The Heart Matters Model
The Heart Matters model fosters spiritual resilience by using contemporary research on emotional resilience in the context of God’s presence and action in the world. We recognize that theology is important - differences among faith traditions are real and they matter - but the need for spiritual resilience is universal. The Heart Matters program provides a well-informed, practical, mind/body/spirit approach to remaining buoyant in today's challenging world. Our program is designed from a Christian perspective but is adaptable to other settings. Our partner site, www.spiritualresilienceproject.org, offers a more broadly based approach.
We have four primary goals:
We have four primary goals:
- To provide a practical faith-based method for maintaining spiritual resilience
- To support people in taking compassionate action in the world
- To provide a language and framework that makes sense to those disenchanted by institutionalized religion
- To find common ground across various religious and secular perspectives while still honoring our differences
The approach rests on four habits:
FOSTERING SPIRITUAL EMOTIONS
Joy, hope, compassion, awe, gratitude, love and trust nourish our souls and give us the strength to reach out and help others. We can't manufacture these spiritual emotions, but we can recognize their value and learn how to develop their presence in our lives.
PROCESSING DIFFICULT EMOTIONS SKILLFULLY
Painful emotions can work for us or against us, depending on our circumstances and our responses to them. We can learn how to process painful emotions more skillfully from a position of faith, and learn to step away from negative emotions that pull us away from God.
USING TRANsFORMATIVE SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Spiritual practices are habits that engage our whole selves - body, mind and spirit - and bring us back to center. We offer a selected list of practical, manageable activities that tend to the hearts of adults and youth.
GUIDED BY SPIRITUAL TOUCHSTONES
Spiritual touchstones are the reference points we use in understanding our world. We maintain our sense of meaning and purpose through a combination of spiritual practices and these reference points. For Christians these touchstones include Scripture, the life of Jesus, and our denominational traditions. Other faith traditions and a positive secular perspective each have their own reference points. Our touchstones shape our spiritual practices as we move toward spiritual resilience.
About Connie Fourré
I was blessed to grow up in a home where God's presence was celebrated. Life wasn't perfect, but those early years were rich in spirit. I spent twenty-five years in a Catholic high school religion classroom with high school students, talking about God, the world and their lives. I raised five kids and wrote a few books. My lifelong spiritual influences include my Catholic heritage, the cockeyed Jesus movement of the 1970's, recent mindfulness training, and my current interfaith work. I live with my husband in the Minneapolis area.
These days I'm dismayed by many things, among them the fading of the Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. In the last few years of teaching I would ask my students. "OK, so you're not gonna do church. Then what? How do you find and remember to live according to what you know is really important?"
I ask myself, "How do we preserve the human heart as Jesus taught us?" Tending to spiritual emotions through understanding and spiritual practices is one method among many. I hope to share it with you.
For a downloadable brochure, please click here
Header photo credit: thanasis papathanasisiou, Flickr