May 30, 2009

Spiritual Quest

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." ~Henry David Thoreau

"The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself." ~Anais Nin

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~Lao Tzu

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~Dalai Lama

"The awareness begins with a feeling of restlessness - an inner urging to find more meaning in life. As we respond to this inner prompting we begin to notice the "chance coincidences" - strange synchronistic events in our life. We begin to realize that some underlying process is operating our life." ~James Redfield

This blog is probably the deepest blog I have ever written. I've been on a journey of self-discovery lately that has raised a lot of questions and I've been searching for answers. I've been keeping a journal, but thought I would take this a step further and share my feelings with all of you. I came to a point where I felt my spiritual cup was empty and once I opened my mind and heart in search of something more meaningful, it also opened the doors for many realizations. A light bulb has clicked on. In order for me to be true to myself, I can't hold anything back. I am who I am. My heart is an open book for all to read. Read it or don't. Reply or don't. This is a personal reflection and I hope to gain more insight into myself by writing it down.

There comes a time in most everyone's life where they begin to question things. Things that are much deeper than our daily routines and of the material world. Some of us search for understanding and ask questions. What is my purpose? Who am I really? What do I want out of life? What do I believe? Am I being true to myself? You know, all those lighthearted things that are easily answered? ;) Universally, I believe we are all seeking the same thing in life...meaning. Some more than others, of course. ;)

Recently, I feel like the flood gates have opened, a fog has lifted and I have mental clarity that I haven't had in a very long time. This is a cycle that I find I go through from time to time. It usually occurs when my soul becomes quiet and I am still enough to listen. Let's go back a bit so that I can explain better....

My father was a very spiritual man. He was also 1/8th Cherokee and if you saw him, you would know. He looked very different from me. He had black hair, tan skin, a strong native-American nose, high cheek-bones (which I also have) and all knowing green eyes. Growing up, my father always tried to make every occasion a lesson. When you're a kid, this is annoying. He would say things such as "Always look within when you have a question, you have all the answers." or "Appreciate the beauty of nature and never take 'her' for granted." I would nod, then run off to play with my barbies, but somehow all of these tiny lessons sunk in and opened my young eyes to everything around me, without even being consciously aware of it.

My dad and I would sit atop our hill and watch sunsets together and have 'quiet time'.
I watched him ride our horses across the field and admire how they became one. (Yes, I thought this at a very young age) He always tended the garden and fruit trees with care and I always thought we had the prettiest gardens I had ever seen. In the morning he would pick blueberries for our cereal and in the evening he would make fresh salads that tasted better than any salad I'd ever had. I loved how connected he was with nature, animals and other people. He had many friends and many parties with VERY different types of folks. Eclectics, hippies, rowdy neighbors, ministers, yuppies, pretty women (wink), and cowboys. I overheard many interesting discussions on a wide array of topics; philosophy, horse training, politics, religion, wine making and sometimes UK BASKETBALL! I had a nice uncle who made homemade wine. He had a huge cellar that I loved to spend time in because he had a bunch of pretty glass bottles and he would always let me bottle wine in my favorite one. On Wednesday nights we would have dinner with them and my dad would always allow me a small glass. It was delicious! If my mom ever found out, she would have killed him. Ha!

One day my dad told me he was taking my sisters and I on a short trip. He took us to an airport and let us take a ride in my uncles small prop plane. As we were flying around, my dad kept pointing out just how small we really are in the World. Another lesson? Probably. :) Because of my dad's constant (annoying) teachings, I always felt much older than I really was and much more observant than other kids around me. While they were talking about stuff other kids talk about, I was (again subconsciously) assessing the environment and the people in it. It made me feel a little different and I didn't like it, so I pushed it away and tried to be ignorant and shallow like all my other friends. LOL (kidding)

For the most part, I was as normal as any other kid, but I always felt like I knew something more and a lot of that was because my dad was always showing me things, point out things I would have never noticed on my own. Don't get me wrong, my dad was a fun-loving guy, but for the most part he was like a sponge, absorbing life and truly appreciating it. I always recognized these beautiful qualities in him, even if I never let him know it. He died when I was 14. He was 46.

After my father passed away, I questioned things a lot. Life, death, and what it all meant. I was confused. Death is a heavy burden for a young teenage girl. I felt a little lost, so I turned to religion for the answers. I became very involved with my church and felt a sense of belonging that I hadn't felt anywhere else. I was a good-church going girl and even use to preach God's word to my siblings. lol I would write scriptures on post-its and stick them all over my walls to remind myself that I am loved. It was a sense of solace and filled something in me that I lost when my dad died. Religion gave me a focus and the peace of mind I really needed at the time. In retrospect, I was always seeking a higher meaning in life, even from a very young age.

