Whole Person Development is the key to success. Understanding and incorporating one’s entire being when leading, mentoring, and coaching can yield fantastic results and help take an organization to great heights. The Whole Person Development blend focuses on six areas of an individual’s life: emotional intelligence, physical, spiritual, social, psychological, and professional. Let’s take a look at the spiritual development.
What does Spirituality Mean?
When people hear the word “spiritual” they often associate the word “religion.” While spirituality can pertain to church attendance and prayer, its meaning goes beyond religious beliefs. Spiritual awareness is defined as “the process by which we begin to explore our own being in order to become whole and reunite our spirits with our physical bodies in a commonality of purpose.” (Source: About Religion).
Some people already know, feel, and live a spiritual existence already. Others may be just starting their journey: figuring out their thoughts, feelings, and spiritual needs to continue their development. Others still may want nothing to do with the word “spiritual.” If you find yourself in the latter category, consider this: “spiritual” is a versatile word with different meanings and applications to different people. For one, spiritual life is what should connect you to your heart, your breath, and your essence. For another, simply laying in bed and listening to a classic rock album to unwind at the end of a hard day can be a spiritual experience. Whatever allows you to reconnect with yourself and exhale the negativity and hardships you’ve experienced can fit the definition of spiritual.
Meditation as Spiritual Practice
One of the most common ways to reconnect with one’s spirituality is through meditation. Meditation can be daunting to newcomers. Ironically, most people don’t want to think about meditation because they already have too much on their minds, which is why meditation is necessary. Another misconception about meditation is the required investment of time. In reality, meditation can last as long as an hour, or as little as five minutes. Everyone can afford five minutes.
How Do I Start Meditating?
Meditation can be practiced alone, with either silence or relaxing music. There are also various apps—such as Calm—that provide free guided meditation sessions, as well as optional paid content. Guided meditations have the benefit of training your brain to return to the present moment efficiently. If you opt not to use an app, you can learn to meditate by focusing on your breath. Find a quiet space, get comfortable in either a sitting or lying position, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Start by focusing your mind on counting your inhalations and exhalations.
It is entirely reasonable and acceptable for your mind to wander as you meditate. The trick is to accept these thoughts as they appear, and release them with your exhalations. This method is perfect for relaxing your brain and bringing the spiritual aspect back into your Whole Person Development.
Benefits of Meditation
Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on the positive effects of meditation. A study conducted by the University of California that during and after meditation sessions, participants achieved higher mental clarity, the ability to focus on repetitive tasks, and better performance in the face of stressful deadlines. Another study conducted by Dr. Ron Alexander showed that meditation could increase emotional intelligence, another aspect of the Whole Person Development blend.
Take some time to find what feeds your spirituality. Challenge yourself to try meditation, even if just for a few minutes. The path to spiritual wellness and Whole Person Development is all about choices, and starts with you!
Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth with a focus on Whole Person Development. Meredith is a founding member and Chair of Membership for the Private Directors Association and creator of “SeeD,” a scholarship fund dedicated to female leaders who manage, operate, and/or own for-profit businesses in Charlotte, NC. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.