Hey there friends! Welcome back to the show. I am Miranda Anderson and this is Episode 40 of Live Free Creative Podcast. Today we are going to finish the series that I have been sharing over the last couple of weeks about Mothering the Mothers. Two weeks ago, I shared an episode about mothering your own physical health. Last week, I talked about mothering your mental health. And to wrap up this series, today I’m going to share some ideas for mothering your own spiritual health.
You guys have been loving this series and I am so grateful for all of you who are listening and have been sharing about it. I think that the way that it’s resonating with you all says a lot about what we need to hear. Maybe we don’t hear as many messages about taking care of ourselves as we should, and I’m so grateful to have an opportunity to step into a role where I’m giving you permission to take a break. I’m giving you permission to think about what you need in order to feel like your best self.
It is okay for you to sit down and eat a meal. It’s okay for you to make your own doctor’s appointment, and it’s okay to put yourself to bed at a reasonable hour. Even if you haven’t quite finished that Netflix special yet, it’s okay for you to take a real break, take some real time off, and maybe use some of that time off to do something that you just enjoy. Find a simple hobby and just allow yourself to have so much fun practicing it for no reason just for fun. It has been a really, really exciting week over here.
My Book “More Than Enough” is Available for Pre-Order
If you follow along on Instagram (@livefreemiranda) or on the blog (livefreecrative.com/blog), then you know that my book, “More Than Enough” is available for preorder right now. This memoir/workbook/intentional living book has become available on Amazon, and when you pre-order the book, you receive the audiobook version for free!
Available in hard cover
So I really, really love reading real books. I love having the paper and the pages. I love taking notes and highlighting and my book, and “More Than Enough” actually is intended to be used that way. At the end of each chapter, there are some questions, some reflections, and sometimes there’s a list. There are activities that are meant to be filled in with a pen or a pencil, actual lines where I ask you a question and you are meant to reflect and to write within the pages of the book. It’s going to be so fun to send out these beautiful hardbound copies of the book so people can interact with them in that way, in the physical sense.
Also available as an audiobook
And I know that we’re all busy and that we really enjoy listening–you’re listening to this podcast right now. I’m the same way. I love listening to podcasts. I love listening to audiobooks. I love listening to music. I just think that listening is a really fun way to absorb lessons as well and stories especially, and so I have recorded the audiobook myself. I’m the narrator.
Get both if you pre-order by June 25th
For a limited time, between now and the launch date of the book (the official launch date is June 25th), if you order your hard copy between now and then you will receive an audio book version for free!
For the price of the hard copy ($19.99), you will receive both the hard cover and the audiobook (which is around the same price) for free. So it’s a two-fer, which is really fun. We all love a two-fer, and I’m going to link the whole page that talks about how you claim that in the show notes. So if you go to live free creative.co/podcast find episode 40 you will find the page that explains all about how to do that.
How to Claim Your Audiobook
Basically, it’s really simple. First, you place your Amazon order for the book. Then search “More Than Enough” on my blog livefreecreative.co/blog and you will find a page that has a little form at the bottom where we need you to enter:
- Your name;
- Your email address; and
- Your Amazon order number.
Because my book is being fulfilled directly by Amazon, I don’t have access to the actual orders. So the way that I am able to verify each pre-order is by you entering in your order number and your email address. And then on June 25th (the day of the release), we will email you your audio version. So the same day that Amazon packs and ships the hard copy version of the book, we will be emailing you your audio version so you can enjoy both versions for the price of one!
This Is Exciting, Surreal, and Terrifying
It has all been very exciting, and a little bit surreal and, if I’m being totally honest, a little bit terrifying, to know that this piece of work that I have put so much of my heart and soul into–and this message that I hope resonates with people–is so close to being out in the world where it can be loved and enjoyed.
And we all know how the world works where it also might not be loved by everyone and where it might not hit home with some people and that’s totally okay. I realized that I have done my job by taking on the work–to tell my story, to share my ideas, to not only think about doing it, but actually put them down, to send them off to be edited and designed, and now to have them available to order and send off into the world–that my part of the work is almost complete.
