Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith 

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois   

Hi Faith, wonderful to be with you.

Faith

It is a good day.

Lois   

It’s a beautiful day and I’m taking the nudge of last week and the outlook on my body to stop being so afraid of my physical self. You know, things that were in pain or nudging me. I said, it’s time to take a little listen to this and see where we go from here. Not be afraid to find out a result I didn’t want, but to say it’s because I appreciate my body.

Faith

And how did that work?

Lois   

It worked really well. I mean it’s interesting that the caregiving professionals that are out there are ready to listen and find out if something is more serious or not. But it had to do with slowing down, checking in, listening, and it’s funny how then I’m not so afraid of my body. That’s good. So please know that you can do that.

Faith

It’s called partnering with your body.

Lois   

I love it. And since we’re all into the whole self, we hope that you will do that as well and we would love it if you want to sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website, www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com and you can like us or react to our podcast on whatever platform you listen and share them with someone in your life. And here we are staying with this month’s theme of your outlook for this coming year and today we bring you Episode 108: What’s your outlook on spirituality?

Faith

And this is where there can be a lot of excitement and some of our listeners and some, some of the listeners may going, Oh maybe I will turn this off and I’m just encouraging people. Give us a chance here because what we want to offer is the importance of our spirituality, whatever that may be for you of how important that is and how it does affect the whole of who you are.

Lois   

Because that’s what we’re delving into this year. Your whole self. And we believe, of course there are more parts, but we’re only going to focus on the four parts, the relationship, the body, spirituality, and your craft. And so we’re in this element that we believe can breathe a lot into who you are and how you express yourself. So Faith, what’s your outlook on spirituality?

Faith 

Well, for me, spirituality is an integral part of my life. And I see how it impacts the whole of who I am. It does impact my mental state, my emotional state, and my physical being. Because having a faith, having something that I truly believe in adds a dimension to my life. It opens up avenues in my life that I otherwise would not have seen or discovered or experienced. And so for me, it is, um, probably the ultimate element of my life of all the four. And I use it in how I let it develop me as a person and who I want to be known as and the piece that it can bring to me and the direction for life choices and decisions that I need to make. It’s woven into my fiber. And so I call my spirituality is totally a part of my DNA. It’s, it’s just in me and I live from that place and it helps balance everything else.

Lois   

Oh, I, I love hearing that. And I think that’s truly for all of you who know Faith and who know of the relationship, the faith. And I have our faith has a lot to do with how we even came together in the first place and how we resonate. And I too grew up with a background in faith and spirituality that I not only took on, but I absorbed into my very being. And one of the things my parents taught me, even though we didn’t share all the same tenants of exactly how we looked at God and how we looked at the world, what I appreciated from them more than anything else is that they lived out what they believed. So you know, you couldn’t call them a hypocrite. You may not like what they, what their statutes were or what they clung to, but they were real and they meant something to them. And they had daily practices to inform everything they did. So even as I veered slightly from the form that my parents had, I take that to heart, that if I don’t live out, what I say is really important to me in my faith practices, then what good is it? What good is it if it means nothing, if I can change tomorrow and it doesn’t mean anything. So for me, I have done a lot of study and I take it very seriously, even from a mental perspective, but more important is how I express it. So when I have relationships, if the way I communicate has no love in it, has no perspective of what I really believe in my undergirding, then it means nothing. And I notice that the people are going, well she doesn’t, it’s a lie. She doesn’t really mean it. They don’t say that anymore. Only because I’m so careful about it now. And I want that to be a part of my life. So I think that as we look at spirituality, and you may not feel that it’s that important to you in terms of expressing it. But for me, my faith is all about what does it look like? What does it work out? And when I approach you, do you feel kindness or love coming through? Because if you don’t, then I have missed something there.

Faith 

That’s really excellent. And you said a key word that I think in either have a negative or positive connection to people and that is the form of spirituality. And what we’re talking about here is not the form. We’re talking about the experience about how it is applicable to your life, what inspires, what brings you to a place of deeper, um, awakening, looking beyond yourself, looking beyond the everyday circumstances of life and what has a deeper, richer meaning in life for you.

Lois   

Because spirituality, as we mentioned, is an area that many people shy away from. So Faith and I have decided that this year we’re actually committed to once a month diving into this very difficult, challenging topic for many as it relates to different themes. And we’re looking at the outlook for 2020. And so it was really cool because on the website, www.gratefulness.org the question of the day, one day, last year, faith was what are some experiences that have shaped your spiritual life? And it was like, Oh my goodness, what a great launching pad for us to look at this from real life experiences. So those responses totally connect with what we’re looking at as it comes to our outlook on spirituality for 2020.

Faith 

I love this list and I’m sure it’s not all inclusive, but the first one that popped up was surviving trauma. And as a trauma survivor myself, I can totally testify to the reality of this to see how my spirituality saw me through the recovery of trauma and to seeing myself more for who I really was and was meant to be, and that my trauma did not define me, but that who I was and who I was created to be was the real deal. And to move into the acceptance of that. And so spirituality really was kind of like a floodlight on truth and that had overrode it. It helped me become victorious over the things of my past into seeing myself for who I am both now and for the future.

