Day 10 – Spiritual
Today’s post is difficult. It is the first dedicated solely to the topic of spiritual wellness. Due to the complexity and individuality of this topic, I’m hesitant to provide much education as I typically would during this part of my daily writings. You see, in order for us to improve our spirituality during this month, I feel it necessary for us to define this crucial aspect of wellness. And yet, I am grossly under qualified to even attempt such a massive and blanket assumption for each of you. Instead, if you’ll allow me, I’ll simply attempt to provide (understanding I am no priest, pastor or prophetess) guidance to help YOU define your own individual spiritual wellness.
In order to do this, we do need to discuss some basic and common foundations of spiritual wellness. Every person’s spirituality or spirit is unique to them (again, which makes this difficult to discuss on a mass scale). Even as you read these words, they enter your psyche and are filtered through a framework completely custom to you. This framework was created through a combination of several things:
Beliefs, values, religion, family, history, hopes, dreams and motivations. All of these dynamic variables combine to create an intricate tapestry that serves as our moral map to interpret life’s events, interactions and experiences.
For our purposes today, we are going to call this your spirit— or the very deepest part of you that makes meaning of your world. Who you are. Why you’re here. What your purpose on this Earth is. The answers all lie within the spiritual framework you’ve personally created for yourself. This is after all, a common definition of spirituality: discovering meaning in life and knowing your purpose.
Some people find this purpose through religion, mediation, yoga, prayer or other spiritual practices which connect them to God, Earth and/or energy. However you connect or practice spiritual wellness, having clearly defined values, beliefs and morals provided a basis for key states of compassion, love, forgiveness and joy— all necessities for spiritual fulfillment.
So whether you’ve defined your spiritual practice or you’ve never even stopped to wonder what spirituality means to you… I hope you’ll take the opportunity to do the exercise below. Not because it is today’s daily challenge but because there is something beautifully reflective in beholding a visual representation of the people, passions, power and practices that frame your purpose on this Earth.
What you’ll need:
– A piece of paper
– A pencil
1. Draw yourself in the center of the paper. This isn’t an art project so make yourself as simple as you’d like. I drew myself as a circle with my name inside.
2. Immediately around you, draw in the people most important to you. I call these people my “inner sphere”. They’re the people that are dear to me, the ones I admire the most, turn to in crisis and love above all others. You may put as many or as few of these important people in as you’d like.
3. Around your inner sphere of people, draw a large square. Inside this box I want you to write the words that drive your interactions with those people. For example, a couple of mine were love, support, honesty and loyalty. There are no right or wrong answers here. So write the words as they come to you, without judgement or filter.
4. Once you’ve filled your box with the values that make up your core relationships, draw a triangle on top of your box (Ah, a roof!). In the top of your newly constructed house, write in your most meaningful life goals. Take a minute here and let your dreams wander unrestricted. Where does your future lead? Those important people you just drew below can help. Your life’s direction is often shaped by them.
5. You’ve filled the top of your house with your ambitions, now go underneath it to focus on something equally (if not more so) important: your foundation. Why are you the way you are? Some examples might include religion, cultural traditions and God. This ground beneath you is where you have chosen to build your relationships, life and love. Think about some of the most rewarding events in your life, the choices you made to get there and why you made those choices.
6. Lastly, draw a tree next to your home. Say hello to what makes your life beautiful and enjoyable! For example, health and wellness filled the trunk of my tree. Off of which, branched many of my life’s most enjoyable activities: running, travel, laughing, reading, yoga, cooking and learning. Your tree may represent art, music or other activities. These may all branch from one main passion or you may have an entire orchard of life’s enjoyments filling the space around your house.
Once you’ve completed the above 6 steps, put down your pencil. Now look at your picture all together. What sits before you is much more than a simple sketch of paper and pencil. You’ve just illustrated the people, values, motivations, purpose, passion and beauty that make your life significant. So take a moment to meet, reconnect or at the very least, enjoy… a piece of your very own spirit is now smiling back at you.