Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reflections on my Physical, Spiritual, and Psychological Well-Being

These are the reflections of my experiences in this course and how they have assisted in my well-being and ability to assist others.

Review of my unit 3 personal assessment:

Physical well-being: 8

Spiritual well-being: 7

Psychological well-being: 5

Looking back, I realized that my well-being has somewhat improved as I currently rate myself as follows:

Physical well-being: 9

Spiritual well-being: 8

Psychological well-being: 6

Truth be told, I arrived at these numbers based on the progression of the goals I established for myself during this course, which I am happy to say are in full swing. As I reflect on my goals, I feel a sense of accomplishment as I have dedicated myself to attend to my overall health as opposed to focusing solely on my physical health. As such, I am in a better place to keep progressing toward improving and maintaining my well-being.

With that, the goal for my physical well-being is to maintain my current exercise routine and include at least 2 other aerobic activities to prevent boredom as I was running 6 days a week. Besides, I wanted to develop upper body strength as my arms are were too skinny! As such, my goal was to vary my workouts with more circuit training exercises to include strength/resistance training in addition to cardio exercises. This way, I can focus on strength and cardio by working on different muscle groups while burning calories. Moreover, my goal of eating 6 small meals a day has helped to maintain my energy levels so that I can better focus on and perform my daily tasks.

For my psychological well-being, I have implemented guided meditation or loving-kindness practices after my workouts. As such, I am still maintaining yoga poses for flexibility, but also to help me shift into the mindset of preparing to meditate. In fact, it has become a routine for me now as I look forward to discovering the stillness and silence of mind; which helps me to find peace and become recharged. Even though I am working on taming my mind of its mental chatter, it can be difficult to diminish my preoccupation with negative thoughts and feelings when confronted with situations that create stress in my life. My goal is to maintain a sense of peace and calmness when bombarded with stressors by shifting my focus from the negative to the positive to help me gain control instead of automatically reacting during the trying times. Consequently, I rated this part of my well-being as mediocre as I am still a work in progress in this department; but I have learned this requires patience and time which tells me that I should not be so hard on myself when I fall short on those challenging days.

Last of all, one of the goals for my spiritual well-being is to re-establish my faith through daily devotions and attending church. I have implemented the goal of going back to church; which has helped my prayer life and communion with God and connect to other people who share a common belief. Indeed, it was an exhilarating experience to attend to my spiritual needs by going to church instead of committing to doing the same mundane routine every Sunday, which was really stressing me out. On the other hand, I still have not committed to daily devotions; so I am open to suggestions as I would like to find something that will speak to me in a profound way. In the meantime, I have been reading my Yoga Journal’s Daily Insight to inspire me and deepen my spiritual well-being. For instance, today’s article was based on how yoga provides many tools to help us cope when we are distressed. Hence, we become worried, anxious, or lose or cool when facing a stressful situation because our minds have a tendency to magnify minor disturbances that can appear threatening. As such, the article suggested engaging in a loving-kindness (metta) meditation to diminish self-concern and remind of us our interconnectedness with all beings.

Overall, this class has taught me the importance of finding time for me instead of stressing out over school work, kids, a messy house, difficult people, or the things I cannot control or change. As such, my eyes were opened when l discovered that I needed to attend to my inner life first by developing and growing psychologically and spiritually in order to improve my overall health instead of focusing solely on the physical part. Therefore, no matter what I do to improve my physical health, it can be affected if my inner health is neglected or underdeveloped. At first, this was not very encouraging, but I did not want to jeopardize my health by neglecting the very important part of my existence. After all, it made “perfect” sense to me! That said, I am able to find peace by focusing on my breath and observing my mind’s movements as I learn let go of negative thoughts and emotions that create tension and distress me. In addition, I am learning to cope with stress and life’s struggles instead of becoming overwhelmed, which is an encouraging step toward the development of my health and well-being. In addition, the benefits of meditation and visualization have been a rewarding experience, which have improved my outlook on life.

On the difficult scale, I would say that the workload for this class was intense, but it motivated me to go the extra mile by completing my assignments and implementing my health plan into action. I believe this experience will improve my ability to help others effectively as I gain a profound knowledge and understanding of integral health. While I may not be a perfect 10, I am inspired to be a role model for my family and others as I continue to work toward the development and improvement of my inner well-being. As such, the idea of attaining a perfect 10 is questionable as no one is perfect, which means there is always room for improvement. Besides, high scores are not indicative of health especially if there is a lack of inner control, self-confidence, or maintaining healthy relationships. If anything, one can become complacent when there is nothing to strive for which can cause them to backslide. With that said, we should start by improving our health and well-being first in order to share our challenges, struggles, rewards, and accomplishments; which can become a source of inspiration to guide and support those who may be curious or have a desire to make a change for a better way of life.

