Commentary

January 24, 2014

Understanding 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. Your list might include your family, your faith, even your love of barbecues with good friends. Now take a moment and review 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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

LRS fuels Nellis’ mission success

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Staff Sgt. Mike Radcliff, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Patrick Fields, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribu...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty

Creech heats up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty The Nellis-Creech Fire Emergency Services Flight’s Fire Station 6 personnel applaud the speaker during the Fire Station 6 ribbon cutting ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, N...
 
 

Aviation pioneer in Las Vegas

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — During World War II, aviation opportunities literally exploded as the military trained hundreds of thousands of individuals to fly, opening the door to many who might never have had the chance before. Among this group were women pilots, many of whom trained and flew as civil service pilots with...
 

 

Rosie the Riveter and me

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — As we recognize Women’s History Month this March, I am struck by the thought that heroes and role models do not have to be one single person but, in fact, can be several people. For me, this truth is especially relevant. During World War II, many women opted to...
 
 
DT1-(10)

Ground broken for new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 24. The new array will ...
 
 
Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros

Darkest before dawn: Retired master sergeant, active duty wife share struggle of overcoming TBI

Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros Then Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros, 99th Communications Squadron comm focal point chief, lays in a coma following a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas on Aug. 13, 2011. Sisner...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin