Every person who completes the Spirit Map inventory rates the 44 Spirit Map items two ways, using a scale of 1 to 10.
1. How true is this statement of you today?
2. How important is this statement in your spiritual life?
What do people say is most important to them in their spiritual lives? Here are the top ten items, based on average ratings from the 768 people who have completed the Spirit Map inventory so far:
We have four sources for the data that make up these averages. Three data sets come from three Unitarian Universalist congregations, one in Minnesota (n=248), one in Colorado (n=302), and one in Massachusetts (n=133). The third data source is from individuals who have independently taken the Spirit Map survey (n=85).
Even though this is obviously not a random sample, what could we learn about the people who have taken Spirit Map so far and what they identify as important in their spiritual lives?
Many of these are the same items that are most true of us (see this post), which indicates a certain alignment in our spiritual lives between what we see as true of us and what we feel is important to us. Future posts will explore the meaning and implications of this alignment, the strengths and opportunities of that alignment.
We can also look at these items in terms of how they group into various dimensions of spiritual well-being. We applied a statistical procedure called factor analysis to them, which bundles together the items that define a common underlying dimension or factor within the overall domain of spiritual well-being. Download our white paper for more information on how the 44 Spirit Map items cover the domain of spiritual well-being, and how the factor analysis assigned the 44 items to spiritual well-being dimensions.
As with the top most-true items, many of our most-important items come from the Communal: Relationship and Right Action dimension of our Spirit Map items. They speak to our desire to act in alignment with values and principles, to our desire to focus on others, and to our general sense that the spiritual life is lived in relationship with other people:
Two statements come from the Cognitive dimension of our Spirit Map items, and speak to the importance we see in using our mind to explore our spiritual lives:
Only one statement speaks to the importance of the Personal: Insights and Meaning/Purpose dimension of our Spirit Map items, the dimension that speaks to the internal understandings that keep us grounded and connected spiritually:
And only one item speaks to the importance of the Environmental dimension of our Spirit Map items, to the awe and delight we can experience in the world around us:
It’s also interesting to note that, as with the most-true items, none of the most-important items comes from the Spiritual dimension of our Spirit Map items, the items that speak to our spiritual or religious practice. What might it mean for people to be more broadly connected to the vulnerability and humility one finds in the experience of the holy? Could a broader connection to mystery and wonder, to that which is larger than ourselves, more fully ground people for the Communal dimension we already see as important?
Sarah Cledwyn of Grow Soul, Spirit Map’s Spiritual Direction Consultant, offers a short practice to take one of these statements and bring it deeper into your experience:
When you look at this list of what is most important, which one do you most deeply resonate with? Recall a time in your life where it was clear to you why this statement feels resonant and significant to you. How has that event affected your life and how you act in the world? Share this story with someone you love. What is it like to flesh out this statement of what is most important to you?
What's most important to you? Take the Spirit Map inventory yourself and see! You can purchase a Spirit Map report, which gives you full access to the inventory, or you can try a sample inventory. Or, explore our website further to learn more about us.