The quest of spiritual intelligence is often synchronised with our innate desire to feel better connected to humanity and the environment. Based on my research of 500 one to ones with senior leaders, interactions with people from all walks of life and reading.
I believe there are 9 Pathways to spiritual well being; and these are even more important as lifestyles are constantly bombarded with external influences that disturb inner peace; which can lead to disenchantment with life and the associated traumas that we read about and witness in our families and communities.
1. Mindfulness, present moment focus enables clarity and reduces the accumulation of ‘emotional luggage’ that can get in the way of being emotionally productive for current priorities.
2. Forgiveness, holding onto resentments can create ‘I am the victim’ syndrome and we remain stuck to circumstances that no longer exist. Forgiving without forgetting can also be counter-productive. Forgiveness assists in creating ‘emotional freedom’ and ease of consciousness. Forgiveness begins with forgiving personal idiosyncrasies and this triggers the forgiveness emotion towards others.
3. Equanimity, the external environment, and our reactions can tilt the balance of our emotions and the conundrum of pros and cons takes over. This constant juggling creates restlessness, thereby living in a state of ‘emotional turbulence’. Mindfulness and meditation help to create an equipoise, life’s challenges can be handled with confidence and courage.
“There are many more ordinary hours in life than extraordinary ones. We wait in line at the supermarket. We spend hours commuting to work. We water our plants and feed our pets. Happiness means finding a moment of joy in those ordinary hours.” Haemin Sunim
4. Appreciation, research shows that a mindset of gratitude multiplies the ‘feel-good factor’ for life. Equanimity cultivates appreciation and thereby watering the attitude for purposeful living. People living a life with purpose are more content and there is a lesser need for competition and comparison.
5. Giving Back, sharing our gifts contributes immensely to positive mental health. “Give to the world what you want to receive from the world, because that is what you will receive.” Gary Zukav
6. Empathy, the increase in crime and social unrest is evidence of the decline in empathy in the fabric of society. A greater understanding of ‘how the other person feels’, can ease conflict and tensions experienced in our interactions and relationships. Empathy requires time and ‘realtime’ listening. Emotional intelligence is the key to empathy. Of course, understanding the self improves our understanding of others. Empathy is distinct from compassion, empathy goes beyond kind offerings and actions, it is to imagine and put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand their distress.
7. Compassion, is a positive emotion, that has to do with being thoughtful and decent. Contributing to charities and voluntary help to create this positive emotion. The compassionate workplace is a goal for many organizations and this is often disguised as well- being programs; many employee engagement initiatives and networks aim to influence organization cultures to be kinder and employee-friendly.
8. Social Cause, having a passion for a cause energizes passion for life. The second half of 2019 has witnessed an increase in protests and the most recent climate change protest by schoolchildren has created an un-forgettable wave and increased consciousness for this serious issue. Working together for a cause is a reminder that we are interconnected and that our thoughts and actions impact the communities we live and work with.
“My life’s goal is to be of service to a greater good. Wherever that true calling takes me, I’ve always been willing to go.” Oprah Winfrey
9. Acceptance, the beginning of the spiritual well-being journey starts with acceptance of inner and external energies and emotions. Resistance creates conflict and unrest. Resilience enables acceptance, and this allows for forward movement towards a contented and peaceful life.
“Those wise ones who see that the consciousness within them is the same consciousness within all beings attain peace.” The Katha Upanishad