I have no responsibility for how this work is received and it has been amazing to live some of the principles that I’ve been sharing with you over the last several months of this podcast. To enjoy the process and recognize that the purpose is the process–to feel like I have been able to feel emotionally built up and inspired and just super fulfilled by the actual work itself without waiting for the outcome to be the the way that I get my fulfillment.
A Fulfilling Experience, Regardless of What Happens Next
I don’t know that having a big launch or selling a bunch of copies of the book is going to make me feel any better than I already do about this book and that’s a really wonderful way to feel going into it. Do I hope that people buy the book and love it? Absolutely. Would I be thrilled if you all ran over and pre-ordered your copies so you could get the audiobook version for free and you could listen and you could write and you could share? Yes. I would be so thrilled by that and I’m so thrilled.
Anyway, it’s a really, really fun experience to be having. In another episode in a couple of weeks, I’m going to start sharing about the actual behind the scenes process of bringing this book to life. But for now I just want to make you all aware that it’s out there and ready for you. If you feel like it will add value to your life, I would love for you to make it a part of your life.
Segment: Magical Adventure Moment
Now, before I dive into today’s topic about mothering your spirit, I want to share a very quick Magical Adventure Moment. It feels like it’s been a little while and I have one that just feels like it fits really well with this topic. So here we go.
Humanitarian Work In Bolivia
Just over 10 years ago, I found myself in the mountains of Peru. I had recently returned from living in Argentina for 18 months as a missionary and realized that I had this itch to see the world, to serve, and to be a part of something bigger than myself. So I raised some money and signed up for a humanitarian trip that was venturing into the hills of Bolivia to connect a pipeline from a water system that was miles out in the plains to a little town that was walking all of that distance every day to get their drinking water.
I had spent about a week living in this little hut in a sleeping bag and spending my days interacting with the Bolivian people who spoke mostly Quechua, even though I was fluent in Spanish. I was expecting to do a little more communicating than I did, but I learned a few Quechua phrases. We hauled pipe all day out in the sun, along the plains of the high Andes. And we danced and I learned how to spin wool or this little spinning bobbin. I just had this fascinating, really wonderful time with these people.
Time Alone In Machu Picchu
And then at the end of the trip, the organizers had tacked on this chance to go to Machu Picchu. We would head over to Peru, hop from Lima into the mountains, into Cusco. Then take the train up to a little tiny place called Aguas Calientes, which is where we would take our bus right to the gates of Machu Picchu itself to begin hiking around the ruins.
I was by myself. I had signed up for this expedition without knowing anyone else who was there. There were a couple of families, I think there was a group of friends, and there might’ve been one small church or school group. So everyone was friendly and we had all gotten along really well.
But on this day I felt like I wanted to just spend some time exploring alone. It felt like a really unique and awe inspiring place to be in reflection and to just be. After spending a little bit of time wandering around the ruins, I decided to hike the nearby Huayna Picchu. It’s a small mountain, you know Machu Picchu is up in the top of the Andes mountains, so it’s really like just cliffs everywhere and it’s so beautiful. And one of the nearby peaks is called Huayna Picchu and it’s kind of a single track trail up to the top with some scrambling up to the very top. And the view is unparalleled.
I hiked by myself up this peak in silence, and every time I needed to take a break I just stopped and would turn around and survey the landscape and just feel so tiny in this huge, huge world and I got to the very top. I climbed those last few rocks and I found myself a little spot to sit and just stare.
A Moment I Will Never Forget
I had on me this time an iPod Mini. Does anyone remember the iPod Minis? I had a little iPod Mini and it was almost out of batteries. But I decided that this was a moment that I needed to cement into my memory with a song. So I turned on Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”. You guys, this is like 2005, this song was all the rage, and it just felt so dramatic. It felt so perfect.