Thanks to everyone who provided kind words of encouragement that served to keep me going! I wish you good luck with your goals and aspirations.

Yours in health,



Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

Yoga Journal: Daily Insight. (2011). Money Meditation. Retrieved on February 16, 2011 from:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Holistic/Integral Health Plan: Unit 9 Final Project


Why is it important for health and wellness professionals to develop psychologically, spiritually and physically? What areas do you need to develop to achieve the goals you have for yourself?

It is important for health and wellness professionals to develop psychologically, spiritually, and physically to gain a profound knowledge and understanding of holistic health in order to serve and guide their clients effectively. As such, “practice what you preach” should be the mindset for health and wellness professionals who seek to assist individuals improve health problems due to poor lifestyle choices and promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Thus, health and wellness professionals should lead by example, especially if they expect clients to adhere to their recommendations and/or advice. Moreover, they will be able to exhibit compassion, understanding, and empathy toward their clients and share personal testimonies in regard to their struggles and accomplishments; especially to those individuals who may have doubts about a particular health plan and healing process Personally, my physical health is quite strong, but I need to develop my psychological and spiritual health in order to achieve my goals.


How have you assessed your health in each domain? How do you score your wellness spiritually, physically, and psychologically?

On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate my spiritual health, at best, at a 7 as I feel connected to the universe and bonded with my family, friends, nature, and the earth in general; but I would like to get back to church to reconnect my soul as I have neglected that aspect of my life. That in mind, I rate my psychological health at a 6 as I am still trying to maintain a sense of inner peace and calmness when bombarded with struggles and stress that cause me to waver. I meditate and practice yoga to help me feel balanced and centered; but probably not enough to sustain my inner health. In addition, I need to develop better skills on expressing myself to others rather than keeping my emotions to myself; which can become explosive if I become extremely stressed, agitated, or frustrated. Lastly, I rate my physical health at a 9 as I feel there is always room for improvement. I would like to focus more on maintaining my physical health by adding other fitness routines and not be too concerned about performance as I have a tendency to be too hard and critical of myself.

Goal development:

List at least one goal you have for yourself in each area, Physical, Psychological (mental health) and Spiritual.

Currently, one of my goals for my psychological health is to incorporate meditation and guided mental visualization as a daily routine so that I may develop skills to foster peace and calmness throughout the day by slowing down and taking time to sit in silence as opposed to being preoccupied with all I have to do and rushing through my daily tasks. In addition, these mental workouts are to help me clear my mind of its mental chatter riddled with distracting thoughts and emotions. Likewise, I plan to use more forgiveness so that I may release past grudges and grievances so that I may openly express my thoughts and emotions instead of keeping them bottled up inside. For my spiritual health, I plan on attending church to reconnect my soul and get back to reading daily devotions to keep me grounded in my faith and spirituality. Last but not least, I plan on maintaining my current exercise routine of cardio (running), strength (weight resistance), and flexibility (yoga) exercises that I engage in six days a week to support my physical health.

Practices for personal health:

What strategies can you implement to foster growth in each of the following domains; Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual. Provide at least two examples of exercises or practices in each domain. Explain how you will implement each example.

Physical strategies:

1. Cross train by adding cycling and swimming to my fitness routine to prevent my workout routine from becoming stagnant. I plan to cycle and swim when the weather becomes warmer at least 2 to 3 days a week.

2. Eat 6 small meals daily throughout the day to maintain peak energy level so that I do not become hungry and increase stress levels.

Psychological strategies:

1. Take a ballet class to help me express myself through the movement of dance and classical music. Needless to say, I danced when I was younger and still enjoy the creative expression of movement through dance which engages the mind, body, and spirit.

2. Meditate daily for 20 minutes to foster peace and calmness. During meditation, I plan to increase my self-esteem by reciting positive affirmations to keep me grounded so that I do not surrender to external stressors and lose my peace and calmness. In addition, I plan on lowering the expectations I have for myself and others so that I do not become frustrated or overwhelmed in stressful situations.

Spiritual strategies:

1. Read daily devotions that will encourage me and keep me focused on the positive things in my life.

2. Attend church to reconnect my soul where I can feel spiritually connected to others who can provide moral support, guidance, and fellowship.


How will you assess your progress or lack of progress in the next six months? What strategies can you use to assist in maintaining your long-term practices for health and wellness?

