It has become increasingly common for people to distance themselves from religion and instead profess to being “spiritual.” While I believe that everyone should be respected for their personal beliefs and I am in no way anti-religion, I must sheephishly admit that I am one of those people. My slight embarrassment is not about being spiritual, but that the term itself seems to have devolved into more of a fashion statement than a way of life.
I have always believed in what I described as the connectedness of all things. I think that my identification with the term spirituality began when I read Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. In Dr. Brown’s words, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.” In addition to the description of connectedness, the inclusion of love and compassion as anchors in these relationships spoke to my heart.
As I read more positive psychology research, this concept was further solidified by Sonja Lyubomirsky, who described spirituality as the “search for meaning in life through something that is larger than the individual self.” Serving a greater meaning and purpose has been an important factor for me as I have developed my personal life perspective. This world view has fuelled my passion for mental health awareness, community support and volunteerism, relationship building, and meditation practice.
Research supports not only the positive outcomes for a community when people participate in a spiritual way, but also for the practitioner directly. Benefits include increased lifespan, higher levels of reported happiness, improved relationships, and better mental and physical health. Spirituality provides for a win-win situation.
An unexpected outcome of exploring my own spirituality during my 50 Feats project was a newfound awareness of peace and awe that these activities provided. I feel connected to the world around me in a way that I was previously didn’t recognize. I now seek out opportunities to fulfil what I have defined as my purpose, and find meaning in the life I have chosen. My ability to use SilverLiningFrog.com to spread my thoughts and activities and, hopefully, inspire others to determine their own meaning and purpose, has blossomed as I developed my own understanding of what spirituality means for me.
I feel fortunate to have found my spiritual niche and extremely lucky to be in a position to live a life infused with meaning and purpose, connected to the world around me, and surrounded by people I love; that is my wish for everyone in a world that can be challenging and even heartbreaking at times.
What is your definition or manifestation of spirituality? Share your thoughts and ideas on my Facebook page: Fabulous Feats or Tweet out your practice using #FabFeats #Spirituality