Saturday, July 23, 2011

Unit 9

  1. Review your unit 3 personal assessment of your psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being. Reflect on these areas . How did you score yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 in unit 3? How do you score yourself now? Has the score changed? Why or why not?

In unit 3 I rated myself a 9 physically, a 7 psychologically, and spiritually a 5. You would think that over the course the ratings would get higher but in my case I feel like I gain more insight into more development that I need and in all aspects of my life. Even physically now I see how the undeveloped aspects of my life have been effected. I now can see how these aspects of my life intertwine.

  1. Review the goals and activities you set for yourself in each area. Have you made progress toward the goals? Explain.

I would say that having the new tools in a more integral approach to my own health has given me the right direction to achieve all goals I have set for myself as long as I stay persistent.

  1. Have you implemented the activities you chose for your well-being in each of the three areas? Explain.

I have implemented the activities that I chose for my well-being in each of the three areas but the difficult thing is to see if I can stick with it once this class is done with and there is no constant reminder.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

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?

Health and wellness professionals must have the knowledge, the training, and the personal experience of developing psychologically, spiritually, and physically. We hold this responsibility for a few reasons. The first reason being to provide visible credibility and trust that our patients can see and even feel. Like Dacher (2006) mentions, just having a map of a particular place does not even compare to having been there personally. The second reason is that we must develop our mind, body, and spirit in order to obtain the integral relationship necessary to full connect with a patient and creating the bond needed to properly assess, diagnose, and prescribe with an integral approach. Deep listening requires a still mind and an open heart, as we all know these two components of health and healing can only come with the development of all aspects of the human experience through contemplative practice. The third reason is simply because the practitioners in this field are at the leading edge of change. We as health and wellness professionals will need to live the practice, to play a part in the evolution of the integral approach and expand to new possibilities for health and healing.

I myself before taking this class have never seen large voids that I thought needed to be developed in my own personal life. Before the past couple months I had always taken the western approach to my own health where all my focus was completely on my physical body to maintain health, but inadvertently I was feeding my mind and spirit without the intention. I now realize that for me to reach my goals, I will need work towards developing my mind and spirit and maintain my current physical health.


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

As we have learned from this class, the goal in the integral approach to health and healing is to end needless suffering and to promote human flourishing. This being said, the assessment looks a two things; which aspects of our lives need development due to signs of needless suffering and which aspects of our lives have the greatest potential for growth and development. As I said before, I had always been very health conscious or so I thought but only towards my physical health. For the last ten years or so I have for the most part watched what I eat, strength and endurance trained, controlled my weight, stayed physically active and maintained free from injury and illness. Physically I would score myself 8 or 9 out of 10, always room for improvement. The integral approach is very new to me and I now see that there are aspects of my health that need development. I can even remember as a young kid, I would get overwhelmed with a waterfall of thoughts in my head and at times I have no idea what to do with them. I was the kind of kid that asked questions about everything; I just wanted to learn how everything worked and reasons for everything. I would say that as long as I can think back, I remember  just about daily taking some time to myself, lying in my quit dark room, not sleeping, but focusing my attention to one thought, whether it was strategizing for the baseball game the next day or as simple as replaying a great time of my life. Never did I realize that I had been training my mind this entire time by organizing my thoughts and silencing others. I just thought it was the way that I dealt with stress. I came to this conclusion during the subtle mind practices; instead of breath as a focus in silencing the mind I had been practicing this in a way with using a single concept and pushing away all other thoughts that entered my mind. The psychological aspects of my life still needs much development to expand my consciousness but I think I have begun to head in the right direction, I rate my progress at this time 6 or 7 out of 10. Like many people that have followed the western approaches to health and healing, the spiritual aspects of my life have become ignored and are very underdeveloped. This is where I find needless suffering within myself. This in turn affects my state of mind, my interpersonal relationships, and even my work life. I now see the importance of developing this aspect of my life and in turn will help me to grow in all the other aspects of my life. Spiritually at this time I rate myself 3 or 4 out of 10.

