article by Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo, RN
At the beginning of the New Year, people make resolutions to get fit and well. Exercise and diet are two of the top resolutions to help one get healthy. But what is often overlooked is how one can make a resolution to get spiritually healthy in the New Year. Spiritual wellness is just as important as physical or mental wellness, if we are to healthy and whole as God intends.
Spiritual wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose and meaning in life. It is generally considered to be the search for meaning, leading one to strive for a greater sense of harmony with oneself, others and God. It is important for everyone to explore what they believe is their sense of meaning and who or how a greater power, God, acts and is in the world.
Just like starting a new exercise routine or committing to healthier way of eating takes effort, so does working to enhance and become more spiritually well. The path to spiritual wellness is unique for each person, as God has made each one of us unique individuals, with different talents and abilities. What works for one person as a means of connecting more fully with oneself, others and God, may not be for others.
Some ways that one be on the path to spiritual wellness are meditation, variety of prayers, yoga and body movement, Bible study, working with others in mission and service, participating in meaningful worship experiences, art and music expressions, engaging in the creation, and having conversations with others.
Having compassion, the capacity for love and forgiveness, altruism, joy and fulfillment grows as one finds greater depth of meaning and purpose in life. Values, beliefs, principles and morals become clearer and become more defined as one engages in spiritual practices that bring about spiritual wellness.
And if you are person engaged in the process of spiritual wellness, are you willing and able to work with others so that they can have that same depth of spiritual growth? Helping others often helps oneself gain a greater sense of spiritual health and wellbeing as we grow as a community of spiritual wholeness.
As you begin this New Year, ask yourself – Are you engaged in one spiritual practice that helps you be spiritually well? Evaluate your own spiritual wellness with this brief quiz:
- Do I take time every day to engage myself in a spiritual wellness practice?
- Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
- Am I growing in my love, compassion and acceptance of others?
- Do I feel connected to God?
If you answered NO to any of them, it may indicate an area where you need to improve. Ask your spiritual leader or pastor or faith community nurse to help you. Remember, spiritual wellness does not have a destination or end point. So begin in 2015 on the journey to greater spiritual wellness for yourself. God will be smiling as you do!