[This is a snapshot of part of a painting I painted]
You have a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient), and you’ve likely heard of EQ (Emotional Intelligence), but have you considered your Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)?When my clients come to me, they are often searching for more meaning in their lives. They know there is “more” to life and often this takes the form of wanting a new job or career, to have a sense of purpose. Something is missing in their lives and they want to fill that gap.
Yet, whether they know it or not, my clients come to me with a secret mission: They want to upgrade their spiritual intelligence. They want to walk through the world differently, with more purpose, serenity, and joy.
And that is what I help them with. It’s also my secret mission, for both myself and to help others along their path to enlightenment.
Spiritual Intelligence has been defined in various ways by various people. Wikipedia has an awesome cheat-sheet on this, so I’ll refer you there to soak that in. Here, I will combine the gist of what had already been suggested as components of spiritual intelligence with what I have observed myself in my own life and my work with my clients over the years.
And, by the way, finding that sense of purpose and a calling that is led by your values and enhanced by your gifts IS a part of spiritual intelligence. It is absolutely a part of creating meaning in one’s life. After all, we spend most of our waking hours at work, and our society defines us often by what we “do” so this is something that naturally is quite important to us to feel good about.
But that isn’t the end of the spiritual journey.
In essence, spiritual intelligence is the ability to maintain your serenity, regardless of what is happening around you.
How do we do that?! you might be wondering.
You must exercise some spiritual muscles. Here are a few core spiritual muscles to begin exercising to expand your spiritual intelligence:
- Expand you self-awareness and self-honesty so that you can be at choice as to how you want to respond to situations, rather than react out of default patterning. This is the first element I help my clients with. I act as a mirror, showing them their unconscious patterning that they are yet unaware of but that I can clearly see. If you aren’t aware of where you are in relation to where you want to be, you won’t know the pathway to get there. Awareness is the first step.
- See through a new lens. Once you see how you have been operating, and what other options are available, you can choose to shift to a more supportive mindset. Mindset is huge. You can take a situation as see if as glass half-empty or glass half-full. Both perspectives are there. It’s up to you which one you reach for. As a Course in Miracles says, everything is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. Choose the miracle.
- Be able to live in the moment, be present, and live in a heightened state of consciousness. To be able to go with the flow, to feel that sense of ease and grace, and release all worries are a huge part of the mindfulness movement and of upgrading your spiritual self. Fear and worry live in the future and the past. But they don’t live in the present. In the present is where you find your serenity. So, if your goal is serenity, the present is where you gotta be.
- Compassion. This can be a tricky one, especially if you are used to living in your mind as a safety zone. To experience and give compassion to yourself and others means coming from your heart chakra. This can be terrifying for some of us because that means we have to feel more, and we fear being open to hurt. When you find yourself retreating to your head or going to a place of judgment or berating yourself or others, you are not in a place of compassion. Compassion feels warms and expansive, like a hug. Not a whip.
- Humility. Oh boy, can this be a hard one, especially if you are used to be right (or thinking you are right) and like to be in control. Humility has elements of surrender and compassion. It is about letting go of the facade, letting go of the roles, and accepting yourself as you are. It;s not about downplaying yourself. It’s about accepting ALL of you, with love and compassion, releasing pressure-filled expectation, and being able to surrender.
- Being yourself, even if it means going against the crowd. We all have a strong sense of belonging, and, as women, we are conditioned to put others first. This can lead to us playing the nice role of whatever is needed at the time, to keep the peace, instead of being true to ourselves. There are many problems with this, one being that you have infinite wisdom that you are then withholding. What if what the moment needs isn’t another “yes-woman” but a totally different perspective? The exact perspective that YOU can offer?
We can often struggle with building these muscles, though we want them very much.Expanding and upgrading your spiritual intelligence means that you are able to see each moment as sacred and whole and you are able to be with all of it while remaining true to your essence.
It’s a tall order. And, to me, it’s the ultimate goal. It’s the reason we are here.
You may get the job, the house, the romantic partner. That’s all wonderful and beautiful and good.
But if you aren’t able to retain your serenity when things don’t go the way you planned, how will you enjoy them? (Hint: You won’t.)
So, take a look at this list and see where you are in terms of your spiritual strengths. What is working well? What could use some support and attention? What will you do to get that support and build those muscles?
Spiritual Intelligence is essential in fulfilling your potential. It isn’t a destination. It is how you walk through this world. And how you walk through this world is how you live every moment of your life.
Until next time,
With light and love,
Nicole Justine Cavanaugh