Goal development

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

As we mentioned, the goal is not to fully develop in all aspects of our lives. Where one person may find the need for developing an interpersonal relationship with friends, the next person may not find this aspect of his or her life important at this point in his or her life. I personally have goals in all aspects of my life for this point in my life. Each goal is not set in stone; they can be changed depending on my needs. Physically my goal would be to maintain physical health and fitness but keep an open mind for further development once I am able to further develop my psychological and spiritual life. The goal in the psychological aspect is to continue to train my mind through contemplative practice and eventually this will also lead me to my goals of developing spiritually; reaching unity consciousness and ultimately promotion in human flourishing within myself and the people around me. Spiritually I would also like to discover my true calling, I feel there is somewhere in this world where I can make a difference even if through one individual life at a time.

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.


·         Maintain a physical fitness routine where I strength train at least 3 to 4 days a week and set aside a half-hour to an hour every day for cardiovascular training but allowing myself one day during the week for rest and recovery.

·         Maintain a healthy diet. I try to limit my calories to about 3500 calories and usually stick to the 40-40-20 rule. The 40-40-20 rule is the ratio carbs, protein, and fat in my diet, it is not always accurate but is a guideline that I follow and seems to work.  


·         The Subtle Mind practice- the subtle mind practice is my favorite exercise that I have learned not only from this class but maybe as the best tool to progress my life at this time. At times it seems like the world is moving so fast and I just can’t seem to keep up, this exercise has helped me to just focus my attention on the tasks at hand and clear my mind of negativity and unclear thinking.

·         Yoga- I have given yoga a try at the gym in the past, let me be honest, I didn’t give it a chance. I went through the motions but did not really know why or what yoga could do for me other than a good stretch and some core strengthening. Now I have the knowledge that I can now kill two birds or even three with one stone, so to speak (mind-body-spirit).


·         Loving-Kindness Practice- The loving-kindness practice to me was the one most difficult practice. I believe that it was so difficult to me and continues to be so is because of the fact that this portion of my life remains to be the most undeveloped aspect of my life, an aspect of my life that I have ignored for years. The loving-kindness practice will allow me to open my heart not only to others but also to myself. With continued practice, it will get easier and it already has from the first time to this current day.

·         Prayer- Prayer can be one of the best tools for spiritual development regardless of your beliefs. Just acknowledging that there is a higher power with total control even when things seem to be out of your control will become helpful in many aspect of your life and will lead you to fulfillment of your life.


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?

Assessment of my progress can be done on my own or with the help of others. On my own I can use daily or even weekly journal entries where as we had been with our weekly blogs, I can write down in that journal a reflection of my experiences in my daily exercises using the strategies that we have discussed. I can also enlist a support team to help me in my assessments (friends, family, coworkers, ect) and to keep me motivated to assist in maintaining long-term practice for health and wellness. In the end it will be my own choices that will keep me motivated and to maintain long-term practice, a practice that I truly know will lead me to a happier, whole, fulfilled, and healthier life; the path to human flourishing.


Dacher, E. S. (2006) Integral Health: Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health.

Schlitz, M., & Amorok, T., & Micozzi, M. S. (2005) Consciousness & Healing: Integral Aproach to Mind-Body Medicine. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unit 8

The two practices that I found to be most beneficial are the Subtle Mind exercise and the Loving Kindness exercise.  The Subtle mind practice is more than just an exercise, it is a lifestyle change and a great practice to make a lifelong habit. The Subtle Mind exercise gives the wisdom that can only come from a heightened consciousness that comes with continuous practice. The Loving Kindness exercise allows you to open your heart to others and give loving kindness to the people around you which in turn you will receive. With the wisdom of the subtle mind exercise and the gift of loving kindness, these two exercises can lead you down the correct path to psychospiritual flourishing and release you from unnecessary suffering.   

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Unit 7 reflection

1.        Complete the "Meeting Asciepius" exercise on track #4 of the Dacher CD. Describe your meditative practice(s) for the week and discuss the experience. Explain how mindfulness or meditation has fostered an increase in your psychological or spiritual wellness. How can you continue to apply these practices in your life to foster greater health and wellness?

This week was very difficult for me, I will have to try this exercise again maybe after this weekend is over so that I can really clear my mind and focus. This weeks practice seems like it could become a useful tool in building on inner peace and loving-kindness with some practice. This week has been so stressful for me that you would think that these practices would help but I just cannot seem to find an hour in my day to just stop, clear my mind, and just focus on myself. This week has just been crazy, I will repost on my experience with “Meeting Asclepius” some time when I can actually focus on the exercise rather than just listen to it.

2.        Describe the saying: "One cannot lead another where one has not gone himself” (P.477) How does this apply to the health and wellness professional? Do you have an obligation to your clients to be developing your health psychologically, physically, and spiritually? Why or why not? How can you implement psychological and spiritual growth in your personal life?

Dacher says that one cannot lead another where one has not gone himself, the meaning of this with a health and wellness professional is that the professional themselves must practice what they preach. Dacher even says that having a map of a place is nothing like having been there. Just an example is at my gym I see it all the time, personal trainers that live the practices and other trainers that only know the theory but is obvious that they never used the knowledge or gave up somewhere. A fit personal trainer is much more creditable than an overweight one trying to tell you how to lose and maintain a healthy body weight. With an integrated approach it’s even more important to develop your own health for your clients because you have to become someone that your clients can look up to, to become more like, and visibly see the possibility of improving their lives as you have.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Universal Loving Kindness Exercise and Integral Assessment

The universal Loving Kindness exercise experience for me was a very relaxing like most meditation exercises are. This practice for me is a good way to release anger and frustration especially provoked by interpersonal relationships. The assessment that was discussed really gives insight into what aspects of your life could use attention. The purpose of assessment is just that, to see what aspects of your life need work and make goals to improve in those areas. The goal is never to be complete and fulfilled in all aspects of our life but to be sure that your life is balances and not one-sided or unbalanced.   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Unit 5 Reflection on the Subtle Mind Practice

1.        Compare and contrast the Loving Kindness exercise and the Subtle mind exercise. Explain your experience including the benefits, frustrations etc.
The Kindness exercise at I pointed out last week was a little frustrating the first time but with practice became a little easier each time. The Subtle mind exercise I absolutely love and came quite easy for me to grasp the concept of the witnessing mind. The exercise is very relaxing. I am just looking forward to what will be ahead with more practice and experience of exploring the true ability of a calm abiding mind and unity consciousness.
2.        Discuss the connection of the spiritual wellness to mental and physical wellness. Explain how the connection is manifested in your personal life.
Spiritual wellness calms the mind which in turn reduces stress. Stress can cause the physical body harm effecting blood pressure, sleep deprivations, headaches and fatigue. This is just one way that the mind, the body, and the spirit is connected in wellness.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unit 4 reflection

I found that this practice was both beneficial and a bit difficult. The concept of transferring the feeling of love was a bit difficult for me but I can see that with more practice, this concept will come much easier.  After the 15 minutes of visualizing the give and take of love and dissolving suffering of others, I did feel an inner peace that really does quiet the mind. I would recommend this practice to others for the simple reason that we live in a world with so much hate and not enough love. I truly believe that in order for us to receive love from others we have to learn to first be able to accept love from ourselves, this practice helps to do just that.
Mental Workout
Mental workout is a concept much like physical workout. A person must train their mind consistently to see and maintain benefits just as someone strength training with weights would have to do. With mental workout, the daily practice will help the mind to focus with a much higher level of clarity and capacity of the importance of live and lead you to a path of health, happiness, and ultimately human flourishing.