I like to think of spirituality as the life force that energizes and motivates everything else. Separating it from religious doctrine or practice, I try to keep it holistic yet simple and basic. Like stating that person “is very spirited” or “has a gentle spirit”, spirituality can be a very down to earth way of describing human energy and the source that powers it. In order to consider the health of our living and working environments, I think it is important to look at that energy in a holistic way.
The first aspect of spirituality I like to consider is “personal awareness”. Cultivated in the contemplative tradition of Christianity, the mindfulness tradition of Buddhism, and the meditative practices of other spiritual paths, this practice helps us live in a more fully conscious present moment. It moves us beyond our ego, and its subconscious motivations, to better relate to ourselves and our surrounding environment.
The second aspect I consider is what has been referred to as “creation spirituality”. Influenced by the biblical story of creation, we see God as the creative force speaking all things into creation, proclaiming that it is good, and then positioning human kind as caretakers and co-creators. Cultivating this aspect of our spirituality helps us connect with our own creativity as well as our connection, power, and responsibility with all of creation.
The third aspect of holistic spirituality is “conscious loving”. Rooted in personal awareness and our position in creation, this aspect of spirituality cultivates empathy and compassion. Realization of our connectedness deepens our motivation for caring for our neighbor, as well as collaboration and community life on every level.
The final aspect that is integral to my perspective of spirituality is social justice. Again rooted in our awareness, our sense of connection and responsibility as caretakers extends our compassion to all of our neighbors no matter where they live. A growing awareness of our personal consumption, along with the great need on our planet, can help motivate a greater sense of mission as part of our holistic spirituality.