So I’m sitting there on top of peak listening to this song, just in awe of the world that I live in, of the opportunity that I had to be alive and to be experiencing it, to be breathing in that high mountain air. I felt at the same time completely connected to this world and to its maker and at the same time individually understood and clearly known.
I knew as I was living this moment and creating this special sensory experience with the music and looking around and feeling the sun on my face and just being present right there, that this was going to be a moment that I would never forget. I was cementing in my mind a piece of my life that I would be able to reflect back on and feel in that moment all of those feelings again, all of the connection, all of the majesty, all of the divinity, it was truly an incredibly magical adventure moment.
Main Topic: Mothering Your Spiritual Health
Now, with that beautiful Josh Groban orchestral song playing in the background of your mind for the rest of the episode, we can dive into talking about mothering your own spiritual health.
Why spirit? Why this? Well, we already talked about our bodies and our minds and this is the thing that resides beneath both of those.
Our spirit is what lives at our core, beyond our body and beyond our mind. Our spirit is what connects us to everything around us, to every other living being to the earth itself, to nature, to the universe. Our spirits are bigger than our understanding and spirituality is likewise so much bigger than just ourselves.
And spirituality has so many different facets and a lot of different practices and a lot of different dogmas and there are many, many, many schools of thought surrounding our spirituality–surrounding our soul, if you want to use that word–what came before our body and our mind in this life, and what lives on after, and how it all connects and who is running the show.
All of those big ideas are not things that I’m going to directly address here in this podcast today. And I am not going to say that one theory surrounding spirituality is right for you. I think that that’s the work that you need to do and that’s the work that I need to do for myself and for my spirit.
You Are In Charge of Your Spirituality
And just as a first sort of introductory idea about this mothering our own spirituality, I want to offer the observation that we often freely give away the responsibility for our own spiritual health to other entities. We give it away. If we’re members of a religion, an organized religion, we can easily give our responsibility for our spiritual health away to our leaders within our churches, to the pastors and the preachers or the bishops to the congregations, to the services themselves.
If we regularly attend church services, we expect to go and have our spiritual health addressed there. That within those walls we will feel a connection to our spirit. Or maybe yoga is your thing, and that’s one of your spiritual practices. It is really easy to give away the responsibility for our own spirituality to something else.
As a starting point for this episode, I need you to understand that you must own this, that just as no one else is responsible for caring for your body and no one else is responsible for caring for your mind.
No one else and no organization and no church and no leader and no spiritual practice or spiritual guide is responsible for your spiritual health. You must own that.
You must reclaim all responsibility and within that responsibility, all of the incredible opportunity and the joy and the fulfillment and the depth and the connection and the peace that comes from owning your own spirituality and beginning to better take care of your own spiritual health.
Does that make sense? Can you look back on your own life or even think about where you are right now in your journey? Does it resonate with you? The idea that you might be giving away some of your spiritual responsibility to whatever you have signed up for or signed on for, that you expect will be helping you with the journey. But in relying so heavily on that other organization or person or guide or set of principles or rules that you might not be as much in the driver’s seat as you hope to be.
Friends, this absolutely resonates for me because I have grown up in a spiritual culture and I, from the time I was young, I learned about my own spirit and that I needed to care for my spirit as well as I did my body and my mind. And I can be so complacent. I can go through the motions of my daily life and never actually connect to my spirit and to my spiritual health and never actually step outside of my body and mind for long enough to pay attention to what’s happening in my spirit.
Three Principles To Help You Mother Your Spiritual Health
And so I want to share three tenants or three principles of owning and mothering our spiritual health that have been really helpful for me lately. And that may ring true for you as well.
Getting Out of Our Own Way
I read a quote today by a spiritual leader Arkan, who apparently has no online presence (as one who is a true spiritual leader might not). The article was by mindbodygreen , which is a podcast and a blog that I enjoy, but the quote was, “To me, what spirituality is really about is one’s capacity to be guided.” And I love that idea.
The writer who quoted him is named Christine Hassler and in that article she said, “Spirituality is really about how much we get out of our own way and allow ourselves to be guided by a higher power, or a God of our own understanding.”
