Division Three— Spiritual

First let me say loud and clear: I Love God!  I believe firmly in his being real and active in my life!  I have never understood how even those who staunchly declare themselves hard core atheist could hold their own child and not believe in a supreme being.  I know that I have never done anything awesome enough to be able to create such a marvelous creature — (in my case 3 awesome creatures!!), so there has to be supreme intervention.  Also, science is wonderful and all  but a bit boring and I don’t think you can look around you and see all the beauty that is everywhere and not think that it took someone pretty marvelous to create it all. Now having made my point about that, I want to add that I find spirituality a bit separate from religion– connected of course but not totally inclusive.

I hit the internet to assist me in defining spirituality the way I believe it to be. Some one told me once that if you look long enough on the internet, you will find someone who agrees with your ideas!! I found one from the University of Minnesota titled Taking Charge of Your Health and Well-Being and because it agrees with me, I liked it!! This is part of that entry:

Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experienceas sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.

Some may find that their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or a higher power. Still others seek meaning through their connections to nature or art. Like your sense of purpose, your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own experiences and relationships.

Relationship between religion and spirituality

While spirituality may incorporate elements of religion, it is generally a broader concept. Religion and spirituality are not the same thing, nor are they entirely distinct from one another. The best way to understand this is to think of two overlapping circles like this:

Venn diagram of religion and spirituality

  • In spirituality, the questions are: where do I personally find meaning, connection, and value?
  • In religion, the questions are: what is true and right?

Where the circles overlap is the individual experience, which affects the way you think, feel, and behave.

Spirituality versus emotional health

You will notice as you read on that many practices recommended for cultivating spirituality are similar to those recommended for improving emotional wellbeing. This is because there is a connection between the two—emotional and spiritual wellbeing influence one another and overlap, as do all aspects of wellbeing.

  1. Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.
  2. Emotional health is about cultivating a positive state of mind, which can broaden your outlook to recognize and incorporate a connection to something larger than yourself.

Thus, emotions and spirituality are distinct but linked, deeply integrated with one another.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Thomas Merton

This is a bit wordy, but those of you who know me, know that I can get a bit wordy! but I think it defines nicely why spiritual is one of the areas that need to be addressed in my journey of my latest project (ME).  The final goal of this project is to be the healthiest ME I can be and I think when completed, it will be evident that pursuing goals in all areas will combine to make me the best I can be. So spirituality is definitely a division that needs to be incorporated into this project  I want to embrace those positive emotions listed above while cultivating a strong, positive state of mind. Even though I have always tried to be a positive person, I realize it is an area that I can always strengthen and I am excited to work on this area also as I continue down this path of finding me.

Now a quick update on the weight watcher progress! And it is progress — not as much as I always hope for but steady wins the race they tell me and I am at a solid 26 pounds down. I really like my group and I love having it on Saturday morning.  It is a great way to end one week and incentive to start the next.  This week I added to my exercise routine and need to share it with you so you can have a bit of a giggle. A few years ago I was at a garage sale at the end of the day and there was a tall exercise bike. In in it’s day it was a fancy one, but now it’s best features are that it still has a spot for a water bottle, a place for my I-pad or a book, and the bike part worked- not all the recording and speeds and all of that but the main part– seat and pedals were in good shape. The down side was it was tall! Even on the lowest setting, the seat is about up to my waist or above so getting on it was far above my athletic ability. However, through the years it has done an excellent job of holding clothes and looking impressive when people come to the house. Now I have decided this needs to become a part of my exercise routine and the ww app that is on my phone has a spot I can record stationary bike time (I started with 15 minutes).  The bike currently lives in Will’s bedroom in front of a window that faces our back yard. Not only are there the cutest family of rabbits playing around back there, the window sill provides a spot to put my phone to time this adventure. The areas for my I-pad and my bottle of water are put into service.   What more can I ask for! Once the phone is set on timer, water bottle full of cold water and the I-pad set to my favorite netflex show, there was only one thing left before I was off to being a bike riding demon!! —NOW it is time to mount this beast. In my kitchen I have a 3-step stool which I brought to the side of the bike. Precariously perched on the second step of the stool, I sat on the seat of the bike, swung my leg over the center bar, found the pedal and I was set. The first time Will came to assist and monitor, but he couldn’t quit laughing so I dismissed him from the area, assuring him I would call if I needed help with the dismount. Since that first time, I have conquered the mounting challenge alone!! Both children are quite sure I am going to catapult out the window (OH they of little faith!) and when I ride and Will is not home, I have to call Amanda to tell her I am getting on and the when I get off so she knows I am not laying broken and bleeding in the back yard. (I do think I should get some credit for the mounting and dismounting but no area on the app for that!)

Well guess I will leave you all with that incredible vision and touch base next week with the final division of the project– physio- social and hopefully another positive blurb in the ‘Down the weight-hill’ division.  Have a positive week!!

 

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