Understanding each of the five components of SPIRE allows us to break down our wholebeing to best identify which areas of our life need extra care to better our whole. To best understand the R in SPIRE and how it affects all of the different areas within our lives, we first need to understand the wholebeing approach and how it ties into the concept of SPIRE.
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.
Now that we understand the general wholebeing approach and how SPIRE is connected to it, let’s dive into what the R in SPIRE means and how it applies to your own life.
The R in SPIRE stands for Relational and refers to our overall relational well-being. Our relational well-being does not solely focus on our relationships with ourselves but also our relationships with others.
A healthy, meaningful relationship with others and with yourself is essential. Our ability to form and maintain various types of relationships is one of the most significant factors impacting our ability to improve our overall well-being. Strengthening our relationships creates a larger and more solid support network, increasing our success when developing the other areas of our SPIRE wholebeing.
Humans are, by nature, social creatures. This means that, above all else, we thrive the most when we are involved in communities and social groups. Within these groups, we form relationships with various personalities: family members, friends, colleagues, romantic partners, and ourselves.
These relationships we build become our foundation for managing our SPIRE, from living in the present and focusing on our physical health to uncovering new interests and regulating our emotions. The people in our lives and our relationships with them inevitably shape how we view and interact with the world around us.
Nurturing the relationship with yourself is essential to maintaining overall well-being. Astrid Baumgardner, an expert in the SPIRE approach, explains that when it comes to relationships, quality, not quantity, matters the most. When it comes to your relationship with yourself, are you taking care of your mind, body, and soul? Do you check in with yourself and give what you need? When you are happy and fulfilled in all areas of your life, it is much more likely that you will seek out connections with people in similar positions, leading to the formation of healthier and more meaningful relationships.
Baumgardner explains this as a self-reinforcing loop that is centered around generosity. In being generous to others, we feel better about ourselves, and when we feel better about ourselves, we are more inclined to show generosity to others! This loop directly impacts us and those who have been on the receiving end of our generosity, which will make them feel better about themselves, and hopefully result in them entering the cycle to pass along the same generosity and kindness to someone else.
When it comes to your professional life, relationships are equally as important as personal ones. Unlike our personal lives, we cannot always choose with who we will have a professional association. Even when the relationship is one you would not choose to have, it is still essential to maintain it, as it will help to build up relational skills such as cooperation and patience.
Is there someone at work you look forward to seeing each day? You are likelier to find happiness in your professional life if you form meaningful relationships with your colleagues that are both professional and personal. It also means that you are more likely to be productive and engaged at work as these relationships can help you to feel happy and fulfilled.
Life is like a relationship. You’ll often get out what you put in, so the key is to perfectly balance what you get with what you give. To improve our relationships with ourselves and others, we need to identify the types of relationships we have and the types of relationships we want. In an ideal world, our relationships should be the ones we want. Still, as this is a nearly unattainable goal, the best approach to relationships is to use our SPIRE wholebeing.
What does this mean? Well, it means that we need to look at the entirety of our lives, or each SPIRE component, to best define what a relationship should look like for us. Every relationship will look different, so the goal is to work on each relationship to get it as close to our ideals as possible.
Take a moment to think about the relationships in your life. What are your priorities when forming a new relationship? Ideally, we should seek to build relationships with the people who make us happy and content. While sometimes we may not be able to tell what benefits this relationship will add to our lives, we can look at all of our potential relationships through the SPIRE lens, determining in which area of our lives this person will fit best. The ones that come from places of love, kindness, and generosity are the best contributors to a good sense of well-being.
When it comes to your relationship with yourself, are you feeding your curiosity and taking care of yourself? Consider what small changes you can make to foster a healthier relationship with yourself. Everyone should prioritize their relationship with themselves as this is the only relationship we can guarantee we’ll have for the entirety of our lives. Putting yourself first will ensure that your SPIRE wholebeing accurately reflects who you are and who you want to be while affirming that the relationships you form will add value to your life.
Whether part-time or full-time, we can all agree that we spend plenty of our time at work. This is why it is important to work somewhere where you can surround yourself with people who share your values and want to contribute to a healthy environment. Look for those that support you in your career and want to see you succeed; they will become an integral part of your professional network. These people will contribute positively to your overall relational well-being.
In your work environment, how can you create an environment of trust; team-based; being more coach-like instead of managing the process. Have an open-door policy, and what about having some FUN at work? Yes, fun.
For more information on improving your personal and professional relational well-being, feel free to reach out using my contact form.
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 relational well-being, get in touch with me now to get started.