Cultivating Spiritual Wellness In Challenging Times
Spiritual wellness, one of the 8 dimensions of wellness, asks us to consider how we make meaning of life’s events, including those that are difficult to process. Perhaps the most common association made with spirituality its link with religious practice, but this is certainly not the only path.
The word “spirit” is derived from Latin root word inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into. The word “inspire”, meaning “to influence, move our guide” happens to share the same root. (Read more about the word origin here). And isn’t it so often the case that when we find what it is that “breathes life” into us – what inspires us — our spirit sings? What if we all followed that call in every aspect of our lives? What might the world look like?
Another approach to cultivating spiritual wellness is by connecting with your values. In our June newsletter, we shared an exercise from Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead that can help in identify your top values. Click the link above, scroll down for the list and instructions, then try the exercise for yourself and see what rises to the top! Once you’ve named your values, you can then consider whether the path your on feels in alignment with those values, or if there is something that needs to change.
This exploration is important not only to your own personal wellness, but to the wellness of the community at large. When we live in alignment with what really matters, we can better serve through our work in the world wherever it is we show up.
Here are 3 tips that can help you realize a connection with spirit:
Explore Contemplative Practices
Practices that have a contemplative or philosophical element like yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, or even organized religion you might be a part of. These can all support a process of inquiry that can guide you through any of your chosen pursuits.
Take time to integrate.
Designate time each day or each week to reflect. Maybe you journal or take a silent day to be with your thoughts, or time to explore ideas with others – both those who are like-minded, and those with a different worldview.
Opening ourselves to viewpoints different from our own is an important part of being a global citizen, especially in a world that increasingly silos us – for example, on social media. The key to deriving value from these activities is taking the time to digest what you learned before moving on, contemplating what it means to you, and deciding whether or how you might integrate it into your being.
Seek opportunities for physical movement. Plan longer hikes, walks, or bike rides on certain days, or take activities you might usually do indoors – for example, set up for your virtual yoga or meditation class outside. Activities that get your blood circulating and your breath flowing and can “breathe” new inspiration into you, literally! If you’re working from home, take a 15 minute break to go out and pull weeds in your garden, look up at the sky, and listen to the birds. After a few minutes away from your computer screen, notice any shifts in your energy level or awareness, even after a short period spent taking in nature’s gifts.
Alternately, you could frame “being active” as identifying and taking specific actions that help you live more in alignment with your values.
In closing, we’ll leave you with some questions: what mark do you (or your company) want to leave on employees? In your community? On the world? What plans could you implement and what actions could you take in support of those values? What steps can you take to boost your spiritual connection, live an inspired life, and support others in doing the same?
Urban Balance is the premiere provider of comprehensive on-site corporate wellness services in Portland, Oregon. We deliver yoga, Pilates, meditation, massage, nutrition and learning opportunities to the office environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.
We now delivering many of these services online! Check out our catalog of Virtual Wellness Services here.
If your Portland, Oregon area company is ready to step up its corporate wellness programming, contact us today to learn how Urban Balance can support your team and wellness goals!