Spirituality: Deepening the Purpose of Life

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Kay Roberts, MA

Spirituality is a pathway, the beginning of a lifelong process

Spiritual awareness

We all need to pause and reflect on the state of our lives, to be open to both inner and outer worlds. This process helps us to seek ways to return to, or advance, our spirituality. Many believe the spiritual life weaves itself in and around all other life dimensions helping to ensure peace, calm, purpose and meaning. How then do we deepen our spiritual lives?

One life tool to support the spiritual dimension is the VITAL WorkLife Wheel of Well Being overview and assessment. Each life dimension noted in the Wheel of Well Being is intertwined to provide synergistic or holistic living. Spirituality is one of the dimensions seeking to encourage the concept that a spirit of goodness can prevail in each of us. With this spirit of goodness greater positive outcomes are generated in our own lives and throughout the world. It is this new spiritual world view that transcends personal preference and instead operates from a life state, a new state of being human. It radiates a sense of well being available, and desired, for all.

The idea of journeying toward a rich and meaningful life is not a new concept. Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher said, “Know thyself.” This is where the spiritual journey begins and always returns. Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs as another window into the humanity’s journey. Beginning with physiological, basic biological needs are met first and over time we move toward a preferred ‘state of being.’ Near the top of the hierarchy is self-actualization, the place Maslow described as “to become more and more what one is.” Transcendence is the highest form of personal growth, growing into one’s greater spiritual self with actions are beyond yourself.

Oak TreeYour own seeking may be for greater happiness or a desire for something more for the world. Whatever has brought you to this time and place, know what you choose today will impact you. This impact can vary greatly, but as we raise our understanding and courageously choose to ‘seek what we do not yet know,’ we have begun to travel our spiritual pathway.

All things change when we do. May this experience fuel the desire for new awakenings to nurture and inspire your spirituality.

To support you in this process of change, these questions are offered as a guide for reflection. This series of questions will help you review the state of your spirituality and the impact it is having on your life. Honestly reflect on each question. For those with less time, simply answer each question with your first thoughts and then return to them at a future time.

My Spiritual History
  • What early experiences shaped my spirituality?
  • Who influenced my early spiritual formation?
  • What was I told to believe during my early life?
  • How did I perceive my early spiritual formation? Was it positive?
  • What were my early sources of hope, strength, comfort, meaning, peace, love and connection
  • What parts of my spirituality have I taken forward into my adult life?
  • Which parts of my early spiritual history do I want to move forward?
My Spiritual Present
  • What do I believe today about the need or importance of having spirituality?
  • What or who is it that I ‘believe’ in?
  • What does ‘being spiritual’ mean to me? How do I understand the term spirituality?
  • Are there some spiritual ‘truths’ I currently live by? Are there spiritual beliefs I want to live into?
  • What are my sources of hope, strength, comfort, meaning, peace, love and connection today?
  • How would I describe my ‘state of being’ or the essence of my spirituality today?
My Spiritual Future
  • I am able to articulate the spiritual foundation I am grounded in today. What am I seeking now?
  • Can I articulate where I want to go now? What spiritual words resonate with me? Creating a spiritual language is finding words to help you express what you are feeling, what you want to do and who you want to be going forward in life. Examples of spiritual language include: inner wisdom, centering, soul work, oneness, the goodness of the universe; all these words are often associated with spiritual exploration.
  • How often do I take time to be introspective; to reflect about all aspects of my life, especially my spirituality? How often do I want to be introspective going forward?
  • In what ways will I do this? Will I do this alone or find my community (my tribe of like-minded seekers) who will join me?
  • Am I finding this spiritual process energizing? If so, why? If not, why?
  • In what ways am I noticing my spirituality is impacting me in my day to day living? What are the small victories I’m aware of? Am I seeing a renewed willingness to seek to understand all sides of a difficult situation?
  • In what ways am I noticing the negative impact of not choosing to connect more fully with my spirituality? Am I losing energy to fear or negative thinking?
  • What legacy do I wish to leave to future generations?

There are multiple ways these questions can be utilized. These include:

  • Reading them once or twice. Then setting them aside for awhile
  • Read one question at a time, then reflect on it in your mind
  • Reflecting one question at a time, then journal:
    • Journaling can be in the form of brief, bulleted thoughts
    • Journaling can be free flow, unconnected thoughts
    • Read more tips on journaling
  • Partnering with another person to reflect together, one question at a time
    • Partnering can also be with someone who will simply listen to your responses
    • Reflecting by gathering a small group of people who have an interest in deepening their spirituality. You may wish to give the people in the small group the questions ahead of time so they can feel more prepared when you gather.

Sometimes the idea of spiritual exploration can be scary and/or overwhelming. When we bring our fearlessness forward we have the greatest potential of sowing seeds of happiness.  If you are unable to begin on your own, remember there are other resources available, such as spiritual counselors and coaches to you to help you begin this journey.

When we wander into the areas of our beliefs, our life values, and ponder our desire to contribute to making the world a better place, we begin to understand that our spirituality have an inward and outward dimension. Our spiritual core helps us see we can be assured nothing has to be as it is. When we begin this journey we choose to seek new ways of thinking and viewing the world. Keep in mind as we explore new aspects of living anew, we may not yet have the language to clearly articulate what we are feeling or what we are trying to express. This is a very common situation. As we evolve to new places, we may stumble. Imagine how difficult it is to have a conversation with someone when you don’t yet have the words to describe what you are feeling. Our spiritual exploration only asks us to embrace a mindset of continual learning and growth—and to be open to new ideas and thoughts to help us grow a greater desire to live life fully.

Remember, when we are ‘birthing’ something new in our lives it is important we are patient and kind with ourselves. Life is a process which only reminds us we will encounter much during our journey. Our spiritual self offers a sense of gentleness and grace for our pathway to overall well being. Think of it as wrapping yourself in a blanket of kindness, take a deep breath, and then, begin.

We Can Help.

Need help with your spiritual dimension, or any other dimensions of your Wheel of Well Being? Give us a call 24x7x365 for the support you need or to schedule an appointment with a counselor or peer coach.

Call VITAL WorkLife

EAP members call 800.383.1908
Physicians Well Being Resources members call 877.731.3949

About VITAL WorkLife

VITAL WorkLife, Inc.™ is a national behavioral health consulting practice providing support to individuals facing life’s challenges, while also assisting organizations in improving workplace productivity. This approach of helping employees and their families, while also guiding organizations, builds healthy, sustainable behaviors. Visit us at VITALWorkLife.com.

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