Now that Halloween is over, the official holiday season has begun. It’s now custom and even socially-acceptable for stores and displays to start preparing for the end-of-year holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, etc. Even the holiday music on the radio is now socially acceptable (still too soon?). Coupled with the holiday season is also the push for us to take stock and reflect on our lives, where we’ve come, and where we’re planning on going. With so much merriment, sales, family get-togethers, etc., it can be easy to disconnect from ourselves, from our life force, from our spirit.
That’s where we believe spirituality comes in.
In CARP we acknowledge that just as each person has a physical body, each person also has a spirit. Just as we need to feed and nurture our body, so too do we need to feed and nurture our spirit -that’s where this article leads us. For many students, college is a time for exploration of identity, self, and values in an attempt to affirm their independence and adulthood. It’s the first time many students are away from their families and thus without the rigid structure of home and parental supervision, it’s time for students to decide for themselves and make it their own. This is where we’ve found the student trend steers away from religion but affirms students are open to spirituality. As an adult, you have the choice to decide who you want to be, how to live your life, and how to become responsible for yourself.
For many parents, it can seem scary now that their kids are out of the nest and there’s no (or limited) means to control– I mean guide— their independent young adults. Freedom of choice – it’s scary but it’s real. The main thing we want to share with young adults is to stay open.
College is sure to present you with a hundred different views
The numerous ideas and approaches will come from all over: from your professors, peers, textbooks, majors, clubs, etc. It’s the old-teenage adage, “don’t do it just because your friends are.” Find what works for you. Find what uplifts and nurtures you, what inspires you, what gets you in touch with your spirituality, what resounds as true for you. Spirituality isn’t some new-age thing that’s covered in obscurity and mysticism. It’s a part of health. It’s a part of you. It’s a natural part of people’s lifestyles as they seek to connect to something higher to themselves.
As you nurture your spirit, be open to spiritual practices which will bring you closer to that peace and clarity. For some, it may be spending time in nature. For others, it may be in charitable service work to others. Still others may find that certain religious practices really ring true and work for them. Whether through prayer, meditation, yoga, scripture, etc…do something to nurture your spirit. Take time to honor the spirit within in some way, shape or form.
Just Do Something
We encourage you to just do something. Talk with your peers and people close to you. Consult with chaplains, ministers, and pastors. Read books. Take a class. Ask questions.
Spirituality is a journey of discovering the divine or the truth within. Don’t expect an answer or “the” answer right away. Take the first step. Stay open.
As the holiday season comes closer and as the semester comes to an end, remember to apply your spirituality. Life tends to get crazy towards the end of the year but you can get the most out of it if you want to. We have a feeling that nurturing your spirit will come in handy, especially this upcoming holiday season.
Here are a few articles to read over and consider in your spiritual journey: