Spiritual Well-Being:Exploring Meaning and Purpose through Connections with Your Environment Doug Newton Employee Wellness Program Manager
Wellness Model Spiritual Emotional Mental Physical
Holistic Wellness • Spiritual Well-being: The maturation of higher consciousness through strong nurturing relationships with both your internal self and others; the development of a strong personal value system; and meaningful purpose in life. • Emotional Well-being: The ability to feel and express the full range of human emotions and to control them rather than be controlled by them. • Mental Well-being: The ability to gather, process, recall, and exchange or communicate information. • Physical Well-being: The optimal functioning of the body’s major physiological systems (e.g. cardiovascular, digestive, immune).
Spirituality in America • 95% of Americans profess a belief in God or higher power. (Gallup 1999) • 9 out of 10 people say they pray, most (67-75%) on a regular basis. (Gallup and Lindsay 1999) • 69% report they are members of a church or synagogue, 40% say they attend regularly • 60% report religion to be very important in their lives (up 7% from 10 yrs previous) • 82% acknowledged a personal need for spiritual growth (up 24% from just 4 years earlier)
Spirituality and Health • 1990s research on Spirituality and Religion started to mature. • Sp and R protects against cardiovascular disease largely mediated by the healthy lifestyle it encourages. • Sp and R associated with social support. • Some findings suggest Sp and R practices, such as some types of prayer and reciting mantra likely trigger the relaxation response.
So what is Spirituality? • There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is too much suffering and pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways. -- Mother Theresa • To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life. -- Chogyam Trungpa
Think good, do good, speak the truth. -- Zarathustra • Work as if the world depends on you, Pray that it doesn’t depend on you. -- St. Ignatius • I am the infinite deep In whom all the worlds appear to rise. Beyond all form, forever still. So am I. -- Ashtavakra Gita
To undertake a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring them to the transformative power of our heart. -- Jack Kornfield • Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. -- John F. Kennedy • Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path. Psalm 119: 105
What is Spirituality? • A level of human consciousness, involving: • Relationships • Values and beliefs • Meaningful purpose in life • A sense of connectedness • Belief in a higher power
Meaningful Purpose • A life mission is accomplished through designing and achieving a series of progressive life goals • and experiencing value conflict and emotional suffering. • On-going search for our aim in life • Initiated by self-reflection • “Next steps” on life path revealed in the present moment.
Meaningful Purpose • Facing death – a creative force • Law of impermanence • “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word by no means will pass away.” -- Luke 21: 33 • Symbolic deaths • Completion of goals or ending of phases in our lives usually involve some kind of emotional suffering • Facing death or symbolic deaths can give us a heighten sense of being alive • Can point us to what really matters to us NOW
Nature as a Spiritual Teacher • Life – Death – Rebirth Cycle
Nature as Spiritual Teacher • Water – A connecting life force. “Good Medicine.”