The women and men we interviewed spoke freely about the spiritual practices
that enhanced a sense of joy, contentment, and well-being that helped them
transcend the difficult life situations they experienced recently or earlier in life.
Their narratives were rich accounts of how they enacted their beliefs in everyday
life, enabling them to integrate deeply held religious convictions with mean-
ingful actions in both secular and spiritual communities. Their spiritual discipline
and practices, typically extending from childhood to the present, offered them
guidance in decision making across the years as well as providing opportunities
to express gratitude for all they had received in life. As Atchley (2009) pointed
out, spiritual practices “create pauses in the swirl of worldly activities, pauses
during which attention can be focused on ultimate concerns” (p. 128).