Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish Model
- Peaceful Base
- Physical Health
- Positivity Spiral
- Positive Relationships
- Spiritual Connectedness
- Financial Stability
The pillar of Spiritual Connectedness could be considered controversial if we try to define the best way to achieve it. Spiritual Connectedness is a very personal creation. I’ve got a diverse group of friends, and I see them experience spiritual connectedness in many different ways. For the purposes of the the Bloom and Flourish Model, there is no one correct way to achieve Spiritual Connectedness.
Spiritual Connectedness is the feeling of being in communication with and supported by a higher power. Here is a definition of spirituality that I like from an article on the University of Maryland Medical Center’s web page (http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/spirituality):
Spirituality has been defined in numerous ways, including a belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than oneself, a sense of interconnectedness with all living creatures, and an awareness of the purpose and meaning of life and the development of persona, values. It’s the way you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life. Although spirituality is often associated with religion, personal spirituality can also be developed through music, art, or a connection with nature. People also find spirituality through acts of compassion and selflessness, altruism, and the experience of inner peace.
The article also gives a lot of good information on the health benefits of Spiritual Connectedness.
Although Spiritual Connectedness can be experienced in many ways, it must have one component to support blooming and flourishing. The people who I know and the ones whom I have coached who flourish all have one thing in common, their spirituality includes a feeling of expansiveness and love for their fellow human beings. They have an attitude of acceptance and inclusion that is present in all areas of their lives.
There is also a comfort in talking to a higher power. I decided a long time ago that God must be like a parent in that He loves and cares for us, but cannot keep us from every harm. That perspective makes sense to me. Remember, your view may be different, and that is perfectly fine. I don’t expect you to drop your spiritual beliefs in favor of mine. What’s important is that each of us experiences love and support from a higher power.
A strong sense of Spiritual Connectedness also supports several of the other pillars of Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish Model. A strong spiritual community provides us with the positive relationships and community required in the Positive Relationships pillar. Spiritual Connectedness can also provide purpose and meaning to our lives, which supports the Flow/Accomplishment/Meaning pillar. The article quoted above cites many health benefits of a strong sense of spirituality, which supports the Physical Health pillar.
For me to bloom and flourish, my Spiritual Connectedness includes a belief that there is grand plan for me and the world. So many things in the world don’t make sense. Having faith that there is a purpose for the experiences that we all have, even if I don’t see the reason or understand it, comforts me.
Finally, death is not something I fear because I believe there is an afterlife – that we continue to exist without our bodies. I know a couple of people who truly fear death, and they spend a lot of emotional energy and time trying to stay healthy in unhealthy ways. Every small symptom is a crisis and a threat. It’s another exhausting way to live that prevents embracing life and flourishing.
Spiritual Connectedness is finding your own peace around the existence of a higher power. I like the way that the University of Michigan Medical Center article sums up Spiritual Connectedness: “It’s the way you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life.” What’s most important is finding your own way.
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