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Celebrating our Spirituality

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At Crestwood Chula Vista, we celebrate our spirituality. We strive to create an open and free environment for all clients and staff to embrace their spiritual beliefs and practices and who identify with various faiths such as Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, and Judaism. We also have those who consider themselves agnostic or atheist. We do not judge anyone for what they choose to believe and how they choose to express those beliefs.

When people think of spirituality they may automatically think about a certain religion, but spirituality is so much more than that! Spirituality is one of our Pillars of Recovery at Crestwood and we define it as a connection to a greater power, others and self and a way to find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in life. Spirituality is a lifestyle, and for many, it is the very core of who they are as individuals. We live in a multicultural society and we are surrounded by an array of religions and spiritual practices. Our world is rich in culture and that is a beautiful asset to healthy living.

“I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there.”
Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins

Each week I have the wonderful privilege of facilitating our spirituality groups with our clients. We have created learning and hands-on experiences with each culture, belief and spirituality practice we’ve studied. We devote an entire month to a specific faith/spirituality practice and we post flyers throughout the campus announcing that month’s spirituality group and topic. For example, last July, we focused on Judaism and we went through a PowerPoint presentation that laid out its foundation. The next week we learned about the Israeli flag and painted that flag as we listened to Israeli music. For our next group meeting we watched a documentary on Judaism, which our clients absolutely loved! The final group was centered on what Challah bread means to the Israeli people and learned about Shabbat and ate Challah bread together.

During August, we studied Islam. One of our clients is from Afghanistan and since Afghanistan is an Islamic country, we chose to focus on his home country. Our first week started out with a PowerPoint presentation that helped clients and our staff learn the fundamentals of Islam. The following week we learned about the significance of the Afghan flag as we all painted it. We also painted mosques as we learned about the roles they play in Islam. The next week, I read to the clients from the Quran as they completed Islamic word searches. They really enjoyed hearing the words of the Quran, which for many of them, was the first time. For our last group session that month, we gathered in the recreation room and watched an excellent documentary on the Islamic faith and spiritual practices.

When choosing the topics for each month we invite the clients to select what they would like to focus on. For the month of September, they requested that we learn more about Christianity; for October, the clients asked to discover the treasures of Buddhism; and in November, they asked to learn about the traditions of Catholicism.

At the end of each group, I like to ask clients what their golden nuggets are of what they have learned and what they will take with them. Each week I am amazed at the insightful answers that they share with the group and it is wonderful to see they truly are enjoying this experience. I am so blessed to have the support and encouragement from our leadership team to fully engage our staff and clients in our spirituality groups.

As Billy Corgan, the musician with Smashing Pumpkins, said, “I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there.”

 

Contributed by:
Wanda Anderson, Service Coordinator Crestwood Chula Vista


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Our Spiritual Path

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When a person has no hope, no sense of self, no meaning in life, and when they feel that their purpose on this earth feels nonexistent, their dreams have evaporated and thoughts of tomorrow are too heavy a burden to carry – that person can start to drown in emptiness.  It is at this time when they need that path to be opened – the path of connection, the path of light and a path that is uniquely theirs. It becomes the one place or thought that they can hold on to; this is their personal spiritual path. Spirituality is the connection to a greater power, others and self.  It is the way to find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in life.  Many people find spirituality through religion, music, art or a connection with nature, while others find it in their values and principles. At Crestwood Behavioral Health we hold spirituality as one of our core values for recovery.

The path can be dark at times. It can be difficult to find without a companion, a guide or simply someone who believes in you, who sees you and who can by a look, a touch or a word begin to open the door to your spiritual path.  The door may be a prayer, a moment of tears, or even a moment of silence. It is a connection with a higher power, with nature, with something or someone greater than ourselves.

The door to your spiritual path may be opened in the simplest and most humble of settings or it may be in a mosque, temple or church. It may be sitting near water or may be by spending time in the outdoors. At times it’s in silence or it can be brought on by a beautiful song.

Each person’s spiritual path can be healing, centering, a moment of peace that is filled with acceptance and love. It is often what brings back hope, a sense of self, purpose and a meaning to life. It is and shall always be a core value to what we offer in our services for our clients at Crestwood.

Contributed by: Patty Blum, PhD
Crestwood Vice President