Last year one of our Health Care Assistants, Margaret (known here as Mags), undertook formal training in spirituality, an area that she has been passionate about for many years. This has equipped her with the tools required to introduce the vast subject of spirituality to our clients at Broadway Lodge. After passing the Level 3 Diploma course in Practical Spirituality and Wellness to become a qualified Spiritual Health Coach, Mags now sees clients in her weekly Wellness & Spirituality workshop to expand our client’s horizons about what spirituality is. It fits appropriately and seamlessly with the existing addiction treatment programme at Broadway Lodge and the spiritual 12 steps framework that Broadway Lodge has integrated into treatment since founded in 1974.
We believe that learning about spirituality and implementing practices into our lives in some degree is helpful in leading a more peaceful, meaningful and fulfilling existence with an increased sense of emotional wellbeing which in itself has considerable benefits.
Dr Maya Spencer has written a paper for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and includes her definition of spirituality that reads “Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature. Spirituality means knowing that our lives have significance in a context that is beyond a mundane everyday existence at the level of biological needs that drive selfishness and aggression. It means knowing that we are a significant part of the purposeful unfolding of life in our universe.”
Below, Mags has summarised the benefits of spirituality and what she teaches clients to explore during the Wellness & Spirituality workshops.
Spirituality can bring us:
- A connection with the wonder and energy of all life.
- Values and the fuel to be good, do good and serve others.
- Development of heart, compassion and consciousness.
- A mindful, solid and inspiring strength to carry us through good and bad times.
- A sense of meaning, personal integrity and purpose independent of material success and the opinion of others.
- An embedded sense of wellbeing to support physical and mental health.
- A deep enjoyment of life that is also fully present to its challenges and suffering.
No matter what form our spirituality takes, we need the basic tools in order that it thrives.
For our clients, we can start with the spiritual principles from the 12 steps. But telling someone what they are, is different to helping people practice them. Our aim is to develop a programme that helps clients to develop their own spiritual practices in order to provide them with the benefits listed above.
In the Wellness & Spirituality workshops, we look at different kinds of meditation and discuss the different feelings of connection and how to find that connection. We encourage clients to find their own definition of spirituality and look at what works for them. We explain the science and biological processes that happen when we develop our spirituality and look at the vast collective knowledge that has been processed through thousands of medically peer reviewed studies. When clients understand that these practices can be beneficial in many areas of their lives, they are more willing to engage.
Spirituality is a part of ordinary life not just for those who dedicate their lives to it. Even minimal practice can enrich a life that might otherwise feel mundane or unfulfilled. As human beings we are all atomically connected to everything else in the universe so discovering the power of this connection unlocks our unlimited potential to be a positive influence in the world.
The introduction of the Wellness & Spirituality workshop is a welcome addition at Broadway Lodge and clients will be able to take what they have learned and the tools that work for them, into their lives in recovery from addiction beyond Broadway Lodge and continue to feel the benefits. The feedback about the workshops so far has been very positive and clients have found them to be enjoyable, particularly when a guided meditation is included. A firm favourite is the spirit animal workshop which involves a guided meditation that encourages participants to embark on an adventure in nature to discover what their own spirit animal is and to explore its meaning.