Spiritual Exploration and Awareness

 

 

Spirituality refers to one’s search for a sense of meaning and connection through  fulfilling relationships between oneself, other people, the encompassing universe and the whole of existence, whether a person understands and practices this in terms that are theistic, atheistic, non-theistic, or any combination of these. 

 

What spirituality means is specific to each individual person. It has been defined with terms and concepts such as life meaning, social responsibility, values, faith, service, social justice, nature, soul, spirit, energy, ultimate reality, God, relationship, prayer, seeking, and mysticism. 

 

Spirituality can be housed in a religious framework which involves the patterning of spiritual beliefs and practices into social institutions and community with support for rituals and traditions that have been maintained over time. It can also be housed in a non-religious framework in which each individual develops their own practices, rituals, prayers, and paths to follow as they gain experience in their life. Often, an eclectic spirituality develops as one grows and infuses what one was raised believing and practicing, with what one has come to know as an adult with his or her own experiences and meaning attributed to his or her experiences.  

 

For some, activities such as walking or running, yoga, meditation, singing, dancing, writing, painting, and caring for others in their daily life routine form their spiritual and ritual base. This may be in addition to organized religion or attendance at organized groups with a specific aim or purpose.

 

Six common attributes of the concept of Spirituality:

 

  • An essential or holistic quality of a person that is considered inherently valuable or sacred and irreducible.
  • An aspect of a person or group dealing with a search for meaning, moral frameworks, and relationships with others, including ultimate reality.
  • Particular experiences of a transpersonal nature.
  • A developmental process of moving toward a sense of wholeness in oneself and with others.
  • Participation in spiritual groups that may or may not be formally religious.
  • Engagement in particular beliefs and behaviors, such as prayer or meditation in a spiritual or religious context.  (Canda and Furman 1999)

 

Signs of spiritual disconnect

  • Feeling stuck and discontent
  • Feeling like there is a void in your life
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Lack of awe and playfulness
  • Lack of wonderment in life
  • Feeling rundown
  • Lack of care and concern for self and others

 

 

How to nurture spiritual aliveness and awareness

  • Spend time doing something that fulfills you---in which you lose all sense of ‘me’ and of ‘time’
  • Connect with another person and ask nothing in return
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Do art, sing, dance, move, sit in silence in the sun, write—be creative
  • Practice breath awareness
  • Meet with people who are on a similar quest
  • Join a spiritual group
  • Practice mindful movement
  • Garden
  • Read or write poetry
  • Draw, paint or use your creativity in the way you know how
  • Laugh
  • Breathe
  • Practice relaxation
  • Pray
  • Attend an organized service or retreat
  • Create rituals or ceremonies in your life

 

The St. Louis Wellness Center can offer you support in your spiritual seeking and personal growth. We are respectful of any religious or non religious affiliations you may have and will work with you to build spiritual awareness and practice into your daily life if you feel that you are lacking in this area. 


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