I had a very unusual upbringing (read more). My parents were what most people would call spiritual “seekers.”
Questions about how we connect to our divinity or the sacred –what most people refer to as spirituality–were constantly on the forefront of my parent’s minds (my siblings’ godparents include a beautiful Irish nun named Aine and Swami Satchidananda, the founder of Integral Yoga).
Although there was a lot of emotional discord in our house, we always knew God was very important to my parents and that there were many paths to reach him/her. Interestingly, my mother was raised Presbyterian and my father Methodist; they converted to Catholicism after their third child was born. From there, their journey continued on to include many different Eastern and Western teachings.
For me personally, to feel balance, equilibrium and a sense of well-being in my life, a spiritual “practice” is a necessity (you can read more about the fascinating research I did last summer around the topic of Everyday Spirituality).
And, when I speak to a corporation, organization or at a conference and am asked to lead a Life Balance workshop around the power of self-renewal, when I touch on the four areas of renewal—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—and ask participants to focus on the area that most needs their attention right now, you know what most of them say?
Yep, spiritual renewal is at the top of their list.
Last night, while my husband performed with his Brazilian Samba group at Carnaval,
I had a much tamer night, relaxing at home and purging my closet (you know how it is when you get bit by the “purge bug”—you gotta run with it!).
While sorting through my closet and trying to decide what clothes I loved and what had to go, I listened to music and stumbled across this great panel discussion on Oprah’s Soul Series on Spirituality (check it out, definitely worth your time!).
A reoccurring theme that this panel touched on and that I hear many of my friends discuss—particularly parents—is how their religious upbringing scared them away from talking or thinking about spirituality, God or being a part of a spiritual community (whether that’s a church, a meditation or prayer circle or a spiritually-focused book group).
What about you? How were your raised? Are you currently involved in that church? Have you converted to a different religion? Do you talk to your kids about God or the sacred in everyday life? Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
I would love to hear about your personal story.
I really think when we share our own reflections around spirituality, it enriches and deepens our collective experience. I look forward to hearing a little about your journey.
Photo: My almost seven-year old after he reached the top of Enchanted Rock –by far, my greatest spiritual teacher.