Going Inward to Reach Outward


Doro Bush Koch and Tricia Reilly Koch

Have you ever felt stuck and then found a sense of freedom in handing over your woes to a higher power?

A personal sense of spirituality is an individual matter. Religious beliefs may provide grounding and faith, but the inner world you choose to create with your spirit is wholly yours. And yet, when we do cultivate it — planting seeds and tending it like one would a garden — we tend to find that it helps us to feel we are not alone.

This sense of connection to others is key to our mental health, which in turn affects our physical health. It may seem counterintuitive that by going inward, we are better able to reach out, but we’ve seen it over and over with our clients and in our own lives. The more robust of a spiritual life you can create for yourself, the more fulfilled you will feel in your relationships, which will lead to a more profound sense of happiness.

It may also seem paradoxical to suggest that we let go of our ego at the same time we focus on our personal sense of spirituality, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. They actually go hand in hand.

By identifying what truly makes your individual heart sing and providing those inputs — be they dance, song, art, nature, food — you give yourself the ability to care less about measures of judgment or specific fears and to instead rise above. If you take the time to create your own miracles by building up your inner spirituality, you’ll feel freer to approach life leading with love.

Wild Geeseby Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Growing Bolder contributors Doro Bush Koch and Tricia Reilly Koch are sisters-in-law who founded the wellness company BB&R, Bright, Bold and Real over a decade and a half ago with a very clear goal: to share with others what they’ve learned about mindfulness and holistic living with the intention that everyone begin to live their best life. Learn more about their retreats, workshops, courses and popular Health Gig podcast at bbrconsulting.us.

This article is featured in the January 2023 issue of The Growing Bolder Digital Digest.

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