What is Fitness? Part 6: Clean = Spiritual Fitness

I’ve written 5 previous articles in this series that you can read here:


Spiritual Fitness

By my definition, “Clean” is the realm of spiritual health and meaning.  This is a really unusual topic for a fitness coach to bring up, but it is critical to my view of fitness.  I’m trying to talk about something that is traditionally thought of as a religious concept, but in a non-religious way.  This is also a topic that is considered taboo to discuss in my culture, but I want to change that.  I think we must be talking about spirituality if we want to be healthy, if we want to survive, and if we want to thrive.

What does “spiritual” mean, anyway?  What is a spirit?  It’s air.  It’s the air in your lungs and in the blood circulating throughout your body.  So, spiritual stuff is all about the air you breathe in, about the things that come into you on the air (such as words, music, incense, thoughts, and ideas).  It’s also about the air that goes out of you in terms of the words you speak and sounds you make.  For me, that is a practical, working definition of “spiritual”.

But, the idea of spirituality and spiritual fitness is ultimately a personal thing.  You may look at it very differently than I do, and that’s fine.  What I am encouraging you to do is to explore it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Then, live based on those conclusions.  Live a more spiritual life and understand why you are doing the things you are doing.  That is “clean”.

There are 3 main components to my concept of spiritual fitness: awareness of self, awareness of context, awareness of eternity.

Awareness of Self

What are you and why do you exist?  All the answers will be different.  They will be informed by your religion, philosophy, and worldview.  My concept of spiritual fitness is not prescriptive.  It’s all about you asking the questions of yourself, respecting the answers that come out of your place of truth, then acting on that truth.

Awareness of Context

What is the world around you and how do you relate to it?  This is all about understanding history, time, and place.  What are the narratives of your family, your homeland, and your culture?  What are the narratives embedded in your race, ethnicity,  identity?  What is the narrative of the human race?  Again, answers to these questions will vary in at least 7.8 billion ways, as many as there are people on the earth.  Reflecting on where you belong in the context of humanity and your immediate surroundings is a spiritual experience.

Awareness of Eternity

What will outlast you, and what parts of you will last?  Here we go.  Are you having fun yet?  Now we’re getting into some scary stuff.  This is the kind of stuff we spend our entire lives hiding from, but in our most vulnerable and desperate moments, we can’t.  What do you believe in?  Do you have a soul?  Do you have a personal relationship with your creator, or is your existence an accident?  “Clean” is all about truth, honesty, understanding of yourself and what you’re about.

Published by nicnakis

Nicholas |nik-uh-luhs| n. a male given name: from Greek words meaning "victory of the people" John |jon| n. a male given name: from Hebrew Yohanan, derivative of Yehohanan "God has been gracious" Nakis |nah-kis| n. a Greek family name derived from the patronymic ending -akis (from Crete) Amha |am-hah| n. an Ethiopian given name meaning "gift", from Geez Selassie |suh-la-see| n. Ethiopian name meaning "trinity", from Geez

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