Stimulate your mind, Inspire your Soul and Ignite your Talents
Personal enrichment is a significant element in our journey towards holistic health. Enrichment, as with all the synergistic principles discussed, relies very much on what each of us consider to be personally enriching: That is, those “food for the soul” type activities that provide us with the highest level of self-fulfilment and personal expression. Depending on each of our individual needs, the source of our enrichment can be anything from cognitive stimulation, writing, and reading, to singing, painting, spiritual practice, and acts of goodwill.
Each of us are born with distinct talents and abilities, the overt expression of which is imperative for holistic wellbeing. The express use of our talents further enables us to feel enriched. Without us consciously realising so, dormant talents and abilities that are not expressly manifest in our lives may result in a sense of emptiness, lacking or incompleteness. Furthermore, if we fail to regularly enrich the talents to which we are inherently inclined, we renounce our ability to realise our full potential.
For a lucky few, that which we consider enriching is channelled through the daily work we do for a living. For others, personal enrichment must be practiced through hobbies or activities engaged in outside of the workplace. Enrichment is what enables us to feel intellectually, spiritually and emotionally complete. Just as our bodies are sustained by way of wholesome food consumption and healthy exercise, so are our minds and spirits nourished through the practice of personal enrichment.
From a psychological perspective, engaging in the regular practice of enriching activities and the expression of our creativity and talents additionally enables us to channel out negative energy within ourselves:
According to the celebrated psychiatrist Carl Jung, each of us are in possession of something he terms the shadow, defined as the ‘‘sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with our chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life’’. These aspects of ourselves are repressed because they are not in line with what we want our persona to be. Emotions such as jealousy, lust, greed and primordial desires exist within our shadow, because these are contradictory to the positive emotions that we want to express in our overt persona. In order to cope with our shadow we often project these uncomfortable parts of ourselves onto others to avoid confronting them within ourselves. Jung’s theory suggests that in accepting that we are all in possession of the shadow aspect of ourselves, we liberate ourselves from the impact that our shadows may have on our lives. In expressing our creativity and engaging in fulfilling and enriching activities, we deny the “shadow aspect of ourselves” any power over us. Through the expression of our creativity and the use of our talents, we are able to channel these repressed energies into positive manifestations of ourselves.
Enrichment is also about pushing our boundaries and getting to know parts of ourselves that we are either too frightened to face, or are unwilling to explore. In pushing ourselves to do things we would not usually do, we are able to liberate dormant parts of ourselves that will add insight and value to our lives.
How can I enrich myself?
Delight in the expression of your creativity - no matter what it is allow yourself full expression of it.
Take up that hobby you have always wanted to do but were too embarrassed to try - whether it be painting, singing, dancing, wood work, learning how to play a musical instrument, or anything your heart desires (no matter how random, weird or quirky) - go for it! Put yourself out there and try out something new. You will be amazed at the sense of fulfilment and boost in confidence boost that you will experience when you realise just how capable you are.
Give of your time to help in some way - whether it be walking your neighbour’s dog, spending some time at the local retirement or children’s home or collecting food and blankets for the less fortunate, give of yourself and your time to helping others. Giving back to your community can be incredibly enriching and provides mutual benefit for both those you are helping and for the enrichment you experience within yourself in so doing.
Tell your story - writing is an incredibly powerful tool for personal expression and enlightenment. Writing is also extremely therapeutic and can bring about realisations in us about ourselves and our lives that we would not have otherwise come to understand. Who you choose to share your story with is completely up to you - you can keep your writing completely private or choose to share it in the form of a blog or a book. Writing can help keep us grounded and provides a space for personal reflection.