Podcast Transcriptions

Pursue What Matters

Episode 218: Self-Leadership and Spirituality

Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Do you have daily habits that keep you on stable ground? Or do you find yourself tossed about by life storms with no steady footing? Well join me today is I help you build a secure foundation for wellbeing, beginning with spirituality.

Dr. Melissa Smith 0:16
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. And so we have been talking all about self leadership, we’ve been talking about the role of self awareness and self leadership when it comes to leading well, and that curiosity is really your secret weapon. And so today, I want to introduce you to a concept known as building a secure foundation. And we’re gonna be focusing on some of these principles in upcoming podcasts as well. And, you know, I like to use acronyms, I think they can be helpful for us in, in keeping track of, you know, concepts or factors that we want to remember. And so, when it comes to a secure foundation, the goal here is that you become your own solid ground. Despite the uncertainty and craziness that you might face in your life, and leadership, right, life will always be challenging, there will always be external stressors, that bump up against up against us. And it doesn’t mean you’re doing life wrong, it means you’re doing life, that means you’re human. But, you know, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help ourselves and help one another. So that we can stay on, on firm ground. And so the concept of secure foundation is exactly designed to help you make sure you stay on firm ground. And so the first focus, the next few podcasts is on the acronym secure.

Dr. Melissa Smith 2:14
So we’re going to talk about a secure foundation. And we’ll be focusing on the acronym secure. And when you think about secure, I want you to think about those core fundamental essentials, right, like behaviors, practices, habits, that must be in place in order for you to function well in your life. So when you think about the secure characteristics, I want you to think about these being non negotiable. If you aren’t doing these, you don’t have a solid foundation of wellbeing, right, you might be making it along here and there. But you’re really undermining yourself and your well being. And then eventually, of course, we’ll move on to the acronym, foul Foundation, and talk about the aspects of self leadership that really help you thrive and lead in powerful ways. But when it comes to secure, that’s what we’re gonna focus on first. These are the non negotiable activities, practices and habits when it comes to self awareness and self care. And so I’ll just share with you the acronym secure. And then we’re going to focus today on spirituality, which is the first one, so secure, these are the non negotiables, some form of spirituality, it doesn’t have to be religion, second exercise some sort of balanced movement. Third is creativity. As humans, we, we move towards creativity. And when we don’t have creativity, we lack flourishing, you is unplug, we’ve got to unplug, we’ve got to be present learn to to be away from our phones, and our screens, and all of these devices that are designed to keep us distracted and stressed out. And then our is renewal. And so this really is all about stress coping, and the last E is eat. So we want to focus on mindful, balanced eating. And so those are the components of secure these are those non negotiables when it comes to self awareness, and self care.

Dr. Melissa Smith 4:17
And so today with the rest of the podcast, we are going to focus on self leadership and the role of spirituality. Key to spirituality is a recognition of a power greater than yourself. It also a power that connects you to the greater whole. So it’s not just you on this rock, trying to figure out life but you become connected to others and you become connected to a power greater than yourself. So it’s important to keep in mind that spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. So sometimes when people hear about spirituality, they put the wall up because they immediately start to think about religion. And you know, some folks have had difficult, difficult religious experiences. But that doesn’t mean you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, right? There’s a lot of value, not only in religious faith, right. And of course, there are lots of unique experiences within that. But even more specifically, spirituality.

Dr. Melissa Smith 5:18
So in general spirituality includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. And it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience. Have you ever thought about that, that spirituality is a universal human experience, we move towards meaning and purpose. Our brains are meaning making machines, we’re storytellers at heart. And so when we have experiences in life, we try to extract meaning we try to tell ourselves stories that are meaningful and move us to purpose. And that’s something that’s universal for humans, which is a pretty cool concept. And so it’s one of the reasons that spirituality is, must be part of this secure foundation, because it is central to what it means to be human. And so spirituality touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as a sacred or transcendent experience. Or it could be simply a deep sense of aliveness, and interconnectedness. So sometimes we think about these experiences of off. So as mentioned, when it comes to spirituality, it’s important to keep in mind that spirituality need not be organized religion, so your spirituality can be nested in religious belief, but it doesn’t have to be. So spirituality can be very personal. Some people find the benefit of worshiping with others, right. So we think about some of the structure of religious faith, that that can absolutely support, and provide structure to one spirituality, while others find a spiritual path that is deeply personal. And so there’s not a right way to do it. But the connecting link of spirituality includes compassion, goodness, and love. And I don’t know about you, but I want more of these things in my life. These are good things to have in life, compassion, goodness, and love. And so cultivating a consistent practice of spirituality opens you up to more compassion, goodness, and love. This all helps you to have a secure foundation when it comes to self awareness, and self leadership. And so we want to, we want to prioritize this.

