About Spiritual Resilience
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL RESILIENCE?
Spiritual resilience is the ability to maintain
- a sturdy positive spirit and
- a clear sense of purpose and meaning
- even in the face of suffering.
WHAT DOES SPIRITUAL RESILIENCE LOOK LIKE?
Spiritually resilient people are generally calm, hopeful and kind. We're drawn to them and somehow feel better when we're in their presence. They have a strength that radiates from within and a dedication to others' welfare. They are willing to engage with suffering, their own and others'.
These eight spiritual emotions especially characterize spiritually resilient people:
Back in the old days we might have called these virtues. Virtues are what happens when emotions and attitudes become habits. Our spiritual heroes demonstrate what these virtues truly look like, and on our better days we wish we could be more like them.
You'll notice these emotions feel good while moving us beyond ourselves to connect with other people and a reality greater than ourselves. Painful spiritual emotions occur when that connection is broken or damaged. Grief and regret can be excruciating, and deep spiritual resilience requires the ability to navigate our suffering. This course will help you learn to buffer pain, but the work of directly processing painful emotions belongs to another series.
I propose that spiritual practices are one powerful means of growing in spiritual resilience. The Spiritual Resilience Project is based on incorporating traditional spiritual practices - refined by new understanding of how our body/spirits function - into our everyday lives. None of these practices is new, but some have fallen into disuse. We each bring our own unique perspective to bringing them to life.
WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL PRACTICES?
Spiritual practices are things we do on a regular basis to help bring us back to center. They involve our whole selves - body, mind and spirit - rather than just our intellects. We will focus especially on these practices:
- Surrender/letting go
THE POWER IS IN THE DOING
More than once when browsing in a boutique shop I've seen a post, "Sure, you could make it yourself. But will you?" Understanding the logic of spiritual emotions and practices doesn't change anything, any more than buying exercise equipment makes us fit. Actually engaging in spiritual practices has a positive impact on our nervous systems - and opens us up to the grace of God we so often pass by. When we incorporate spiritual practices into our daily lives, giving them the attention they are due, we are like travelers putting their canoes into the river, still paddling but allowing the current to carry them to their destination.
WE'RE STRONGER TOGETHER
If possible, I encourage you to find a buddy or a small group to begin this adventure together. Partners not only help us stay accountable; they also share stories and encouragement along the way. I have been part of an accountability group for more than thirty years, and it has helped me stay anchored through storms and calm. There is a kind of connection that happens in spiritual sharing that is precious and all too rare. The most powerful conversations are not thinking about theory, but sharing how we are being transformed by what we believe and practice.
HOW TO LEARN MORE
See our eight-week online introduction to building spiritual resilience, available without charge, by clicking here.
An Apple E-Book will launch October 20, with Kindle and paperback versions coming in early December.
About Connie Fourré
I was blessed to grow up in a home where God's presence was celebrated. Life wasn't perfect, but those early years were rich in spirit. I spent twenty-five years in the classroom with high school students, talking about God, the world and their lives. I raised five children and an assortment of livestock in an old farmhouse on five acres outside Minneapolis. My lifelong spiritual influences include my Catholic heritage, the Jesus movement of the 1970's, recent mindfulness training, and my current interfaith work.
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Photo credits from top: thanasis papathanasisiou, Flickr; Happiness Revealed, Louis Schwartzberg