Spiritual Wellbeing – Spirituality for wholeness
Tying life together: Building on your foundational strengths
Living with integrity: Integrating what matters in your life
Growing for life: Practices that lead to wholeness
As I watch the sun peek through the clouds on my last morning here, I am filled with gratitude for this time of rest, re-creation, and rejuvenation! In this spirit, I would like to complete our reflections by tying together the core elements which contribute to our wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional, career, and now spiritual.
Spiritual Wellbeing is what ties these elements together for us. It seeks to align our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors with our deepest beliefs, shared values, and highest aspirations. When we live spiritually, we see the world differently. We react to setbacks with hope, giving us more resilience. We seek to understand another’s perspective before presenting our own. We act with more compassion and sensitivity to those who need our help the most. Living spiritually is about bringing to life those values that matter most to us. In this blog entry, we will explore how we can nurture our Spiritual Wellbeing by looking at some concepts and practices that can assist us in living a more integrated life.
In their groundbreaking book entitled Wellbeing, Tom Rath and Jim Harter identify five common elements across cultures that are crucial for an individual’s sense of wellbeing. Their findings are grounded in survey data asking people from all walks of life in over 150 countries (representing 98% of the world’s population) about their sense of wellbeing. Rath and Hartner found a variety of rich and important insights which I encourage you to peruse at your leisure. A few insights are particularly relevant to our purposes here.
First, each aspect of wellbeing is interrelated with the others. While we have been exploring slightly different elements of wellbeing, the same concept applies. We cannot explore the concept of Mental Wellbeing without touching on some aspects of Emotional Wellbeing. Another obvious example is yoga which seeks to fuse the physical and spiritual into one practice.
Second, 66% of the population rated themselves as doing well in at least one aspect of wellbeing, while only 7% were thriving in all aspects. This is an astounding finding, although perhaps not surprising. As Rath and Hartner point out, we tend to focus on the one aspect of wellbeing that we are good at or are comfortable with, and tend to ignore the rest. But if all these aspects are interrelated, how can we expect to thrive if we consistently neglect other key aspects of our lives that contribute to our overall sense of wellbeing?
This is where a Spirituality for Wholeness may be of some assistance. Spirituality for Wholeness is about maintaining a commitment to personal growth in all aspects of our lives. It is about both building upon our strengths and making time to develop those aspects of our lives that we tend to neglect. For instance, it is easy to get wrapped up in our careers and forget about nurturing our relationships. Or, we may sacrifice the time and energy that is necessary to take care of our physical health, not realizing that we have less of ourselves to give if we allow ourselves to get run down or even get sick from neglect.
Living spiritually means aligning your actions with your professed beliefs. Spirituality for Wholeness professes the belief that each aspect of our life is precious and worthy of care so that we can be our best selves in the world. Practicing a Spirituality for Wholeness challenges you to let the deepest hopes for your life, what you hope to accomplish and who you wish to become, guide your choices.
Allow me to introduce just one suggested practice to nurture a spirituality that seeks wholeness. It is the practice of regularly reflecting upon the direction of your life: where you have been, where you are now, and where you are going. Naturally, this is done in light of who you wish to become and what you hope to accomplish. This reflection is not merely a review of the day to day events in your life, but it is about putting those events into the big picture of the story of your life and how it is unfolding. This can be a very empowering practice as it offers a longer term perspective on our lives than we usually take. The real power of this practice is in its regularity. If it is an hour or two once a week, one day every month, a full week each year, or a combination of these, regular reflection not only nourishes the soul, it rejuvenates the mind, and refreshes the spirit.
The practice of a purposeful reflection upon our lives is actually the inspiration behind our Costa Rica vacations. These vacations offer time and space especially set aside for personal renewal. For more information on how to integrate this practice and for other practices contributing to a spirituality for wholeness, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our hope for you is that you consider the power and potential that a deepening practice of your spirituality can bring into your life. A nice addition to your spiritual practices may be establishing a habit of regular reflection and renewal in your life. We believe it will result in a richer, more fulfilling life for you, for your loved ones, and for the many lives that you touch along the way. And, if joining us for some renewal time in Costa Rica next summer may assist you in your journey to wholeness, please do not hesitate to contact us for more informationJ