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Friday, 2 May 2014

In Search of the Spiritual

Seeking Spiritual Opportunities
There seems to be a general consensus that as humans, our wellbeing depends on a combination of factors. Some wise folk have even made pretty charts to point us in the right direction:

1. relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things

I accompanied my students to a wellbeing conference today and was reminded how important it is to pay attention to our spiritual needs.  It’s a tricky thing to define, but a recurrent theme in wellness literature and practice is that a regular dose of spirituality is a key component of the wellbeing kit. So much so, that it appears in the National Curriculum:

"Spiritual development
Pupils' spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life's fundamental questions. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and non-material wellbeing.”

In our atheistic rat race of a culture, is there still room for the spiritual? Spiritual needs are often overlooked in the race to get ahead (or just survive!), or ignored by people who think it means church on Sundays, or watching Songs of Praise. It is all too easy to get sucked into the superficial world of Heat magazine, soap star reality shows and social media and believe that this is experiencing life. I’m as guilty as the next person – eagerly switching on Strictly to see which former stage-school graduate is [un]surprisingly good at dance this year. And there’s nothing wrong with that – as long as there is balance. I’m not always balanced. This needs addressing. I need to connect with what is real and true in the world.

Since I was very young I have always felt the need to spend time contemplating my existence, experiencing wonder at the world around me, getting out into nature, experiencing art and culture and having philosophical conversations with like-minded friends and family. I haven’t been doing this much of late.

Spirituality to me, means taking time to be, to just simply exist, often somewhere beautiful, to contemplate nature and experience wonder. I most strongly feel this when I visit the coast and countryside, and in things that move me – spectacular views, being on, in or near the sea, hearing music, appreciating quality theatre and dance. 

So this weekend I intend to fully charge myself up, through visiting beautiful locations, stopping to take the time to be and to breathe, through meditation and reflective writing. The Spiritual Bank Holiday. 

If you like what you have read, please share this blog and subscribe with your email! Many thanks, ChamomileTea xxx

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