If there is a secret to spiritual wellbeing, it is this: when we are present, when our attention is fully in the moment, our lives are deepened and transformed.
The idea of developing mindfulness in the midst of our crazy, chaotic world, might be perceived as dubious. Think about the number of distractions that characterize most of our lives. We have emails to read, texts to send, pictures to post on Facebook. It seems that every academic year leads to an exponential increase in the distractions that occupy our minds, and absorb our attention, energy and exuberance for life.
Spiritual wellbeing is not an elective course. We can treat it like an elective, but if we do, we will miss out on an opportunity to bring an open heart to all of the uninvited guests that inevitably enter daily life.
When we are mindful, a dimension of stillness and peace grows within us. Finding and living in alignment with our innate “sense-ability” is the basis for being truly alive.
Wake Forest’s religious and philosophical traditions provide unique tools that can help us transform into kinder, gentler, more civil and compassionate human beings. So that’s both good news and a challenge. Are we going to let ourselves live ordinary lives, squandering our time away? Or are we going to accept the challenge to devote ourselves to the spiritual practices that change us, thankfully for the better.
I believe that spiritual wellbeing is a human birthright, a path to openhearted awareness that can bless us with clarity, love, peace, joy and wisdom while also reducing our anxiety and fear. But, it’s up to us to ask how far we want to go in the exploration of our deeper selves, how much we care about our own sense of purpose, and how much we want to devote ourselves to creating positive change at Wake Forest and in the world.
And the issues are urgent. Can we live more mindfully? Can we increase awareness so that we’re able to live lives of gratitude? Can we handle disappointment and loss? Can we nourish compassion, civility, curiosity, authenticity and goodness and invite them to manifest more often?
Spiritual wellbeing is our chance to go deep, and then to go deeper still. The most important thing is that we make spiritual wellbeing personal. From there we can look for ourselves at what’s really important in our lives and then do something about it.
And don’t worry so much about making mistakes along the way. Just be fearless and trust your own basic goodness to guide you.