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).