Training the Body, Training the Soul

A guest post from Mr. Butler:

A Greek word "Arete" used in 2 Peter 1:5 "Add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge..."gets translated as "virtue" or "moral excellence".  This word choice in English is rather watered-down.  In Greek society the word "Arete" spoke to the kind of mental/physical connection that went into the Greek training lifestyle.  The training they committed themselves to intertwined physical training (boxing, foot racing, wrestling, etc) with spirituality and mental training.  Training the body WAS training the soul.  Arete encompassed the idea of excellence in intellect and action with distinctly moral overtones.




What do you do when what you do is not what you want to do?  Chasing a dream that fulfills you, and ultimately landing it are sometimes mutually exclusive.  Try as you might it may never happen.  Some people follow heart, and get that dream only to find they've lost something in the process. Some are scared and never take a leap and beat themselves up for the rest of their lives.  Still others know what could fulfill, but make a conscious effort to subvert those feelings and that gratification for other reasons or they strive to achieve them on their own terms without the loss seen by our first example.



For me, going to the gym started out and continued for 10 years to be an endeavor solely striving for aesthetic gains.  Looking good is the major driver for most people's goals at any gym I've attended, but over the past couple of years though, my mentality has shifted from that mindset to one in which I'm trying to be the best form of myself I can be.  The nobility that is embodied in "arête" pushes the goals I set for myself now.  Looking good becomes the byproduct of being able to lift heavier weights and being more flexible and athletically conditioned.  Along with that physical training comes a goal to read more thoroughly and indoctrinate myself with a life where reading and study in many veins is the norm now.  I've made goals to read 20-30 books a year (about one every two weeks) which includes bible reading. Inevitably it isn't about the individual items I do, but rather about the mentality behind the undertaking.




This kind of training doesn't appeal to everyone and there are various reasoning's for it all.  Many times it comes down to the way we prioritize our lives and how consciously we say "yes" and "no" to the various minutiae that seep in if left unchecked.  For instance the simple act of turning off notifications on your phone or email can cause anxiety, but once done becomes a freeing realization that you were once slave to a ping. In the same way physical training doesn't have to be lifting heavy weights or wrestling; it can be a walk, a fast, a diet that is conscious.  The strenuousness of the exercise is not the main intent, but rather the mental overcoming of the body that can and will lead to spiritual growth.

So go back to the original question about how we chase dreams and what we do about those.  Following your heart and never taking the leap both have components of incomplete "Arete" to them.  For every example of someone who followed their dreams and succeeded there is someone who made trade-offs about what they have chosen to do: be it foregoing money or time with family or time for themselves.  For the person too scared to make a leap, it's the body dictating the mind and the dissonance that creates anxiety.  But in that last person who makes the conscious decision to abstain from gratification and not live with guilt, or obtain it without sacrificing other precious things that  we see the fulfillment of "Arete".

Polykleitos, the greek sculptor, said it like this, "Perfection comes about little by little through many numbers."


Consciously abstaining, or obtaining something in a slower time frame is so foreign in our society as to look strange. But in this abstaining or the slow-life, we find value.  When we make conscious decisions it's not easy, but we strengthen ourselves when we do and that strength radiates out in a way nothing else can accomplish.  Being able to tell yourself, "I will lift this weight" or "I won't eat that" or "I won't sacrifice time with my kids" allows us to do the same in other areas.  "I won't cheat" and "I won't lie" is easier when we've made the connection between our physical self and our emotional and spiritual self.  Doing so requires effort but this effort produces good.

Philippians 3:12-14 says it like this, "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."


