Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nurturing Spiritual Wellness – more infomercials please

"Life is not a struggle or a contest.  There are no winners or losers.  There are no superior or inferior beings.  There is the process of participation and personal effort and attainment.”  Cheryl Kolander and Cynthia Chandler. 

“Ok people. This is the moment, and I am saying this out loud, in front of the moon and everybody. Everyone who reads this and agrees with it, please lend your energy to this truth: IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE. LIVE UP TO YOURSELF, TO YOUR POSSIBLE GLORY, ON AS MANY LEVELS AS POSSIBLE, EVERY DAY. ACCEPT NOTHING LESS OF YOURSELF. THIS IS YOUR BIG CHANCE. THIS LIFETIME. DO NOT WASTE IT WORRYING WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. SPEND IT BEING ALL THE BEST PARTS OF WHO YOU ARE.” ~ Yessherabbit Mathews

“There is one protection against both kinds of disproportion: that we should not move the body without the soul or the soul without the body, and thus they will be on their guard against each other, and be healthy and well balanced.” Plato, Timaeus: Disease and therapy of the soul

How do you lower the risks of heart disease? 

If you immediately rattled off examples such as: eating low fat foods, eating fruits and vegetables, stopping tobacco use, or getting your 10,000 steps in – put a star by your name.  Your answers are up to par with many health professionals.  I’d conclude that you’ve been listening and learning to prevention tips given by the news, PSAs (i.e., American Heart Association, US Dept. Health and Human Services), and TV shows.   But, people aren’t just their bodies. 

As I wrote before, we are made up of 4 energy bodies.  Our physical bodies are just the shell that carries our soul or spirit – the essence that makes you – you and me – me and the other energy fields.  Research is showing that spiritual health has an influence on heart disease and is related to your overall health (Ornish).  Even with this research, the public remains focused on the physical.  It’s measurable, it’s understandable and you can see and touch it.  The commercial industry finds it a whole lot easier to make money off selling vitamins and minerals with a juicer or a DVD to dance your way to fitness with Zumba or Hip Hop Abs by Shaun-T than on learning the steps to spiritual growth.  (Google infomercials on spiritual growth/nurturing - not much)

When I talk about nurturing spirituality, I tend to use the US National Institutes of Health’s definition: “the feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors that arise from a search for the sacred.”  I believe each person has their own plan and for some it may include religious practices, values and beliefs.  My definition of nurturing spirituality also includes seeking peace, compassion and forgiveness within myself and striving to have an empathetic and altruistic attitude towards the world around me.  As I've walked on my life path returning to Motherfather Spirit, I've had good and bad experiences, met new people and said good-bye to others each of these has left it's mark on my spirit.  I’ve learned that some beliefs are important and other can be transformed.  And once again, everyone's path is different.  


I haven’t reached enlightenment.  I’m not perfect and sometimes find myself a hypocrite when it comes to practicing what I preach.  Specifically, I find myself a hypocrite when it comes to being compassionate and forgiving of myself or having empathetic attitudes towards people that strongly don’t carry the same values and beliefs as me.  What I've learn is each day is a new day that allows me to reflect on my mistakes and try again.  Meaning, feeling empathy or putting myself in their shoes.  

It’s been my experience that just because a person is a season ticket holder at a church, circle, temple, mosque or coven doesn't mean they’re practicing spirituality.  There was a point in my life I was going to church because it was the social thing to do, it was expected that I’d go, I felt guilty if I didn’t go – meaning I was disappointing my family.  I liked the church calendar and I like the rituals and singing, but actually it wasn’t doing anything for me.  It really wasn’t bringing any meaning to my life.  And, I really had no sense who the heck I was; where I was going; or why I was here in this world.  So I took a step back and re-evaluated.  I added some items to my toolkit and changed things up in order to explore these questions.  I took from other faith traditions what made me grow spiritually.  Thus is the reason I call myself a Celtic Christian Wise Witchy Woman.