Lois   

That’s so powerful because I think sometimes there are many of us who actually say we’re grateful for spirituality because it’s something beyond ourselves. And you know when I go out in nature and I have a breathtaking view of the mountains, there’s something that tingles in me that has nothing to do with me because I look at that and I’m just so grateful and I can’t pinpoint it. So for those of you who have a faith practice that isn’t clearly defined, that’s okay. It’s still being able to absorb this beauty and feel some resonance in there that makes a difference.

Faith 

It does make all the difference in the world. And that is excellent because there are things that strike us and those are spiritual moments, those things that we just our breath taken away for a sunset or a sunrise or a thunderstorm or some experience where we’re just in awe of the moment. That’s spirituality. There’s something knocking on your door.

Lois   

And we talked earlier, Faith, about spirituality as being a place of exploration and seeking as we’re looking for purpose and meaning, and I think that there comes a point and it doesn’t happen every day. We don’t sit there and gaze and wonder why am I here in life? But there are moments that we come to a crisis point or a turn in the road where we do reach for something beyond our relationships and something that can happen in our body too. As we sit and we’re contemplating, is there something else out there moving me in a direction. And it’s not weird folks, it’s something that actually can give me at least a great deal of comfort to know that I’m not the final answer. I know it’s disappointing.

Faith 

I’ve always been the final answer.

Lois   

I never wanted that, so I’m really glad not to have that. But you know, sometimes it’s challenging events that will bring a perspective of a spirituality into your life. Maybe you’ve had a job loss or you’ve someone in your family who you’re really close to has passed away recently or you’ve had a connection that has been lost. You know, spiritual community at that point can mean a great deal to you with the people who you can hang around and receive support from.

Faith 

And that can be, uh, just opening your heart. And I think that’s the key thing about spirituality. It’s not a mind thing. It’s a heart. It’s your heart. And when you can open it up and you can pour it out, whether you’re crying in pain and grief and fear, crying out to a friend, to someone who’s a therapist even. That’s why so much of the therapy that I do with people, I always call it sacred space. It’s just, it’s held in such a sacred, defined and divine place every time I’m with a client because it’s so precious that someone is opening their heart and sharing what is in the depths of their being. That’s one way you can connect to your spirituality. Another is just to begin to be celebratory and rejoice over the good things as well as the things where you’re in pain and hurting. They both can bring you into a spiritual place.

Lois   

What’s so cool about hanging around people who aren’t exactly like us is how much we get glimpses of grace and beauty from people that we least expect. And for any of you who’ve been in a caregiving role, you might notice that you get a glimpse of spirituality from someone’s kindness or from someone’s thoughts about what’s coming next for them in the life beyond this life. And hearing those ideas has just made a big difference in my life as I had a role of caregiver for a number of years. And, and it took me a while after the grief to get through some of the pain. But now what stays with me are those moments of hope and of joy and remembering, Oh, that’s what they meant when they said this. And it’s not because I’m getting ready to move on to the next life or anything, but it is because I’m at that place where I can receive that. And so that’s where spirituality can shape me as well. The words that someone has spoken in a time of maybe pain for them, but beauty as it resonates. And also reading many different areas of ways that people practice a faith tradition that are completely unlike my own. But I can see the sacredness that’s coming through. Those are incredibly special people and I would love to be more like them.

Faith 

Another way to awaken spirituality for some is obviously going to churches, synagogues to other places, even little house churches or gatherings, whatever it might look like. It’s again, it’s about being with united, likeminded people that awaken and stir something within us that says there’s more and what is the more. A key piece about spirituality is it’s about seeking and it’s about the desire to see what is beyond ourselves and there’s a lot of ways that that can happen. I was sharing with you earlier that I saw on Facebook a fantastic photographer and I got to see if we can see if I can find this again, but he had an image of this beautiful stained glass cathedral. It was just incredible. And then next to it, which I thought was another cathedral. But when you look closer, it was the forest and the light was shining through the stained glass and the light was shining through the forest. And they both look like cathedrals. And it’s like, that’s wow, that’s all inspiring. Something awakened, something stirrers. And it’s in the uniqueness of what stirs your heart, what stirs curiosity, what stirs the more?

Lois   

That’s beautiful. And if you’ve been wounded in any of these places, there are people and groups and other places of worship that you could go to to find healing because there is damage that’s happened. And so some people, because of a woundedness that they’ve experienced in a spiritual setting, they may choose to stay away from that for a long time. So go into nature and enjoy that beauty and see where it may bring you back to a community of people who can embrace and help with your healing process. And we’d love to share some great news from our sponsor, A Stepping Stone. So if you’re looking for a path to a healthy mind, we want to let you know about an amazing treatment program.

Faith 

A Stepping Stone located in Greenwood village. Colorado works with you using a number of therapies on your journey to be mentally healthy.

Lois   

Their treatment programs range from one on one counseling and therapy treatment for substance addiction disorder, family and marriage therapy, psychiatric evaluation, life coaching, and more.

