We hear this all the time – “Mind, Body, and Spirit”. It has become such a popular term to describe what holistic or wellness means. Now, I’m guessing most people understand the connection between Body and Mind, but what about Spirit? What does “Spirit” mean?
We now know that living without sickness does not necessarily mean we are healthy. To be healthy, we want to look at the balance between our Body (physical health), Mind (emotional and mental health), and Spirit (energetic and spiritual health).
Here’s my question to you: what sort of activities do you do under each category (Body, Mind, and Spirit) to keep yourself healthy and balanced?
Physical health is the easiest to understand, as this is what most people focus on and primarily what we can read about in mainstream media. Some examples of physical health practices may be:
- Go for a walk
- Nutritious food
- Hydrotherapy and thalassotherapy (soaking in water)
Emotional and mental health is getting more attention in the last few years, and some examples may be:
- Spending time in nature / forest bathing
- Doing something creative
- Using flower essences
- Working with a psychotherapist or life coach
Now, what about the “Spirit” part of equation? What does spiritual health mean? What IS spirituality?
For me, when I think of spirituality, I define it as how we are connected to ourselves and how we connect to everyone else and the world. We may or may not believe in a certain religion to be spiritual – it is not a prerequisite.
Generally, there would an underlying belief that there is something bigger than us human beings, a loving presence that some may refer to as Spirit, God, Goddess, Universe, Source, Light, Mother Earth, Nature, Higher Intelligence or the Great Mystery of Life.
I also asked a couple of friends to share their views.
Youmin Yap, certified Forest Bathing Guide and founder of Xiu Nature Connections based in Singapore, shared,
“I believe we all carry the essence of ‘spirituality’ in us. The thoughts such as Why am I here in this world? For whom, am I living for? Who am I? What’s out there beyond the sky? What is my purpose? – questions that every adult human has asked himself/herself one time or another – are the essence of ‘spirituality’ that is innate to us. Taking the actions and steps, big or small, to explore these curiosities, to discover the true self, to acknowledge and honor our connections to the world and beyond, then contribute to our spiritual health.”
Spiritual health is intrinsically related to our worldviews, our beliefs, morals and values.
How does energy come into play? Why is our energetic health related to our Spirit?
Nikola Tesla once said, “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” Though most of us cannot see energy waves with our physical eyes, everything in our world is made up of frequencies and vibrations.
We can all feel energy with our psychic or clair senses. The example I always like to use is love. We cannot see love, but how do we know love exists? It’s not really from the words or actions that one does, but it is with the feeling of love that transcends through loving words and loving actions. And then we know – oh yes, this is how love feels.
Another analogy is wifi (wireless internet). How do you know there is wifi? We cannot see it. We only know that there is wifi around when our phone shows us the signal, because our phone is built with a right type of “antenna” (sorry it’s not the correct technological term but I hope you get the picture).
Our psychic senses are like these “antennae” to help us tune into energy better. Even if a person believes that he/she cannot feel energy, just like how wifi is always there whether or not your phone is tapped into the network, energy is all around us.
We project our own energy to the world with our presence, thoughts, words, and actions. Think about the time when you meet a stranger and you can sense the vibe from this person (“oh this person is interesting to meet” or “oh I want to stay away from this person”). Everyone is projecting their own energy out to the world on a daily basis. We are constantly affected by energy around us, whether we are conscious or not.
Examples of Spiritual Practices to Incorporate into Your Life
Coming back to spiritual health, when we have a balanced spiritual practice, we can keep our vibrations high and we are less affected by the energy of others and the energy of the external environment.
By keeping our physical, emotional and mental health in check, we are keeping our “spirit” high. This is when we say, “Ahhhhhh I feel good” from the inside.
When our vibration is high, we can lift up the energy of others. That’s why when we listen to Oprah speak, we feel so inspired (at least I do).
Remember the famous quote from Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”? When you change yourself, the world around you will begin to change.
Below are some examples of spiritual practices that you can incorporate into your daily life, no matter what you believe in. I’m going to break it down into two categories even though these practices are all interrelated: 1) How to connect with yourself (your inner divinity) 2) How to connect with others (divinity in others and the world)
1. How to connect with yourself and your inner divinity:
- Meditate (in whichever style that resonates with you)
- Breathe consciously and deeply
- Practice gratitude
- Practice yoga
- Be kind to yourself
- Practice mindfulness in your daily life
- Do something every day that is nourishing for your soul
- Gift yourself some solo time to just BE
- Tune into your inner voice through journaling
- Allow your intuition to be the compass to guide your life
- Acknowledge and give space for all your emotions and feelings
- Tune into your body by being totally aware and present
- Maintain your energetic hygiene with smudging, visualization, or meditation (much like brushing your teeth, you’d like to keep your energy field clean as much as possible)
- Protect your energy by setting boundaries and saying no to things that drain your energy
- Remain open-hearted and open-minded
- Create your own sacred space at home (for example, a sacred altar)
- Connect with the sacredness of Life at your home (via prayer, meditation, ritual, etc)
2. How to connect with others and the world (divinity in others and the world):
- Appreciate the space around you, the house you are in, the land you are standing on, the earth that is providing you all the resources you need to thrive
- See that the external world is just a reflection of your internal world, and that everything happens for a reason
- Be grateful of the lessons and opportunities others bring to you, even though what happened may not be what you want (but it’s what your soul needs in order to grow)
- Be compassionate and respectful of others
- Let go of judgment and blame on others
- Practice forgiveness for others and self
- Connect with the sacredness of Life outside (appreciate the four elements – fire, water, wind, and earth, a mindful walk in nature, meditate with flowers, respect other animals and beings, etc)
- Attend a soulful group gathering with like-minded individuals, whether at a retreat, a wellness center, temple, church, or online
- Gather wisdom and be inspired by others, but always refer to your own inner compass to live your own truth
- Practice surrender and trust the Universe always supports you
- Sing devotional songs and praises to the Divine
- See and acknowledge the inner divinity in others
I hope this gives you some ideas of what a healthy spiritual practice may look like. Just like how each food reacts differently in each person’s body, the most important takeaway here is to create your own unique spiritual practice that resonates with you.
I love what my friend Dr. Sarah Walton, founder of Soul Writing and author, shared when I asked her for her number one tip on spiritual practice,
“I get my nails manicured occasionally and try to experience every stroke of the brush. Any conscious act of love of ourselves, any gesture whether it seems spiritual or not, can take us closer to accepting ourselves. Loving ourselves is the most powerful spiritual act I know. And for many of us, it’s the hardest.”
Obviously, my viewpoint and worldview are only limited to my own experience. Feel free to explore what works for you.
What does spiritual health mean to you? What are your go-to spiritual practices? Feel free to share with me below.