Recently, I have been on a journey to build my own resilience and discover ways to support my coaching clients in building theirs. I have realized if it is not this recent pandemic, there will be more difficult experiences ahead of me. Each of us have our own story of resilience drainers.
When I recently read the above quote in John Eldredge’s book, noted later in this blog, I realized this is what had happened to me and many of my clients. We have endured hardship well, however, it was like overnight we hit the wall and resilience was depleted. There is so much to learn about living in trauma and how to recover. It is interesting how God works when you are willing to open yourself to experience what is around you. Recently, I made the decision to do some research about the link between spirituality and resilience. Soon after I made that declaration, a couple of resources came across my path. Two authors, John Eldredge and Lisa Miller, who have recently released books containing insights and research about spirituality and increased resilience.
What do you believe? Do you believe physical, emotional, and spiritual health are connected to one another? Could you be experiencing an awakening about the integration of your holistic health? Philosophers, scholars and theologians from decades and centuries past share that we are made up of body, mind, soul, and spirit.
The following insights are from the two books I recently reviewed, The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and our Quest for an Inspired Life by Lisa Miller, Ph.D. a psychologist and Columbia University professor who has spent 20 years studying the relationship between spirituality and depression and Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times by John Eldredge, Counselor and Author.
In the book RESILIENT by John Eldredge, he shares a quote from C.S. Lewis, “God made us; invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. (Mere Christianity). The book provides resources, exercises and inspiration that encourages us to daily expand our resilience through connection to the God of the Universe and Creation. Suggestions in the book include a “bare minimum” plan for refreshment of our weary souls. To be provided later in the post.
According to Dr. Miller, as a culture, we are becoming more aware that emotional well-being is just as important as physical health. Often spiritual health is overlooked or completely ignored as a part of life. Miller believes that when we ignore our spiritual lives, we shut ourselves off from a world of connection, guidance, and mystery. We miss the clues and opportunities that knock at our door because we are not living in the present moment, or we are running in survival mode trying to get through a day rather than enjoying the day and seizing opportunities right before us.
Dr. Miller shares results from a recent study, the results showed that people with strong spiritual lives are 80 percent less likely to meet clinical diagnostic criteria for addiction, and 60 percent less likely to have deep recurrent major depression. Another study asked depressed and non-depressed women, their children, and their grandchildren: “How important is spirituality to you?”. Those participants who responded that spirituality was important to them, revealed in an MRI scan that their brains were thicker and stronger in exactly the same regions that weaken and wither in depressed brain. The study supported Dr. Miller’s belief, intentional spirituality builds a stronger brain.
There is a difference between spirituality and religion. According to people at VIA Institute on Character, spirituality means to have coherent beliefs about one’s higher purpose and the meaning of the universe. It involves knowing where one fits within the largest scheme and having beliefs that shape conduct and supply comfort. Spirituality is expressed through meaning, purpose, life calling, being a good and virtuous person and or taking part in specific rituals and institutions. There are many practices of spirituality you may appreciate, such as contemplation, mindfulness meditation, prayer, communing with nature, and/or engaging in sacred readings.
Many of us have had experiences we might describe as spiritual. A moment of deep connection with another human being or in nature. A feeling of awe. A time when a stranger showed up and did something for you. A time you felt carried by something greater than yourself – a higher power, God. According to Lisa Miller, the awakened spirituality brain is our hardwired, innate ability to see into life at a deeper level and know we’re never alone. When a person awakens, they see life as a sacred journey. We don’t control it, we navigate it. We respond to life with the belief there is a force greater than ourselves that has good intentions and plans for us. There is a shifting in the way we see the world when we live out of the awakened awareness. We begin to see possibilities rather than obstacles or losses. This way of being births optimism or positive anticipation, both essential components to living from resilience.
Cultivation of spirituality is lived from curiosity.
Often, we don’t understand or can’t explain it, we just know that something is to be. Practice responding to what presents itself and see if you can experience greater emotional agility by living from curiosity rather than judgement or loss.
If you want to learn more about resilience building and spirituality, consider reviewing these resources:
I wish you deep satisfaction as you explore expanding your resilience through spirituality. If you have questions about how coaching could help you expand your resilience, increase your vitality, and explore your life’s purpose, take a look at our website. www.raretransformation.com