SPIRE: The Wholebeing Approach to Life

Before I introduce you to my favorite approach for holistically managing well-being, do me one favor. Pause your life for just one moment and ask yourself the following question:

How are you doing today?

You’re not alone if you aren’t sure how to answer that question or your mind is flooded with a variety of conflicting responses. This question is thrown around as a casual greeting and is typically met with an inauthentic response.

I’m great! Just fine over here!

Assessing how we’re doing overall is difficult, so we all just blow it off like we’re great. In reality, most of us aren’t perfectly fine. We may not even know how we’re doing at any given moment. We’re on cloud nine in some aspects of life while sinking through the floor with overwhelming despair in other areas.

That’s why learning SPIRE as a wholebeing approach to life is critical.

I’ve seen many clients rewarded with immense happiness when they started to look at their wholebeing rather than focusing on just one or two aspects of their lives. So let’s jump right into understanding the fundamentals of SPIRE wholebeing and how you can apply it to your life.

What is SPIRE?

SPIRE is a system that breaks down your life and well-being into five core components. Instead of trying to assess how you’re doing in life as a whole, it allows you to look at individual aspects of your life to see where you’re fulfilled and where you need to focus more attention. If you can achieve fulfillment or at least contentment in each of the five areas, your overall life will become more enjoyable and rewarding on a day-to-day basis.

After working with SPIRE and the wholebeing approach, you’ll have an easier time answering the question: How are you doing? 

Let’s start with a breakdown of what each letter in SPIRE means. These are the five aspects of life that pull together to determine your level of well-being at any moment in time.


Spiritual Well-Being

Religion isn’t required for spiritual fulfillment. You can embrace spirituality by increasing mindfulness in your everyday surroundings. Do you notice the butterfly fluttering around the porch when you leave for work in the morning? Maybe you open your windows for a few minutes every day to enjoy the fresh air or close your eyes for a moment of deep breathing when work feels too intense.

You can try following guided meditations from YouTube for free or practicing yoga. The little things will take you a long way regarding your spiritual well-being.


Physical Well-Being

It’s more challenging to feel happy and content when you aren’t caring for your body properly. Physical well-being can be further broken down into three sections:

  • Nourishment
  • Hydration
  • Physical activity

I understand that changing even the amount of water you drink daily can be difficult initially. That’s why I recommend starting with small changes. How can you improve your diet this week? What about committing to a 20-minute walk at a set time of day to lift your mood and help you connect more with the natural world? It’s all about making minor maintainable adjustments to help you feel better physically. 


Intellectual Well-Being

Learning is one of the most rewarding aspects of life as it expands our intellect and challenges our beliefs. If you aren’t challenging your mind and exploring new topics, your overall happiness will suffer. Make a list of 5 things you’re curious about or want to know more of, and determine how you can learn something new about one of those things today.


Relational Well-Being

Well-being and happiness aren’t limited to how you relate to yourself. Your relationships with others is essential to your overall relational well-being as well. To thrive in this area, you should find ways to spend more time with loved ones while also spreading joy to strangers you pass on the street. Just a smile could change someone’s day or mindset, and that includes showing that same kindness to yourself.


Emotional Well-Being

While I admit that running your life according to feelings alone isn’t wise, I also believe there are no bad feelings. With emotional well-being it’s important to acknowledge how you feel and give those emotions the attention they deserve. The goal is to embrace the feeling and turn it into a positive thought. Every negative has a correlating positive affirmation that will keep your mind on the optimistic path.


The Wholebeing Approach Defined

It’s time to better understand SPIRE by touching on the wholebeing approach. The Wholebeing Institute developed this approach to happiness and well-being to help people see all aspects of their whole being and how they interact with one another. Rather than thinking about your life in general terms, it enables you to break it all down for a deeper understanding of what is holding you back from a genuinely fulfilling life.

Think about where you focus most of your attention. Perhaps your primary focus is on your family or career. Those things can only improve one aspect of your life, so individually they aren’t enough to bring true fulfillment. The wholebeing approach helps you assess every part of life through the SPIRE system, leading you to set goals that work together to bring true happiness.

Linking Wholebeing and SPIRE

The wholebeing approach looks at our well-being as a whole, focusing on the entirety of our self instead of all the moving parts that play smaller, more individual roles. SPIRE is the functional system that allows us to identify the aspects of life that have the most significant impacts and to assess how we’re doing in each area. Combined, it’s a comprehensive system that helps you identify how you’re doing right now and what you need to do to feel even better.


Applying the SPIRE Wholebeing Approach to Your Life

Start by going through all five aspects of life presented above. Honestly, assess how you’re doing in each part component right now. Perhaps spend some time journaling to discover how you really feel in those areas currently and where you want to end up in the future.

The next step is to set tailored goals to improve one or more of these aspects in your life. If you prefer to set multiple goals in action, select a small one for each SPIRE element. If just one big goal motivates you more, pick the area you struggle with most and focus on improving that section first. You may even find goals to touch on multiple areas of SPIRE or all five at once.


Benefits of Using the SPIRE Wholebeing Approach

  • Gain a deeper understanding and new perspective on your life and well-being as it stands right now
  • Helps set realistic and growth-oriented goals for the future that will lead to greater happiness and fulfillment
  • Develop a better understanding of what creates a healthy and fulfilling life on the individual level
  • Reframes the thought process to focus on improving your whole self rather than only one element of SPIRE to achieve happiness
  • Become aligned with your true self and most intimate desires, which will bleed into all of the components of SPIRE, resulting in a happier and healthier life


Getting Started

Spend some time working with the SPIRE wholebeing approach. If you aren’t sure how to successfully apply it to your life, working with a compassionate coach who understands the system can help. Reach out today to discuss how I can help you become more in tune with all elements of your SPIRE wholebeing.

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