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We have discussed the concept of essential nourishment, consisting of relationships, career, daily movement and spirituality as the most vital components of wellness. Today we will take look at the Spirituality piece of this model.

We have a human need to believe in something greater than ourselves. Some define spirituality as this belief combined with a sense of connectedness to other humans.

Why is this important? Spirituality gives us a mechanism to see beyond ourselves, allowing us to experience compassion and empathy. That is not to say that you can only feel compassion if you are a spiritual person, but a sense that our very existence is a cosmic miracle that we share this miracle with the rest of mankind, makes it much more likely that we will make decisions with this miracle in mind. And if we do so, we will have fulfilled one of the fundamental elements of essential nourishment rendering us much more likely to remain healthy.

Spirituality can be found in many different forms, beyond just traditional organized religions. While it is true that traditional Faith Traditions give us a paradigm in which to categorize and understand spirituality, it is not necessary that one attends church, synagogue or mosque services each week in order to feel the health benefits of a spiritual life.

Those of us who subscribe to one of the world’s major faith traditions - Catholicism/Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and others - can see the similarities between them - the belief in a higher power, and the obligation to treat our fellow man with acceptance and compassion.

Contrary to fundamentalist beliefs, most religions are INCLUSIVE, rather than EXCLUSIVE. Also contrary to popular belief, we are capable of embracing these traditional, noble values without the need for a church, a list of rules or even a pope.

The true health value of spirituality comes when we incorporate these “religious” values into our everyday lives. We do so by waking up each day realizing and being thankful for the miracle of our existence, and the beauty of life in this world. We do so also by connecting with those in our lives, as well as those outside of our everyday circle whom we perceive as “different” or alien. A spiritual life is a choice, and if we make that choice to embrace the spiritual aspects of our life with enthusiasm and honest faith, our lives will be fuller, healthier and happier.

In peace,

Dr. John Monaco

MONACO Wellness


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