Over the past 25 years or so, the western world has slowly awakened to “eastern” philosophies. Practices such as yoga, tai chi, meditation to name a few, are being acknowledged for their health benefits. A westerner who helped this process was “Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society” Please read more about him HERE. (http://www.mindfulnesscds.com/)
To me, the practice of spiritual life supports my understanding that I’m intricately connected to all life and all matter in the universe. This allows me to live in harmony with my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. I’m able to embrace the people I encounter and the world around me because I no longer perceive myself to be separate from them.
The foundation of my recovery developed through the practice of a spiritual life. This foundation allows my work with therapists, psychiatrists, peer supports and yes even medication to thrive. I’m centred with an understanding that placing spiritual principles as a guiding light provides me the opportunity to approach all aspects of my life with grace, patience, and compassion. I don’t suggest it’s the only way to achieve joy in life, I’m acknowledging the profoundly positive impact spirituality NOT religion has had on humanity. “Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.” – Deepak Chopra
In treating mental illness, or in search of a more positive and healthier life it’s important to treat the mind, the body, and the spirit. In western society, the spirit is brushed aside as something “hokey.” Often medical treatment focuses solely on treating the mind. Medications are introduced with no other therapeutic suggestions. When treatment includes physical wellbeing as part of psychological treatment, outcomes are more positive. From my personal and professional experience, a treatment that includes mind, body and spirit is the most effective form of care.
You don’t have to call things spiritual to embody them. Often people who enjoy a high quality of life, emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically live their lives in line with spiritual values. Core values such as kindness, compassion, patience, love, tolerance, service, peace and dignity are displayed by many people who’d never associate the word spirituality to their lives.
Whether you want to label it spiritual or not, these principles help to build a character and personality that promotes recovery, well-being, and self-fulfillment.
Are these qualities important to you? Are you comfortable with the word spiritual?
Please share your thoughts, comments and experience with me.
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