As time went on the church became more....evangelical. It was the place to see and be seen. I would watch as people were touched by the Holy Ghost and they would pass out in rows like dominoes. Even at 14, I knew that was a little much. Too showy for my tastes. I had a hard time believing it. I loved God just as much as they did, but I wasn't falling on the floor or speaking in tongues to prove it. I also saw a lot of judgement pass around when there were new members and towards others who didn't believe as strongly as they did and it left a bad impression on me. God is my only judge and anyone who judges and uses him as their tool is NOT living His word. In fact, I dislike anyone who uses God as a crutch for bad behavior and blames The Devil for their sins. I got tired of seeing God used as weapon to attack. It didn't ring true to me. God is supposed to be love, forgiveness and open arms. Judgement was everywhere, it was disgusting. I also realized that how you feel about God is personal and that it wasn't necessary for me to go to a place of worship to honor Him. After the minister was caught cavorting with his secretary, I left that church for good.

At about 18-24 my life was completely different. At that age is when people REALLY search for who they are, want to be and will be. It's a confusing time, I believe. I also was surrounded by people who were like minded (open minded) and who I felt I could be my true self around. I had never felt more beautiful as a human being as I did at that time. I know this may sound bizarre, but I felt like a flower who was beginning to bloom. I was coming into my own and felt so alive and open to the universe. I felt very connected and the more I opened my heart to this "new spirituality" the more things opened up for me in my life. I could almost feel a bright light around me guiding me in a new direction. I felt awakened, open, honest and enlightened and I couldn't explain it or understand it. It was an overwhelming feeling of happiness. Real f*ing happiness! The kind of happiness that you can't get from anyone but yourself. It was pure and I had never felt more like, It wasn't religion, it was bigger than that. It was bigger than everything. It was a higher power.

Was it God? Was it the moon and stars and planets aligning perfectly for me at the time in my life? Suddenly I began to see God and love in everything and everyone. It dawned on me that God isn't one thing...but all things. I felt like I was making discoveries that no man had ever known and it was without any ego. I had no control over it. I just knew what I knew and was wondering why I was the one to KNOW IT! LOL It's almost as if I had all the answers to life and the universe. Funny huh? I know! I thought so too. In fact, it was so much that I was a little afraid of it and it made me uncomfortable. Now, please don't think I was suffering from mental illness. lol I wasn't. I had never felt more clear headed in my life. I think It was just the right time in my life for me to experience this. My mind and heart were opened and once I completely gave all my trust in it, it felt as though the sun was shining down on me. I felt a magnetic energy like I had never known. The law of attraction? I got everything I wanted and everything I thought of came to me so easily. I even fell in love.....hard. An all encompassing love that was without ego or expectations. It was unconditional, mutual, perfect and beautiful. To this day I know that this was because I was naked and bare to the universe. I layed down all of my defences and when I did nothing but good things came to me. Not that new loves that came later weren't perfect for me at that time of my life, but they are different because I was different. Make sense? At that time everyone who came into my life taught me a lesson, good or bad and I learned the lessons. I knew that every step I was taking and decision I was making was leading me down a path towards a higher state of being. I was fully aware...of everything.

One day, a friend and I were talking and he gave me a book and told me to read it. I don't know why he gave it to me. I hadn't really voiced all that I was feeling at the time because I wasn't even sure what it was, or how to put it onto words. I only knew that I felt an incredible energy I had never in my life felt. The book is called The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. I soaked this book up like gravy to a biscuit. It was me! It was my life, it was everything I was experiencing and learning and going through! I discovered that NO, it wasn't only me that felt a higher consciousness, which I never really believed I was by the way. ;) I realized that there indeed were others who experienced it as well. It spoke to me so much.I knew the secret long before it was The Secret. I was on a major spiritual journey and God was pointing things out to me in a very blatant way. "Go in this direction Christy!" It was all very obvious and maybe it's because I was so open to it. I'm not sure.

I know this is going to sound a little hocus pocus bogus, but I'll put it out there anyway....

I had all of these small things happen that seemed a lot more than mere coincidences. As if I was always in the right place at the right time. For example, one day I was not feeling well and needed a pick me up. From out of no where a stranger walks up and hand me a rose he had made out of paper, it even smelled like a real rose. He told me he gave it to me because I needed it. Then he was gone. I know this may seem like a coincidence, but I knew it wasn't. It just wasn't. Do you believe in coincidences?

Once I had lost a twenty dollar bill. I searched everywhere for it and never found it. Actually, I believe an acquaintance at the time, had stolen it. I didn't confront them because I knew that one day it would come back to me and I forgot about it. A few weeks later, I was at work and after a break I noticed an envelope on my desk and all that was written on it was "From an Angel". I opened it and inside was a one hundred dollar bill. I NEVER found out who gave that to me or why. Nor did I ever voice any financial concerns with anyone at work. It was a new job and I barely knew anyone. Little things like that happened to me all the time and over time it became more and more frequent. Everyone I met was someone I could learn something from and I attracted very positive, open minded, lovely people into my life. This is the essence of the Celestine Prophecy. There are different insights to each new level of understanding in seach of a deeper connection with God and the Universe. Visit this page for a small description of the 9 insights: Click Here! Finally, I was able to put this new 'wisdom' into a context and it too gave me a greater understanding of the laws of the universe and of nature. This book changed my life.

