Yesi Magdaleno

Misas en Español Intern

The Spirituality Spotlight this week is Yesenia Magdaleno, Misas en Español Intern and convener of our department's hospitality committee. For Yesi, as for many, practicing her spirituality isn't always easy, but she explains how important it is for her to find ways to do it. Read more inside.
Publisher's note: No one person speaks on behalf of an entire religious, spiritual, or phiolosphical tradition. All views presented are those of the student according to their personal experience of their tradition.

What does spirituality mean to you?

YM:  Spirituality is difficult to explain so that everyone understands it. It is a word that has so many meanings and continues to expand. My own spirituality involves a greater being, God, who has control over my life and who is always present. Spirituality is also prayer and connection to those with whom I am not present at that very moment, like those who have passed or my family back at home. It's a spiritual connection.

How do you practice your spirituality on a daily basis?

YM: It is difficult for me to actually practice my spirituality on a daily basis and I would be lying if I told you that I did. Occasionally, when I find myself in a dark place, I go to find or build a sacred space separate from all the other places that stress me out. The most obvious place is the Mission Church, but other times, it is bus 22 when I am going to or coming back from work off campus. The time when I can just sit and think, is a valuable time for me. I really hope to make my faith and my spirituality a priority everyday, and not just when I am stressed or overwhelmed.

Have you learned anything about yourself through this/these practice(s)?

YM: I have learned more about myself than I wanted to. For one, I began to explore what my faith was through the influence of friends who seemed to be more aware of what their faith meant for them. I followed and experienced a lot of feelings of dependence on others. Once the time I spent with others decreased and I was being consumed by the business of clubs, work, and school, I recognized that I missed my friends and the person I was becoming with them. Since the time could not be adjusted as easily as I hoped it would be this new year, I had to learn to depend on myself to be that person I wanted to be and to grow in my spiritual journey. I guess in sum, I need to learn how to learn about my spirituality and faith for myself.

In what ways do you believe practicing spirituality connects us with something greater than ourselves?

YM: Believing that there is something out there that is greater than me, as an individual human, is just the first step. I think it takes a lot of practice, trial, and error to realize that we do not have control of our lives--that we are not the center of the universe. I think spirituality helps connect us with the world in a way that minimizes all materialistic things that only serve us for immediate pleasure, but that do not last.