My butt, January 2009

My butt,  January 2009
(who could miss it)

My butt, January 2010

My butt, January 2010
photos by Tom Peal

Welcome to You and All your Brilliant Parts!

In 2009 I lost 40 lbs and I got a new butt. How? Diet and exercise, that's the short answer. But all of the things I learned that made it emotionally possible, that allowed me to succeed when I had failed before - that will take longer. This blog celebrates the intelligence of the body. Please leave me a note to let me know what you think of this writing, if it's been helpful. I welcome your input and experience.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mind, body, spirit and depression

A thousand things have saved my life today, some of them ideas, and I have God, the author of my spirit, to thank for all of them.  Here are some ideas that are saving me regularly from the violence of my emotions, and helping me to heal my body.

When you’re a mental case, you don’t have to rely on your mind to get you out of your disorder.  You can address your disordered emotions both in the moment and over time by means of spiritual and physical practice.

Depression and other emotional problems seem like convulsions of the  spirit and/or physical bodies manifesting through the mental body.  But if you try to pray, journal and meditate your way to mental health and stay inactive or fail to address physical problems, you are likely to waste away in confusion or anger.  If you try to run or diet or eat or medicate your way out without knowing your spiritual self, same thing.  If you use both spiritual abilities and physical abilities, the mind will join with flesh and spirit to create three-fold health, and each has it’s own fruits.  Joy is a fruit of the spirit, as are love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23   These are some very good things to set your mind on – and depression is a void that begs to be filled if you try.

Physical practices that can help make you healthy are many and I’ll keep bringing them up.  But right now I want to talk about spiritual practice.

First, start with everything you know.  Then learn more.  Here’s something I learned:

Patanjali’s Healing States of Mind:
1. friendliness
2. rejoicing in the success of others
3.  compassion toward suffering
4.  indifference toward the vice of others

That’s how I wrote it on an index card when I first found it.  Patanjali was a scholar and religious figure of India’s classical past, considered the father of yoga and ayurveda.  If you want to, look him up.  That could be a spiritually healing activity for you – it paid off for me. 

Have faith in your own happiness, what it is right now, it’s future.  You know you are God’s Best Beloved.

And those healing states of mind - they work.  I’ve tried them.  That last one wasn’t taught in my own religious tradition, and I find it a great relief.

Thank you to my readers who have contacted me privately as well as those of you leaving comments, all the best, Jenni


  1. Number 3 is it for me. I show compassion toward suffering.

    First I cause the suffering, then I show compassion. Really makes my day!