Spiritual Fitness

As a salute to some of my fellow bloggers who are doing the Muslim , Jewish Families , LDS & Mormon Families and Christian Families blogs, I wanted to talk about spiritual fitness. If you have not read any of these blogs, I would encourage you to visit them. The wonderful writers there are sharing great information and beautiful tales of their faith, their celebrations and their traditions.

Spiritual fitness means different things to different people. For the majority, it means developing a set of beliefs, principals or values that will guide and give meaning as well as purpose to life. Spiritual fitness helps people achieve a sense of wholeness within and without their relationships.

It influences on an individual level as well as on a community wide level where it bonds people together through love, forgiveness, compassion and self-sacrifice. Regardless of how you define spiritual fitness, developing it is critical for a sense of overall well-being. It is closely tied to other areas of fitness including psychological fitness.

When you are spiritually fit, you will discover a greater sense of self-esteem, better coping skills, social support and positive health. In a sense, you feel better when you have belief about the ultimate purpose of life and your place in it. There are many great paths to spiritual fitness and for many of us – that requires organized religion.

The major religions of the world provide us with different paths for transforming the self in ways that lead to better happiness, serenity and security. They relieve feelings of hopelessness and anxiety.

Buddhism teaches you how to detach yourself from selfish desire and leads to compassion for the suffering of others. Judaism emphasizes the ethical and social redemption of community if it can follow the laws of Jehovah. Christianity offers salvation through the rejection of the selfish ego and the belief in God’s grace where joy is found. Islam is the word for a kind of self-surrender, leading to peace with Allah. Wicca promotes harmony between self and nature.

What all of these religions offer is the power of hope, service and well being that comes from being associated with a higher state of being. You do not need organized religion to discover spiritual fitness, however, though it is a path that many travel. You can find meaning in purpose through spending time in nature, volunteering to help others, and by seeking to promote peace, harmony and opportunities for human development on a global level.

How would you define your spiritual fitness and its role in your life?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.