Te taha wairua

When the word spirituality is mentioned, people often think of having faith or organised religion. While this is part of spirituality, the term covers a much broader concept. Spirituality is increasingly understood to be part of all human experience, whether or not you consider yourself religious. Spirituality is about having a sense of connection with the world and with others, a sense of wholeness and well-being that goes beyond our physical health.

Being aware of our own sense of spirituality and what makes us feel spiritually healthy contributes to our social well-being.

It is natural as we grow older to become more aware of the spiritual side of life. This is partly because as we grow older we reflect on the lives we have lived, and also because we have more time to pay attention to our spirituality.

Connecting with people who share a similar sense or understanding of spirituality, whether this be through organised religion, or less directly through informal groups of people who, for example, share a sense of awe in nature, can help us to feel supported. People who share a similar sense of spirituality can also be a good place to start if you are seeking to make new friends or increase your social circle.

In many cultures older people have a significant role to play in the spiritual life of the community and this may be a role you may wish to explore.

Things to think about:

  • What is it that brings you a sense of spiritual connection?
  • What could you explore in terms of your spirituality?
  • Are there activities you used to do in the past, for example, attending church/temple or spending time in nature that you might want to do more of or pick up on again?
  • Is nature your ‘church’? How can you find ways to get outside more to enjoy the glories of our wonderful world?