The Secret Ingredient of Resilience: Harnessing Your Spiritual Energy, Part 1
Life events, constant stress and everyday challenges can all eat away at our resilience. Think about the times you’ve declared, “I give up” or “I can’t take it anymore”. And then, remarkably, you get on getting on. The speed at which you recover is an indicator of your resiliency. The trick is to build that resilience muscle so you can bounce back more quickly in the future, and even make better decisions in a snap.
The answer to the question of how we can effectively build and employ resilience is straightforward: Learn how to best manage and enrich our personal energy. This includes our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy. It’s vital to have a plan to maintain and enhance these energy channels, because much of the things in and around our lives taps these four energy “tanks”. This constant drain without a replenishment plan will eventually conquer your resilience and results in burnout…or worse.
Although each of these energy sources can be individually examined, they are inter-related with the other sources. When physical, emotional and mental energies are high, spiritual energy can soar. “Spiritual energy” you may ask? Didn’t we get over that after the 60’s? Well, it’s not as esoteric as you think. Spiritual energy isn’t as clearly definable as mental energy in that it’s not quantifiable. But you know it when you see it! Or in this case, when you feel it. Who wouldn’t want more days of feeling great, when everything’s just going your way? Like when you’re on a streak working out, feeling like you’re making strides at work, and your family life is well-hinged and enjoyable. During these episodes you tend to walk a little taller. Some of us even feel invincible! That’s an indicator that our spiritual energy is in full bloom.
Spiritual energy isn’t only the “special sauce” to a fulfilled life; it’s the backbone of resilience. Each of us needs this indestructible bedrock in order to take on life’s challenges and keep up the momentum.
Take Your Spiritual Pulse
Spiritual energy is fed when we’re working towards our aspirations, when we’re actively involved with meaningful relationships, and when we realize that we are making a difference. It’s the feeling that we’re adding value to our lives while improving the lives of others. When the spirit is healthy, and we’re tending to what we deem as important, we are grateful.
When spiritual energy is low, that content feeling is absent, and we find ourselves scratching the itch that never gets satisfied. We also become stingy with our compassion. You’ll know that your spiritual energy tank is dry when you feel defeated and hopeless. Take a look at these four true-or-false questions from the Personal Energy Management Crisis Quiz to get a reading on where YOUR spiritual energy lies:
__ I don’t spend enough time at work doing what I do best and enjoy most.
__ There are significant gaps between what I say is most important to me in my life and how I actually allocate my time and energy.
__ My decisions at work are more often influenced by external demands than by a strong, clear sense of my own purpose.
__ I don’t invest enough time and energy in making a positive difference to others or to the world.
Any statements you’ve mentally checked as TRUE deserve special attention (but don’t feel ashamed; you’re not alone in this.) The bottom line is that if you’re not working towards these aspirations, you’re likely on your way to spiritual defeat, and the depleted resilience that comes along with it. To begin turning this predicament around, take some time to brainstorm and write out the ideas that will allow you to render these statements FALSE. You’ll soon begin to notice that your life is YOURS to sculpt. Then, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this post for more spiritual energy workouts, including the advice of Sheryl Sandberg, who, as you know, recovered from losing a very special person in her life.