Spiritual Intelligence is a subject that has fascinated and absorbed me for years. About 18 years ago I was persuaded by a girlfriend to attend a weekend personal development workshop where one of the exercises was to share with a group how we were feeling spiritually. All I could do at the time was to repeat some of the things that I heard the other participants saying, words like, connected, alive, dead, disconnected, inspired, isolated etc. Afterwards I knew, I wanted to be able to describe how I was feeling spiritually myself. I realised that I was feeling spiritually isolated and adrift.
I became a coach and I find that many of my clients have an urgent interest in understanding themselves spiritually too. They often come to me for spiritual coaching.
So what are they looking for? What was I looking for? What do we mean by spiritual intelligence?
How is Spiritual Intelligence the same or different from Emotional Intelligence or regular IQ?
We now know that there are three types of intelligence that determine our inner and outer success. Our IQ is the measure of intellectual intelligence. This is about linear, logical thinking and facts. It’s about structuring processes, sequencing, organising and planning. It is a measure of our rational, strategic, mathematical and linguistic talents. Intellectual intelligence can be one of the intelligences helpful for solving problems and understanding ideas and concepts. We connect to others using this form of intelligence by discussing and exchanging factual information or engaging in logical thinking processes with others.
EQ the measure of emotional intelligence is equally important in determining success. People with a high EQ are able to feel their emotions and allow them to guide them to see what is considerate and fair, responding appropriately to different situations. Hence, they relate to others in a healthy way, with empathy, and know how to balance self regard and regard for others. They have high self- esteem having focused in their development on becoming confident. Both IQ and EQ have become part of our normal vocabulary.
As well as IQ and EQ, all human beings possess innate spiritual intelligence which is essential to our well being. Our SQ is a measure of our connection to Spirit. However, we have tended to ignore our spiritual intelligence and we have been encouraged to especially favour the importance of IQ. We now know that all three forms of intelligence are complementary. SQ Spiritual Intelligence is about our connection to life and our aliveness. Another way of describing our SQ is as a measure of our ability to be aware of and connected to all that lies beyond the physical realm – that which we can see, hear, feel or touch. SQ puts our individual lives into a larger context. It provides meaning and purpose in life and allows us to create new possibilities for ourselves, for others, and for the world. Our SQ allows us to utilize our IQ and EQ to express our gifts in the world. Doing this can improve not only our own lives but the life of the whole planet. Great leaders such as Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King all had high SQ as did Nelson Mandela. It is now believed that having high SQ will increasingly become a determinant of success in the next decade and beyond.
In order to understand why this might be so, notice how both IQ and EQ work within the confines of existing information and what is known. Only SQ is capable of thinking beyond what is known and of seeing a higher truth in a situation. SQ operates through knowledge of the spiritual laws on which our world is founded. It comes from the premise that we are not just physical bodies but also energy fields that affect each other in subtle ways. When our IQ, EQ and SQ work together we are able to fully manifest our potential in the world.
What will improving my Spiritual Intelligence do for me?
Improving your spiritual intelligence will help you feel more alive in your life and keep the aliveness growing. It helps you to discover that there can be so much more to life than you are already experiencing, by helping you to define your values, identify your gifts and bring meaning and purpose to your life. It helps you identify and become who you really are in your essence so you can express this and in so doing leave a lasting legacy to the world. It can help you to make more of a positive difference to the world and take creative work to a whole new level. It enables you to be on a conscious journey and successfully navigate major life transitions.
What would I notice about someone else who has high levels of SQ?
All living things possess life force energy. SQ (Spiritual Intelligence) is the key to identifying and managing this life force energy. It is through this subtle life force energy that we attract, repel, bond with and influence other people and it can be a very powerful form of communication. If our energies match, we are attracted to each other, if they don’t we tend to be repelled. Bonding happens if the match in subtle energy between us is strong. People with strong energy fields can influence others just by their presence, these people usually have high SQ. People at the other end of the scale who leave you feeling drained after being in their presence could be seen as “energy vampires”. These people probably have low SQ. Toxic energy is the kind that can poison relationships. Very few people understand how to manage toxic energy. People with a high SQ generally understand how to do this. If we learn how to properly manage it and transform it, it can be a very productive force. If it is left unmanaged as is normally the case, it can be very damaging. People with low SQ tend to experience life as hard work because they have to do it all themselves. People with higher levels of SQ understand how to partner up with the universe and embrace their gifts. As a result, they experience ease, flow and contribution.
