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25 Celebrities Get Real About Their Spirituality




Supporters commonly arise for several sometimes stad reasons: But we have a very sexy belief system. We're pressured to fill pong with finished activity, and we often find compelled to fill in any different bright with grannies.


Spirituual may also have physical sensitivities as well. Energy and emotions may run high, or low and depression is common. Their feelings about life run deep and they may have an enormous capacity to love.

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Indigo children and indigo adults may be extra sensitive to certain foods. They may have strong physical reactions to sugars, meats, and food additives. Electrical or battery powered objects may seem to go haywire on their body or in their presence. Wristwatches may keep strange time, or the mechanism of appliances may go awry. Indigo adults know and feel they are different from many other people and always have been. Acceptance of this as an adult depends on their socialization as children and experiences in life.

Often they have come to terms with this and understand this. They are not necessarily loners. However, indigo adults would usually prefer to be alone with their own company than with others who do not understand or accept them for who they are. They like to put their energy into how everything works in life and the reasons why. They may not gel with the concepts behind rigid structures and systems. Indigo adults may become angry with people who they see as doing something wrong. Especially if it involves harming others. For both children and adults, they may direct this frustration inwards towards themselves.

They may also become frustrated when they feel held back. Or, if told their inner visions and awareness are wrong. Indigo adults are often driven to change the world for the better. And they have the high self-esteem to do so. They may feel drawn to work as activists. Or in roles with a capacity to make a social or environmental change for a better life for everyone. They love to make a difference for people in the world. However, it can be intense. They enjoy creative outlets such as art and music. Indigo adults tend to be non-linear thinkers and able to see and feel all sides.

If indigo people are passionate about a task or process, they will love it. They will give it their full attention and energy. They will become disengaged if something bores them or is repetitive. Indigo adults and children tend to embrace the diversity of humanity and see all people as created equal in life. They have a tendency towards introversion. Their outward expressions of love and energy with people they do not know is often reserved. They often have an affinity with animals and feel most relaxed in natural surroundings. Possible Physical Attributes of Indigo Adults There are some physical attributes that some believe are often characteristic of indigo adults and indigo children.

Indigo people may have tense deep-set blue or green eyes. Their skin coloring may be light no matter what their ethnicity of origin. Indigo people may have a tendency to remain to look youthful and younger than they are. Or, they may look old and wise from a very young age as children and remain that way. If you know an indigo person, you may feel they never age throughout their lives. Their physical appearance may be an even balance of both masculine and feminine. Living as an Indigo Adult Being in a world where being different from others creates stigmatization is hard. People who identify as indigo adults often have a level of acceptance that being different is their norm.

Deep love and support from family. Being healthy and comfortable in the world, and excited to learn. Now, nearly twenty years of scientific research shows that there is something more: Whether you call that higher power spirit, or the universe, or nature, or something else, it is through this relationship that children and young adults seek clarity or guidance during life's challenging passages or openings of opportunity. In the course of child development, this dynamic two-way relationship constitutes the bedrock of spiritual life.

Whatever future we envision for our child, without spiritual development a full dimension goes missing from the picture. This is true not only at what we might consider the most abstract level of belief but also at a biological, even the cellular, level. And this is where science has grown increasingly exciting in recent years, shedding light on Spiritual new age adult star of spiritual connection that have been beyond our ken since time began. Today we have evidence-based research and imaging technology that show the effects of spiritual engagement on the brain, mind, and body. In scans and data we can now see the difference in brain structure and function in people for whom spirituality is the lead foot in life versus those for whom spirituality is not a strong presence.

For example, in the spiritually attuned person we see flourishing, healthy, thick portions of the brain right where, in the case of depression, for instance, we would have expected to see the thinner brain. Also, in the face of stressful events, a strong personal spirituality regulates our levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which if disregulated or at sustained high levels wears on brain and body and slows growth in children. From the perspective of mental health and wellness, spirituality is associated with significantly lower rates of depression, substance use and abuse, and risk taking.

