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Spirituality Series Part 1: Why and How I Started.

A collective view at Conquering Momma is that life is a balance of spiritual, physical, and mental health and that when those are “in tune” we open a pathway for living our best life. After some reflection I realized that I was sorely lacking on the spirituality side of things, at least it felt that way. It wasn’t hard to recognize; when asked for “prayers” I felt uncomfortable, but I wanted to send my love and positive energy just the same. But before I begin down this path, I want to clarify two key things. Firstly, this is not a debate over spirituality vs religion. Secondly, while I share my journey I will not, in any way, try to impose what works for me as what should work for anyone else.

First, a little background may shed some light on the place I landed. I was born Catholic, but not often raised that way. With my father in the foreign service, we moved to many countries and most times the embassy offered a non-denominational service. My mother always took us and we would mostly see Catholic services when stateside. All that being said at some point we all just stopped going. The messages were never clear to me and the rites and rituals felt more “man-made” than divine.

After bringing 2 sons into the world I had to question this again. What do I tell them? What do I teach them? My husband was also born and raised Catholic. While I would not call him a practicing Catholic, his faith is strong and his beliefs are embedded in his soul. I am enthralled and a bit envious at the solace he finds in his faith. And I’ll be honest, when someone includes me in their prayers I am grateful. Ultimately, we taught our sons to be open to all faith and choose what fits them best. My own personal belief is that while I am not sure “what” would be judging me at the end of my biological life, I wanted to live a life of honesty and be seen for how I was a human, a parent, a spouse, friend and for strangers.

In my initial research I realized that I do actually have spirituality but it isn’t defined in any way that I can help it balance out my life. I also found this useful infographic which gave me a way to see how the two are connected and that I truly do fit in the spirituality side of things because these are the questions, I ask myself.

Why am I on this journey? Well, I feel grounded in what my values are and how I should live but I have gaps in understanding how I feel connected or where I find personal meaning. Sometimes I need “more” than what I currently have to find a sense of that connection and having a source of peace and spiritual well-being.

How did I start? Well I was clear on what was not my path because it didn’t fit me anymore. My conquering momma team was a great help, as well as my other family members, in giving me feedback and asking me questions to help me understand what the next steps were. We all discussed very general ideals; where and how do I find solace and connection, what did I want from my journey, what do I expect to gain from it. Ultimately, it went back to my why. While I would never attribute the characteristic of brilliant to myself, I do have a core strength that has carried me well throughout my

career and my life. That is I can take complex things and break them down into manageable morsels to digest and dig into. In that light, I started by breaking down my steps which are as follows:

1. Why I started and how I started – the phases of the journey.

2. Define Phase:

a. Explore

b. Pick best 4 for me.

3. Research Phase:

a. Define each one.

b. Pro’s/Cons

c. Select Top 2

4. Experimental Phase:

a. How did I experiment with each?

b. What were the results?

c. How did I feel (did I feel an affinity or at peace?)

d. Select 1 from the 2

5. Practice Phase:

a. Was I true to the practice?

b. How did I establish a habit of linking to spirituality?

6. Review Phase:

a. Did the journey address my why?

b. Do I feel more connected because of this?

Next up in my spirituality journey blog will be focused on the define (and perhaps also research) phase.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” (W.B. Yeats)

Until next time my friends…

Conquering Momma Lisa

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