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Supporting Your Spiritual Wellness

November is the beginning of the season of gratitude and giving thanks, which makes it a good time to examine your Spiritual Health as it is the path to inner peace regardless of the turmoil around you.

The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving…

excerpt from T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets

Spiritual wellness is the ongoing process of discovering and cultivating your spiritual inner self. Spirituality, spiritual wellness and faith can be defined as a belief in something and can take on many different and unique meanings and forms for each individual. Many factors such as religious faith, values, ethics, principles, morals, attitude and gratitude play a part in defining spirituality.

Spiritual wellness can grow into or strengthen a religious belief or have nothing at all to do with religion. Some people have a religious faith belief system, while others have little or none. Everyone is different and we’re not here to judge others. However, it is thought that everyone can benefit from having some type of spiritual wellness in their life. Regardless of whether or not you believe in a particular religious faith, there are always things to learn about yourself and world around you.

Spiritual wellness is a wonderful process that can help you find meaning and purpose in your life. It may involve meditation, prayer, affirmations, or specific spiritual practices that support your belief system.
Spiritual wellness is really more about our intensions and how we view and treat ourselves. It’s also about how we view and treat everything and everyone else around us.

Spiritual wellness is when our thoughts, emotions and actions are aligned with love, peace, compassion, joy, knowledge, freedom, appreciation, gratitude, forgiveness, passion, happiness, positive beliefs, optimism and hope. Spiritual wellness is when we know that we’re a part of, and able to view and absorb nature, the world and the universe. Spiritual wellness together with a strong positive attitude can bring about positive changes in our lives and in all that surrounds us.

Your spiritual wellness must be nourished and exercised regularly. Your spiritual growth relies on a process that can only occur when you create opportunities to engage in meaningful reflection of your inner core self.

It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.

Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

Steps To Nurture and Encourage Your Spiritual Health and Wellness

  • Stop/pause periodically throughout the day to collect and gather yourself. Close your eyes and take several deep, slow belly breaths and calm the mind. You might want to try one of the Calm apps to help you.
  • Find spirituality in music, art, dance, laughter and singing.
  • Make time for relaxation throughout the day.
  • Make time for meditation and/or prayer to help your spiritual wellness.
  • Give gratitude in viewing and knowing that we’re a part of nature and the universe.
  • Accept that others may have different views then yours.
  • Create quality time in solitude – set aside some quality time to engage in reflection and to regularly submerge yourself in total solitude for spiritual meditation. Creating quality time may be very difficult to achieve, given the demands of our modern lifestyles. Nevertheless, it’s important.
  • Spiritual awareness requires that you awaken your senses searching for subtle, yet meaningful, changes that occur within you and all around you. If possible, create a spiritual retreat-type atmosphere that is conducive to health and spiritual wellness development.
  • There are two CSQuest articles you might want to review—Healthiest Attitude is One of Gratitude and Why Gratitude is Good for You.
    You may also want to take this Spiritual Wellness Assessment

All of the above are important aspects towards achieving an optimal level of spiritual wellness. Another aspect is “to thine own self be true” (William Shakespeare). Stephen Joseph, Ph.D, the author of Authentic: How To Be Yourself and Why It Matters, asks the question, “how often do you feel you can truly be yourself?”

Philosophers throughout history have held the idea of authenticity in high esteem, but few psychologists have taken it seriously until recently when positive psychologists turned to trying to understand human flourishing or the importance of happiness, first discussed by Aristotle, and significant in awakening your spiritual self.

  • First, there is our outer authenticity – how well what we say and do matches what is really going on inside us.
  • Second, there is our inner authenticity – how well we actually know ourselves and are aware of our inner states.

No one is fully authentic all of the time in their outer presentation. Sometimes we need to put on an act to get by. But some people spend more time living “in-authentically” than others. It is unpleasant and damaging to us if we are trapped in jobs or relationships where we rarely get the chance to be ourselves. If we are trapped, we need to change the situation when we can so that we can be free to express ourselves authentically.

More damaging, however, is when we don’t know ourselves and it is our inner authenticity which is compromised.
Ask yourself:

  • How much of the time do you feel that you can be the real you?
  • Are you easily influenced by other people?
  • Do you always stand up for what you believe in?
  • What are the barriers to being yourself?
  • How well do you know yourself?

Not surprisingly, surveys show that, on average, people who scored higher on tests for authenticity are more satisfied with life, have higher self-esteem and are generally happier. As Mohandas Gandhi put it so well, “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

More recently, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, who died in October 2011, is quoted as saying: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

You may want to review the CSQuest article Being Your Authentic Self.

Knowledge without Spirit is like finding yourself on a cold night with all the wood in the world
and no flame to ignite it.

Guy Finley, author of The Secret of Letting Go