No self-help assessment or effort can be complete unless you address the health of your spiritual self. If your are to Transform your life, not just change it, then your spiritual realm is just as important as the other three realms. Maybe even more so. It is the deeper part of you.
The spirit encompasses your sense of who you are, why you are here and your place in the world. It represents your connection, or lack of connection, to other people, to nature and reality. Your spiritual health is reflected in your sense of purpose.
How is your spiritual health? Do you feel connected to humanity, nature and the world around you? Do you have a sense of purpose, hope for the future, face each day with excitement, feel optimistic, a sense of peace, a sense of calm and serenity? If so, you are in excellent spiritual health.
Or, do you live in fear under a prevailing sense of dread, feel you walk alone in this world, prefer pessimism over optimism, feel hopeless or helpless, feel empty or apathetic and anxious for the future? Do you feel you know who you are and have a sense of purpose? Or, are you somewhere in between these two extremes? If so, then your spiritual self is damaged or suffering.
When I was an active alcoholic my spiritual health was very poor. I felt dead inside. I felt it impossible to change my circumstances which gave me no hope for the future. I heard someone once describe how they felt when they hit their rocky bottom with drug addiction. He said he felt “perfectly broken”. That is precisely how I felt, perfectly broken.
There are many things that can enhance a damaged spirit or restore a broken one. Be quite and meditate everyday. Concentrate on the things that you do have rather than dwell on what you don’t have but feel you must have in order to be happy. Be grateful.
Get adequate rest! Play! Adults need to play just like children. Finds ways to reconnect with your inner child. Color with crayons (especially outside the lines), draw, play with play dough, run with scissors (okay, blunt ones). You want to feel younger in less than 5 seconds. Get up out of your chair right now and skip! It will make you laugh immediately. That is your inner child laughing. The spirit of a child is boundless and free.
Practice mindfulness. If there is something that you really enjoy then really enjoy it. Slow down and savor everything worthy of your time and attention. Practice kindness, patience, the art of grace, empathy and compassion. Be decent and tolerant. Be honest. Tell the truth.
Look at art. Start with what you like and then branch out. Take an art class. If you say that you aren’t artistic and are of the opinion that artists are born, I will tell you that you are wrong. If artists are born then there are just over 7 billion of them on the planet and you are one of them. Take an art class and prove me wrong.
Listen to uplifting music. Again, start with what you like or are familiar with and branch out from there. If you can make music then make it and then make some more. Make music for others.
Connect with others. Become part of a community. Well, except the Blah Blah Blah, Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me Community. That one is off limits. But, look around. There are so many different and interesting communities out there to which you can belong. Pick one that will capture your interest and keep you energized.
Laugh. Laugh again. Laugh some more. Especially at yourself. Go to a comedy club. Watch some of the old comedy shows that made you laugh when you were younger. You can find them all on the internet these days. Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence still crack me up. If I am feeling sad all I have to do is pull up a YouTube clip and I am laughing out loud in less than a minute.
Give of yourself to others. Give your time. Volunteer. Help those less fortunate. Open your heart. Open your mind. In all things, try to be positive. Avoid negativity like it will kill you because it will if you let it.
Lastly, love yourself. You are not some pitiful, worthless creature to be loathed and despised, deserving of the worst the world has to offer you. You were born with God given talents and abilities that will allow you to improve any circumstance if you will but choose to do so. You may have forgotten that, but I haven’t. That is why I written this for you. It’s your turn to Transform.
How is your spiritual health? Please return soon for another installment in this series on TRANSFORMATION.