The Spirituality and Wellbeing Day was presented by Dr Elizabeth McCrory, an experienced clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who runs workshops and seminars on Meditation, Spiritual Autobiography, Spirituality and long term illness, Death and Dying and Women in transition. She presented on spirituality and wellbeing, spirituality and ageing and between.
She pointed that we can define spirituality as connecting with a Numinous Other; a practice which incorporates awe, wonder & joy and a deep awareness that everything and everyone is connected in the endless flow of energy.
Elizabeth McCrory defines the meaning of True Self / Soul Self as follows:
‘The True Self is an evolving wholeness that has two halves. The first is unique to an individual and has its roots in the biographical narrative of the individual’s life journey. The second half is more universal, connected to something greater, something sacred a numinous other’
Being present in our own lives is the crucial key in becoming whole and experience well-being. Prayer is all about presence. Thomas Keating connects presence with the power of prayer:
‘The spiritual journey is a process of dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.” In prayer there’s no need for judgement or shame when our thoughts predictably start wandering down their usual rabbit holes. What matters is our desire—and even that is a gift of grace—to return to Presence again and again and again’
Ageing gives us an advantaged point of wisdom and we should learn how to embrace it. The Elders are wisdom makers who have an ongoing responsibility for ensuring society’s wellbeing. They are pioneers of consciousness who practice contemplative arts from spiritual traditions. Elders like to use tools for inner growth such as meditation, journal writing and life reviews. They come to terms with their mortality, harvest the wisdom of their years and transmit a legacy to those who come behind them. Elders serve as mentors and freely pass on the distilled essence of their life experience to others. This work is extremely important as it brings joy, seeds the future for younger generations and brings the sense of worth and nobility to an elders life.
‘An elder is a person who is still growing, still a learner, whose life continues to have a promise and connection to the future. An elder is still in pursuit of happiness, joy and pleasure and her/his birthright to these remain intact. It is a time for discovering inner riches of self-development and spiritual growth’
In the past women were the mentors who counselled the society and were heard. It is important to keep doing the new things and harvesting wisdom. One of the programmes which can help us is called “Healthy mind platter” which outlines some beneficial activities for developing spiritual, organic and mental well-being:
- PLAY: spontaneous play, creativity, art, drawing, dancing.
- REFLECTION/TIME IN: journaling, yoga.
- DOWN TIME: contemplative practices, breathing, stillness.
- CONNECTING: speaking with someone, meeting friends.
- NUTRITION: healthy eating. Focusing on how we eat.
The text was inspired by materials used during Spirituality and Well Being workshop by Elizabeth McCrory. She received her BA, MA and PhD from University College Dublin and MBA from Warwick University, UK. She developed an interest in spirituality through her work both in the public health services and private business sector and has studied spirituality for 10 years. She runs workshops and seminars on a variety of topics including: Meditation, Spiritual Autobiography, Parenting, Spirituality and long term illness, Death and Dying and Women in transition. She is an experienced clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a special interest in Chronic Pain. She combines psychotherapy with contemplative practices; the focus is on helping clients to achieve wholeness through connecting with their deepest True Self.