The Essential Self

The Essential Self is comprised of four components: spirituality, self- care, gender identity, and cultural identity. Spirituality, not religiosity, has positive benefits for longevity and quality of life, and was viewed by Adler as central to holism and wellness (Mansager, 2000). It incorporates one’s existential sense of meaning, purpose, and hopefulness toward life. Both gender and cultural identity are conceptualized as filters through which life experiences are seen and as influences upon how others are experienced in response to ourselves. Both affect our essential meaning-making processes in relation to life, self, and others. Self-care includes proactive efforts to live long and live well. Conversely, carelessness, avoidance of health promoting habits, and general disregard of one’s well being are potentially signs of despair, hopelessness, and alienation from life’s opportunities, reflected in loss of a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Importantly, each of the components of the IS-WEL model interacts with all others to contribute to holistic functioning. Similarly, the contextual factors each have an influence or impact on the individual, and the individual affects his or her context. These interactions may be for better or for worse, individually and collectively.
The above information was taken from: http://wellness-research.org/wellness/docs/wellness.htm
That’s nice but what does this theory mean to me?
A theory is only as good as it can understood and then APPLIED! If you can not apply a theory to your situation, in this case your life and the life of your family, then they theory is just that…something nice to know.
The Essential Self: The Essential Self is comprised of four components: spirituality, self- care, gender identity, and cultural identity.
What is your purpose in life? What drives you? What are your values? Do you believe in a higher power? Do you take the time to care for yourself so you can continue to care for others? Are you at peace with your role in life?
Action you can take:
•If you are a believer, read the Bible daily or subscribe to a daily Bible verse so it comes in your email each day. You can also attend small groups that your church may have.
•The same is true if you are Muslim. Read the Quran daily or subscribe to an app that will send you text to study each day. You can also attend small groups the mosque.
•Similar to the vision board, create a board that highlights yours values, priorities, and purpose. This also can be done separately, as a couple, and as a family. Sharing this is important. It is a great way to teach your children your expectations for your life as well as theirs.
•Schedule in a time each week to do something for you. If you enjoy reading, find time during the week to do it. If you like running, find the time each week to get out there. If you can find time daily, this would be even better. It does not need to be a long or extended period of time. But it needs to become a habit, so you can stay well fueled. Encourage all the other members of your family to do the same.

Until next time….
Change. Discover. Transform.
Carla Carter, Ed.D., LCPC, CMPC, EMDR Certified

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