My grandfather was the most consistent man I know. He did his daily exercise until he was bedridden. He said his daily prayers until his failing lungs couldn’t speak. Even as his body gave up, he still refused to give power to illness. His mantra was “healthy body, healthy mind, healthy spirit” and he lived it until the age of 92. It is a profound blessing to have been raised by a man so loving, so consistent and so selfless. Take a tangent and watch this rare moment caught on film. Just hours after his death, I had to go onstage. This video captures the moment I feel his presence near me as I sing “For Good”. You’ll feel him there.
Lee Roy led by example – showing us boys that our best life is centered around our spiritual health. However, I can’t say many of us know what spiritual health really means beyond religiosity.
What is spiritual health?
We tend to understand religion and spirituality as culture, tradition, and ethnic expression. We have our own symbology and our own rituals. We have our own holy books and we swear that our way is the only divinely inspired way. Rather pious when there are roughly 4,200 religions and around 16 holy books worldwide, but hey, it’s how we identify. Nothing wrong with that. I don’t care what you believe. My question to you is this:
Is your spirituality tangibly improving the quality of your life?
Spirituality should be making measurable improvements in your life. Period. Our spiritual health has a direct impact on our physical, mental and financial well-being. Therefore, it is important to know how we can keep our spirit active and healthy. Here are some ideas I found to be useful.
Have a daily spiritual practice.
For me, it’s meditation and spiritual mind treatment. For my grandfather, it was reading the Christian Bible and praying for his family. For some of my extended family, it’s salat. For you, it could be as simple as a walking meditation through nature. If you believe that your spiritual health is as important as your physical and mental health, then figure out how to exercise your spirit. Decide how you want to commune with It and make it a daily devotion. There is no better convincing of the benefits than simply doing it. Like I said in my last blog How To Know What You Want, few of us may do it, but all of us who do it, swear by it. So, what would a daily spiritual practice look like for you?
Be of service to others.
It reinforces the core message of all faiths – love. My sponsor has always been a man who will drop everything to be of service to a friend, a sponsee, or a stranger. He has taken his mess and made it his ministry. A girlfriend of mine who survived two divorces and single-parented two kids now volunteers her time at a single mom shelter where she can use her experience to help young women like herself.
Like them, your pain has made you an authority on something! Go out and share that experience and knowledge with others like you! Or wherever you feel you can contribute. It doesn’t matter. Go make a lifestyle out of being of service. You’ll be surprised what it does for your spiritual health. Joy alert! This is potent shit! Get ready to feel a sense of purpose.
Let it go…let it all go…it’s time to forgive now…I’m quoting the lyrics to my original song Let It Go. Forgiveness is the most overlooked contribution to our overall health. Anger and resentment are a clog in the pipes. It obstructs the flow of physical health, emotional well-being, and some believe it even blocks us from financial prosperity. Nothing eats us alive more than anger, resentment, regret, and blame.
Do you know that it is entirely possible for you to live without these things?
Imagine who you would be without all that.
The shift happens differently for all of us, but you owe it to yourself to learn forgiveness. Get busy reframing the past. Is there a gift here you’re overlooking? Does your past make you an authority on something that you can use to be of service to others? Has this experience made you more qualified in some aspect of your spiritual or emotional life? I always think of my past pain as the mutant gene that made me an X-Man. I have special powers now. Special insights that others do not have! However you choose to reframe it, get to it! Honey, that story is too heavy to carry around for another year. Liberate yourself by learning how it makes sense for you to forgive. It is time to forgive.
To recap, here are three things you can do to increase your spiritual health. First, discover what a daily spiritual practice looks like for you. Two, get curious about how you could be of service to others, maybe those currently going through what you went through. And lastly, unclog those pipes – forgive the past and put it to bed once and for all. If these three things are all we ever do, I think the increased quality of our life would be significant and measurable.
I always loved the Bible verse Matthew 7:17-20. “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” A lot of people can be dogmatic and righteous about their religious beliefs. The truth is, if your spirituality is not bearing good fruit, then what good is it?
I want your spirituality to bring measurable improvements in the quality of your life, not just something you say you believe in. But measurable improvements are a result of tangible action. We can talk all we want. We can post fuzzy memes till the cows come home. But action is the only path to any type of health and wellness. To exercise our body we have to go to the gym. To exercise our mind, we have to engage in critical thinking and problem solving. To exercise our spirit, well, that takes a routine too. One that you get to figure out for yourself.
Go ahead, my fellow X-Men. Tell me what you envision your daily spiritual practice to be. Tell me what you think are the greatest contributors to your spiritual health. I love hearing from you!