“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique”. Martha Graham
When I was using my treadmill on Sunday I was using that time to think about my blog and what I had posted on Sunday and I was thinking about my family and I thought about life force. That is the term that just popped into my head. It isn’t a term I would normally think of so I decided to look up it’s meaning.
This has led me on a thoughtful journey. I found “Life Force” a difficult term, or idea, to define or comprehend. Perhaps because it would mean so many different things to different people.
From <https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/life-force> The definition is: the force that gives somebody/something their strength or energy. And also: the force that keeps all life in existence
Synonyms for life force are: joie de vivre, life, spirit, vital force, vitality. Found at https:www.thesaurus.com/browsw/life%20force>
Practices such as Yoga or Tai Chi often refer to the Life Force. Looking for references into what theory they each may follow I found an article written by Elizabeth Palermo, Associate Editor of LiveScience, In the article I found reference to Qigong and to Tai Chi. I had not heard of Qigong before. According to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine , Qigong is sometimes translated as “vital energy cultivation” or “mastery of your energy.”
Also according to Mr. Wayne “The chi in the word ‘tai chi’ is a different character and has a different meaning [than the ‘qi’ in qigong]. But the practice of tai chi, in my opinion, is equivalent to a form of qigong. You’re training to have more awareness and control over your ‘life force’ — your physiology or energy,” Wayne told Live Science. “And some forms of qigong are almost indistinguishable from tai chi, he added.”
If you are interested in Yoga, Qigong or Tai Chi I recommend reading this article. It does go into greater detail about the mind body connection within these practices and also explores the internal, external healing benefits and the related field of biofield therapy including Healing Touch, Johrei, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.
All new to me but it is looked at as part of the Life Force. Reading what I have just written you may also be wondering just exactly what is Life Force. To me it is my connection with my family. My mother and father who brought me into this world along with my brothers and sisters. My sons who are an extension of me. Our lives are all connected. My life force was given to me by my parents and I in turn gave my life force to my sons. Now that life force has been given to my grandchildren.
All people are part of the Life Force as are all animals, plants, trees, plants, etc. All of these forms are also connected and in some form sustain each other. This conversation could go on and on and on. How we interact with people and virtually everything else affects our well being. What we do each day is impactful. Just consider Global Warming; what we do each day affects everything and everyone. We each, individually, have an impact on ourselves and each other and indeed the world around us.
What we do, how we interact, will affect our life force. I feel our life force is our physical being and it is also definitely our mental and/or spiritual being. We need to feed, fuel and protect all of these things. We need to be aware of how we feel and more in tune with ourselves. I think it is easy to ignore so many feelings and just push them away.
So how do we do that ? Basically, we need to adopt as many good habits as possible and they are virtually the same habits you should adopt for everything you can think of. First we need to fuel our bodies by eating well, eating all the foods that are good for our bodies. Easy right ? Sometimes, but it is a choice we make every day. Should I eat this or that ? There are so many choices when we go to the grocery store. I have become an avid reader of the ingredients on food packages. Fortunately I like and enjoy the foods that are good for me; my husband, not so much.
What do we do to become more aware of our mind, our thoughts and feelings ? Does meditation work ? Many people truly believe that it does. It helps us relax and relieves stress. Meditation will help us become more self aware. It makes it easier to sleep. According to an article I read from Psychology Today, it will help increase our brain matter. This was a great article written by Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-it/201309/20-scientific-reasons-start-meditating-today I have also listed a few other references below.
The only experience I have that is close to meditation is at the end of yoga class when every one relaxes, closes their eyes and tries to clear our minds for about 5 minutes. You can sit , but normally you would lay down and cover up with a blanket. There is soft music playing like the sound of water. It is very relaxing and it does help to clear the mind. I enjoy it so maybe I will start practicing meditation.
We should all be exercising and I know this can be a struggle but it is so beneficial for our health. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise and to be truthful it is mostly being lazy on my part. There are some really valid reasons for me to exercise, one in particular, my father and his sister both died of Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise has been proven to help so why would I not want to do it ? Even with that I still find it difficult.
Learning. I have read so many articles about expanding your brain, actually making it healthier by learning a new skill. It can be anything, learning a new language, knitting/crochet, sewing, a new sport such as golf. Any new skill that you have to think about and any different ways of using your body will stimulate your brain. It is possible to grow new brain cells. There are several articles which can be found and I have included one here; https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/can-you-grow-new-brain-cells
Also important in maintaining a healthy Life Force are rest and relaxation. A good night’s sleep is crucial and sometimes very hard to come by. We live such busy lives and there is always something to do. Another habit we should strive to develop. going to bed at a set time each night, stopping certain activities, like social media, about an hour before we go to bed. When we lose sleep it is very difficult to truly make up for it and it has a negative affect on our well being, our life force.
You may wonder why I have the image of Esperanza Spalding at the top of this post. When I was researching I came across her name, the image, and a great article (interview) about her, “The Life Force of Esperanza Spalding”. To be truthful I had never heard of her but I had to read the article and I was impressed. She is a multi-Grammy award winner and she teaches at Harvard. She wants to activate your senses through Jazz. She has a new album called “12 Little Spells” which furthers this distinct methodology by exploring the art of bodily healing. Say What ? This is one smart lady and I am definitely going to be listening to 12 Little Spells; I have to check it out. I recommend reading this article because it is very interesting. You can find it here: http://officemagazine.net/life-force-esperanza-spalding
I hope I helped explore and introduce you to some interesting facts about our Life Force. As always, I would appreciate your comments.
Some of the articles I read for gathering information and understanding of “Life Force” are included here: “Practices to Build Your Life Force” which can be found here: https://www.thetoolsbook.com/blog/life-force
The article I really enjoyed and feel could be beneficial was written by John Kehoe. “Life Force I” which you can find here: https://www.learnmindpower.com/article/life-force-part-i/ . It is a good read and the nice part is he continues his writing in Part 2. He is the founder of Mind Power and has written several books.
“Seven Ways Meditation Can Actually Change Your Brain” written by Alice G. Walton for Forbes.Com. You can find it here: