Last weekend I went to a fitness instructor workshop and one part of the training was on the “Iceberg” model of health. As you can see Spirituality/Meaning are at the base of the iceberg. This helped me understand that the lasting way to maintain good health is to have a strong spiritual foundation and life meaning/purpose. It goes a little something like this: Knowing our life’s purpose drives our motivations > our motivations drive our lifestyle/behaviors > our lifestyle determines our state of health. You’re probably thinking, “WHOA, Brit just got real deep on us!” Well no worries, I’m not trying to be your guru – I just don’t want all of my leg and ab workouts going to waste if you haven’t first laid the foundation 🙂
I’ve held tight to some valuable advice from my parents and mentors which can guide us as we evaluate the “base of our health icebergs.” Hopefully this advice helps you as much as it’s helped me – enjoy!
Brit’s 5 Step Guide for a Strong Spiritual Foundation:
- Believe in God and that He put you here for a reason. YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE – your life has meaning and a specific purpose. Life is about understanding our individual and collective human purposes and striving each day to live those out. If you choose not to believe in God or a higher power, it’s virtually impossible to have HOPE for a greater good, divine order or individual life purpose. And if your life is hopeless, why even live?
- Understand your strengths and where you put your effort. By knowing what you’re good at and when you’re most willing to work hard, you can gain a good sense of your natural gifts and ultimately your purpose in life.
- Understand and/or define your values. What do you stand for? Think about it and write it down. Also, choose friends that understand your values, support them and keep you accountable for living by them – yes, tough love! After all, “if you don’t stand for anything you’ll fall for everything.” – Peter Marshall, 1947
- Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people are the ultimate sources of optimism and energy, find ‘em and keep ‘em. On the other hand, negative people are like viruses, they will literally suck the life out of you – GET AWAY FROM THEM ASAP. This doesn’t make you heartless or a bad friend. Instead, it makes YOUR OWN well-being your first priority. The fact of the matter is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we are incapable of adequately loving and supporting others.
- Pray Regularly. Now, I have a hard time with this one because I find it very challenging to quiet my mind and really acknowledge my deepest fears, issues, questions, etc. However, a daily devotion to prayer and/or meditation gives us an opportunity to express gratitude, explore our deepest spiritual questions, relax and continue progressing on our spiritual journeys.