Hello friend! 

As we round out the theme of spirituality and creativity, I’ve recorded a quick minisode on what it means to think critically about our spiritual beliefs. 

When you were young, were you given the opportunity to think critically about your beliefs? If you were handed beliefs (i.e., “this is just how things are around here, there are no other options”), do you feel grounded, safe, and solid in them? 

I round out the short episode with a website where you can take a quiz on what you believe in terms of “the spirit world”, and it will give you what religion you most closely align with. It’s fun 🙂 

Lastly, today, August 19th, is the LAST DAY to join us for The Daring Way Retreat! Hop on over to the info page and/or message us to book a call with me to see if this is the right retreat and curriculum for you. 

Episode 466: Spirituality and Creativity series: Deconstruction, Dogma, and Spiritual Beliefs with David Hayward
The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts & Tools

Book recommendations:
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!

Right-click to download the .mp3



Andrea  00:00
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast minisode number 470.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome back to the show. I'm so glad that you're here. We are rounding out our spirituality and creativity theme. And I was thinking about what to share with you on this minisode, the last episode of this theme, and I was thinking about the episode that I did with David around deconstruction. And it got me thinking about really the overall message that I want to be clear on, when it comes to how I feel about spirituality and what I want for you. And it's pretty simple.

First I don't want anyone to think that, you know, I'm pushing any kind of spiritual beliefs whatsoever. I've always felt like, well, I take that back. I haven't always felt like. I'll get back to that. In the present day I feel like as long as you feel grounded, you know, I guess it becomes a question. You know, as you think about your own spiritual beliefs, do you feel grounded in them? Like when you feel solid in it, when you're clear on what it is that you believe in, does that help you feel grounded? Does that help you feel tethered to who you are as a person? Does it help you feel tethered to maybe your community? Does it help you feel tethered to just do who you are really? And does it make you feel safe? In some religious circles or spiritual belief systems it's important to have a sense of community. Do your beliefs, feel that for you. And also, do you feel like it makes you a better human? Does it help you judge less? Does it help you help others etc, etc, you know. These are the things that that I feel are important, you know, in the, the outro of this podcast. I was very intentional, when I wrote it, when I created a new one a couple of years ago, and you know, it's our largest luxury to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. And I think that many religious circles teach that. At least, I hope they do. I know some of that kind of tout that they do. But you know, on that front end, and it, it seems like that, but on the back end, it's kind of not. But I think that's the bottom line, when we're thinking about what it is that we're looking for and our own spiritual beliefs. I think it's important to think about that.

I think for many of us, we were handed religious beliefs at a very young age. I know that was the case for me. And as we're adults now, I think it can be helpful to look back on that, you know, maybe if you're in this place of a spiritual transition, if you're in this place of not feeling grounded, maybe kind of like in between, you know, people are in between jobs, sometimes, in between spiritual beliefs. The question you can ask yourself is, were you ever taught or encouraged or supported to think critically about your beliefs? And this is tricky, because I see a lot of people on social media talking about how they teach their children to constantly question authority. And I'm like can you say more about that because… Okay. I am very curious about it, and I won't get too far down that rabbit hole, and I do think it's important to at least teach your children to think critically. What does that actually mean?

You know, it's funny, I never even really thought about the definition of critical thinking. I only thought about times in my life where I had done so and either it opened my mind to other modes of thought, other beliefs, and I stayed within the beliefs that I had, or it ended up changing my mind. The definition of critical thinking is pretty complex, in my opinion. I looked it up and I was like, what? It feels a little heavy handed. Let me just quickly whip through these four bullet points that I got from…this is from a book called The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, it's currently on the website CriticalThinking.org. So here's what they say, “A well cultivated critical thinker raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely. Gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively. Coming to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards. Then, thinks open mindedly with alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing as need be their assumptions, their implications, and practical consequences. And lastly, communicates effectively with others and figuring out solutions to complex problems.”