That idea of getting out of our own way really resonated with me. Then allowing ourselves to be guided or to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.
You don’t have to be deeply religious–or religious at all–to be spiritual. And the three ideas that I’m going to share with you today are ones that I hope will resonate with you regardless of your personal, religious or not affiliations. I’m going to talk about three things today. They all start with “s” to make it easy for you to remember and easy for me to remember.
So let’s start with the first one. Let’s start with source. Source is the word that I want to use to represent the fountain of Divinity. What that looks like for you. This is where we begin to build our relationship with the divine. In that quote I shared in the beginning, “Spirituality is about one’s capacity to be guided”, our source is where we look for that guidance.
For many, that source is named God. For some, that source is Nature. For some that source is Light. That source can be Intelligence, it can be Energy. Recognizing that there is a source of goodness and of peace and of power beyond ourselves and beyond. Our own experience enables us to then get out of our own way and allow ourselves to be guided or connected to a higher power.
Recognizing that there is a source beyond ourselves for power and love and peace and happiness and fulfillment and joy allows us to then know in what direction to begin our seeking (and that’s our second principle: we recognize our source and begin to desire to build a relationship with the divine, to recognize the spirituality within ourselves beyond our body and our mind).
There exists within us this dimension of spirit that’s so important and so Principle No. 2 is Seeking. I included this one because I think that the desire piece is really crucial to mothering our own spirituality, to taking care of our spirituality. If there is no desire there, then of course we’re not going to do it right. It’s the same with taking care of our minds and our bodies as well. If we don’t have the desire, if we don’t recognize for ourselves the importance of this act of this process, then we won’t do it.
I use the word seeking, first, because it implies desire. Seeking means that we are looking for something that we’re working toward. Something that we’re actively involved in. The process of development.
Reading Meaningful Text
Seeking, for me–in the context of spirituality–includes reading meaningful text to learn more about spirituality, about myself, about my source, about how to build these spiritual connections, those texts or articles or, or different, uh, opportunities to research and to learn.
It can be overtly religious. If you’re Christian, you probably read the Bible as a meaningful text. But they don’t have to be overtly religious.
You can find and seek spirituality in places that simply uplift and inspire and enlighten you.
I’m currently reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (for the second or third time). And it’s a deeply spiritual book that isn’t overly religious.
I also have frequently referred to the book “Essentialism” by Greg McCown as a Bible. I call it my Bible and I keep it on my nightstand along with my Bible and I read it from time to time to just remind myself of these core inner values that are so meaningful to me.
Another book that’s on my list is one that my friend Kim–from Talk Wordy To Me–just sent over to me last week. It is the “You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I’ll link all of these in the show notes. If you’re interested in diving into some of these meditative texts in your seeking.
But seeking is looking for, reading, researching, and discovering.
Listening to Music
I also love to seek spirituality and seek source through music, and listening to the music of nature.
Sometimes just being out in nature is seeking. For me, it’s taking myself apart, finding some solitude and finding a place where I can be actively engaged in creating connection to my spirit beyond my mind, beyond my body. Getting down to the real core of it all where I feel that connection. For me, having grown up in nature, in the outdoors, it is a natural place for me to resort to.
When I am seeking spirituality, I feel connected to creation and to my part in this big expansive, never-ending universe and–like I experienced on that mountain at Machu Picchu–I can feel all at once incredibly connected and individually understood. Seeking spirituality in nature for me gives me that experience in a way that I can’t find in a lot of other places and this like so many other things is so unique and individual so it takes some time.
It Takes Action and Experimentation
It takes some action–and some experimenting–to discover what it is for you in your seeking that helps you to feel that way. What it is that helps you feel connected to more than just your own mind and body, but also to your spirit, in a way that you’re connected to the world, and to the universe, and to your own source.
I want you to think just in the last week or two, how often you are actively engaged in developing your spirit. Do you have regular daily practices that develop and enhance your spirituality or not and if you don’t, is that something that you would like to include in your life? I believe that it’s vital.