Faith 

Their clinic now offers FDA approved BrainsWay deep TMS for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Lois   

The noninvasive and medication free treatment administers magnetic waves to deep structures of the brain and allows patients to return to normal activities after the treatment.

Faith 

A Stepping Stone is open from nine to five and weekends and after hours by appointment. They even have online sessions available.

Lois   

Call them at 303-942-0512.

Faith 

Or go online to www.steppingstonenow.com.

Lois   

So on Episode 108: What’s your outlook on spirituality? A number of you have practices which may include some type of contemplation, meditation or prayer.

Faith 

And that is an integral part of awakening that deeper place. Sometimes that’s journaling as well, of of just being time that is set apart where it’s your space, your environment, and it’s still, and it’s quiet for you to reflect and look inward and look outward to the bigger aspect of what life is about.

Lois   

You know, I was talking recently with somebody about this practice and she said to me, she goes, I can’t do that Lois. It just, I, my mind goes and I, I can’t, I said, try 30 seconds, I can’t even do 30 seconds. And I said, well, here’s the way I learned to do it. And one of the practices I got actually from my parents years ago was that they would have a list of names of people that they would think about. Now my parents would pray for people. So I choose it to do it in a different way of just to have them come up and so that I’m not trying to change them again. So I’m working on that. But, so I just think of people and their names are written down and they come up and I think about the person. And that allows me to not wander too much and I do it for a limited amount of time and then I move on to the next person and I have three people that I try to focus on on a daily basis. And so when I do that, I find that I can be still.

Faith 

That’s really good. And if there are these thoughts, there’s different ways to let them go. You can just say it’s kind of that crazy monkey thing that’s in there messing with my brain and you’re going to say, I’m not going to give that attention for me. One of the things I did is I just saw healing and balloons and every thought that came in, I just hooked it to a helium balloon and let it go and I just saw it drift up in my mind up into the air and it would disappear. And so whatever works for you to help your mind quiet. It takes practice. It doesn’t happen overnight. But if you’re intentional, it will work.

Lois   

And you’ll probably read this in almost every self help book or any guru that’s out there worth his or her salt. And it is that this practice more than almost anything, you’ll do grounds you for your day. And you may do it in the morning. You may do it in the middle of the day, you may do it night. We talked about this before, we did a podcast on reflection, Faith and you, I love what you said, do it at the best time of day. Don’t give it your worst time because of course then your thoughts are going to go monkey, whatever you call it.

Faith 

The drunken monkey. It’s the drunken monkey. Yeah, that will come in big time. Another one is if you really have difficulty, find a spiritual director. Find someone that aligns with your faith and, and just talk with them and let them help you for a short season to get your feet on the ground. And as you said, there’s lots of books. There’s a lot of things that are written out there. And then having a broken heart, the experience of a broken heart.

Lois   

Wow. I know. So this is an experience that can really shape your spiritual journey, as you probably know, and that’s sometimes where you do go into the mental health and wanting to talk about, talk to someone about this. But yes, when you’ve been wounded in that regard, that often will bring you to a spiritual place because nothing else seems to work.

Faith 

It’s the real crying out the anguish that oftentimes literally brings us to our knees.

Lois   

And then sometimes on a positive note, it is just all of life. I mean, everything you’re doing, you start noticing the connections. Oh, because I started this, I ended up here, or because I met this person. Then this interaction happened. When you start seeing these connections that leads you to wonder, is there some kind of a tapestry in my life that’s connected? And it’s, it’s actually beautiful. Not scary. But you start seeing a theme in your own life.

Faith 

And that’s looking at the more, instead of just assuming, Oh, it’s just happening and it’s taking a deeper look and just pulling back the shade a little bit and the saying, Hey, what is really going on here? And living in the present moment, how precious each and every moment is in each day. And to see the value and you know, the birth of my grandchildren is in hearing their first cry. That moment is like, I can still hear it because it was so powerful. And you know, it just makes tears come. And those are moments in that present moment that we get to experience in life and we need to take them and hold them and treasure them because those are spiritual moments.

Lois   

And I love that. That’s a spiritual experience. Yeah. And so for any of you who may not want to dive into some of the other areas we’ve touched on, these are moments that if you take them and grab them, you’ll experience it too – with children. And that I just love that is, it makes me, takes me back. And that, and that is just beautiful because you know, no matter what your spiritual practice, really, it’s all about exploring what gives you meaning. And we mentioned this before, but when you’re a seeking, when you are exploring, you will find what you’re looking for. That’s the real beautiful part. And so just keep looking. Something is out there for you and you will find it.

Faith 

However you experience faith or celebrate spirituality demonstrates an attraction to something greater than yourself.

Lois   

And there’s a beauty in realizing that you can embrace this part of yourself beyond yourself without having all the answers.

Faith 

Please share this podcast with someone who is exploring spirituality.

Lois   

And join us next week as we wonder what’s your outlook on your craft?

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

Lois   

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality, or your craft,

Faith 

We are here to assure you there is always more to life.

Lois   

We’ll be back next week.