July 21, 2020

Who is your spiritual practice?

Who is your spiritual practice?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘spirituality’? Mass on Sunday? Hymns in school assembly? Incense and crystals?

I was raised by staunch atheists who were also very political and so religion was viewed with disdain. I recall returning from a Christian holiday camp in year 5 feeling emboldened by the energy a large, singing Christian community can inject. When I sang Grace at the dinner table, my father gently mocked me. I quickly learned faith was not a path to parental acceptance in my house. Science, reason and challenging conversations, were my approval ticket.

In the decades since, that same intellectual curiosity and honesty that my father inspired in me has forged my spiritual path. For me, spirituality now means a lifelong process of seeing myself and expanding my knowing to serve myself, others and hopefully, in some way, the world. Exploring what it means to be fully human is my compass. Owning my outcomes and letting go of my defences so I can learn and grow is the practice. I like to think of it as a system for being.

We become better humans through our relationships; it’s where we’re tested and troubled. In this way, relationships can be our spiritual practice*, especially the relationships that are hard, conflicted and important. These relationships are the fertile ground where “practicing human”** delivers the greatest returns.

What’s the hardest relationship you have right now? Your parents, partner, kids, work colleague? What might you gain if you made that relationship your spiritual practice? That means you take 100% responsibility for what you’re getting from that relationship (grief, tension, conflict), you see precisely how you achieve that outcome (blaming, complaining, defensiveness) and explore ways to shift to achieve the outcome you actually want (connection, trust, comfort).

Let me know if that resonates and I’ll send across some more info about how I approach it.



* I heard this line from one of my mentors, Matt Church, which inspired this blog post.

** this phrase comes from one of my favourite podcasts of the same name by the very lovely and incredibly insightful Cory Muscara.


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