purpose, and how our lives are interdependent on other people, animals, and the environment.
Being engaged in life and relationships provides a measure of balance and overall wellness.
For example, swimming has physical benefits (building strength, improving circulation), as well as social(meeting other people) and emotional benefits (relieving stress. But we don’t have to swim laps every week to be well; getting into the pool even occasionally is a great step.
Having a safe and clean living environment helps us feel organized and in control. It can be a way to get physical activity in as well, and offers the chance for partners and families to work together. On the flip side, simply finding time to relax can go a long way toward finding balance in our lives. “Down time” can provide the space we need to think through a situation or work through our feelings, or just let us rest.
Most of us know something that we do that makes us feel good about ourselves, or in balance. It could be as different as taking our dog for a walk, or balancing our checkbook. And any step in that direction, such as finding a new walking route or gathering receipts from a purse, is positive.
However, sometimes we may want advice from family and friends. That’s OK, too, and is where support from others comes in. Talking with someone who has been through similar things—whether it is a mental health issue, addiction, trauma, pain issues, smoking, diabetes, bullying, or abuse—makes us feel less alone.
When we realize others have had similar feelings and experiences and have been able to move forward and grow, it can give us the confidence to move forward, too.
With a support group, we can expect:
Having self-defined routines and habits can offer personal balance and satisfaction. Routine and habit is generally determined by our basic needs (nutrition/food, shelter, social affiliation, safety, etc.), and the various roles we occupy in society.
Our habits affect what we eat, what we wear, how we relate to others, how we go to work, how we spend or save money, and more.
Habits become ingrained in us—and are often tough to change.
For example, we might put ourselves down or feel we need a particular thing or person to get us through a tough spot. We can learn otherwise.
Life demands, stress, crisis, or trauma can impact or alter our routines and habits. This can lead to emotional (anxiety, depression), social (cranky, isolated, angry), or physical (tired, agitated) imbalances.
Establishing new, better habits that support our wellness goals and values can be challenging, but worth it.
Developing healthier routines and habits in our lives can lead to positive feelings (emotional), relationship satisfaction (social), increased energy (physical), inspiration (emotional), and a feeling that we are using our creative talents, skills, and abilities to engage in activities (occupational, intellectual, spiritual).
We may already have regular practices that make us feel better, such as mindfulness exercises, meditation, or yoga, or calls to friends. It could even be avoiding the news at night or spending less time online.
You, as the expert on yourself, will know what works and what doesn’t in all the dimensions. When you are not sure, you can ask someone and think together about what makes sense and what next steps might work best.
We can also consider:
Creating a wellness lifestyle can be challenging, but finding the right information, support, and resources and tracking our progress can help us get there.
I hope my S.P.E.M. approach to well-being will benefit you – actually, I’m sure about that 🙂 Here you may find all the posts in the series for my S.P.E.M. Approach.
You can also read my introductory 3-part post on the pillars of shamanism and the S.P.E.M. approach. I encourage you to explore their content to deepen your understanding and embark on a transformative journey.
Remember, the path to spiritual growth is unique for each individual, but with dedication and an open heart, you can cultivate a profound connection with yourself and the world around you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly through this website or through my Instagram profile, if you need help or guidance, or you feel that there is more to explore in your life…
Always here, always yours,
KC The Greek Shaman
"May we be Light, may we be Love, may we be Aligned"KC The Greek Shaman