This year has been wild with many endings, shocks and sudden revelations. The world is getting more and more unpredictable and we can feel less and less in control. Like a ship without a rudder, we can feel like we’re the victims of external circumstances, the strong currents of life. Or perhaps you are feeling like you’re in the eye of the storm – at peace with what is? If so, you will most likely have a high level of Spiritual Intelligence or SQ.
Spiritual or existential or metaphysical intelligence (SQ) is the intelligence with which we address and solve problems of meaning and value, with which we can place our actions and our lives in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context, and assess a course of action or life-path which is more meaningful than another.
What SQ is not
SQ is does not require you to have religious beliefs – or blind faith in anything for that matter. Many great spiritual teachers will ask you not to believe anything blindly, but rather to apply the teaching and experience it for yourself so that it becomes your own wisdom. SQ does, however, require that you have an open mind and heart.
Some principles of spiritual intelligence
Danah Zohar’s (management thought leader, physicist, philosopher and author) lists 12 principles as underlying spiritual intelligence:
- Self-awareness: Knowing what I believe in and value, and what deeply motivates me.
- Spontaneity: Living in and being responsive to the moment.
- Being vision- and value-led: Acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living accordingly.
- Holism: Seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging.
- Compassion: Having the quality of “feeling-with” and deep empathy.
- Celebration of diversity: Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them.
- Field independence: Standing against the crowd and having one’s own convictions.
- Humility: Having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one’s true place in the world.
- Tendency to ask fundamental “Why?” questions: Needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them.
- Ability to reframe: Standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture or wider context
- Positive use of adversity: Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering.
- Sense of vocation: Feeling called upon to serve, to give something back.
Benefits of SQ?
By developing your SQ, you start to unravel the cycle of endless pursuit of fulfilment outside of the self. You discover that the only way to true fulfilment and meaning is by becoming “the ones we have been waiting for” – exploring the the very depths of your being and coming face to face with both the ego and the soul.
High SQ allows you to weather the storms of life – for example being diagnosed with a terminal disease, experiencing a loss such as a death of a beloved, a divorce or a job and any other of the many daily challenges we face as humans can be interpreted from many perspectives. SQ can help you shift from a position of feeling like a victim and resistant – it is happening to you – to one a more empowered and supportive understanding that this (no matter how dreadful) on some level is happening for you.
SQ allows us ultimately “to grow up and show up”, learning to take responsibility for ourselves (actions, emotions, thoughts) rather than waiting for a savour and to be give back to others, leading to a more meaningful life. Other benefits include creating powerful collaborations (since there is no need for competition) and an overall greater understanding, acceptance, peace
How to boost your SQ?
Here are some activities that will help you boost your SQ:
- Time in Nature
- Open, non-judgemental mind
- Being mindful of what you take in – food, media, people, situations
- Being of service