Can Personal Growth Be Distinguished From Spiritual Growth?
Every day I experience an opportunity to grow both personally and spiritually. Since I began consciously and mindfully studying and working on my own personal growth, I recognized that it also helped me to grow spiritually.
I still find that it is difficult for me to speak publicly about this to a great extent because so many people, including me, link me with the corporate world where I lived for over 30 years, and these types of conversations are not encouraged. And, I must confess, I still struggle with a deep-seated need to not want people to ridicule me for my beliefs.
I recently sat through an uncomfortable conversation with a friend I admire, and love, as I talked about my experience with Reiki at a charity walk a few weeks ago. My dear friend is a strong Born Again Christian, and while she will listen as I talk, she gets a pained expression on her face. I know it isn’t personal, because she still is my friend. And, I don’t know what thoughts are going through her head, so I am mindful to not make any assumptions. Mostly, however, I must consciously not change my beliefs, and who I am, because of fear that I might be judged lacking.
This summer, I have dedicated myself to living fearlessly. I have intentionally turned up the volume in a variety of areas in my life. In doing so, I have grown tremendously, and I recognize that personal growth and spiritual growth are one and the same.
What does it mean to live fearlessly? For me, it means paying attention to discomfort – this generally means I am resisting a thought or idea: my Monkey Mind is playing games with my head because I am in fear, or a core value is being stepped on and I need to address it (which wraps right back to Monkey Mind and fear). Being mindful of the situations and thoughts that cause discomfort, and working through them to either let it go or take action has been the focus for me over the last five months. These situations can range from
- Answering the call to create the art that I laid aside over 35 years ago when my children were born, and I recognized that there were others who were better than I was.
- Telling new coaching clients that personal growth is also spiritual growth and that is how I approach my coaching practice. And being okay if they decide they need a different coach, happily giving them a list of names.
- It encompasses learning how to tell my sweet spouse that I love him in ways he understands, and give him the space to be who he is rather than who I want him to be. All the while setting boundaries for when who he is, and the behavior that engenders, gets in the way of who I am and my values. For example: Angry outbursts aimed at other drivers while driving down the street when I am in the car.
- Standing up in my church on Sunday morning to give the lesson during morning service.
- Addressing my feelings about my granddaughter being half way across the world, and not being able to see her as often as I would like. And, being grateful for technology that allows us to “Facetime” with her and her parents on a weekly basis.
- Deciding to build a house that will cause us to stretch a bit, in retirement, especially when our country is in turmoil.
Finally, it’s about knowing that I am taking tentative first steps to rebranding my coaching practice from a personal growth and leadership practice to a spiritual growth practice. It’s about letting people know about what I learn daily, and not letting others tell me what I should be doing or how to do it. I don’t think I will totally walk away from leadership coaching – because I believe that without character, and a strong set of core values, you can be a leader, but you may not be one who develops great teams and encourages those around you to be great in their own right.
For me, personal growth and spiritual growth cannot be distinguished one from the other. And, both require me to live my life courageously. I am living in to my goal of eliminating the walls around my box; in fact, I think I will work on getting rid of the box completely.
If this is something you might be interested in, I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you are interested in. Ask me your questions. Share your thoughts.
How are you taking steps to live fearlessly? Let’s share.
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is a personal growth and leadership coach, spiritual director, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.