Know your type: body, mind, emotion
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on February 25, 2014.  Posted with permission.

There are mind people. They read, investigate and learn ceaselessly.

When stressed, mind people go to the body. Spin class, a few miles on the road, pump some iron. They get massages, acupuncture or pedicures.

But mind people wouldn’t know emotions if they tripped over them. That’s a shame because emotions hold the key for such people.

Knowing your type and knowing your go-to can lead to your healing path.

If you are craving a spiritual experience, a life overflowing with divine epiphanies, you might have things backward.

We are spiritual beings first who are having a temporary, physical experience.

Naturopathic doctor and holistic healer Keli Ackroyd considers this understanding essential in the box of spiritual tools.

According to Ackroyd, there are three tools for understanding your life path: the physical body, your emotions and your mind.

Physical body: Her metaphor is to liken your body to your car. It’s your vehicle that is used to experience life; it’s your communication tool.

Emotions: If your body is your car, then your emotions are road signs along the way. If you’re seeing signs of anger or sadness, you should look for the next exit because they indicate the wrong path. This path is diverting you from your purpose.

Mind: The mind is your GPS system, according to Ackroyd. Your mind is linked to “source,” however you define it. It is always receiving messages on how to connect to source, and, when you are tapped in, you’ll notice synchronicities and coincidences, signs that you are fulfilling your purpose.

The next step is to figure out which tool is your favorite. When you do, you’ll know how to redirect back to spirit and have that epiphany you seek.

Body people: If your favorite tool is your physical body, it’s obvious. You might be a gym rat hyper-vigilant of the physical and appearance.   Fashion. Nips and tucks.

Body people, when stressed, will go to their emotions. They flip. They freak. They road rage. They dissolve into tears.

The body person’s path to healing is the mind. Body people might consider a calming meditative practice. Read and contemplate poetry daily, or consider an hour of pre-bedtime reading. Take notes.

Enroll in a challenging class. Get another degree.

Emotional people: Sometimes volatile, the looks on their faces reveal all.

When under the gun, the emotional ones become analytical. Their minds start dissecting situations with who, what, where, why and how. Ackroyd warns that such processes often stall, and paralysis results.

The emotional person’s path to healing is the body. Consider engaging the body in a physical meditation. Lie and complete the yoga nidra, focusing the awareness on each body part, feeling the breath. Sit in the steam room, eyes closed. Walk. Go to yoga. Or run without the music. Lock your awareness on the physical without distraction.

And the mental types: The brainy types hide in the body. But how can they engage their emotions?

Robert Plutchik suggested that there are eight central emotions: joy, sadness, trust, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and anticipation.

But Elisabeth Kübler-Ross popularized the simpler notion that there were only two basic emotions: fear and love. All positives spring from love, all negatives from fear.

Cultivate love. This does not mean registering with This means that whenever conflict arises in your day, seek an avenue to diffuse and heal strife. Practice random acts of kindness. Surprise people with postcards. Send thank you notes.

Become a volunteer. Coach; don’t criticize. Assume the best in others, and give the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, breathe. Sit, and with eyes at half gaze, watch the ocean, the sky, the trees in the wind. Inhale until your ribcage stretches, opening your heart, your back. Fill yourself with love, and exhale the same.

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