SPIRE is a system of the wholebeing approach that encourages life balance as a means of achieving fulfillment and true happiness. Instead of focusing on one area of your life and expecting it to fuel happiness in all other areas, you learn to focus on improvement in five key areas of life.
If you have ever reached a big goal and wondered why you still felt unhappy or as if something was missing, SPIRE can help. Getting that big promotion after five years of hard work may not make you entirely happy if you’re lacking in spiritual awareness or relationship connections. The same goes for reaching a weight loss goal or finding the love of your life.
Individual goals are amazing, but they can’t make you happy and content on their own. Each letter of SPIRE stands for one key aspect of life that matters.
The Wholebeing Approach that I teach focuses on the five macro levels of your life: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational, and Emotional, or SPIRE. As explained by the Whole Being Institute, SPIRE is:
Spiritual – Leading a meaningful life and mindfully savoring the present.
Physical – Caring for the body and tapping into the mind/body connection.
Intellectual – Engaging in deep learning and opening to experience.
Relational – Nurturing a constructive relationship with self and others.
Emotional – Feeling all emotions, reaching towards resilience and positivity.
This approach encourages you to look at each level of your life and to get to know your whole being. In doing so, you gain clarity to make a change and the tools to act on what you have learned to accomplish your biggest dreams.
Reaching a balance with satisfaction in all aspects will lead you toward happiness. Today, let’s look at what the E in SPIRE means and how you can apply it to your life.
The E in SPIRE stands for “emotional.” It calls for a focus on things that improve your emotional well-being, but what exactly does that mean?
Emotional well-being is often used interchangeably with emotional intellect, but they are two different things. Emotional intellect is complete awareness of your emotions and the ability to control them. Emotional well-being is your mood, mindset, and how you regard yourself (self-esteem). Research has shown that people with greater emotional intellect are likely to maintain more positive mindsets with higher self-esteem.
When it comes to implementing the SPIRE wholebeing approach to emotional well-being, the focus is on all elements of your emotional life, including:
- Positive mindset
- Awareness of all emotions
- Mood control
- Boosting self-esteem
There are no negative, bad, or off-limits emotions. It’s important to acknowledge and accept every feeling you have. That doesn’t mean you have to allow those feelings to control your life, but give yourself the gift of acceptance. Ignored emotions become negative moods and unhappy mindsets that bleed into all areas of your life.
There are two ways that following the SPIRE wholebeing approach can impact your emotional life:
- Direct improvements in your emotional well-being through emotional goal setting
- Enhanced emotional well-being by achieving goals in other areas of life covered by SPIRE
The E in SPIRE encourages you to assess and improve your emotional life directly. The easiest way to do this is through gratitude, which means focusing your mind on everything you’re thankful for rather than what you lack or have lost.
Everything works together with SPIRE. As you work with the other four elements of the SPIRE system, you will notice that success in other areas of life also leads to improvements in your mindset, mood patterns, and self-esteem. Let’s look at how you can expect this system to impact your emotional well-being professionally and personally.
As you learn to focus on gratitude rather than what you lack, you will grow more content with what you have today. If you constantly lack or wish for more, it’s hard to build your self-esteem and feel proud of yourself. Focusing too much on what you wish you had or want to achieve in the future can lead to a spiral of continually feeling unfulfilled.
Focusing on your emotional life allows you to look at what you have already accomplished and feel genuine gratitude for the gifts you have received and the life you get to lead. You can still strive for more, but the focus remains on your current reality.
When you apply SPIRE to your professional life, the emotional well-being aspect centers on how you feel about your career currently and what emotions you want to experience regularly in relation to your career.
Start by identifying how you want to feel when you go to work. Do you want to feel inspired, passionate, and like you’re making a difference in the world? Perhaps it’s more important for you to feel pride in your work. What emotions will you regularly experience when you reach your ideal career?
You may find that your career goals change when you look at them from the angle of fulfillment and happiness rather than pure financial gain—in many cases, building a fulfilling career leads to more significant economic and personal growth.
