Monday, July 30, 2012

Your Spiritual Walk: Living With Intentionality

This could be a “Part 2” from a blog in June called “What is Your Spiritual Type?” I guess you can tell this is gotten in my crawl, so to speak…and moves me to reflecting a lot on the presence of God in my own life and life in general. So, I continue along the same vein…

Corrine Ware, in her book Discover Your Spiritual Type, states that there are five attitudes or actions to take towards promoting our spiritual growth.
  1. Being willing to change and grow (which I view as foundational).
  2. Becoming intentional-do what we imagine, using Jesus as our example.
  3. Integrate tradition-absorb and use the best that has come to us-both past and present.
  4. Become an individuated person-think for self and appreciate the legacy of tradition at the same time.
  5. Become a change agent-make a difference. This comes after listening to the inner voice and to tradition.

I like reading this kind of stuff because it gets my juices flowing, and stirs me to want to grow and learn more. I enjoy it so much that I want to believe others want to know about this, as well. This is my hope, anyway…

I am getting ready to offer a one-half day learning opportunity in November to connect learning about self and understanding one’s own spiritual type. A friend asked me a great question…”So what?” “Why does all this matter?”

I know intuitively that it does, and it is one of those subjects that I love to explore. Doesn’t everyone? Well, not really! So, I begin to think on this question…”Why DOES it matter?” What is the importance of learning about self and how it impacts one’s spirituality?

I think about the folks that I have been in ministry with, and those who have come into my counseling office. If you ever want to experience the importance of being connected to one’s own spirituality, or spirit, befriend one who is depressed, or anxious, or grieving! Spirituality, as I understand it, is that which connects us to something beyond ourselves, where we find hope, faith, courage, a belief in something greater than ourselves.

Our spiritual type is the way we make that connection. Many think of prayer, or worship, perhaps doing good service for others. These are important in making that connection with others, and helps to build that hope most times. But, it is more than that.

For some, it is a heart connection. For some it may be understanding of doctrine and the history of the faithful before us. For some, it is giving self to service to God, to Christ, or the betterment of humanity and the environment. For some it is to be a prayer warrior. There are as many ways as there are opportunities for goodness and hope and connecting with others in growth-filled ways.

So, this still doesn’t exactly say why knowing your own spiritual type is so important. So, let’s name a few of the reasons….
  1. It is always good to know oneself in any given situation…good for self and more helpful for others.
  2. Spirituality often seems so subjective. It is good to understand how connection to God and others finds meaning in ones life.
  3. It can help with stress management and life balance!!
  4. It helps to understand what provides meaning for self in connecting with the community of faith.
  5. It provides awareness of the gifts one has to give in the stewardship of the larger community of faith, and can help you to find satisfaction in finding your “place” in the service of the community.
  6. It gives clarity to one about what is meaningful in prayer. Why one person finds quiet time alone helpful and another prefers being in a prayer group or prayer while working.

This is my “start-up” list. I feel like there are as many reasons to understanding one’s own spirituality, what makes meaning, what drives a person in faith, as there are individuals. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to make your own list of why spirituality is important in your life.

The course I will have at the beginning of November is not to be one that completes a project or a learning, but to begin one or encourage one who has already asked the question of understanding of what it means to be a “spiritual” person.

Of course, I recognize that spirituality is not separate from who we are as a physical, mental, emotional persons. We are integrated persons. That is how God has created us! That is why we will begin with the Peoplemap inventory, to establish common language to state awareness of self, and use that as a springboard to explore how one’s spirituality is integrated your own unique personality.

Wherever you are on your own experience of the spirit, may it be one that awakens you to being fully alive and alert to God’s presence around you, and give you the joy of knowing there is hope and goodness in the midst of the suffering and distress that so often seems to be emphasized around us!

May you find the true joy of God's Spirit in you!!

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