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Spiritual wellness: the poise beyond body and mind

Spiritual wellness: the poise beyond body and mind

It is about life’s journey of connecting with yourself, being existentially aware, of finding harmony with everyone and everything around you, and feeling an inner sufficiency and peace in dealing with the roller-coaster of life
spiritual wellness
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We often seek answers to some difficult questions in our lives – about who we are and what the real purpose of our mundane existence is. In doing so, we try to discover a deeper, higher, inner meaning to our complex lives and find ways to balance its vagaries.  

When we do that, increasingly, in our own ways, with our own interpretations, we are setting out on journeys in the hope of discovering an inner poise amid the chaos of existence.  

What does it mean?  

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to spirituality. For some, it may be as simple as saying their daily prayers, while many find meaning in helping others or looking within or seeking answers from others.

“When seeking spiritual wellbeing, a large part of the journey is about finding [an] anchor, the one element that makes us feel at home, safe, peaceful and joyful. We cannot find this in another person or anything outside of us. So, all the seeking, really, has to happen within. It’s hard work,” says Sumaa Tekur, Bengaluru-based author of the book The Inner Light: A Beginner’s Guide to Spirituality & Finding Peace 

Taking the first step 

Spiritual wellbeing, she elaborates, is the strength and confidence that we derive from regularly engaging with our inner self.  

Tekur breaks it down to three components of spiritual wellbeing:  

  • The most important work happens within oneself: in our mind, body and psyche. 
  • How do we engage with people and our relationships? Are we kind? Are we capable of relating with people in a way that increases harmony and joy (mutually)? 
  • What is our relationship with the environment? How do we relate to plants, animals, air, water and fire? The second and third elements are two-way streets, giving us back  as much as or more than what we give them. 

Dr Manmit Kumarr, Gurugram-based spiritual coach and founder of Soul Miracles, believes that it is through this spiritual journey that one can realise the meaning and purpose of their life.  

“You find the power, comfort and zeal to become the masters of your own lives. It strengthens one’s relationship with oneself, and with friends, family, spouse, and co-workers,” she says . 

Appreciation and gratitude 

“These days spiritual wellness is not a vague concept. People understand that this aspect of wellness is more of a personal matter, and may or may not be necessarily linked to religion,” says Dr Arun Pillai, Director of Wellness at Dharana Wellness, a retreat in Pune.  

According to him spirituality means connecting oneself with the world and finding one’s place in it. “It is more than the short-term or temporary happiness that material gains can bring to our life. It is the long-term happiness which involves doing good for the world, bringing in positivity, and appreciating everything in it with gratitude — that is what counts,” he sums up.  

The joy of giving back 

“The idea of spirituality means different things to different people,” Dr Pillai says. The variety of spiritual beliefs and customs  is as  diverse as the people who practise them. 

There are simple things we can implement to feel spiritually sound. There is much joy in giving back to society, points out Pillai. On introspection, it makes us grateful for what we have and the things we have taken for granted.  

In his view, “Donating money, giving time, resources or teaching someone a skill can help you to connect with your community and with yourself in ways you can’t imagine. This in turn will lead to spiritual wellness on a large scale.” 

Moulding thought and action 

Born into what she calls a spiritually inclined family, Sumaa Tekur says her inner journey started very early in life but gained momentum later as she started travelling alone and visiting 18 countries. It brought her to experiences and people on a similar journey, and gave her opportunities for learning, reflecting and giving time to construct her own framework of spirituality.  

She says, “When we bring greater awareness to our thoughts, actions and feelings, and start moulding them in the desired way, we feel healthier in mind, body and spirit. I call this ‘good spiritual health’, which brings our internal and external life into alignment. Through this alignment, we gain the strength to address any change that comes our way.”  

Spiritual wellbeing is not the absence of problems, stress and confusion. It is knowing that we are capable of dealing with them, stresses Tekur.  

Look within 

A good way to start a spiritual exploration would be to ask yourself these three questions:  

  1. What am I doing for my body?  

(It could be any of these: from walking barefoot on grass for ten minutes a day, practising for a marathon, or stretching and folding the body on a mat)  

      2. What am I doing for my mind?  

(Journal writing, reflective writing, introspection, meditation) 

    3. What am I doing for my creative spirit?  

(Engaging oneself in music, poetry, art, dance, cooking, designing)  

If she feels she is not benefiting from any new practice she takes up on her spiritual journey, Tekur says she is not afraid to let go of it and move on. “Every spiritual practice is deeply personal. Some may work for me, and some others may not. I have to keep an open mind and experiment before I integrate it into my daily life.”   

Being ‘spiritually sufficient’ 

Dr Kumarr of Gurugram uses the concept of ‘spiritual sufficiency’ to guide her clients.  

We often ask ourselves contemplative questions to which we do not have an immediate answer. “Being able to find the answers to these questions, working towards the solution, and applying it to your life – that is what ‘spiritual sufficiency’ is all about.”  

  1. Who am I and what am I meant to do in this life?  
  2. How can I be free from worries and struggles of life? 
  3. What can I do to make my life beautiful?  
  4. How can I overcome the issues in my relationships?  

“When you are able to connect with your inner self for guidance and once you take full responsibility for your life [so as] to bring about a [positive] change for yourself and others [in your ambit], you are stepping towards being spiritually sufficient,” Dr Kumarr explains. 

Different for different people 

Her emphatic words are noteworthy. “Everyone’s spiritual development is different and unique. The most important thing is to remember that spirituality is a journey and not a [competitive] race or a destination.” 

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