I’ve heard more than my fair share of conversations of late regarding spirituality. I’ve heard of friends enlisting a ‘spiritual director’ even though they are involved in a religious organization.
Now, let me be clear- I’m referring to spirituality NOT religion. So I asked my good friend and mentor, what she really meant by the question she posed to me one late afternoon. “How’s your spiritual condition?” she asked. “My what?” I replied. “Your spiritual condition.” she stated, and then went on to suggest that I ponder that question, perhaps even journal on it. And, so I have.
My biggest obstacle to obtaining what I define as a positive spiritual condition is quite simply knocking down the shame that comes over me when I need to ask for help. My childhood was a strict’ Do not ask for help. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Don’t tell anyone outside our house what is going on- kind of household’. Asking for help was weak and shameful, shame-filled.
But how can I define what a positive spirtual condition would look like, for me?
- Concerns and problems are right-sized. I know what I can and cannot impact or change, and I can accept that perhaps these concerns or problems are not really mine to solve.
- I can ASK! (what a concept!) a close and trustworthy member of my circle for their opinion and any suggestions they may have regarding said concerns or problems.
- I intuitively and instinctually recognize when I’m holding my breath and start taking deep breaths to get it back in sync.
- I can meditate and pray without being all over the place in my head.
- I can recognize opportunities to be of service to others
- I can be kind and empathetic even in the most challenging of circumstances
- I’m regularly participating in some kind of group or service that helps realign and adjust my perspective
- I am journaling or writing a gratitude list daily
- I mentally acknowledge beauty and joy when I witness it
- I honor sadness, tears, and grief as a reminder that I’m a human being
- I’m not numbing my feelings of any kind by eating too much, being online too much, shopping, or staying up flipping channels.
Am I able to sustain this on a daily basis? I’ve never really tracked it. Maybe I’ll start taking a closer look at my spiritual condition in December- perhaps journal only on that. For November, it’s about staying physically healthy as we head into the dark days of winter here in Maine. I’ve taken to walking in the early hours with a good friend. This morning I captured some amazing pictures which I’ve posted below.