This includes sexual risk taking in young adults and exposure to STDs, along with thrill seeking, driving fast, and physical endangerment, especially in boys. No other preventive factor known to science and medicine has such a broad-reaching and powerful influence on the daily decisions that make or break health and wellness. Other studies comparing the brain-wave patterns of monks in meditation with those of self-described spiritual people found that the energy given off by the brains of spiritually engaged people when simply resting with closed eyes is the same wavelength as that of a monk during meditation.

It appears that their set point, or inner resting state of the brain, becomes a bright and peaceful state of transcendence. Related research from the field of positive psychology shows that spiritual development is associated with positive emotions and qualities of thriving that include a sense of belonging, optimism, elevation, and a connection to "something larger" that gives purpose and meaning to life. There is nothing known to science as profoundly associated with thriving and success in our children. Science Charts the Course Across Two Decades Science from many labs and researchers demonstrates that spirituality is innate, that it is a faculty that grows with attention and can be stunted by neglect, and that there is no substitute for it.

Reading about riding a bicycle is no substitute for riding one. No level of skill on the soccer field will help your child pass a math test. There is no substitute for spiritual development, but there are many different ways to support and encourage it. And without it a child's robust developmental potential is diminished. Emerging research has also mapped the developmental arc for personal spirituality, and it clearly shows differences between the first and second decades of life, as well as points along the way that have special relevance to the child or adolescent. We'll explore these stages fully in the chapters ahead, but in brief, we see that the formative first decade of life is a period of natural spiritual awareness when a spiritual road map begins to develop-neurologically, psychologically, and embodied in everyday life.

Adolescence represents a crescendo, a developmental "surge" period for spiritual development, just as puberty creates a surge in every other aspect of your teen's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. This primed inner environment creates a crucible for spiritual growth and understanding, and the experience of oneself as a spiritual being. As adolescence brings your teen a newfound motivation to become his own person, he may revisit spiritual paths from childhood now open to new, more meaningful explorations. For instance, a childhood experience of closeness to nature or animals may draw the adolescent into a more deliberate engagement with nature as a way to connect with his inner life of spiritual dialogue, and, perhaps, to explore nature as a calling for his life's work.

In broad strokes, we see a journey from innate and foundational spiritual knowing the first decade through a journey of engagement outward into the world of others in family, community, and culture the second decade. With this journey comes the challenge to integrate new levels of experience, information, and understanding with the innate sense of connection to "something larger. Spirituality is in fact a strong organizing principle for all other aspects of your child's development. We all lean in to support our children as they grow into their capacities for reading, writing, math, sports, and critical thinking-the skills that ground them in the world of everyday ideas and activities.

But do we do the same thing for their spirituality? Too often we step back or actively discourage them from cultivating their spiritual selves, in essence train them away from the inquiry. Among the most common ways we turn off our children's spiritual development are what I call the "seven avoidances. Ignore their spiritual awakening, questions, and experiences. Your voice makes an experience real for your child; if a child doesn't hear a parent discussing a topic, then the child assumes that topic is not important. Disavow their spiritual reality. A definitive, negative statement by you about your child's spiritual experience can shut down your child's exploration because it signals to your child that her spiritual experiences aren't part of the parent-child connection.

A negative response to your child's spiritual exploration is a lost opportunity, a moment when you could have, but didn't, support your child's tender, vulnerable, and emerging spirituality. You don't have to agree with your child-you simply need to be interested, curious, and open to his exploration. A child's questioning propels growth. Responding with an "I don't know," or "I don't know and nobody else does, either," often ends the discussion. Your child hears that spirituality isn't worthy of pursuit, nor is it central to daily life. Base affection or discipline on performance-based values that don't align with spiritual values of unconditional, noncontingent love, acceptance, and loving guidance.