Comments

Labels

Relationships Writing Reading TOSReviewCrew motherhood Education Healthy Living healthy perspective Gratitude Reviews Creativity Hard Work book review Attitude Emotion Jude Comparisons HSReview Love planning Expectations HSReviewCrew Pregnancy Exercise Patience Positive Thinking Thanksgiving life is hard Choices Contentment Elementary Math Fear Pain Prayer go outside nature Food Pride differences literature new music reading program Art Bible Study Christian homeschooling Control Fun Gardening Learning Memoria Press Self Control Stress holidays joy language arts math Birthdays Criticism Decisions Fall Finances Giving Up Grace Herbs Music November Priorities Strong-Willed Child Success Technology The Herb Garden art curriculum family time freedom learn to read online learning pictures resolutions Boundaries Depression Goals Homeschool Math Nature's Sunshine Negativity Perfection Project Feedback Sports Trust Weight-Loss children's books homeschooling planners respect science time American History Appreciation Assumptions Beauty Blessed Childbirth Christian education Cleaning Communication December Friends Gift Idea Girls Giveaway Homeschool Lifestyle Homeschool Math Online Household update Math Worksheets Mindfulness Mr. Butler Non-Toxic Tempera Paint October Reset Phonics Recipes Selfishness Summer The Old Schoolhouse Unit studies What really matters Worry audio drama authenticity childhood classical education cooking creative outlet faith and family grammar handwriting homeschool art literature curriculum loss math practice mental health motivation reading comprehension submission truth 2016 2018 Accepting Adulthood Advent Apologia Being Ready Bible Stories BibleStudy Christian books for kids Compromise Consistency Facebook Failure Family Update Fighting Get Up and Garden GratiTuesday Habits Hands on Heirloom Audio Homeschool Hesitations Imagination Kids Math Lessons Math help Moderation No nonsense Peace Printable worksheets Simplify Snow Spasm Living Together Treehouse Adventures Valentine's Day Works for Me Year Round Schooling art education art supplies baby building healthy families celebrating chaos copywork cursive disagreeing do better encouragement friendship geography group dynamics handwriting practice handwriting worksheets happy birthday home homeschool curriculum for science hope kwik stix language arts curriculum let them play makeadifference parenthood poetry politics reality check scheduling seasons skills social media spelling tempera paint vacation wisdom 2015 2019 2020 ABC Books ADHD Addiction Adolescence Algebra April Beginning Bible Bible Study Curriculum Bible Study for Kids By the Way Books Carole P. Roman Critical Thinking Curriculum Dave Stotts Death Drive Thru History Dyslexia Elementary Homeschool Courses Engineering Extroversion Faith Frisbee Golf Frustration Getting Things Done God God's Will GrapevineStudy Guilt High School Math Hiking History Homeschool Adventure Homeschool Math Courses Humility Hurry Importance Influence Introvert Lap book Latin Laughter Maintenance Math Curriculum Mess Free Middle School Math Molly Green Momentum Moving Needs Opposites Play Preparation Preschool Curriculum Productive Parenting Proverbs Rightnow Media STEM Saying No Schoolhouse Magazine Scripture Sculpture Self-reflection Spring Suffering Support Traditions Zoo active learning active listening anger animals anxiety art for kids artistic pursuits audio book audio books baseball be different book series books budget busy camping classical curriculum community conflict crafty classroom creation science creative writing devotional disappointment discoveries do hard things dogs easier way educational games elementary practice worksheets elementary science entertainment family board games focus on the family homeschool Spanish homeschool crafts homeschool resources honesty horse girls intentional parenting judgement judging kindness learn Spanish learning lifestyle living on purpose math activities math seeds media mercy music appreciation new normal new year no mess online classes online math organization outside penmanship piano preschool pressure printables radio radio drama radio theater reacting reading eggs relationship with God school year science curriculum self-discipline sensitivity siblings sign language simpleabundance slow down spanish for kids state history the writing spot transcripts travel books for kids worksheets writing prompt 2010 30 39 4th of July 8 weeks A Little Princess ACTÍVA ADD Abuse Acapella Adult Literacy Affiliate Links Aldens Allergies Amazon Applesauce Apps Audio Missionary Drama Ben Folds Bible Action Figures Bible Curriculum Bible Heroes for Girls Bible Printables Bible Summary Sheets Bible Unearthed Biblical Worldview Bill Cosby Birth Stories Brinkman Adventures Building CTCMath Calculus CelluClay Channies Charlotte Mason Children's Bible Children's Stories Christian Christian audio Christian audio drama Christian books Christian language arts Classical Rhetoric Code Education Comic Book Bible Comprehension Convenience Courage Date night David C Cook Day and Night Decorating Despicable Me Diapers Doing Good Dusty's Trail ELA worksheets ESL Earth Science Elementary Curriculum Elf English curriculum Essential Oils Essential Skills Advantage Eternity Exaggerating Excuses Exhaustion Fast Drying Favorites Focus Freebies G A Henty G.A. Henty Geometry George Herbert Gifts For Girls God schooling God's