Spiritual practices have more potency and make a bigger difference when we do them with intention.
When we aren’t simply, you know, taking a walk down the street because we have to walk the dog, but we add a level of intention and awareness to it, that we want it to become part of a spiritual practice.
I love Shawn Achor, who’s a researcher on happiness. One of the quotes that I love of his, “Optimism is a daily spiritual practice”.
I love that so much because we could easily be positive and optimistic and not recognize it as a spiritual practice, but the moment that you do, the moment that you call that your spiritual practice, that you bring a level of intention to it, then all of the sudden you create a spiritual practice out of it. You allow it to connect to beyond your body and your mind, but allow it to connect to that spirit within you and your intention behind it makes all the difference. Bringing that presence and bringing that mindfulness into those actions is where that seeking really becomes powerful.
So now I want to move on to number three which is stillness.
Stillness is where we quiet both the body and the mind in order to access the spirit. This can look a lot of different ways. It can look like meditation, and meditation is probably the most widely recognized form of this deeper connection in the stillness. You all probably recognize that this stillness does not happen by accident.
Life is just not set up in a way that gives us a quiet, peaceful moment to just meditate and to feel that connection to a higher power. We have to create that.
We have to decide that we are not going to do the next thing on our list until after we make place for this stillness, we make place for a moment of pondering, we make place for a moment of prayer, an actual connection to that source, seeking out that source.
This is part of where that mothering comes in because without adding intention and giving ourselves permission to take the time necessary to have this stillness in our lives, it simply will not happen. We wake up and we begin our day, and we go throughout the day and we do all of the things and never quite as much as we think we want to do. And then we go to bed and then we wake up and start all over.
Take Time Out For Stillness
And I think one of the most interesting, I don’t know, bits of wisdom that I have learned in the last few years especially, is that this cycle, the rhythm of our lives, doesn’t ever slow down unless we choose to slow it down. By acknowledging that it is a rhythm, that it is a cycle, that the list of things that we want to do will never be completed. And so it’s okay to not do it all right now. It’s okay to take one step at a time. It’s okay to take time out for this stillness, for this meditation, for this prayer.
I want to mention here, too, that this can take a lot of forms. Of course it would be incredible if we could just sit and quiet our minds and slow our breathing and feel our heartbeat and take this quiet moment to just breathe and be present and access our spirit beyond our body in our mind. But it doesn’t necessarily always look that way.
I already mentioned that one of my very favorite ways to connect to my spirit is in nature and not always sitting on top of a mountain. Sometimes simply taking the dog for a walk or I’ve mentioned in other episodes how I walk my kids to school and then when I walk home I keep my phone in my pocket and I take that time, that 10 minute walk, to bring awareness to my connection.
I recognize that the David Austin roses that are just so beautiful growing on the fence. A couple houses down from the preschool or the beautiful delicate would work on one of the houses that I walk by that must’ve just been hand carved by someone a hundred years ago and how incredible that craftsmanship is.
I feel the breeze or the rain or the sun as the case may be. I listen to my footsteps on the sidewalk and at the same time that I feel so in-my-body and so present on this earth as a human. I can recognize that this isn’t all there is and I can feel my spirit–how it extends beyond my body and my mind through into the eternities and how it connects me to everything around myself, as well as to my source.
In The Stillness You Gain Perspective
And in that moment of stillness (even though I’m walking)–that quiet, because I’ve put away what I need to do for the day and I’m just in the moment with that mindfulness, I can feel all filled up. I can feel like, in that moment, I am where I need to be, doing all I need to do. That’s such a powerful feeling to recognize in this moment. Right now, I am doing everything that I need to do. I am more than enough.
The huge benefits of developing our spiritual life, or the feelings that come along with that spirituality, are love and peace and joy and fulfillment–like deep, lasting, real fulfillment. And those things live in a place–if they live in our spirit–they live in a place that is underneath or beyond what happens with our bodies or our minds. It becomes sort of untouchable.