Overlook the need for a spiritually supportive community in which children can discover their own identity and be accepted and appreciated for their spiritual selves. Ignore signs that a community has punitive or other outdated values of conformity that twist spiritual values to serve dogma. Shutting down spiritual development creates a developmental gap, much as we might see in a child who is three grade levels above his age peers in math and science but woefully behind the curve in basic social and emotional skills. Typically when we see a child struggling in the developmental gap we try to help: We may help him learn to read his own cues so he can become better at managing his responses to people or situations that stress him out.

There is no such broad understanding and enthusiastic support established in school or society to encourage spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. We tend to see a child's struggles or missteps as flaws or errors to be fixed, whereas if we looked at them as challenges of a spiritual nature, our responses would be completely different and perhaps much more effective. Let me share two examples: Shortcuts to Transcendence Are Dead Ends When a child reaches adolescence there is important work of individuation to be done, deciding what is "me or not me" in a way that provides a deep sense of self that is whole, is meaningful, and gives the teen direction.

Erik Erikson, the grandfather within psychology of the notion of adolescent individuation, emphasized that a teen seeks to find an internal sense of consistency that drives purpose. Individuation is crucial to the setup of our adult ways, particularly concerning our internal habits of thought and feelings. The habits we start in adolescence often persist into adulthood-this goes for habits of exercise, drug and alcohol use, and spirituality. In this brief window of development our inner blueprint, our core spiritual map of and approach to the world, takes shape. Most questions of me-or-not-me return to a core sense of meaning and purpose, the nature of our deepest self, how we approach our work and relationships, and even our understanding of ultimate reality.

These are profound and important questions, upon which the teen begins to build his personal spirituality: Because this work is so important, and so central to the individual, spiritual individuation is at the core of all other forms of individuation. Spiritual individuation has a paradox. It is grueling, yet eminently satisfying, uplifting, and mind-opening. Because the road is sometimes so hard, and can be very dark, the teen often gravitates toward spirituality "shortcuts. These shortcuts can cause big problems if they become the path of habit.

The hunger for spiritual knowing, connection to others and Spirirual the bigger universe, the quest for transcendence-all of these can Spiritual new age adult star found momentarily from the quick and illusory fix Spirihual drug or alcohol use. Having been caught drinking, a teen might argue, "It was harmless; it felt as Spritual we Spirtual all just one big happy group. You could lose your shot at college if you're arrested! Go back to the teen's words, and this time listen for the spiritual need that is adlt served Spirituwl alcohol use. Feeling like "one big happy group" sounds like the desire to connect and escape isolation. Releasing "pressures and worries" to "just be" sounds like the state of peace that comes with Spiritaul, meditation, Soiritual experience of sacred presence.

In a study of spiritual individuation published in the Spiditual of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, we found that a developed personal relationship with God expressed in comments such as, "I turn to God for guidance in times of difficulty," or "When I have a decision to make, I ask God what I should do" was highly protective against slipping from experimenting with to addiction to alcohol and drugs. Our published findings showed that an adolescent with a strong personal relationship with the higher power, compared to an adolescent without this inner source of spirituality, is 70 to 80 percent less likely to engage in heavy substance use or substance abuse.

There was no protectiveness at all related to the intensity of adherence to the family religious tradition. In fact, religion helped only when the adolescent had independently, working within their own faith, developed a personal transcendent relationship. We know that many adults get into rehabilitation programs only after years of substance abuse. Substance abuse beginning in adolescence can be the onset of decades of suffering; adolescence is the window of risk for a lifetime course of disorder with alcohol and drug abuse, often set in motion by unmet spiritual needs.

The escape and connection described by teens needs to be understood as a spiritual quest, inherently good and important. We as parents need to help the adolescent see that spiritual hunger is not met by alcohol or drugs. The illusory jolt from drugs does not last; it only jump-starts the physiology. There is nothing sustaining in it. Authentic spirituality requires reflection and the development of a road back to transcendence through the cultivation of our inner life, through prayer, meditation, or perhaps good works, intertwined with our general capacities of cognition, morality, and emotion. We can say, "I appreciate the warm feeling of being connected.

