Trajectory of wholeness

The autonomic nervous system in our bodies control all the necessary functions of living without our willing it. I don’t have to stay awake at night to make sure I keep breathing or to make my heart keep beating. Breathing and heart-beating are not a decision of the brain. Our bodies just do them so that we can keep getting oxygen to the cells of the body. Our bodies are designed with a drive to live.

In the same way our spirits seek completeness, or wholeness. 

In discerning the Holy One’s leading in our lives, Carolyn Metzler wrote: “our dreams, our hopes, our longings, our intellect and our bodies all are part of a great motion toward wholeness. Sometimes things happen and we are thwarted, to be sure, or we sabotage our own best interests, but on the whole, we are on a trajectory toward fuller love, goodness, and meaningful purpose. That includes the possibility of joy. Joy is a signpost that we are on the right path.” 

Gratitude prompt: What “signposts of joy” have you noticed lately?


This post was inspired by an email by Fransican, Richard Rohr describing the writings of the 12 century German mystic, Hildegard of Bingen.  She believed that we are one with nature. Our bodies were designed to function like other parts of nature.

Hildegarde “often spoke of the greening of things from within, analogous to what we now call photosynthesis.” “She saw that there was a readiness in plants to receive the sun and to transform the sun’s light and warmth into energy and life.”  In the same way, humans have a natural readiness to “green” and grow. She described our wholeness instinct as a kind of human photosynthesis calling us to ‘become who you are; become all that you are.’

Hildegard’s meditations in nature remind me that nature can help me get out of my head. Anything that takes me out of my head and into the present is good for my mental health and helps in my growth to health and wholeness. It doesn’t have to be a “spiritual” practice. It can be anything from hanging clothes on the line, to shovelling snow, to walking the dog, to gardening or horse-back riding. What outdoor physical activity “greens” you and calls you to wholeness.