Spirituality & Personal Growth

The College for Bishops Leadership Institute was established to provide educational resources for new bishops as well as trending informational resources for all bishops. Spirituality & Personal Growth focuses on specific resources such as:

New items are added monthly.  To comment on current items or suggest additional topics and/or resources, please use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

Emotional Health & Well Being


The Best Life Possible

Many people live with chronic afflictions that, at best, prevent them from functioning at their highest level and, at worst, severely debilitate their lives and require chronic medical care.In the absence of a cure, people want to live the best life they possibly can, regardless of their affliction or disability. While each person and each condition presents its own set of challenges, there are some unifying principles in helping people who are suffering from chronic illnesses to live better, more meaningful lives.


Can We Talk About...Death?

Most of us don’t want to hear bad news, especially the bad news of a terminal diagnosis. And most of us don’t want to talk about death, or plan for it. And yet, in recent years, the thinking about this is beginning to change as our aging population starts changing its views of death. More hope, less grim reaper?

Many of us have a little bit of hoarder inside us--here’s what to do

Most of us accumulate things because we think they’ll make us happier. While they might, it’s a short-term buzz. What will definitely make you feel better — and free up time and space — is letting go of stuff you don’t use, says Matt Paxton, a cleaning expert on TV’s Hoarders. Here’s how to lighten up.

Want to Feel Happier Today? Try Talking to a Stranger 

Many of us tend to do just about anything to avoid conversation or even eye contact with strangers. And smartphones make it easier than ever to do that. A recent study found that phones can keep us from even exchanging brief smiles with people we meet in public places. But a body of research has shown that we might just be short-changing our own happiness by ignoring opportunities to connect with the people around us.

Want to make something but have no idea where to begin? Here’s some inspiration from Adam Savage

People ask “How do I get started?” but the real question usually is “How do I get started when I don’t have any idea what to make?” And the answer resides in the first law of thermodynamics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. In other words, to get started you need to become the outside force which starts the mental and physical ball rolling. You need to overcome the inertia of inaction and indecision and begin developing some creative momentum.


How to prepare yourself for a good end of life

7 in 10 Americans hope to die at home. But half die in nursing homes and hospitals, and more than a tenth are cruelly shuttled from one to other in their final three days. Pain is a major barrier to a peaceful death, and nearly half of dying Americans suffer from uncontrolled pain. Here are some suggestions about how to get the best from our imperfect health care system and how to prepare for a good end of life.


The Dog Isn’t Sleeping: How to Talk with Children about Death

In 1983, in what would become one of the show's most famous episodes, broadcast on Thanksgiving Day, when show executives knew grown-ups would be home watching with their kids, Big Bird learned that Mister Hooper, who ran Sesame's corner store and lovingly made his birdseed milkshakes, had died. This was a master class on how to talk with children about death and here are a few takeaway suggestions.

As we ponder the first-world scope of our possessions, I wonder, as Christians, should we even own property? After all, in the early church, believers held everything in common, and the Hutterites and other Anabaptist groups have set admirable examples of how to live with few material belongings.  What sort of relationship should today’s Christian maintain with material possessions?  See also the following TED Talk on possessions:

Looking for a New Tool for Reflection?  Make a List!

The process of making lists slows us down, helps us name what we truly want, educates our desires, and calms our anxieties. Obviously, the powerful lists above differ from grocery lists or to-do lists, helpful as these are for daily living. Lists that take us into mindfulness require us to notice things we would otherwise overlook. The secret of a good list is locating a candid category that engages a curious mind.

The Two Kinds of Stories We Tell About Ourselves

We are all storytellers — all engaged, as the anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson puts it, in an “act of creation” of the “composition of our lives.” Yet unlike most stories we’ve heard, our lives don’t follow a predefined arc. Our identities and experiences are constantly shifting, and storytelling is how we make sense of it. By taking the disparate pieces of our lives and placing them together into a narrative, we create a unified whole that allows us to understand our lives as coherent — and coherence, psychologists say, is a key source of meaning.

Brene Brown on how to reckon with emotion and change your narrative

In navigation, dead reckoning is how you calculate your location.  It involved knowing where you’ve been and how you got there—speed, route, and wind conditions.  It’s the same with life:  we can’t chart a new course until we find out where we are, how we cam to that point, and where we want to go.  When you reckon with emotion, you change your narrative.  You have to acknowledge your feelings and get curious about the story behind them.  Then you can challenge your confabulations and get to the truth.

Want to be an Outstanding Leader? Keep a Journal.

Research has documented that outstanding leaders take time to reflect. Their success depends on the ability to access their unique perspective and bring it to their decisions and sense-making every day.  Extraordinary leadership is rooted in several capabilities: seeing before others see, understanding before others understand, and acting before others act. A leader’s unique perspective is an important source of creativity and competitive advantage. But the reality is that most of us live such fast-paced, frenzied lives that we fail to leave time to actually listen to ourselves


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