Thursday, 20th September 2018
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Don't ignore your Spiritual Health

Regular readers will know that I am very much into holistic health. Unless all parts and aspects of our bodies are in balance and harmony, sickness will surely follow.

So to stay healthy, we need to look after our physical health, our mental health, our emotional health ... and our spiritual health.

Most of us are far too busy to be worried about something like spiritual matters, but it is an itch that we all need to scratch sooner or later in our lives – preferably sooner! The rewards of dedicating some time to the spiritual far outweigh the efforts of doing so. And the spiritual is all around us, if only we took the time to look.

I love the feeling you get when you hear a magnificent piece of classical church music, or are moved by the majesty of a cathedral ... but equally I have had that same feeling in a tiny parish church, or upon hearing an inspirational solo voice.

I am baptised and proud to be Catholic. Whilst I am not a regular churchgoer, I do attend mass at least once a month, and I take great comfort and solace from my faith. The grotesque actions of some of those people who purported to represent that same church – like the brutality of the nuns in the Magdalene Laundries, or the unforgivable crimes of paedophile priests – should not remove us from the beautiful, eternal truths of Christianity: compassion, forgiveness, love, charity, justice, empathy, non-judgement and so on. I have always loved Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's quote: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." I was reminded of the importance of our spiritual health last weekend, when I participated in a pagan ceremony. The service was a beautiful mix of quiet meditation, gentle chanting and invocations, wonderful singing and a thought provoking mystery play.

Though I didn't necessarily agree with all the beliefs that the other participants had, I definitely felt that they were tapping into some truths that are universal to all religions. I came away from the event feeling a mixture of emotions: elation and contentment for sure, but I also felt refreshed, relaxed and inspired. It really was a treat for the soul! So I would encourage everyone to invest in their spiritual health. If you haven't been to church for a while, why not go back, or why not investigate some of the other options out there. In my experience, positive spirituality really is good for your health!

- With Breda Gardner Hom eopath, lcph, mcos, rgn Health Therapies Clinic, 13 Gladstone Street, Waterford. Tel: 087 2025753. Insight Natural Health Clinic, 15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny. Tel: 056 7724429

Breda Gardner runs busy natural health clinics in both Waterford and Kilkenny. She also presents monthly positive living seminars in Kilkenny. A native of Galway, Breda worked as a nurse for many years before studying a range of complementary therapies, including homeopathy, iridology, muscle–testin

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