My Toolkit for Nurturing my Spirituality – you may find them similar to yours or not.  This is okay.  Everyone’s toolkit is different.  My life lesson is being open to explore other ways to get close to the sacred.  It’s about being engaged.

For me, I need to do something daily that honors the sacred piece of me. My toolkit includes:
Reading Findhorn Inspiration Daily.
Walking outside and feeling the earth.
Saying Grace at meals
“I love you” self-blessing after the shower

I believe in a higher power.  I believe that this power is far greater than what I can imagine.  Just calling this being God, felt one sided.  I didn’t feel comfortable calling God, Goddess either.  I went with a more gender neutral name.  My name – Motherfather Spirit.  The change brought me closer.  We have a daily conversation.

Gardening puts me in a contemplative state. 

Yoga at least 1X a week.

Other goodies: Meditation and Quigong.  Lighting candles, reading an inspirational book.

Inspirational books/authors
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Cost of Discipleship - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Silent Spring - Rachel Carson
The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom
I Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
Tuesday with Morrie - Mitch Albrom
The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg
The Prophet - Kahil Gibran
Writings of Julian of Norwich
Enchanted Garden - Elizabeth von Arnim
Personhood: the art of being human - Leo Buscaglia

I attend a ritual or services weekly.  My favorite types of rituals are in silence or there's singing.  If I don't go - I spend at least a hour walking in the woods silently.  The following authors influenced my spiritual practices - Lynn Andrews, Mary Summer Rain, Z. Budapest, Diane Stein....  

I try to do something nice for another daily.  It is my time to put others ahead or pay it forward.  I’ve worked at the food pantry, helped clean up trash, volunteer for a community event, write a note to someone who is shut-in, sing happy birthday to a friend on their answering machine, leave homemade blueberry jam on a neighbor’s doorstep, knitting hats and scarfs for seniors...


Take a moment to assess your own spiritual health by circling the words in each column that best describe your current spiritual condition. You decide which column more accurately describes where you are in your spiritual health.  This assessment is from the University of Northern Iowa.

Spiritual Health
•positive outlook
•acceptance of death
•forgiveness, self-acceptance
•meaning and purpose
•clear values
•sense of worth
•worship, prayer, and meditation

 Spiritual Atrophy
•loss of meaning
•long "dry" spells
•conflicting values
•needing to improve myself
•worried/annoyed/acting in haste
•without rituals that touch me

Build your own Toolkit


Glass-Coffin, Bonnie. “A Mother’s Love: Gender Altruism, and Spiritual Transformation.” Zygon. 41.4 (Dec. 2006). 893-901.

Holt-Lustad, Steffen, Patrick, Sandberg, Johnathan, Jensen, Byran. “Understanding the connectin between spiritual well-being and physical health: an examination of ambulatory blood pressure, inflammation, blood lipids and fasting glucose.” J Behavior Med. 34. 13 April, 2011. 477-488.

Hawks, Steven. “Spiritual Wellness, Holistic Health, and the Practice of Health Educaiton.” American Journal of Health Education. 35.1 (Jan/Feb. 2004). 11-16.

Kolander, Cheryl, Chandler, Cynthia. “Spiritual Health: A Balance of All Dimensions.” Paper Presentation.  Annual Meeting of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. New Orleans, LA. 1 April. 1990.

Lee, Virginia.  Interview with Dean Ornish. Common Ground. Summer 1998. Web. 8 July, 2012.

Siegel, Bernie. Love Medicine and Miracles. Harper and Row. New York. New York. 1985.


  1. I like the term "MotherFather Spirit". Mine is "The Universe".

    1. I've also used "creator." I think if you believe in a higher power - you need to find your name that you feel comfortable with - that speaks to you.


Hi all - I really like your comments, but have had a change of heart regarding anonymous comments. My CCWWW beliefs are that you need to stand behind what you say and what you do. Peace out.