Commentary

January 24, 2014

Understanding the Importance of Spiritual Fitness

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Turk
730th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – From senior leadership to our newest recruits, many of our Airmen today struggle with the concept of spirituality and how it influences their thoughts and behaviors.

For many, the word spirituality is merely a synonym for religion or a metaphysical conception that has no real bearing on their lives. However, as the Air Force has chosen to include spirituality as one of the four pillars in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Model, perhaps a closer look is warranted.

Before continuing, it is important to note that while religion is a practice, spirituality is a concept. That is to say, while spirituality incorporates religion, it is not defined by it. Thereby while one person may have a religious faith that facilitates the existence of an all-knowing God who is ultimately in control, another may view life from the perspective that there is no omnipotent force and it is up to us to make sense of the chaotic nature of the universe. Either way, both individuals still have spirituality in their lives and are empowered by their beliefs.

As you are reading this, you may be asking what spirituality really is. One definition Merriam-Webster provides is, “the quality or state of being spiritual” further defining spiritual as, “of or relating to a person’s spirit.” Taking this into account, by definition spirituality is an intangible and subjective concept that is open to individual interpretation. However, while the term may mean different things to different people, everyone’s spirituality is comprised of some common core elements.

Our spirituality includes our sense of purpose and meaning; it is what drives us through adversities. It incorporates our beliefs, principles, and values that ultimately guide our thought processes and how we conduct ourselves. In reality, our spirituality is the driving force behind what we think and do; just often we are unaware of its presence. When we take all of this into consideration and honestly consider what spirituality means to us, we can reap some very real and tangible benefits.

Being more in touch with our spirituality empowers us to face and overcome challenges. By realizing what it is that we really believe in, whether it be God and/or our friendships, or whatever it is that motivates us to face another day, we gain a strength that we can draw from when times get tough. Additionally, by taking a mature, hands-on approach to spirituality, we better appreciate what inspires us and seek more opportunities to cultivate what makes us feel good.

For example, take a couple of minutes and write out a list of what you consider to be special to you, the things and ideas that make you feel worthwhile and good about yourself. You list might include your family, your faith, even your love of barbecues with good friends. Now take a moment and reviewing what you have listed. By appreciating the concepts that really motivate us, we tend to look for more ways to incorporate them into our life. When we talk about spiritual fitness, these are the elements that not only enhance our individual spirits, they also better equip us to deal with stress, help us to relax, and raise the esprit de corps within our respective units.

Personally, as a Master Resiliency Instructor, covering spirituality in my classrooms is one of my favorite topics. Getting students to the point where they can see beyond the religious connotation of the concept is a real joy for me. When an Airman seems particularly challenged by the word “spirituality”, I ask them to replace it with “What drives me?” Sometimes all it takes is substituting terminology to look at a concept in a different light, whereby we are better enabled to appreciate and understand it. I highly encourage you to take some private time and really ponder what spirituality means to you, because once you begin to appreciate what really matters to you, the more enriched and dynamic your life will become.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>