Exploring Personal Spirituality

The life domain I’ve struggled with most in my holistic Life Domain Framework from my book Retirement Transition is the domain of Self-development/ Generativity.   So this year, exploring Personal Spirituality is on my action plan. For me, part of living a more contemplative life in retirement is better understanding both who I am (the authentic me) and beginning to walk a more spiritual path. I’ve begun to read and synthesize different sources on spirituality to understand what my personal spirituality will be.   This blog post is probably the first of a few that will share this journey.

So far, the best way I can sum up spirituality for me is:

Practicing Spirituality is Becoming More Aware

The goal of spirituality is to live more in the moment and less in the regret of the past and the worry for the future.  It is to notice and appreciate what is, in the now.  

For me this is definitely about reigning in my thinking at times!  It is noticing my thoughts and stopping the Compare & Despair.  It is noticing my thoughts and switching from judgment to compassion. It is stopping the less-than thinking and asserting I am enough and I matter.  It is noticing when I am focusing on delivering others expectations or looking for external validation.

It is slowing down, appreciating the days of just being – without scheduled activities, and exploring different ways to meditate.  It is believing in the synchronicity in the Universe and looking for the signs of it for guidance.

I am still exploring my Personal Spirituality but every day, I am trying to focus on:

  • Stop judging and increase compassion, including self-compassion.
  • Increase my sense of self-worth. I am enough.
  • Articulate my gratitude, to myself and to others.
  • Listen to my intuition.
  • Be more aware, and appreciative, of the natural world.

What does personal spirituality mean to you?  Is there a book/podcast you would recommend to further my exploration?

 

Picture Credit: Me, African Safari Sunrise

27 thoughts on “Exploring Personal Spirituality

  1. Pat
    I discovered your blog a couple of months ago through a shout-out in Sightings over Sixty. I’m a few months away from retirement after a nearly 40-year career in Big Law and your writing has proved to be an excellent resource for me. Thanks!
    Responding to your post on spirituality: I grew up in a tradition of church going, to be specific, the Episcopal Church, although that might be misleading since my church was a tiny congregation in a small town in the Midwest, not exactly mainline Anglican. That left me with a love of the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer and habit of church going. Like most habits, there have been lapses and over the last 40 years, I’ve been a part of parishes, large and small. As I move into retirement, my parish connection is turning into an important way to connect with people (note: we are also snowbirds, spending winter in down South and the local parish is an easy in). But more to the point of your post: my daily routine starts with coffee, reading the NYTimes daily briefing, and before the NYTimes Crossword, reading the daily devotions from the BOCP https://prayer.forwardmovement.org/daily_devotions.php?d=15&m=4&y=2019&office=MP#return It’s my form of meditation, if you will. I also say prayer or two from the marriage service, a good reminder of our journey together (as long as he doesn’t interrupt my morning coffee). You might like the Morning Resolve in the daily prayers. https://prayer.forwardmovement.org/prayers_and_thanksgivings.php#bcp
    Liz

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    1. Liz, thanks for letting me know that you’re enjoying my posts and do know that retirement transition can take some time. I saw a blog the other day that said 2-4 years really before you can settle into new everything – identity, routine, lifestyle. It was about 4 for me – but I had a couple of major challenges in that 4 years also. And thanks so much for the two links! I’m checking both out. I am going to be exploring getting back into a parish … I’m not sure where that will take me but I am going to explore it!

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  2. Hi Pat. All the things you mention in your post about spirituality, have special meaning to me, and are things I’m working on as well. I think your choice of teaching others, through your words, has been a great benefit to your readers, and a wonderful way to transition into retirement. Sharing your post to FB.

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    1. Thank you Christina. I worried a bit about putting this topic out there (oh, that inner voice of doubt!), but the response has been wonderful. Thanks for sharing on FB as well.

