What exactly is Spirit? Well there is no one definition. In fact, defining it for yourself is the best way to embrace the concept and incorporate into your daily life and into your wellness lifestyle. If you are in the process of defining spirit for your self and your life perhaps considering the following thoughts related to it will help you on your path.
- Spirit is your life energy.
- Spirit: “A lens through which we view life and a gauge by which we evaluate it.
- Spiritual wellness enhances the connection between your mind, body, and spirit.
- A sense of purpose and meaning to life.
- Learning how to experience love, joy, and fulfillment.
- One’s ethics, values, and code of living (*may or may not be part of formal religion).
- Spirituality consists of the values by which you interpret your world view, organize your day to day living, and assess your way of life. It is a personal quest for understanding answers to ultimate questions about life, about meaning, and about relationships to the sacred.
- Spirituality is the way that you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life.
After considering what exactly Spirit means to you, ask yourself if you are you engaged in the process of spiritual wellness. Perhaps considering the following questions will help to answer.
- Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
- Do I make time for meditation and/or prayer?
- Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
- Am I accepting of the views of others?
Once you have defined Spirit and considered whether or not you are incorporating spiritual wellness into your life, consider the following steps.
Steps to Achieving Spiritual Wellness
- Explore your spiritual core — Ask yourself the big questions: What motivates you? What are your beliefs and values?
- Be quiet — Spend time alone and meditate regularly. Meditation is the process of being fully here, with all concentration focused on the now. By living in the present and letting go of the past and not worrying about the future, we can achieve the inner peace that we strive for while practicing meditation. There are many forms of meditation; find out which one is right for you.
- Be inquisitive and curious — An attitude of active searching increases your options and your potential for spiritual centering. Don’t shut doors before you check out what’s behind them.
- Be receptive to grief and pain — Pain is a deepener. Allow yourself to feel the pain fully, then ask what it’s trying to teach you.
- Be and Do — Spirituality is about more than reading; it’s about “doing” and being fully in the present moment in everything you do.
- Witness the choices you make in each moment — Bring them into consciousness; ask yourself what the consequences of a choice are and if the choice will bring fulfillment and happiness. Listen with the heart and be guided by messages of comfort and discomfort. If there is comfort, go for it! If there is discomfort, pause and reevaluate.
- Practice acceptance — See that life right now is as it “should be.” Do not struggle against the universe by struggling against the moment. Take responsibility for your life without blaming anyone, including yourself. See what the situation can teach you and how you can share this teaching with others.
- Practice detachment — Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are. Recognize uncertainty as an essential aspect of life. See that solutions come out of problems, confusion, and chaos, and that uncertainty is the path to freedom.
- Be playful — Spirituality is in music, art, dance, laughter, singing, and all of life.
- Look for deeper meanings — If you notice that certain themes keep coming up over and over in your life, rather than feeling like you have no control over the situation, ask for the deeper meaning of the pattern to come to you. See the gift in your greatest troubles/problems/challenges. The Chinese word for catastrophe is the same as their word for opportunity.
- Take “seven breath” breaks — Stop periodically throughout the day, close your eyes, and take seven deep, slow belly, breaths (breathe in to the count of seven, breathe out to the count of seven, seven times). Then, open your eyes and see your new world.