New Year reflections on spirituality
Christmas is over. Time for end-of-year summaries and New Year plans and resolutions.
I assume all of you had lots of free time over the holiday period and had many opportunities to reflect on life, perhaps pray, meditate or try to find answers to some of the biggest questions of humanity.
Of course you didn’t. Or at least most of you didn’t! I personally found it very hard to find any time for any reflections!
Cooking, cleaning, travelling, buying presents, attending Christmas gatherings starting as soon as early November! Most of us were so busy that there probably wasn’t much time or energy left for spirituality.
As an integrative health coach, I work with my clients on improving various areas of life. With most people we spend a big portion of the sessions on food and physical activity as well as stress management and work-life balance. At some point in the health coaching programme I bring up spirituality as I believe that feeling well in this area is part of the bigger picture and of having a healthy mind, body and soul. Most people don’t have much to say. They can go on and on about their cravings for sweets or feelings of guilt because of a missed gym sessions, but they usually don’t have that much to say when it comes to spirituality and I am sure there are various reasons for this including the fact that people might simply not find it easy to be sharing with someone about their own personal spiritual journey.
Are you a spiritual person?
Is spiritual growth something that is important to you?
Do you feed your soul?
If you believe that you have a soul, then you better feed it I guess! Also, if you believe that you have a soul that means you believe that you are a spiritual being in a material world. Reminding yourself about this can change your relationship with and attitude towards some of the elements of this material world.
If you feel like finding some time to grow spiritually could be good for you, then I encourage you to try and find the time.
How does one go about spiritual growth? Does it have to be connected to a religion, to a church? Do you just read a book or do you meet a priest or can you go for a walk in the forest and spend some time in silence, in the nature, allowing your mind to wander around questions and dilemmas related to matters such as life and death, love and suffering, happiness, universe and eternity?
If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to spiritual growth then I can recommend one book and one lecture.
LESS IS MORE by Brian Draper
Little book. Easy to read. CLICK HERE to see this book on Amazon.
REDISCOVERY OF LIFE –a lecture by Anthony de Mello
This is a lecture the Indian Jesuit and psychotherapist Anthony de Mello gave in the 80’ in the US. Today we have TEDx talks and lots of other ways to spread ideas at public events and online. This talk by Anthony de Mello is a national college satellite TV retreat. Quite a description right? Satellite TV retreat! Well the fact is, that this is not a quick TEDx or Talks-at-Google-style video. This is a nearly 3h long lecture and as there is so much content the experience you can get is not far from a retreat!
Now, if knowing that it’s 3h long hasn’t put you off watching it yet, then you’ll watch the first minute and you’ll think: oh, that’s not for me. But do give it a go. Watch at least 10min and see what you think. The more you watch the better it gets. At least this was my experience. Anyway, it is intended for anyone, no matter what your cultural or spiritual background.
De Mello talks about happiness, attachment, love, anxiety, fear and freedom. He uses quotes and stories from the Indian culture, the Japanese culture, from Buddhism and from the Bible, just to name a few.
I have to warn you – the video is in really poor quality. And it has Spanish subtitles by the way. You will quickly get used to it and hopefully will be able to focus on the content rather than the format. CLICK HERE to see the video on YouTube.
If you watch it to the end you will realise this is not the full lecture. To watch the final part, around half an hour, start watching THIS VIDEO from 3:08:30.
This second video is even worse quality actually as the audio is not in sync with the video! Oh and this one has Polish subtitles. Again, try to focus on the content. I suggest just listening rather than watching as the out of sync thing can be quite annoying!
I know that these days we are so used to short, compact content, bite-size wisdom, that I am not really expecting that many people will actually click on the links and watch the full lecture. If you are one of the few who might do it, then I’d love to hear your impressions and thoughts after watching.
To a happy, healthy and spiritually interesting 2018!