Dr. Melissa Smith 7:36
You know, it’s important to keep in mind, though, that some may find their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church or a temple or a mosque or synagogue, while others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or higher power that can happen within religious faith, or outside of it. Still, others seek meaning through their connection to nature, or art. And so spirituality shows up in lots of different ways. So when it comes to spirituality, a mindfulness practice can be essential to spirituality. And if you think about some of the common spiritual practices we consider whether that’s prayer, whether that’s singing, whether, whether that is scripture study, they are meditative practices, they are at their base, their mindfulness practices. So the research is really strong when it comes to the emotional, cognitive and physical benefits of mindfulness. And so we want to keep that in mind that one of the benefits of spirituality is that it helps us to cultivate mindfulness. And the other point is that spirituality connects you to purpose and meaning in life. So I mentioned this, but boy, this is really important. Because life can be challenging. And if we don’t have a connecting link to something bigger than ourselves a sense of purpose or meaning, it can be really hard to keep going. And so that is one of the other main benefits of spirituality, it keeps us going when life gets challenging.

Dr. Melissa Smith 9:19
I often think about this, when I consider the great writings of Viktor Frankl right. So he was a psychiatrist in the concentration camps of World War Two. And he, you know, his book, of course, Man’s Search for Meaning, is a seminal work on what it means to to live a life of meaning and purpose and for him, you know, his experience. He he, he treated those concentration camps as a research experiment, right. He was a research subject, but he really closely observed he got very, very curious about how different people coped with the incredible hardships that they were facing. And what he concluded is that, that the individuals who were able to connect themselves to a purpose greater than themselves, they had more hope and greater wellbeing. And they were also more likely to survive. Now we know that they obviously did not have total control over whether they lived or died, they were in the most extreme situations. But there was a thread throughout the prisoners that they were able to identify. And so, you know, for one individual, he had the hope that his child was, was alive and protected, and that if he could survive the concentration camps, that he could reunite with his child, another one had a great belief around a book that he wanted to write. And that’s what gave him the hope so that you see this purpose, greater than oneself and is always connected to service. It’s, it’s for the greater good. And that’s one of the inherent qualities about spirituality that makes it so helpful.

Dr. Melissa Smith 11:12
Of course, for Viktor Frankl it was his developing theory of human human behavior, and existential therapy and philosophy. And that was something that really kept him hanging on. And so spirituality in a very real way connects us to purpose, and meaning meaning, this is a protection against the challenges of life, it doesn’t mean we won’t face them, it means we become more resilient in the face of those challenges. And so today with this podcast, we introduce you to secure foundation, including spirituality, exercise, creativity, unplugging, renewal, and eating, mindful eating, as these non negotiable activities and daily habits that help us to lead ourselves well. And then we focus on the first concept, which is spirituality. It’s a broad concept that connects you to a power greater than yourself. And then we finished up by talking about how spirituality connects you to purpose and meaning in life, and how it can provide a very valuable perspective when we’re facing life’s challenges. And when we’re leading others. And so I hope you will continue to tune in I’m going to talk about exercise, I’m going to talk about each of these components of the secure acronym moving forward. And you know, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by any of it. But I just I do want you to use it as a bit of a checklist to ask yourself, How am I doing in each of these areas? And is there something you know, in in an area that you identify that it’s like, I could maybe work on one small practice here. So maybe for spirituality, it’s, it’s strengthening your daily practice around prayer, maybe it’s trying to get outside once a day, and really connect with nature. Being in nature connects us with awe, it connects us with our higher power, because we see you know, we we see perspective when we do that and so it can be really powerful.

Dr. Melissa Smith 13:20
In the meantime, head on over to my website to check out the show notes with all the resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/218-selfleadershipandspirituality. Of course, I’d love to connect with you on Instagram @dr.melissasmith and if you don’t mind giving the podcast a review at Apple or Spotify. It helps other people find me and I would love to hear from you. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai