“Friends Talk”- Spiritual Health
Thank you for reading along as we continue our exploration on Quakerism. In this post, I focus on Quaker values and what they mean to me. Friends (with a capital “F”) who are reading this would already be tuned into Quaker values and tradition. For others, I hope you find this snapshot of Quaker values and what it means to me to be interesting.
An Assessment for Holistic Health & Wellness
As an introduction, Friends Life Care embraces a philosophy for wellbeing which they call VigR® Vitality Independence Growth Resilience ™. And in helping members to understand and achieve holistic wellness, Care Coordinators use an Assessment from Princeton University called UMatter.
One of 7 Dimensions of Holistic Wellness is “Spiritual Health”. This is something that Friends Life Care embraces for members and friends.
In this post, I dive deeper into the foundation of the Religious Society of Friends to understand their core values and how these values came to be the bedrock in which the Quakers stand on. You’ll read about values, inner lights and more on the SPICES. Perhaps you’ll begin to embrace the inner light of yourself and everyone you meet. And so, it may even be a path to improved spiritual health.
Quaker Testimonies – The Values
The word value holds many meanings. The root word in Latin is “valere, defined as: to be well and have strength. Merriam Webster uses the definition as the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something; also, a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.
In building the foundation upon which Quakerism stands, George Fox and his early followers compiled a list of testimonies on how they would like to live in the world. These values are held dear by a Quaker — functioning as spiritually-led actions rather than rigid written dogma, rules and requirements.
The Quakers intentionally exchanged religious law for shared values. This major change is based on their view that laws separated people from God and each other whereas values formed a common humanity.
Important to this is their belief that all people are illuminated by an inner Light. This light ensured that no one was separated from the Source, from God.
Merriam Webster had one last definition for value in their list. For me, it had a tone of hidden truth. The definition is: relative lightness or darkness of a color: LUMINOSITY; the relation of one part in a picture to another with respect to lightness and darkness.
Each Quaker testimony is grounded in their Truth that God is in EVERYONE. There exists in each person an Inner light of God which in this definition value connects with idea of luminosity. Because of this, the Quaker faith both guides people and gives them a degree of freedom to adapt the values to how they experience the world and live their life.
Values, truths and inner light – from this belief system came the guiding testimonies of Quakerism which have stood the test of time. Easy to remember, they are known as the SPICES.
More about the Quaker SPICES
SPICES are the pattern each Quaker embraces for their life. In the first blog post of this series, I provided a brief description of each of the SPICES. Here I give more detail. And in ensuing posts, I will feature some individually.
SIMPLICITY – Living a life where activities and possessions do not get in the way of your relationships with one another and your own spirituality. Clearing away the clutter so that you may hear the “still small voice” which guides you like a conscious.
PEACE – Quakers believe that world peace begins with each of us. War and violence do not solve disagreements. Quakers seek to settle all their arguments without using weapons or words to hurt others. Peace is embracing the transforming power of love and the power of nonviolence.
INTEGRITY – Integrity means being honest, authentic and transparent. It is a consistency with one’s values and actions. It is speaking truth to power and one another even when it is difficult.
COMMUNITY – Quakers believe that it is important to be a good neighbor, helpful to people around us while building interpersonal relationships. Mutual respect for one another is adhered to as we live in community together.
EQUALITY – As mentioned, Quakers believe there is that of God in everyone. All are created equal. This means everyone has the same human rights and should be treated fairly. All forms of discrimination are rejected and work to abolish the beliefs, practices and institutions that perpetuate systemic racism must be done and done peacefully.
STEWARDSHIP – To live with the above values, we need to do a good job taking care of the things we own and use. This means taking good care of the earth. Quakers believe it is important to leave the world a better place and they do so by promoting economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Walking Cheerfully Over the World
As we move through life and discover what is important to us, we may uncover our own character, work and personal values. I really started to learn more about Quaker values when I joined the Friends Life Care team. One of my colleagues, a Quaker, invited me to attend a Quaker Meeting. Inspired by the Quaker values and encouraged by another friend and life coach, I recently sat down and contemplated my own personal values. In writing them down, I began to understand what I wanted my own “living testimony” to look like. I kept asking myself what is most important to me?
Inward Reflection Can be Transformative
This exercise of inward, spiritual reflection has been transformative for my emotional and physical wellbeing. It crystalized not only who I am today, but how I want to create my world and future self.
Additionally, these values warm my heart. They illuminate my soul, pointing me to my higher self and higher good. Today, I have the pleasure of living with both the Quaker Spices and my own “Seasoning” as I focus on my spiritual health.
These values can create a path of joy just as George Fox once said, “…then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world…”
Look for more blog posts as we go more in depth with individual Spices. We’ll explain how they are intertwined in the mission of what we do here at Friends Life Care.
And as always please comment below. Perhaps you’d like to share a value most meaningful to you.
Post written by Joylyn Williamson
Inside Sales Manager
Joylyn joined Friends Life Care in 2017 as a Sales Manager on the sales and marketing team. She brings many years of experience with inside sales in both business-to-business and consumer. Previously she held positions selling to vertical markets like the federal government and meeting tough sales quotas for technology and IT offerings. She is excited to be a part of Friends Life Care and appreciates working in an organization guided by Quaker values.
Originally from Southern California, Joylyn has called the east coast home for over 20 years. Last year she relocated her 88-year old father from California to her home in Pennsylvania. She now manages his care as he has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He is her favorite person; and she finds it an honor to care for the man who once took care of her.
Joylyn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Drama, TV and Film. In addition, she completed some graduate studies in Communications at Regent University. Joylyn volunteers with a local theatre company performing onstage or working behind the scenes.
Image sources –
Hand with light: www.twenty20.com/photos/6b49a450-ef82-46c6-a6d8-28bdc2328ec6/?utm_t20_channel=bl
600 year old tree: www.twenty20.com/photos/0d677360-bf8f-4b4f-bb48-89f6a3c85e85/?utm_t20_channel=bl
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