Now we've come to the most exciting yet often left out part of personal wellness. The personal guides on body wellness and spirit wellness are always being discussed now-a-days but the spiritual wellness which in most cases journeying with our patients here in Wellnessland is often the most crucial in the healing of a person.
Though usually ignored in bio-medical discussions of health, the spiritual dimension often is the key to increasing whole-person wellness. The quality of our spiritual beliefs and practices has a profound influence on all dimensions of our health, for our relationship with God influences the aliveness of our relationships with self, other people and all creation.
Spiritual self-care entails healthy ways to meet our spiritual needs:
- to experience regularly the healing love of God; become aware of the way God is present in our experiences through prayer, meditation, guided imagery, quiet time.
- to have vitalbeliefs that give meaning to our lives amid losses and failures.
- to have values centered in love, truth, justice to guide us in responsible living.
- to develop the inner wisdom, creativity, love, radical acceptance of our Self
- to deepen our awareness of the web of life, our oneness with other people and nature; to avail ourselves with spiritual resources to help heal the painful wounds of guilt, unforgiveness and self-rejection; also to deepen our feeling of trust, self-esteem, hope, joy and love of life.
The following spiritual disciplines are recommended:
Sabbath, Solitude, Silence
These create space to listen for the “still, small voice” ofGod. Listening opens us to receive God’s word, grace and power in our lives.
Sabbath is ‘kairos’ time, the experience of the sacred within ordinary time. This is time set apart consecrated to God alone, “wasting time” on God.
Solitude helps us get acquainted with ourselves. We usually seek a quiet place to allow our bodies to heal. Similarly, healing of emotions require space for healing to come from within.
Silence, like solitude, is a way of standing before God; it is risky because the truth of our humanity threatens to emerge,
and be revealed to us.
Prayer is a conversation with God. It does not require fancy words of formal structures or special training. All we need to do is be ourselves and pray from the heart. Each of us can develop a prayer style that suits our personality and lifestyle. Praise God. Give thanks. Ask for specific blessings for yourself or for loved ones. Dance. Seek forgiveness. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray for healing. Just pray in your own way. As God’s own spirit prays in us, we are transformed into the image of God.
Meditation is an altered state of consciousness that is characterized by concentrated attention on God or on one’s inner divine being. This may happen spontaneously as we forgetourselves in the flow of nature or sometimes just in the flow of life. But we can enter this relaxed alert state at will, when we learn to meditate. Much of our prayer consists of talking to God. Meditation offers a way to listen to the still small voice of God within. There are many forms of meditation, of which three are highly recommended – meditation on the Word of God, on spiritual-energy words (mantra), and Centering Prayer. You may want to read the books Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington, Beyond the Super-Conscious Mind by Avadhutika Ananda Mitra, and Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh.
A journal is a valuable record of our prayer, meditation, dreams, experiences, moods, and feelings. A journal is one of the best ways to treasure our experiences for their healing potential. Many thoughts, feelings and experiences seem “charged” with an unusually strong response in us at the time when they happen, alerting us to the need to pay attention. Privacy and freedom to express anything in an honest non-judgmental manner are the key elements of journal writing. A journal may include notes on physical preventive healthcare, as well as jottings from the emotional and spiritual life. It can keep track of progress with one’s exercise program, to observe changes in how you feel physically, keeping your stress level down, getting enough sleep, rest and recreation.
Guidance is the discipline of seeking relationship with others who can help us. A health practitioner with an appreciation of the body-mind-spirit connection can be helpful both in managing the disease and attending to the process of finding meaning in one’s experience of sickness and health. This can be done also through the collaboration of an inter-disciplinary team. A faith community can be a source of guidance, and opportunity to encounter God through communal worship, faith sharing, hearing the word of God, etc.
I have always been grateful to have shared with you these simple steps to better health. Like what I said in the beginning of these personal wellness series - I take no credit in ones personal healing, it has and always been YOU who have the power to heal.