Understanding how the SPIRE approach works is the first step to applying it to your daily life. The next step is to identify which areas of life are currently holding you back personally, professionally, or both. At that point, you’re ready to start making small changes that you can implement consistently. Those small steps are what will lead you toward a happier, more fulfilling life.
In your personal life, your emotions and feelings will play a role in every other aspect of your SPIRE. How you practice spirituality will stir up certain emotions and feelings, and we may set our spiritual goals based on the emotions we want to feel. The same goes for our physical, intellectual, and relational well-being, as our pursuits to improve those areas of our SPIRE stem from the emotions we currently experience, and the changes we make are based on the emotions we hope to experience afterward.
Applying the emotional component to our lives starts with checking in with ourselves, ensuring we’re present and capable of handling the day ahead. Think about your day; what emotions do you expect to encounter – happiness because you get to see your friends, or perhaps overwhelm because there are too many chores and not enough time? Whatever you plan to feel, chances are you’ll feel that and more. Find your positive and negative mood triggers and begin working to create balance by pairing the negative feelings with some positive ones.
The best way to start is by reframing your thinking. Start by taking all of the events that occurred on that day, and regardless of the 99 terrible things that happened, focus on the one good thing (no matter how small). By ending our thoughts on a positive, the entire day is now viewed through a more positive lens, and we begin to appreciate all of the little things that made our day different.
In our professional lives, we often take a lot of work home with us, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes this is a good thing, but often it is not. To improve our emotional well-being in our work lives, we must first identify our control over our emotions and how we spend our days.
We control ourselves, and our negative emotions often stem from feeling like we lack control in some areas, which can occur quite frequently in our jobs. To flip the script, we must look within to determine why we lack power and what can be done to take that control back. No one can tell you what you’re feeling, not a boss, colleague, or CEO. Only you can feel your emotions, so the key is to communicate them effectively.
When work causes feelings of overwhelm, stress, frustration, and any other strong negative emotions consistently, you will more than likely end each workday drained and spending your free time dreading the next workday. To avoid this, take the time to sit with your emotions and feelings, and put yourself first – if a task is taking you twice as long and you never really feel like you were able to do a good job, tell someone. Letting these feelings build will likely begin to impact the other areas of your SPIRE negatively.
As you are working in your day job, how can you focus on:
- Relational management and self-management?
- Recognizing your emotions and taking a pause before you react?
Do you need more guidance implementing the SPIRE wholebeing approach or understanding the element of emotional well-being? If so, reach out today to see how I can help.
Start your journey to self-discovery using the following SPIRE check-in!
Using a scale of 1 to 5, with one being low and five being high, answer the following question:
In thinking about the last couple of days, how is your SPIRE?
Spiritual: (1-5) – Have you been present in your life? What purpose did you set for the day? Do you feel in control of your life?
Physical: (1-5) – Did you appreciate all your body has done for you today? Have you made a point to do the things that make your body happy and healthy?
Intellectual: (1-5) – Have you learned something new today? Have you read any new materials? Have you felt mentally engaged?
Relational: (1-5) – Have you spent time with your friends? Have you met any new people? Have you taken the time to appreciate those around you?
Emotional: (1-5) – Have you checked in on the people in your life? Have you had your needs met? Have you been able to talk about both your positive and negative feelings?
Need help figuring out ways to improve your SPIRE? The Whole Being Institute has created a short list of examples for each letter of SPIRE, and they have a weekly check-in for those short on time. After completing the check-in, identify which areas require could use some improvement and how you want to go about working on them.
Exploring SPIRE in this way helps us uncover what aspects of ourselves could be affecting our well-being. Remember, when one or more are scored low, it can make us feel stressed, anxious, and irritable. This exercise is an excellent tool that helps us identify which parts of ourselves need additional nurturing to help us find balance and get back to feeling healthy and whole.
Ready to get behind the wheel and fully control your SPIRE wholebeing? I would love to work with you! Whether we work through a SPIRE check-in together or you’d like to learn more about improving your emotional well-being, get in touch with me now to get started.