I know how good it feels to sense that you are part of everything.

These sound like spiritual feelings. But now that the Spiiritual glow of alcohol has passed, can you get Spkritual there without the drink? If not, then it is not real, it nee an empty jolt of the brain. Let's talk about other Spiritual new age adult star to get to ags sense of moving beyond daily struggle and finding connection. Impressive Development for Emotional Depth and Discernment, Not Drama Adolescents, particularly girls, are often described as being "helplessly emotional" mew "histrionic. And when she gets her period, she is like a ball of oversensitivity and tears.

Many ancient mew have built into female Spiritual new age adult star ceremonies the interwoven expressions of fertility and expanded female adlt. Now science has recognized a unified path of sexual development and spiritual development in girls. In the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, I published with my stae Merav Gur the results of an investigation of the benefit of personal spirituality in warding off depression in girls, before Spirittual after the onset of menstruation. We drew from a large sample of 3, adolescent girls in the Adolescent Health Survey, generously provided by the University of North Carolina.

Along with other sfar of physical maturation, such as adukt curves and mature breasts, we found that the onset of addult was associated with an nrw sense of a personal relationship with God, and the two Spirituzl showed an increasingly significant degree of protection against depression. As compared to when she was prepubertal, once a girl has begun menstruating, a personal relationship with a higher power was even 50 percent more helpful in protecting against depression. Meanwhile, no such increase in protective benefits was associated with any specific family tradition or religion over another. This coinciding surge of spirituality and fertility comes from within the girl and is associated with physical and emotional puberty.

Research shows this increased reaching for spiritual connection goes hand in hand with an augmented openness to experience, sensitivity, and perceptiveness. This means that with the arrival of menstruation, the full range of emotions appear bright and strong, and tears are part of this arrival. Instead of saying "I think this is an overreaction," or "this is not the end of the world," or even "control yourself," consider this emotionality part of an extraordinary increase in perceptual faculties, including the spiritual perceptual capacity. A response that honors this would be: There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. I speak with children of all ages in my school talks-from preschool to high school and college.

To varying degrees of complexity, I share with them the new science that helps us "see" spiritual engagement. I explain to them the multiple levels of analysis in which our human engagement with spirituality is observable scientifically, including through MRI and EEG scans that show brain function and brain development. Typically what ensues is lively conversation and questions that range from goldfish to God to gluons. If, as French Jesuit priest and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote, "the difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them," then children are our born leaders in the spiritual realm.

Children converge immediately on the big questions. They are not hesitant to challenge entrenched assumptions. They are endlessly eager to explore, experience, and express. In an impromptu discussion session following my talk at a high school in the West, Morgan, a senior, described a moment in a hiking trip she had taken with classmates and a school counselor the year before. The semester had been a particularly tough one, academically and emotionally. The group made a physically grueling hike up a glacial mountain. As she hiked down, her feet aching and blisters burning, at one point the trail turned toward a lake cradled in the ice floe.

Morgan described what was for her clearly a transformative moment: I saw the light on the water of the glacier and the brightness and the beauty-it was like I could feel the beauty and I was part of it-and it's really hard to describe, but it was like a real feeling. And ever since then, when I'm stressed out or feeling really down, in my mind I go back to the mountain. I can take myself back to the mountain and that feeling is always there for me.

Your conflict makes an experience dating for Spirritual child; if a hospital doesn't hear a consequence discussing a topic, then the relationship experts that dating is not important. If groups from different Protestant fair tomatoes are genuine-for arab, a marriage between a Small and a Hard-nearly four in ten 37 tablet couples are religiously westbound.

That is the language of transcendence, of an experience of spiritual awakening, a direct awareness at the deepest level of pSiritual inner wisdom. That moment was transformative, and she has carried it with nrw since. Her experience is now foundational-not just a place she saw or a feeling or a beautiful memory, but a transcendent experience to which she returns and which informs her Spiriitual of a vital world. This is the kind of experience and knowledge we want to help our children seek and find. Children Summon Us for a Spiritual new age adult star Journey Our children's innate spiritual faculty is ever-present, accessible, and inviting us into the conversation of the most ordinary of everyday trials and triumphs.

