A news brief last week cited a recent poll highlighting the fact that over 30 percent (nearly one-third) of Americans claim no affiliation to an organized religion. While some experts find this alarming, others who dig deeper into the facts find (as I have talking to many college students) that many of these people claim ‘they are very spiritual, but not religious.’ The topic of human spirituality is colossal (and complex). Wisdom keepers will explain that cornerstone of human spirituality is comprised of relationships, values and a meaningful purpose in life, all of which can not only become stressors, but shake the very foundations of our lives. Under the black cloud of stress, many people begin to look for answers, often times beyond the confines of their own backyard. Experts call this a “spiritual hunger.” As the saying goes, “spiritual hunger leads to spiritual exploration.”Today, many religions are under fire for a great many reasons (fill in the blank here _________) but one thing they serve well is a sense of community. There are those who say the spiritual path cannot be measured. It surely cannot be measured in miles or years and certainly not in possessions, though God knows, people try. Others say the spiritual path is between 12-14 inches… the distance from your head to your heart.
Stress Tip for The Day:
You can be spiritual, yet not religious and you can be religious, but not spiritual. And of course you can be both. Regardless of what comprises your belief system what matters most is being true to yourself and strive to reach your highest potential. When the ego eclipses the light of the soul, spiritual growth is stunted. What feeds your spirit? For some it’s getting back to nature. For others it is serving the less fortunate. For everyone it is the realization that we are part of something oh so much bigger than ourselves. We are seemingly insignificant, yet essential to the divine universe. Take time today to realize your connection to the divine, whatever you conceive this to be.
Links and Books of Note:
There are many great books on the topic of spiritual growth: Here are some of my favorites:
1. The Four Agreements (Ruiz)
2. Care of the Soul (Moore)
3. The Road Less Traveled (Peck)
4. Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water (Seaward)
5. Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart (Seaward)
And I highly recommend viewing the new documentary, Finding Joe (on the topic of The Hero’s Journey.)
Quotes of the Day:
“The purpose in life is to bring light in the darkness of mere being.” — Carl G. Jung
Photo of the Day
Nature is considered by many to stir the soul (it stirs mine). The sunsets in Colorado this past week have been nothing less than spectacular (it was hard to select THE best image for today’s blog) but this one caught my eye… Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.