05 Dec Is your spirit shining through? – Balancing inner and outer worlds as we age
The older we get, the more our inner world seems to absorb our attention. This is a natural part of growing older, and life can become more satisfying if we incorporate our growing spirituality into everyday life through our connection to others.
I look at spirituality in the context of our deepest values, our purpose and meaning in life, and the discovery or uncovering of the true essence of our being. Spirituality, to me, also implies the possibility of transformation, and an inner path to personal development and personal well-being, with or without a formal religion. Spirituality may also include contemplation, wonder, or awe of Nature, God(s), Spirit, or Beauty.
Expressing our spirituality
I believe that spirituality is incomplete unless we carry it into our daily lives. We humans are social creatures, and it is in the rough and tumble of daily life that we learn to express and live our spirituality, and bring greater balance to our lives.
This linking of the inner world and outer world resonates in the world’s major religions. Sikhism sees the spiritual life and secular life as intertwined. Islam includes daily prayers as well as almsgiving to “ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality”. The Christian and Judaic traditions include contemplation of holy scripture and provision of moral guidance.
Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, and contains the concept of non-injury in thought, word, and deed. Buddhism focuses on the development of wisdom and understanding, and leading a moral life. First Nations people have a rich spiritual system, and practice honour and respect for other people and forms of life.
Nurturing our spirituality
In the western world today, it is common to hear people describe themselves as “not religious but very spiritual”. A variety of practices are being used – by individuals or groups, in homes, schools and workplaces – to develop spirituality, with love and compassion for self and others as the foundation. Such practices include journaling, mindfulness, prayer, meditation, and ethical development.
Deprivation in the form of fasting or poverty is another practice used by some formal religions and spiritual traditions, such as Islam, Christianity, and First Nations. Mi’kmaq people also use the sweat lodge, for prayer and to cleanse body, mind and spirit.
Taking the time to explore our spirituality can help us understand how better to carry our spirit into daily life, whether through our deepest values or purpose and meaning in life, via transformation and personal development, or with awe and wonder.
I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below…