The best strategy for keeping track of my performance and progress is to keep a journal so that I can write down my goals, what exercises or activities I did for the day, make comments about my thoughts and feelings, and make note of any unpleasant or pleasant outcomes. I currently keep a workout journal to help me keep track of my exercise challenges, running times and distances, and my meals for the day. It helps me stay on track, and I am able to monitor my progress and know when I need to make adjustments, modifications, or increase my food intake. Keeping a journal will help me notice certain trends that may create a plateau in my workouts, the activities that may or may not be working for me, and identify strategies or goals that may be unrealistic or need tweaking. Likewise, I can monitor my stress levels by the activities and moments that may be creating stress in my life so that I can eliminate them and try another plan. Nonetheless, my plan is to maintain my current physical activities that help me reduce my stress levels and feel a sense of achievement and confidence about myself. Moreover, adding daily meditation, going to church, and expressing myself through dance should foster my psychological and spiritual health and help me heal as a whole person. In this manner, I will be able to develop peace, happiness, and health and become an inspiration to others.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rainbow Meditation and Meeting Asclepius

Overall, I have discovered that all the contemplative practices have provided some benefit one way or another as they are intended to develop psychospiritual development for one to tame and control his or her mind, extend and expand mental control, then finally stabilize calmness and stillness to reach awareness and unity consciousness (Dacher, 2006). However, the two practices I chose helped me to gain a sense of calmness, peace, and balance within myself as I discovered a beneficial way to purify my mind, heart, and thoughts. At times, emotional thoughts flood my mind, but I am usually able to detach and let them go as I find myself in a place of stillness and harmony.

For starters, the Rainbow Meditation happens to be one of my favorite practices because it requires focusing on the breath and visualizing images with guided prompts; which adds to the overall relaxation process and calming effect. I am able to clearly “see” the colors of the rainbow in my mind’s eye; and saying the suggested phrases also helps me to feel centered, loved, balanced, and connected, and so on. I don’t know if it’s because of the visualization of light and colors that help me to experience a warm sensation of healing energy; but this guided meditation is the one I return to time and time again when I need to unwind from stress or sit quietly in peace without having to rush mindlessly to the next thing that needs to be done. As such, this practice allows me to slow down and become more aware of my thoughts, emotions, and actions, and I feel at peace and balanced knowing that I have done something positive for me that will be a benefit in the long run.

Likewise, Meeting Asclepius requires visualizing a wise, loving person to foster feelings of peace, wisdom, love, joy, and connection. This exercise calls for reflection of positive qualities that can help purify one’s thoughts, feelings, and images as they visualize a transference of healing energy from their visual image to the crown of their head, their throat, and finally to their heart. After this practice, I feel a sense of connection to others as my mind, thoughts, and heart are purified with loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom, and peace.

At times, this practice can be quite emotional, but is effective for healing. Likewise, it can also be frustrating, especially when intrusive and distracting thoughts wander in and out of the mind. I have even found that sometimes I am not able to visualize someone who is wise and/or loving, and this discourages me as I am surrounded by many loving people who seem to have a hard time being wise. Perhaps, there are some issues that are still unresolved; I probably have to practice some more forgiveness and loving-kindness in order to release of grudges or grievances that are attached to my mind and heart. On the other hand, if I refrain from focusing too much on disturbing emotions, thoughts, and images that just seem to cling and would not go away; I have found that I should instead focus on slowing down my restless mind with deep, rhythmic breathing. Also, focusing on positive thoughts and images somehow help me to find stillness and peace; and the negative emotions and thoughts vanish as I allow myself to experience the healing and transformation.

These practices can be practiced on a daily basis as they do not require an extensive amount of time and can even be broken down into smaller sessions during the day. I prefer to practice them in the morning while things are still quiet and peaceful; this helps to jumpstart my mornings in a positive manner. However, some mornings require other obligations, so I have to practice them after my workouts, which seals in all the hard work and allows me to thoroughly cool down. With each practice, I am learning to gradually release of negative emotions that create conflicts and undesirable reactions that do not promote peace or wellness. As such, I still need to work on controlling impulsive thoughts and reactions to diminish mental suffering and pain; so that I attain clarity, wisdom and peace of mind. Inasmuch, these practices will help me to develop better skills, expand my consciousness, decrease stress, and enhance my interpersonal relationships as I progress toward a path of health, happiness, and wholeness. Meanwhile, I am disciplining myself to commit to these practices into my life on a daily basis as I realize that they require patience, dedication, perseverance, and effort so that I can attain human flourishing.



Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path of human flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.