Okay. Let me give you an example, as it pertains to organized religion. How critical thinking helped me when I was fairly young, and it wasn't this sort of like, oh, I have this epiphany and then I changed my mind it was these small things over time, that led me to a decision. When I was about 12 or so. And I believe I told the story in David's interview. So I was raised Lutheran, I was baptized Catholic and…but we were members of the local Lutheran Church from about the age of probably around kindergarten or so. So I was very young. And if you are a Lutheran as it is, in, I assume many religions, you go through various kind of programs. Within the church, we have first communion where it felt like we had to go through some classes to do that. And then the bigger one was confirmation, where it felt like it went on for years. But it probably was only like six weeks or something, like years long. I still have much of the books of the Bible, especially the New Testament memorized, because it wasn't a song anyway. It was during that time, around that same time, when we had learned at school that a human can survive for three days without water. We can survive a lot longer without food, but without water, three days. And I came to my pastor, and I said, what if Jesus was just unconscious, he wasn't dead, and they buried him alive, which as from what we can tell from historical writings did happen sometimes. People were accidentally buried alive and he woke up from being unconscious and, you know, everyone assumed he had been killed and was resurrected. And my pastor was like, kind of gave me like that, that's cute but no, but also, like, kind of horrified no, absolutely not. And I remember feeling… There was a few other things, you know, like I had told him that I believed in reincarnation, which I was, it was responded with, we don't believe that as Lutherans. I was like we don't? Like this we thing is weird. But it was things like that, where I was thinking critically. Just sort of questioning other options that could happen. Like, well, what else is out there doesn't necessarily mean that I automatically believed it, but it's just about sort of opening your mind and kind of taking off the blinders and not being so narrow focused. Which I think if you are raised in a family, where you are handed beliefs, this is what we believe in terms of religion, this is what we believe as our family values, this is what we believe politically, here's kind of the underlying this is how we do things around here. I think every family has those rules, whether they are said or not. This is how we do things around here. And when we get to a certain age, sometimes, you know, it's a children, sometimes it's as adolescence as it was for me, and it continued, I had a pretty big political epiphany. I don't know how long ago, 15 years ago, maybe a little bit longer. Where again, I started to think critically, I just feel that it allows you to make decisions for yourself.

And I also want to mention that I think for some people, they come to these new conclusions, and they feel solid in it. For others there's like this, sort of in the messy middle stage where you're not sure. You kind of might go back to what you believe before and question if your new thinking is true for you or not. It's not linear all the time. I think what I'm trying to say, the bottom line of all of this is that whatever you believe is fine, but it's not our job to impose that on other people and I unfortunately, I think there are religions where that is part of their journey, you know, it's part of their beliefs really. Kind of that this is the way we do things around here. I remember being in youth group, and going, it was like a Saturday morning, and we all piled in the youth group van and went to neighborhoods to go knock on doors to spread the good news. And I were the only reason I went, this was kind of embarrassing, I was probably 13 or 14, the only reason I went because I had a crush on this guy named Dan, who was just on fire for the Lord. And I wanted him to be on fire for me. And I was so hoping that Susan, the youth group leader would understand telepathically to put me in, because she was to put us in pairs like, pair me up with Dan. And she did not. And I actually got paired up with one of my friends, so… ut I was sorely disappointed. I was sorely disappointed that I didn't get to go door to door to just read the good news with Dan. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. That's what this country is founded on freedom of religion, you're free to believe whatever you want to believe but that doesn't mean that I have to. Mind your business, I guess.

But I guess I want to leave you with, if you are feeling lost, in your spirituality in your spiritual beliefs, please know that you're not alone. I think so many people are and they may stay in certain beliefs that they have, just because it's familiar to them, they built a community there, which I know is such a huge part of that nd what makes people feel really good and can do a lot of really great things. And you're not alone. And it's, I know, it's a grieving process as well. If you do decide to leave, maybe you leave an organized religion, like physically, you do not go there anymore or even if it's just in your belief system, there is definitely that sort of lost, grieving place of either leaving something behind or not knowing which decision to make, and you can find your community there. I mean, this is one of the reasons I love TikTok so much, just because there's so many, like micro niches. If you are into, you know, cross stitching all of the flags of the world, there's a place for you. If you're you know, doing deconstruction, if you are a progressive Christian, like whatever it is, there are there's a place for you over on TikTok.

And I wanted to leave you with one last thing before I close out, I found this very interesting. So years and years ago, I was traveling the beginning of my life coaching career, and I was definitely in that last place, belief-wise, and I had a coach at the time and she told me about this website, and I looked it up before I started recording because I wanted to make sure…let me actually click on it again and make sure that it's still around. Yes, it is. It's called BeliefNet.com. And it's kind of corny. It's very, like late 90s vibes. It says find the faith that matches your beliefs. Ask the belief automatic. Okay, and it asks you 20 questions, like I'll give you a quick example. What is the number and nature of the deitie? Like what do you believe in? The first option is only one God, which is a corporal spirit has a body. It's the supreme personal the Creator. The other option is only one God and incorporeal spirit, which is no body, no actual physical body. Multiple personal gods. There's all these different options that you can choose from and then at the very end, it spits out what you're in line with the most in terms of religion, when I should take this again, when I took it before it came back as a reformed Jew, which I thought was so interesting. Which I remember years and years ago, my mom telling me, so her family, that whole side of the family is from Spain. And she told me that her mother had told her, my mom lost her mom when she was 22, but she said that her mother had always told them that there's, there's some Jewish in the family ancestry. And when I got my DNA done, it did come back that I had some Ashkenazi Jew. So you never know. Maybe it's just It was, you know, passed down to me. But at any rate, I thought is a fun site. I will put that link in the show notes.

And remember everyone it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.