It’s my belief that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Although we may experience it differently, we are all on some kind of spiritual/faith journey during our life on earth. That journey can be a key part of transforming our retirement.
As we age, we often have more questions about this journey and where it is leading. It may be that you are happily settled where you are, or you may be apathetic or bored, or you may be actively looking for something more, or you are in an expansive stage in relation to your faith/spirituality.
The first step is to get a sense of where you are and what you are thinking and feeling. Describe your spiritual/faith journey over the past 3-5 years. Consider these to help you put it together:
+ level of participation in an organized faith community, if any
+ any change in your beliefs or participation
+ any exploration of practice or beliefs outside of your particular faith community
+ any significant events, positive or negative
+ any new revelations or new questions that are significant to you + Gaps, emptiness or needs you are feeling spiritually
When you’ve completed the snapshot, rate your level of satisfaction with where you are in your spiritual/faith journey right now. Use a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “bored or dissatisfied,” 8 being “extremely satisfied” and 10 being “joyful and growing.”
If your ratings are between 8 and 10, congratulations! You are in a good place on your journey. And you can always expand your options and involvement if you want to be even more joyful and growing!
If you have ratings that are less than 8, I suggest that you take three additional steps:
1) Write down anything with which you are not satisfied and what’s missing that lowered your rating. This may take some reflection; take your time and perhaps come back to it later to allow some thoughts and feelings to surface.
2) Next, take some time to write down exactly what you would find satisfying and meaningful in the coming years of your spiritual/faith journey. Use the “What if….” format to create statements like, “What if I found/created a faith or spiritual community where I experienced genuine love and community?” or “What if could find ways to heal my church/religion-caused wounds from the past?”
3) After creating your list, choose the one about which you feel most strongly. Come up with some possibilities of how to make that happen, beginning now. As time goes on, do the same with the rest of your list. Enjoy some new exploration and excitement as your faith journey continues – which can be a major part of transforming your retirement.