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Home  /  Integrative Cancer Care  /  Spirit

Spirit

By Jeannine Walston


thumb-spiritEveryone is spiritual by nature. Many people understand that we are connected to something larger than ourselves and engage some form of contact with spirit. Healing is about wholeness. We are whole when our spirit is united with our body.

The spiritual healing dimensions of life can become more prominent when dealing with cancer for cancer patients and their loved ones. The cancer experience provides a vehicle for conversations toward new understanding about spirit, spiritual needs, and deeper spiritual embodiment. For some, cancer shatters reality and invites a deep dive into profound aspects of self and existence. For others, this process occurs more gradually during the cancer journey and other aspects of life.

Research indicates that spiritual well-being improves quality of life in cancer patients. The spiritual healing benefits in some studies include reduced stress, improved coping, strengthened will to live, finding meaning, and deepened understanding about life and death.

Through wholeness and spiritual embodiment, aspects of spirituality also further treat the entire physical body and whole person. Challenges offer new opportunities for personal evolution with spirit.

Spiritual healing is a fundamental component of integrative cancer care for the whole person.

What is the difference between spirituality and religion?

Many definitions exist about spirituality and religion. The following comes from Lora Matz, MS, LICSW. Process it through and determine your perceptions about spirituality and religion.

Spirituality

Spirituality is about our core, our essence, our capacity to perceive ourselves in the context of a larger organized and unifying perspective that transcends our day-to-day experience and provides meaning and purpose to our essential human attitudes towards life’s events. Spirituality is what connects us and what we have in common. It is not a doctrine, metaphysical speculation, or deduction journey. Spirituality is a natural process of evolution, a birthright, a state of being, a lived experience, and lived conclusion. It is our expression of an essence that comes from and is the divine.

Religion

Religion is a set of beliefs, practices, and a language that characterizes a community searching for transcendent meaning in a particular way and on the basis of a particular belief in a deity. It is how we choose to feed, practice, and express our spiritual nature.

How do you define your spirituality? What is your relationship with spirit? What are your spiritual practices and spiritual support to fully strengthen your body-mind-spirit with spiritual healing? Engage introspection and self-inquiry in these areas. Explore important dimensions of your spirituality. Learn through spiritual perspectives, questions, strategies, and resources. Decide what makes sense for you and find your own truth.

Existential Crisis and Cancer
Cancer can feel like a world turned upside down. The crisis is psychological and spiritual. Learn about strategies to navigate the existential exacerbation of thoughts. Explore cancer as a turning point.

Cancer and the Soul
Illness is a soul-shaking and soul-evoking experience. Cancer opens deeper exploration into life, death, purpose, meaning, and other aspects of the human experience. Read about soulful opportunities through illness.

Spirituality Assessments
Reflect, identify, and define important components of your spirituality. Our assessment shepherds you into self-inquiry toward better self-care, including of your spiritual needs.

Living, Dying and Cancer
When we die and how we die are major factors in how people relate to mortality. We think life should be a certain way. Read about empowering perspectives on life and death with questions, strategies, and resources for exploring these topics in the midst of cancer and life in general.

Intuition and Instinct
Are you seeking guidance and support through your intuition and instinct? Explore ways to find your center and direction inside of yourself. You will find clarity to develop more confidence in your decision-making and journey.

Healing Presence
If you don’t know about presence, or do and want to deepen it, read our presence information about a spiritual practice and path to evolve with stillness and find God within.

Prayer and Cancer

Prayer is experienced in many ways. Read perspectives on this sacred and timeless spiritual practice.

Ritual and Cancer
Rituals create a sacred space of purposeful intention and ceremony. Learn about how this practice offers psychological and spiritual support for healing.

Labyrinth and Cancer
The experience of moving through a labyrinth serves as a profound metaphor for life’s journey toward the center. Tap into the spiral path.