Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Understanding the Role of Spirituality in Wellness with Sr. Mary

When wellness comes to mind, many of us automatically jump to physical fitness and the consumption of a balanced diet. While these are definite contributors to our overall health, we often overlook the importance of spirituality in wellness. In order to shed light on the issue, I sat down with Sr. Mary Rochefort.
Sr. Mary Rochefort

While she currently works as the associate vice president for mission integration, St. Mary has been a part of the CSS community for over 50 years. In her role, Sr. Mary aims to help individuals understand the Catholic Benedictine tradition of the college and how that tradition plays a role today. According to Sr. Mary, “spirituality is a personal journey of self-discovery and understanding our connection with others and the world around us.” Although it is often the case, spirituality does not necessarily correlate with religion. Spirituality can be practiced in all sorts of ways including meditating, exercising yoga, praying, journaling, reading scripture passages, and appreciating nature by spending time outside. Seeking spirituality helps us to integrate and center ourselves in this busy, fast-paced world. One key element of spirituality, as introduced by Saint Benedict, is to simply pay attention to the seemingly ordinary, everyday things in our lives. Taking the time to listen to ourselves, others, the nature around us, and God can aid in the discoveries of our inner self and our overall direction in life.

If you have little experience seeking spirituality and you are hesitant to begin, St. Mary recommends that you simply give it a try! It doesn't have to be anything extraordinary. Try finding a quiet space to sit still where you can reflect on who you are and where you’re headed. Also, consider asking a trusted friend or perhaps a spiritual director for advice on how to get started.