If we develop our spirituality, then what happens in the here and now of our lives is important, yes, but it doesn’t rock our core. It doesn’t take away our joy or that love or that feeling of fulfillment that we can find deep within ourselves as we exercise and practice and develop our spirituality.
When you approach the challenges and trials and unexpected experiences in your everyday life, from a place of deep peace and deep joy and deep fulfillment, you’re going to always be okay.
You know that it’s all gonna work out and you can approach things that are hard or scary, terrifying, even sometimes with this faith that comes when you understand that you are connected to this source and to enter the universe into the earth and to this power that’s beyond what you can do on your own and you know that it’s going to be okay.
That’s a pretty inviting reason to exercise our spirituality and to develop our spiritual selves, isn’t it? Ever-present peace and joy? I think that we could all use a little bit more of that, friends.
Here again are my three S’s for mothering your own spiritual health:
- Source: Find that source, recognize what it is for you or who he or she is and start to build a relationship with that divine.
- Seeking: Read meaningful texts. Find those words and those people and those guides, those spiritual leaders who resonate with your soul and and seek them out and listen to them and actively engage in developing your spirituality. Spend actual time on this. Try, try some things, experiment with it. Seek for added inspiration. Seek for added knowledge, seek for added understanding.
- Stillness: Find moments of stillness to quiet your body and mind where you can access that spirit and start to absorb that those truths that you are seeking. You can do this through meditation. You can do it through mindfulness practices. You can do it through prayer. You can do it through gratitude. But you need to do it with intention to bring stillness to the moment. You have to let yourself put down your phone, put down your to do list, put down the dishes, put down that email, put down that next responsibility. Put that child to bed and give yourself this moment of stillness to just feel present and to feel connected.
I hope that this message of taking care of your spirit has resonated with you. I would love to hear your very favorite spiritual practices or things that you’re working on or what you’re trying, what’s working or what you could use help with.
You can head to the show notes that live free creative.co/podcast and leave some responses in the comments.
I would love to have a discussion about how we can more actively be engaged in fostering our spiritual wellbeing.
My Closing Thoughts On Spirituality
I know that this episode is timely and necessary for me because life is busy and it’s so wonderful, and I can easily be caught up in taking care of all of the things that are right in front of my face so much that I forget to take care of what is beyond and underneath that.
When I quiet all of that for a minute, then I can start to access my eternal self that I can get out of my own way and allow myself to be guided by a higher power that I recognize that my life is bigger and more important than just me. That I am a piece of this tapestry, that I’m a thread interwoven and that we’re all connected.
Wrapping Up the Mini-Series on Mothering the Mothers
I want to thank you so much for being here and for listening as I wrap up this mini series, mothering the mothers. I sincerely hope that something in these episodes has touched you and awakened you to how important you are, that we need you to be healthy and that we need you to think clearly and make good decisions and that we need you to give yourself time and peace, to seek and to to develop your spirit as much as your body and your mind.
You matter beyond what you accomplish, what ideas you have, what your family looks like, what your job looks like, how many critically acclaimed anything ever happens to you.
You are important simply because you are a thread in this tapestry. We need you.
That wraps up this episode for this week, (Episode 40, we’re getting up there!). It’s been so fun and I want to invite you, if you have not subscribed to the show, click subscribe so that you make sure you get these episodes every week to your app. Whatever your favorite listening app is.
I also want to invite you to leave a review on iTunes. Leave an honest review, sharing with others what you think about the show so that people who are looking at new podcasts may discover whether or not this one will be a good fit for what they need in their life.
Next week is going to be a fun episode, friends. So you want to make sure you tune in. I am going to be sharing the entire introduction, the audio version, introduction of my book more than enough. So it’ll be like a little sneak-peek preview of the book and I’m so excited to share with you. So make sure you tune in to experience that!
And remember, the book is now available for pre-order over on Amazon. If you head to livefreecreative.co/podcast, it will be linked right in the show notes of this episode for you so you can check it out.
Thanks again for being here. I hope you have a wonderful week and I’ll talk to you later!