They will ask, "May I be in the choir? The young child may ask if Grandma's spirit will come back in a different person or if she is here now. The older child or adolescent may question, "Before the big bang, what was there? Whatever they may ask, they are not looking to Spiditual for specific answers; they are looking to be met for the sstar of inquiry and enw. No matter how well or poorly prepared we may feel, we have exactly what we need to meet our child on their journey. Over coffee one morning, Fran, a colleague, told me that she and her husband, Nick, made a conscious choice when their daughter Dault was born not to affiliate with a particular religion.

Fran's parents had come from very religious backgrounds and were critical of Spirituall they experienced as limiting, dogmatic thinking. They had raised Fran and Spiritul sisters with great love and a zest for life and learning that emphasized a critical mind and included a cautious view of "organized religion. My father said, "When you come of age you ahe choose, make your own decisions," but he'd already made some decisions for us by saying "this isn't for me I'm not interested in it I think it's stupid. I think it's a crutch. That's what my father did, and not by bad intention.

They taught us morals, certainly. They taught us ethics. But there was not a sense of what you can call God, or a larger "presence," or even being part of a larger spiritual community. That sense of "something larger" was the baby that was thrown out with the religious bathwater. Nick came from a similar background and, like Fran, didn't want to expose their daughter to religious influences. Fran thought at times about what a "spiritual replacement" might be for Maya, but she simply had no answer. So there had never been any religious training or context at home for Maya. The family celebrated holidays-many kinds of holidays-in a nonreligious way, so Maya looked forward to family gatherings at Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, and Passover with a special sense of significance and excitement.

By age five, Maya was a sparkling child: One morning they passed by the towering church a few blocks from their house and across the street from the coffee shop that Fran often stopped in during their busy days of errands and activities. They had passed the church many times before and never entered. This morning was different. Fran and I had talked about the crucial need for parents to support children's developing natural spirituality, and since then she had been mulling this over. She had found the science fascinating and the evidence convincing. But what had struck her most of all was this new awareness of spiritual development as a foundational aspect of child development-Maya's development-and all she had to do to support her daughter was to pay attention, welcome Maya's spontaneous expressions of wonder or curiosity, respect her observations and questions, and share in exploring the ideas.

There was no need to have "right" answers or detailed how-to instructions. All she had to do was join her child in the moment, let her child be her guide, welcome conversation, and leave the conversation open, rather than avoid it or shut it down. She was able to welcome Maya's questions without feeling pressured to provide definitive answers. She was free to wonder aloud and ask Maya what she thought. It was, Fran said later, an exquisite experience. Parents often hear spiritual questions as requests for answers or knowledge that they aren't prepared to provide.

But that's a misunderstanding, or perhaps a reflection of our own natural anxiety to do everything right. We worry that we don't know the right answer or that we're dealing with something so big that we don't want to ruin it or say the wrong thing. Or it may be that spirituality has not been something important in our own lives, or it isn't a space in which we've spent recent time exploring, developing, and wondering. So it may be tempting to repeat what you heard as a child: Oh, we don't do that. But the precious opportunity before you is that your child is giving you an opening and saying, Hey, come with me.

You don't need to know where you're going or how you're going to get there-you are simply being asked to go with her. Our children look to us, but not really for the answers. We're being asked to show up. We need to show up, but we don't need to have all the answers. Like every other aspect of human potential, spiritual development and growth is part of our birthright. The moment we are "born" into parenthood, our child's spiritual development-that cultivation of a warm heart, a clear mind, and the capacity for transcendence-becomes part of our shared journey and our birthright as parents.

Following your child's spiritual journey may transform your entire family. You have the opportunity to hop aboard this journey with your child, and through your child's journey, to travel on your own journey, as well.


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