According to L.W. Rodgers, author of “Self Development and the Way to Power,” nature has a basic law of economy;
She never gives life where it is useless, where it cannot, or will not, be utilized. On the other hand exercise increases power. To increase the size and strength of muscles we must use them. This is just as true of mental and moral faculties as it is the physical body. The only way to make the brain keen and powerful is to exercise it by original thinking. One way to gain soul powers is to give free play to the loftiest aspirations of which we are capable, and to do it systematically instead of random. We grow to be like the things we think about. Now, the reverse of this must also be equally true. To give no thought to higher things, to become completely absorbed in material affairs, is to stifle the soul, to invite spiritual atrophy.1
It is important for us to adhere to and practice the following four key spiritual practices in a continual quest for ethical and spiritual well-being, and [personal and] professional development:
- know one’s self
- respect and honor the beliefs of others
- be as trusting as you can be; and
- maintain a spiritual practice (i.e., spending time in nature, prayer, mediation, reading inspirational literature, yoga, [mindfulness] practices, writing in a journal) (Kurth, 2003).
These spiritual practices are also necessary for the development of [mature] personal spiritual leadership and, we propose, authentic leadership.2
These practices matter in our collective effort to provide sustainable Coping and Life Skills Training, Habits of Mind Training, Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence Training, and Mindfulness and Reflection Training to others.
They also help one “to make good judgments, about their capabilities, anticipate the probable effects of different events and courses of action, size up sociostructural opportunities and constraints, and regulate their behavior accordingly” (Bandura, 2001). Moreover, “[f]orethoughtful, generative, and reflective capabilities are, therefore, vital for survival and human progress”… which must naturally take place.
Through the combination of extensive research, meeting with multiple Master level teachers, the completion of a variety of assigned readings, a number of significant volunteer work experiences and individual spiritual practice, I have now gained a level of comfort in what Carl Rodgers once described as “A Way of Being”.
He went on to promote three basic attitudes that he called “core conditions” for a healing, therapeutic relationship: to regard a person in an unconditional positive manner; to empathize with their experiencing, and to do all of this in a state of genuineness.
My efforts at becoming an effective ‘helper’ are ongoing. I want very much to be someone who is able to facilitate the “Five C’s” which include competence, character, connections, confidence, and contributions made in the interest of others.
Hopefully, in some way the material found here will one day be used by to inspire your fresh thinking, the passionate pursuit of your unique calling or purpose, and to help others to more vividly see their lives also mattering in the world.
May your days always be filled with awe, gratitude, and an ever increasing sense of wonder and zest for life.