In the spirit: A conversation about spirituality with Lisa Forehand of Carolina Jews for Justice

Lisa Forehand

Editor’s note: As part of Xpress‘ In the Winter Spirit issue, we reached out to local poets, religious leaders, activists and soothsayers to share their thoughts on the topic of spirituality. Below is one in a series of conversations featured in this week’s issue. 

Lisa Forehand is the statewide organizer for Carolina Jews for Justice, a grassroots organization that combines advocacy and education to organize a nonpartisan Jewish voice for justice in North Carolina. She lives in Asheville.

Xpress: What does spirituality mean to you, and how do you experience it in Western North Carolina? 

Forehand: I try to have a personal relationship with God (I prefer to call that which is greater than me Spirit). I also live my life in a spiritual way. I have personal spiritual practices (including mindfulness, meditation, yoga, talking to God) that help me cultivate my ever-evolving relationship to and with Spirit. I also find Spirit present in relationships — when working for justice and building beloved community. Mostly, my spirituality calls me to show up in love (and forgiveness when I miss that aspirational goal because I’m human too) and acknowledge the Divine in all beings.

For those seeking to embrace a more spiritual life, what advice would you offer? 

Listen to your heart. Do you want to be alone or with others to cultivate a more spiritual life? Are you open to trying new practices that might bring you closer to a higher power? Do you feel called to dig deeper into your existing tradition? Is a mystical path of interest to you? Does the Divine feel closer when you are in nature? I believe there is One Spirit (something greater than me/us), but that there are many viable and worthy paths that can lead to Spirit. Being a lifelong seeker is a good start.

What misconceptions exist about spirituality? 

One of the biggest misconceptions about spirituality is thinking that one size fits all and that somehow one way is better than another. Institutional religion may be one path, but it is not the only way to find deeper spirituality. Far from having the answer, the more I learn about spirituality, the more questions I have.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.