-by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D.
Making Spiritual Wellness actionable
Recently, I’ve been working with a number of schools, nonprofits, and government agencies on self-care. Because I only bring my clients tools that I believe in and can recommend with integrity, I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own wellness. The Eight Dimensions of Wellness have been one of the best ways to think about what happiness and success look like in my own life, so I’ve been creating resources that anyone can use to get to know themselves from the inside out and to make their own choices about how and what to do to build the kind of life they want to lead.
Two weeks ago, I was preparing for an upcoming session on Spiritual Wellness, (likely one of my least practiced dimensions of wellness. Honestly, even five or six months ago, if you were the kind of person who went on vision quests or had healing crystals nearby, your intuition would probably have led you to decide not to talk to me about those kinds of things. Furthermore, when others talk about their inner life using language from their faith traditions, I can sometimes be a bit on the defensive. Spiritual wellness is tricky for me, and I while I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to bring to my session, I was certain that there was no way I was going to do a session on Spiritual Wellness with anyone else without doing something concrete to address this dimension on my own.
At first I didn’t know what I was going to do. Was I supposed to go to Church? Did I finally need to say yes to my friend Carlos and join him in a sweat lodge ritual? Well, I didn’t really want to go to church, and when I asked Carlos about the sweat lodge, Carlos told me his lodge was needing some repair, so he’d text me later. Honestly, I felt a bit stuck.
Suddenly, Facebook turned out to be my gateway to my inner life. Seriously, so check it out…I was scrolling through my friends on Facebook, doing some digital environmental wellness by unfriending friends of old exes and such, and I scrolled right into my friend Rebecca.
Rebecca and I met in elementary school, and we were both really into Jesus as kids. Like, really, really into Jesus. For fun, she would invite me to events at the LDS temple in Mesa, and we would talk about God and church and such on orchestra trips (we were also really, really, into playing the violin…it was probably good we had each other as friends!)
About ten years later, Rebecca went from being really into LDS things to running women-centered drum circles based on Celtic shamanism that help people seek wisdom from their ancestral teachers. I thought about it, and got in touch with Rebecca…through FB messenger. Still feels weird.
The next week, I was on a zoom call with Rebecca, listening to a drum, and following her lead in this guided meditation exercise. It’s hard for me to explain exactly what happened in that hour, but I can say that it was definitely a spiritual experience. It was healing, it was good, and it’s allowing for growth along many other areas of wellness. I wouldn’t say that the drumming has turned me into the kind of person who goes on vortex tours, but I will say I’m doing the visualization exercise again next month.
Regardless of how it happened, what is absolutely clear is that attending to spiritual wellness, even when I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, connected me to a sense of purpose. And, connecting to that sense of purpose has helped me figure out what spiritual resources I might have, even though I’ve ignored that dimension of wellness for a long time.
However you connect to your inner life, I hope you that have many opportunities to engage your work with purpose and meaning. Right now, I’m eager to know how you are attending to your spiritual wellness! Leave us a note in the comments below!