“Expand your mind. Nurture your heart. Develop your body. Cultivate your soul.”
~ Matshona Dhliwayo
We consider things that appear bad to be “evil” and things that appear good to be “godly”. This isn’t a dissertation of “God” with respect to religion, it is an opinion of God with respect to YOU. What does “God” mean to you? What qualities and traits does this holy entity behold and bestow on this world, which you would like to be blessed with? Take a moment to think about it. If you can, make a list of all of those characteristics that you think makes God, God. Do not hesitate to add any more to the list, every single word matters. Once you feel you are done making the list, read the list twice.
Now, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Notice the first image/ notion that pops into your mind. This is the most endearing quality of God to you. I know what you are about to read might seem preposterous, but keep an open mind. What if we can be part of one by emulating the one? It’s not a radically new thought at all, every religion tries to propagate that as the crux of its faith. Give me a second to convince you.
We’ve all observed the consequences of all the choices we and others around us make. We’ve seen how life can be better or worse based on the decisions we make in that instance. We’ve felt that punch in the gut, of our instinct screaming out to us loud and clear. We’ve been told history and experiences, shown proof and detail, taught to question and obey. In the pursuit of teaching us the right things to do, the world also brings a lot of wrong into the picture. Instead of building one’s own moral compass, understanding right from wrong with regard to one’s own instinct, the world goads parents and guardians into decidedly making a shiny new compass for their child. They do this with the finest of intentions, to make it easy for the child, because they, as parents, know better. They’ve lived longer, seen/heard/tasted/smelt/felt more. They are responsible for the child, and how can one be responsible for something you have no control over? This is the reasoning I have heard from most people who have had the time and interest in having this conversation with me. There two obvious faults with this plan.
- A child’s mind is a blank page. What we choose to write/ say, where we say it, and most importantly, how we
say it; all of these variables play in having a permanent effect on that mind.
- You can never truly control anyone’s actions but your own. This has become painfully apparent to me over
What if the parents took just a second to revaluate the way they put things across to their child? What if they said “If you do your homework on time, you will be able to sleep peacefully tonight; knowing your teacher will be impressed with the few minutes of additional work you put in last night. You will be able to eat your dinner and play with the dog at ease. It is your choice, make the right decision, baby” instead of “Do your homework without making a sound. Dare I hear a squeak out of you, I’ll just hand you over to the Boogey-Man”?
Instilling fear in people has been the norm across the world in multiple facets of life. Fear of death, fear of poverty, fear of punishment, fear of abandonment, fear of failure. It is this fear that makes us latch onto anything that provides a shade of comfort relative to that fear. For someone afraid of death, the notion of an after-life and the ability to control what happens in said after-life, motivates them to pray and act in accordance with their religion of choice. Yet most people fail to realize that it is the spirituality aspect of their religion that helps them grow.
Spirituality is a way to move beyond the most surface understanding of life and to begin to peek into some of the underlying layers. There are gazillions of underlying layers, so this is not a goal-oriented search to get them all under your belt. Rather, it’s contentment with where you are and what you know, along with an inner effort and openness to growing into new and more wondrous views, vistas, and visions. Your spiritual journey will be redefined just by accepting the changes around you, understanding your place in this world, and how your decisions affect the bigger picture.
Disassociate your being from your feelings, and learn to look at the world from a bird’s eye view. Understand how you, as an individual contributor to this world, affect it with every move and choice you make. Your actions and their consequences are not limited to you alone, and by truly grasping the extent of your influence on the world, you will be motivated to act in accordance with your own moral compass; something you have built over time and have now learned to rein in.
Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian based Philosopher, best-selling motivational author and regular contributor to several internationally renowned magazines. His peculiar phrase choices and humble insight into the incredibly powerful trinity of the heart, mind and soul delights us with these thought-provoking quotes.
- The mind is its thoughts, the heart is its desires, and the soul is its experiences.
- The mind is the key; the heart is the door; the soul is corridor; the universe is the destination.
- You are a product of your thoughts. Your thoughts are products of your desires. You desires are products of your soul.
- Your mind is an entire world, your heart is an entire cosmos, and your soul is an entire universe.
- The mind speaks, though it does not have lips. The heart moves, though it does not have feet. The soul rises, though it does not have wings.
- Your mind is a reservoir of potential; your heart an ocean of strength; your soul a well of talents; and your body a vessel of power.
- To strengthen the body’s muscles, exercise; the mind’s muscles, read; the heart’s muscle’s, laugh; and the soul’s muscles, love.
- Your mind is your world. Your heart is your nature. Your soul is your universe. Your life is your creation.
- The body is an outstanding source of strength; the mind an incredible source of intelligence; the heart an uncommon source of might; and the soul a remarkable source of power.
- You may have a small body, but great strength. You may have an ordinary mind, but great wisdom. You may have a wounded heart, but great courage. You may have a weary soul, but great love.
- The mind shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s wisdom; the heart, in proportion to one’s courage; and the soul, in proportion to one’s love.
- Your mind is a weapon. Your heart is an asset. Your soul is a treasure. Your life is a jewel.
- The world rewards you for what is in your mind, the universe rewards you for what is in your heart, and the Heavens reward you for what is in your soul.
- Utilizing all of your mind is a step towards brilliance. Utilizing all of your heart is a step towards excellence. Utilizing all of your soul is a step towards nobleness. Utilizing all of your mind, heart, and soul is a step towards greatness.
- Harness your mind’s power and you can reach the mountaintop. Harness your heart’s power and you can reach the stars. Harness your soul’s power and you can reach the edge of the universe.