Spirituality in the Workplace
The goal of our fostering a spirituality of work is to provide an environment that deepens our sense of meaning through the mission of St. Mary's and Ascension Health. This affects the way work is done and service is provided. In a spiritually centered workplace, people have greater potential to become whole. They have a deeper connection with the meaning of what they do. From that experience, comes vital energy, real commitment, creativity, and a generosity of spirit in contributing to our mission. In fostering spirituality, the workplace grows as a true community of mutual care and service and organizational practice is infused with depth and reflective process. In this context, there is potential for both individual and organizational transformation.
For Ascension Health, Workplace Spirituality is...
The human spirit is what makes us unique and distinctly human. It is the basis of our common humanity and also of our personal uniqueness. Connecting with the human spirit begins and takes place in our total present reality. That is; it is discovered through experience. While we humans share some universal spiritual experiences, there are absolutely personal experiences for each individual in a lifelong journey of becoming the true self we are created by God to be. Our diversity provides a complementarity of abilities which support the healing mission.
"Spirituality" is distinguishable from "religion." Each and every person is spiritual by nature. Spirituality is a universal reality. Many people find intersections between their spirituality, their faith, and the expression of that faith in a community of believers (religion). These intersections impact our spirituality. And we find that the workplace can benefit from the personal gifts that all associates bring from their various religious and spiritual traditions as well as from their separate personalities.
God interacts with us personally and continually in our daily lives. God engages us. We do not "make ourselves whole" in isolation, by doing the right things, or by discovering the right "practices." Rather, we discover our wholeness in a community. We are called to serve by the community and we respond to that call. We create space, openness, and an attitude of listening to our own experience and to others in our lives.
Because we are human, we are always in relationship with God, self, others and the universe. We discover, in the course of our adult spiritual journey, the God who IS, the God with whom we are already in relationship, by virtue of our creation. We become more consistent in seeing all aspects of human experience as the meeting place with God.
We are vital and we live with purpose. We sense connection with a larger meaning. For example, we experience our call as "continuing the healing ministry of Jesus," or as "participating in God's healing presence to humanity."
We find satisfaction in our work because in it we use our gifts and abilities. Contributing helps us discover and express who we are in this world. This is where the potential for creativity and passion reside. When we see our work as life-giving, we want others to experience their work that way. The Core Values of Ascension Health (Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity, and Dedication) provide specific guidance on how to offer life and healing to those we serve, especially the poor and vulnerable, and to support a workplace environment that is life-giving for our associates.
Rooted in reality and truth
We bring our whole self to the workplace. And, while we have to be focused, we don't have to be fragmented. Ordinary experiences and events are the place of encounter with the Sacred. Spirituality does not imply "out of the ordinary," but rather leads us to be whole in the ordinary. (If God wants to create extraordinary experiences for me, God will do so... this is not something I have to strive for.)
Discoverable - in awareness
We don't need to go to a mountaintop to know our spirit. Our spirit is where we are right now. We live where action and contemplation meet, as we learn to become more aware in the present moment. This isn't solely a matter of intellectual learning. The deeper self can know without the mind constructing definitions or labels.
Effective in service
There is an interactive flow between service and the meaning of service, between action and reflection. As we find meaning, satisfaction and a sense of calling, we are lead toward faithful, passionate, excellent service. We are also lead toward greater generosity in our work, because we discover its impact on others and ourselves. We accept further accountability for and become stewards of our ministry. In our sense of common humanity with those who are vulnerable we may come to a deeper compassion and a greater acceptance of our own needs. We may discover how God is acting through us. We may encounter God present and acting in others. Such awareness leads to reverence and a desire to serve even more fully. In the workplace, as in all of life, we become our true selves, the unique, unrepeatable, selves that are discovered over the course of our lifetime. When we live from that true sense of self, we are coming to wholeness and contentment.
We, as Ascension Health, seek to nurture spirituality in the workplace out of reverence for each person in the service of the healing ministry.