How can I help clients assess their level of SQ?
One of the starting points would be to help clients to assess their level of self awareness, maybe asking clients to score out of 10 in such areas as the examples below.
Score your aliveness where fully alive is 10.
How good are you at managing your energy?
How connected to a higher power (the energy source from which all life flows) do you feel?
How much do you trust your own inner guidance?
How do you estimate your vibrational frequency (where low vibration would be experiencing anger, frustration, fear a lot of the time and high vibration would be inspiration, peace, love etc.)?
How much do you consider you deserve to be happy and successful?
To what extent do you value your inner life vs your outer life?
Rate the level of meaning and purpose you have in your life.
How much do you love your life?
How accepting of yourself and others are you?
What coaching tools would I use to help a client develop SQ?
One of the most important and valuable tools would be my intuition as a coach and willingness to surrender to the greater knowing of the universe. Coaching is a wonderful way to help others to discover themselves and become more self aware. But as coaches, first we need to do the work for ourselves to improve our own SQ, before we can help others to improve theirs. We can see our clients as mirrors to show us our own stuff! As coaches we need to lead the way by being willing to do our own transformation first. As we do this we can help our clients to connect to themselves and create inner light, showing them that as they take care of their inner world, they can more easily take care of and live in the outer world. We can support our clients in embracing transformation, helping them see the greater learning about themselves as human beings behind every problem they encounter, asking themselves: What is this problem here to teach me? We can encourage clients to become accountable for everything in their lives, asking themselves – how come I created this? We can teach forgiveness and encourage our clients to get back into their bodies and feel their feelings.
In our modern day world we are not often appreciated for just being ourselves. We are asked to prove our worth, achieve success, money, power... in short to prove ourselves. We have to prove our worth. Many of us end up with a deep feeling of worthlessness unless we prove otherwise. Very often those who don’t reach the top end up feeling negative and inferior. Our education systems have contributed a lot to this by valuing especially IQ. But in SQ terms, no one is inferior because each individual is unique. Helping to identify and understand how to use their own unique gifts and discover their purpose is a meaningful way to help clients develop their SQ and help them give their lives more meaning and purpose. When people align their lives with their own truths, their own values, the principles that inspire their action eg service to others, support, love, beauty, connection.... they feel more alive and are able to distinguish their survival personality from their true essence. Aliveness is one of the measures of SQ. They end up realising they love their lives and feel joyful and optimistic most of the time. We can help our clients understand their connection to the creator and build their trust in the divine, so they move away from struggle and tap into flow and ease, living in the present moment in all its joy, beauty, pain and ecstacy. When we slow down and live in the present, we become more receptive and we allow ourselves to be touched by grace and feel inspiration, we are in spirit. Some ways of achieving this are spiritual exercises such as meditation, journaling, reading spiritual books, taking courses to overcome limiting beliefs – the blocks to connection to our true selves and transform them, developing our intuition and learning to use it, noticing synchronicities practising yoga or tai chi and working with a coach who has a high SQ.
How would the workplace, community, family, the world be different if everyone had higher levels of SQ?
I know that many people are becoming more and more spiritually intelligent and as a result, I feel encouraged that we are on an inspiring path. As more and more people develop their SQ, the world continues to become a different and better place. People are acting more responsibly to help the earth, they respect the planet more. Workplaces are becoming more ethical, life sustaining, and their services and products will be designed more and more to serve the greater good of the world. Families and communities will experience more peace, ease and grace. We will become less judgemental of others, more accepting of both ourselves and others. We are beginning to experience true partnership and interconnectedness. We will have more creative energy and use this energy to enhance life. We are more and more willing to embrace transformation and see others as mirrors of ourselves. We act with more compassion and for the highest good of ourselves, others and the world. We are more spontaneous and fearless and feel more able to create miracles and magic. A new humanity will evolve, one that affirms, loves and celebrates life, makes wise decisions and treats each other as souls on a human journey.