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Thoughts on Practicing Purpose



“What is your practice?” the elder asked me. I looked at her with a blank bewildered stare. What do you mean, my practice? A few weeks have passed. Her question still rings in my ears, and I am beginning to understand practice.

Practice is how we live.

Practice is what we intentionally give ourselves to, every day.

Practice is about presence.


Connecting Presence and Spirituality in the Workplace

We just completed a study on spirituality in the workplace. Our goal was to understand practice within the AKA team. This is what we found. Our practice is how we connect our inner self to the outer self, what people see, and our experience.




Visual Circle model of spirituality in the workplace.

Table representing beliefs practices and experiences
The table highlights some themes and narratives from this study.


Brighten Crawford-Martin, Ashley Weigum, Kaden Martin, Curtis Hartley, and Sadie Posey will be presenting these findings next week at APHA in Atlanta.


Tips for Practicing Purpose at Work and Beyond

  1. Get real about what you value.

  2. Keep a journal of what you do, say, act and feel throughout the day.

  3. Reflect on how your words, actions, and feelings connect to your values and purpose.

  4. Be present when you speak to others, be present when others are speaking.

  5. Embrace wonder.


Key message

The greatest evidence of what a person values and believes is not based on what they say, but what they practice. If you love and care for people, your practice throughout the day shows this. If you value relationships with others, your practice is spent cultivating these. If you believe in social justice, equity, and advocacy, your practice elevates these issues.


AKA is grounded in a theory of hope, this gives us a clear purpose and vision. We know what we are working toward. It is not easy and at times we find ourselves in situations that feel disconnected to our desired practice. When we find ourselves going down the wrong road, or the road not meant for us, we must take time to stop and think. What is our purpose? Why are we here? How can we stop and turn around?


Practicing purpose embodies the mind, body, heart, and soul for the good of others, our neighbors. It is asking hard questions and being open and honest with ourselves and others when the answers come. This is the secret of living a meaningful life and doing the work we are called to do. Practicing purpose.


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