Title

Women's Lived Experiences of Spirituality through Occupation

Presenter Information

Christy Billock

Start Time

26-10-2007 3:45 PM

End Time

26-10-2007 4:15 PM

Abstract

As a fundamental reality of life, the nature of spiritual experience through occupation interests occupational scientists desiring to develop an increase in knowledge about occupation. Spirituality is conceptualized as a deep experience of meaning different from religion. Occupational scientists contend that “individuals are most true to their humanity when engaged in occupation” (Yerxa et al., 1990, p. 7). Occupation creates meaning in life and helps answer larger existential questions of the meaning of life (Christiansen, 1997). Being true to one's humanity and making meaning in life are spiritual and metaphysical phenomena which seek expression through occupation (Peloquin, 1997). Although spirituality and occupation interconnect, limited research exists within occupational science on the nature of spirituality as experienced through occupation. This qualitative study provides insight into three Episcopalian women's lived experience of spirituality through occupations in everyday life. The research employed a phenomenological approach to in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and participant journaling over a 15-month period. Through recursive coding and interpretation, relevant themes emerged which help to better understand the women’s lived experiences of spirituality through occupation. The purpose of this paper will be to present the findings of the research by reviewing the model developed to understand the participants‚ experiences of spirituality through occupation. The women's lived experiences of spirituality through occupation appeared dependent upon several factors including contextual environments, central ideologies, and a system of doing, reflection, and intention. Participant types of lived experiences of spirituality through occupation included embodied experiences, emotional experiences, being present at the center, and mystical experiences. A schematic representation will help illuminate the findings. These findings highlight the necessity of viewing spiritual experience through occupation as a process thereby challenging notions of spiritual or religious occupations as categorical. The process, both transactional and transformative in nature, vitally depends upon occupation to make intangible aspects of life tangible. The research emphasizes the importance of viewing spirituality not as an immaterial phenomenon, but as a tangible reality made possible through one's lived experience of occupation. The presenter will invite the audience to dialog about the findings of the study and future directions for research and publication.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 26th, 3:45 PM Oct 26th, 4:15 PM

Women's Lived Experiences of Spirituality through Occupation

As a fundamental reality of life, the nature of spiritual experience through occupation interests occupational scientists desiring to develop an increase in knowledge about occupation. Spirituality is conceptualized as a deep experience of meaning different from religion. Occupational scientists contend that “individuals are most true to their humanity when engaged in occupation” (Yerxa et al., 1990, p. 7). Occupation creates meaning in life and helps answer larger existential questions of the meaning of life (Christiansen, 1997). Being true to one's humanity and making meaning in life are spiritual and metaphysical phenomena which seek expression through occupation (Peloquin, 1997). Although spirituality and occupation interconnect, limited research exists within occupational science on the nature of spirituality as experienced through occupation. This qualitative study provides insight into three Episcopalian women's lived experience of spirituality through occupations in everyday life. The research employed a phenomenological approach to in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and participant journaling over a 15-month period. Through recursive coding and interpretation, relevant themes emerged which help to better understand the women’s lived experiences of spirituality through occupation. The purpose of this paper will be to present the findings of the research by reviewing the model developed to understand the participants‚ experiences of spirituality through occupation. The women's lived experiences of spirituality through occupation appeared dependent upon several factors including contextual environments, central ideologies, and a system of doing, reflection, and intention. Participant types of lived experiences of spirituality through occupation included embodied experiences, emotional experiences, being present at the center, and mystical experiences. A schematic representation will help illuminate the findings. These findings highlight the necessity of viewing spiritual experience through occupation as a process thereby challenging notions of spiritual or religious occupations as categorical. The process, both transactional and transformative in nature, vitally depends upon occupation to make intangible aspects of life tangible. The research emphasizes the importance of viewing spirituality not as an immaterial phenomenon, but as a tangible reality made possible through one's lived experience of occupation. The presenter will invite the audience to dialog about the findings of the study and future directions for research and publication.