No matter your faith or spiritual identity, everyone deserves the opportunity to explore and understand their beliefs – especially during a time of so much uncertainty.
That’s why TaskHuman is thrilled to start offering 1-on-1 Spiritual Wellness Coaching with live professionals!
And in a recent episode of the “TaskHuman Talks” podcast, host and provider Jamie Carroll sat down with new TaskHuman spiritual wellness coach, LaToya McLean. They discuss why spiritual wellness is important to tend to and the best ways to focus on it.
LaToya and Jamie’s conversation covered many topics, including the pandemic, end-of-life care, and supporting different views within a family. While the talk was wide-ranging, the focal point often came back to two central ideas:
Here are some of the main takeaways from the conversation:
LaToya believes you need to first determine what the ideas of “holy” and “divine” mean to you. Once you understand what you believe, it is easier to understand how your upbringing plays a role.
“I build that personal relationship in a space that is meaningful, that is uplifting, and that speaks to me,” she says. “And, if I’m allowed, I share it with other people.”
She also believes “theology is contextual.” That means as we grow and learn, we are exposed to new people and different beliefs. Those ideas help us see what we believe through a new lens and give us clarity.
“Your expression of certain things may be the same foundation,” LaToya says, “but you may be expressing them in different ways.”
This is an important place to check to be sure you’re remaining authentic to yourself. You need to know that what you are practicing is in alignment with your core beliefs.
“What is authentic to what you believe?” LaToya asks.
LaToya has evolved in her own spiritual journey. Part of which includes a slightly different view of the Bible than she had as a child. Even though her view on it has changed, she still strongly believes it is a sacred text.
But, she also believes it is important to note that there are other sacred texts, like the Quran.
“We want to honor those and not trample on their beliefs and sacred material,” she says.
It’s not that you can’t disagree with someone, but how you show that disagreement is with honor – or dishonor.
It’s important to support your own faith, but showing respect for others practicing theirs.
“I love God,” LaToya says. “And I love people. And I believe that is a part of living out my faith.”
For LaToya, honor also comes with how you view people who aren’t practicing spirituality. In her experience, some churches or religions “write people off” because of their social group. She cautions this approach because in her work as a hospital chaplain, she has seen proof of the Divine in them.
“God tends to show up,” LaToya says. “The Holy tends to show up when people are in crisis.”
In her chaplain work at a Level II trauma center, LaToya often cares for people whose loved ones are on life-support for injuries. Unfortunately, pain for family and loved-ones can be compounded because they now need to make life decisions while in the midst of grief.
LaToya believes a Healthcare Power of Attorney or Living Will are important ways to support your family if something should happen to you. It lets them know what you would want and can relieve their burden.
End of life decisions are extremely difficult, LaToya reminds us.
“They feel they are ending this person’s life like it is a crime,” she says. “Most of the time, life-support is literally that.”
By preparing ahead of time, you can make it easier for your family to support you.
We can grieve the loss of many things, including a job or even a routine. The pandemic has proven this idea.
LaToya believes while it’s important to give yourself grace and time to grieve job and routine loss, an important pause needs to be given to those who lost their lives during the pandemic.
“Our heart burns for the lives that have been lost,” she says.
To move through grief, the first step is to acknowledge the loss. Naming what you feel is necessary and should be supported.
“Expressing my feelings doesn’t make me weak, too vulnerable,” LaToya says. “But it does make me human.”
Once you name your feelings, it can be helpful to start thinking about the future in small ways. It can be journaling, meditation, or prayer. Whatever helps you.
If you are living with, or close with, someone who has different spiritual views, it can be tempting to try to convince them they are wrong, and you are right.
LaToya encourages letting them practice and live their spirituality their own way.
It’s also important to recognize that because this topic has the possibility of becoming contentious, you need to keep harmony in mind. You may need to work toward a “happy medium.”
You do that by recognizing your family member or friend has their own background and stories, and you need to respect that.
“Who are we to infringe on people practicing their spirituality?” LaToya asks.
If you’re not sure about your own spirituality, LaToya recommends beginning with gratitude. For her, it lets you spark the part of your brain and soul that will tell you what your beliefs are.
It also helps you connect with and look for ways to support others. When you are grateful, you want to share your blessings.
LaToya encourages you to think about what you could do to help at least one person each day. It doesn’t need to be big, but it should be heartfelt. By putting love into the world, you are honoring yourself and whatever spiritual tennants you hold.
“Giving is the gift that keeps on giving,” LaToya says.
To listen to LaToya’s full podcast episode, click here.
If you’re ready to talk to LaToya to dig into your own spiritual beliefs, grief, or just have more questions, reach out to her on the TaskHuman app for a live 1 -on- 1 video chat.
“Grace. Peace. Blessings.” – LaToya McLean