Spirituality and the State of Flow

flowMost if us are familiar with the expression being in the zone, and in fact most have probably experienced it at some point. Psychologists usually refer to it as being in a state of flow. It is usually thought of as involving a higher level of alertness, concentration, and maybe skill. Most also remember it as a very positive experience.

The state of flow is not often thought of as spiritual but there is a possible relationship that is worth exploring, and in any case the concept has a lot to say about human flourishing and growth.

We discuss flow and its causes, benefits, and connection with our faith and spirituality in a new article and on the podcast episode linked below.
Listen on: iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or

read more

Burnout in the Workplace: What Can We Do?

Photo of man facing burnoutBurnout is a big problem in the workplace. It is an organizational, psychological, and spiritual problem and is usually thought to be the result of intense, prolonged stress. The primary symptoms usually include chronic exhaustion, an absence of meaning in our work and our work relationships, and a sense of powerlessness leading to a lack of a sense of accomplishment.

We discuss the causes of burnout and possible solutions, including those involving our faith and spirituality, in the podcast episode linked below and in a new article.

Burnout is a big problem, but there are things we can do about it. (Time: 13:59)
Listen on: iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or

read more

Nancy Ammerman on Religion in Everyday Life


Scholar and sociologist Nancy Ammerman has spent a great deal of time studying what she has termed “lived religion”, the “embodied and enacted forms of spirituality that occur in everyday life”, including the workplace.  She includes beliefs and religious in lived religion, but goes well beyond these to include everyday practice.  Ammerman found that religion and spirituality helped individuals find meaning throughout their daily lives:
“Looked at from one angle, what we found in stories of everyday life was that individuals were cultivating a religious consciousness and weaving a layer of spirituality into the fabric of their individual lives, a warp and woof that extend far beyond the institutional domain designated as ‘religious’.”

read more

Leaders in Crisis and the Value of Theological Resources

Photo of leader thinkingNo one can predict the future, but we seem to be moving into a period of crisis that will put unusual burdens on leaders.  Cultural and institutional changes (and in many cases failure) will call for leaders grounded in a broader, deeper perspective.  Our institutions of faith and spirituality could play an important role in helping us prepare for this future.

read more

The Power of Integrity in Our Work Lives

josephIntegrity involves being in alignment — our words and actions are in alignment with our values and who we are at a deep level. As the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife suggests, integrity can help us through the tough times and be a source of strength and resiliency in our work lives.This story is from the Biblical book of Genesis, Chapter 39, and takes place after Joseph has been kidnapped by his older brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. (Time: 8:20)
Listen on: iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or

read more

Coping With Stress: When Religion Helps or Hurts

Photo of woman in stressTo prepare for our recent Spirituality for Busy People class, I reread some of psychotherapist and scholar Kenneth Pargament’s classic book The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. One of his key observations is that while religion can provide relief during times of stress, the actual form of religious coping matters a great deal.  According to Pargament:

The seemingly straight forward question, ‘Does religion work,’ could not be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  Instead, the answer depends on the kind of religion one is talking about, who is doing the religious coping, and the situation the person is coping with.  Depending on the interplay among these variables, religion can be helpful, harmful, or irrelevant to the coping process. (p.312)

read more

Workplace Stress: Can a Spiritual Practice Known as the Prayer Mantra Help?

photo of back of praying women's headWorkplace stress is a common problem with important consequences for both our health and our effectiveness. A spiritual practice known as the prayer mantra can help us calm down, place our problems in a more realistic perspective, and act with greater strength, insight, and resilience. It can also help us stay on track at other times. (Time: 6:52)
Listen on: iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or

read more

Developing a Deeper Sense of Mission and Purpose: Can Prayer Help?

Praying manMost of us would probably like to work with a deeper sense of purpose and mission; maybe prayer can help. This episode begins with story about a time when Jesus went off and prayed by himself in the early morning hours. You might find it has something important to say about a possible connection between prayer and the sense of purpose or mission we bring to our work. In this connection, we also discuss receptive prayer as a helpful spiritual practice.(Time: 7:20)
Listen on iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or

read more

A Theology of Entrepreneurship

theology of entrepreneurship lgThe Entrepreneurial Calling: Perspectives from Rahner by the late William J. Toth of Seton Hall is an extraordinary theological reflection on the entrepreneurial vocation and the deeper significance of the entrepreneur’s hope, risk, and service to others. A central concept for Toth was that of “providential love.”  This concept combines the idea of looking forward and anticipating the future with a desire to create something of value for others. The entrepreneur intends to create part of the future, but at the same time recognizes that success or failure will be determined by others who are free to accept or reject the offer made by the entrepreneur.

read more

Lectio Divina and Guigo’s Ladder for Monks

BibleLectio Divina is a traditional monastic spiritual practice that combines scripture and a form of contemplative prayer.  It has recently become popular among contemplative Christians as a way to a deeper prayer experience.  It is one of the practices we have taught in our Spiritual Practices for Your Work Life retreats.

read more

Retreats: Spiritual Practices for Your Work Life

Photo for spiritual practices retreatPlease let us know if you are interested in hosting or attending one of a series of retreats we call Spiritual Practices for Your Work Life.  It has been a couple of years since our last series, and we are putting together a new version.

In these retreats we expose the participants to a number of spiritual practices that can help them in their work life.  We also provide some time for small group discussion and individual reflection, and in general help people see how their faith and spirituality can inform and support their daily work.

read more

Hank Paulson on Prayer

Henry_Paulson_official_Treasury_photo,_2006Former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson wrote a spell binding memoir of his experience during the financial crisis of 2008.  Much of it deals with the day to day effort to prevent a complete financial system meltdown, but one passage in particular deals with the role of prayer.  After weeks of exhausting work and little sleep, there came a point where Paulson and his colleagues had done everything they could and still faced the possibility of catastrophe triggered by the impending failure of Lehman Brothers. And then, as told in the middle of a book about the financial system, Paulson telephones his wife and has this exchange:

read more

Spiritual Intelligence: Does it exist?

painting of colorful head

I ran across an article written in 2000 by psychologist Robert Emmons that is well worth considering (I wish I had seen it earlier).  Emmons raises the possibility that spirituality might be considered a form of intelligence consisting of five components (I am quoting Emmons):

read more

Let's Talk:

By Email: mail@faithandenterprise.org

By Telephone or Zoom: set appointment

Receive Updates

We will notify you when new information is available.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.