glory Golden Sunrise Good Deals Grapevine Study Gross Hannah Elise Haydn Healthy November Challenge Herb Talk Hey Mama Holiday Holiday gifts Holy Spirit Homeschool Parent Support Homeschool Planners Homeschool Science House IEW IXL Ideas Inspiration Inventors Jewel Box Theatre John Mayer Keith Lancaster Kidzaw Kingdom files Laundry Lay Off Learning Dynamics Lemongrass Letter of the Week Life Science Lizzie Local Flavor Losing Lymph Gland Cleanse-Hy Magic Stix Master Kitz Math Curriculum Online Math Learning Gaps Math Mini Courses Math Video Lessons Math videos Maths Games Matt Koceich Mattie Richardson McGuffey lesson plans Memorization Michael Buble Middle School Homeschool Courses Missionary Stories Mom and Daughter Books My School Year My Teaching Library New Skills Nonfiction Obama Obligation Old West Online Electives Options Paddington Paul Physical Science Pickerman's Picta Dicta Pitsco Planet 316 Power Praise and Harmony Pre-Kindergarten Problems Progress Psalm 136 Queen Esther Remember Resource Resource Library Response Resurrection Richard Louv Rigid Wrap Romans Sacrifices Sara Bareilles SchoolhouseTeachers.com Schoolhouseteachers Science worksheets Self Care Self-pity Sensory Integration Sentence She and Him Shy Silly Sing-Off Singapore Math Smartick Spanish for homeschoolers Specials Spelling Shed Stability Story Telling Sunday morning Talents Tales of a Messy Mom Tea Party Techie Homeschool Mom Tempera Temporary Tennessee The Action Bible The Beginner's Bible The Boxcar Children Theme Thin Stix Toddlers Transitions Trigonometry True Stories Trust Fund USA Valerian root Value Vincent Van Gogh Weight Weird World Book Wulf the Saxon Year of Preparation Zeezok Publishing Zooey Deschanel a capella abecedarian accidents activity pak adult coloring book adventure ages 7-10 alaska alphabet alphabet notebook amazing grace anatomy and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™ animal shelter anniversary answered prayer appaloosy archeology arkansas art history art online art video lessons astronomy audio theater audio theatre aveda average baking bias bike biographies biographies for kids blocks blocks for kids bookmarks boxcar classics breaks building words busy moms calvin and hobbes captain sun career chapter books character character building children's mental health chores church circumstances clues color code colorado comic book commitment comparison compassion consistancy cooking unit studies counseling creation crosswired dad daily grams daughters decoding detective digital resources do good drama drawing drawing letters dread dreams early reader easy grammar eclectic education educational toys effort elementary printables elementary worksheets emotional neglect endurance entrepreneurship experiments expression facing fears faith-based books faith-based film feelings fence field trip fiery darts first things first fitting in forbrain forgiveness freezer cooking meal plan freezer cooking plan freezer meal prep friendship reset games geography games gifts gifts for children goal setting grades K-6 great composers great things grief happiness harvest hate health helping heritage higasfy history unit studies holiday unit studies home school in the woods homemaking homeschool planning homeschool reading homeschool rescue homeschool success story homeschooling curriculum homeschooling lifestyle homeschoool curriculum honor horses in history how to homeschool humilty identity imagine books imagine series impatience important things independence insecurity internet internet accountability internet accountable software internet monitoring k-12 homeschooling kid activity kid entrepreneur kids art supplies kids crafts labels language development language immersion learn piano learning methods lessonslearned letter shapes letter sounds liberty library life timelines literacy living books math facts math skills meal plan mind over matter mondays money management money skills mothering mourning movie review multiplication multisensory music curriculum music exploration music matters music notation mystery name meaning gifts no odor markers old fashioned curriculum online reading program orphans overcoming struggles paper crafts paper mache perspective phoneme awareness physiology piano lessons picture book pirate unit studies podcasts poems poetry analysis politicians popularity pornography praise God praiseworthy prodigal story purpose puzzles radio theatre read aloud reading skills reading strategies real books real talk rebellion record keeping recovery relaxed homeschooling report cards research resolution review crew safe space sanity science education screen time september sewing sincerity singing single sleuth smart kidz radio snowflakes social studies solitude spanish speech fluency spiritual spirulina standards story bible struggle study guide study skills stumbling block superheroes teaching cursive letters television the Gospels therapy thinking third grade time management tired tosmag tradition traditional spelling training travel the world treasure tree house trees trials typing tutor unique gifts unschooling vacation. family time values violence virtue vocabulary volunteer washable markers weather who is books who was books who was series; who is series wholesome books for kids wooden building blocks wooden toys words work at home work together workbooks world geography writing prompts
Show more

Looking for something?

Popular Posts