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  3. Hi Pat, I’ve not been very spiritual in the past but since blogging and reading thoughts from other Women Over 50 I have started to explore this side of my life. Mindfulness and being aware have not come easily to me but I am trying to improve in these areas. My grandsons help me to be in the moment when I am with them and to see the world through their eyes. I love your goals and thank you for sharing at #MLSTL. Glad you could linkup this week and I forgot to so I missed out and I’m the co-host LOL:)

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    1. I had to laugh that you also missed a link! I’ve realized I need to do it Tuesday night before I go to bed – it’s often full in the morning my time. As far as spirituality, I’m not 100% sure why its calling to me, but it is. And I’m following my curiosity. Awareness is key, and acceptance. Not the easiest things to learn, but I keep trying!

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  4. I appreciate your spiritual focal points – especially that nowhere among them is the mentioned of organized religion! Ha! I am my most spiritual in nature or in the quiet of my loft in the morning. I don’t need a church full of worshippers to lift me to that point.

    Sue’s interview of you was excellent. Have your book in my Amazon cart until my retirement check comes in at the end of the month.

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    1. I’m not opposed to organized religion and it is part of my exploration (have some plans, but not executed yet). Although I was raised Catholic, and went to mass regularly until about a year ago, I don’t think my personal spirituality needs to be as an organized religion… it’s merely a possibility to be part of the bigger picture.

      Thanks for the reference to the interview with Sue. It was so nice of her to offer to do it!

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  5. I came to that crossroads a couple years ago. I felt my life was so rich in so many areas and spirituality was missing. And that means different things for different people. But after 30 years I found a church that was more geared to my way of thinking with a priest who is a woman and she’s incredible. Just that 20 minute “sermon” a week really resonates with me and I feel I’ve filled that spirituality void. But I’m a firm believer in searching and finding what that “thing” is. A lot of my friends find it in nature or music. Great post! #MLSTL

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    1. I have not been to church in over a year, and I do miss the comfort of the ritual. I did not resonate with the priest at our last church and never felt welcome in that parish. And we went there for 16 years (because I took my SIL there and she needed the routine.) I do have “explore a new church” as part of my exploration of spirituality and would love to find one with a priest I resonate with! It’s good to hear you found one that is “incredible”!

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  6. It’s interesting how each person defines spirituality differently Pat. I see it from the viewpoint of living a Christ centred life – where I try to respond to others (and myself) as Jesus would. Showing compassion, not judging, finding time to rest, and all the other aspects of Christianity lived out authentically really resonate with me. Good luck on your journey of discovery. If you want to delve into the Bible – maybe start with the Psalms for some refreshment. xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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    1. Leanne, It’s quite odd that I didn’t think about looking at the Bible as part of this exploration…. and I was raised Catholic! I definitely will add it onto my list and start with Psalms. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    1. I’ve never considered myself religious either, but I’ve felt the urge to explore spirituality more. It’s been interesting how consistent some of it is with a basic healthy living mindset!

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  7. Hi Pat! Good for you for recognizing that spirituality, or at least a belief in something other than just ourselves alone, is a key to a balanced and happy life . IMHO. 🙂 . It is definitely one of the necessary legs on a table. I was fortunate and started exploring and studying spirituality back in my 30s in a big way and it has certainly altered my perception on life in so many ways I can’t even say. It’s not a pushy one by any means…very “rightsized” like so many things in my life. But I believe a key is a constant awareness that there is more to life than the material or the explainable. So yes of course I agree that awareness and mindfulness tie us to that sense of connection to all things. I agree with Deb that Wayne Dyer has a lot of good info on the idea and there are many more out there. Once you start walking the path you will be amazed at how deep the conversation can go. Enjoy the journey! ~Kathy

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I’ve put that book on my to-read list. I’m into 2 others right now, and yeah, I’m sure they will turn into blog posts. It’s how I snythesize and find meaning in what I read!

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  8. Hi Pat,

    A book that helped me many years ago was Your Sacred Self, by Wayne Dyer. I haven’t re-read it in over a decade so I don’t know if it would still resonate with me as much, but I think it’s worth a look at.

    Deb

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    1. Thanks Donna. This was one of those posts I worried about…. spirituality? What’s that got to do with retirement! I’m not sure where the path is taking me on it, but I’m definitely exploring!

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