I had a lot of positive energy that surrounded me for a long time, from the people I encountered to new opportunities. Everything was laid out before me asking me to accept it. I wasn't consciously trying to attract things and I wasn't manipulating the 'universe' either. I think the more that positive things happened the better I felt and the more 'aware' I became until it was an avalanche of good things and experiences toppling over one another.

With all these new feelings, I also felt a sense of responsibility. Not necessarily to try to enlighten others, because I don't think that's entirely possible, but almost to be some sort of an example. I tried to live my life very honestly, toward myself and saw everything as an opportunity for growth. I did not have a God complex, if that's what you're thinking. In fact, I felt very small when I realized just how big the Divine really is. I know I am small and know nothing and I don't have all the answers, but I'm also wise enough to want to evolve into something more. In the grand scheme of things, we are just blips on the radar. I discovered that we are all made up of energy. Everything has energy in it and the more you 'nurture' those energies they become bigger. Much like negative attracts negative and vice versa. What you put out will come back, in one form or another. Where energy goes, energy flows. Karma.

After time, I became more and more uncomfortable for some reason. Maybe I didn't want to know it all, not that I did by any means, but I felt myself headed in a direction of knowing myself better than ever before and I wasn't sure I was completely ready for that. Assessing yourself, REALLLY looking at yourself is difficult and I learned I have many flaws. The more conscious I became of the World and myself, the more I wanted to hide. I wasn't prepared for all that was being revealed to me. As I said, a spiritual journey is a journey to find your true self. That isn't always a good time, ya know? I felt myself back away bit by bit. After resisting my feelings for a while, I slipped back into the material world of routine monotony and allowed clutter to cloud over me. I wanted ignorance again, because it was more comfortable.

Years later, after many trials and tribulations I am back at square one again. Life is a cycle. I remember waking up one morning to discover that I didn't have a reason to get up. Sure I have my kids, but what was in my soul was dry. I felt empty and let down. I felt no inspiration or real purpose in life other than to perform the duties that are expected of me, but I wanted more. I felt lost. I had lost who I was in all the mumbo jumbo of life. School, kids, work, husband, family, all became a routine and lost it's real meaning. Other people are ok with this and that's great if they find happiness in it. But knowing how much more there is out there that can nourish my soul, I have a hard time ignoring that and I can't.

I'm not certain how to get back to that place where I felt complete, but I feel myself getting more intuned with nature and it's blessings again. There has been a recent energy shift and I can feel it and it's growing. I sometimes wonder if other feel this way too? Maybe it's because I'm ready to take back my power regardless of my circumstances and situations. Maybe I've once again come to realize that the real answers really do lie in myself. I am the ruler of my destiny and my thoughts and actions will dictate the outcome of my life.

In trying to find my way back, I've been doing a lot of reading of different religious and spiritual teachings and doctrines lately and it's eye opening. I won't get into religion now, it's a whole other can of worms. However I do feel very connected to religions that are much older than Christianity. All religions stem from the same seed however,...kindness, compassion, respect, love, trust, faith etc. The one place I know where I can find the purest form of solace is right smack dab in the middle of my chest. How can what you feel in your heart ever be wrong? For now, I am still seaching for that greater meaning and purpose and I imagine I always will be. This time, I will not turn my back on it, but embrace it with trust and openess. I thank God for all my blessings everyday, but I don't just want to be a taker. I want to give back what I've been given and be the best human being I can be. I hope I can once again find that magic that I once discovered in myself. It was the most beautiful and peaceful thing I had ever experienced. I wish this for everyone.

I wonder...have you had similar experiences? What has your spiritual journey with yourself taught you? Do you think that the World is in a state of higher consciousness?

There was a movie based on James Refield's book. I haven't watched it yet, but I plan to.



mama's smitten said...

Wow! What a post! And yes I must say i have been there! I still can't find the words to describe it but as I read your post I just kept nodding " Yes! I have felt that way too!" It has been rather recent that I have been blessed with this spiritual awakening. The coincedences or the blessings I like to think they are have been amazing and almost comical! Seriously!!!! I think to my self sometimes, is this for real??? !!!!
For instance awakenings and prayers being answered. Not necessarily the way I expected them to be answered! Its not all about me anymore! It has however been bitter sweet. With all the focus off me I have paid more attention to others and THEIR needs! I really believe now that we were not put on this earth to take from it but to give. So out of my hardships came answers. Answers that are so far fetch that sometimes I'm not sure it's really me who is ready to accept the challenge. For instance my decision to up and consider nursing school! What better way to be close to God then to be around those who need him so. What better way to serve others and benifit my family as well! I never wanted to be one of those hypocrital people who wanted to serve others in Gods name and neglect my family . I want to do this to serve others but my family as well. I know it is going to be a crazy journey. But I have a comfort that God has his hand in this. So I apologize for my ramblings but I really connected with your post. I really enjoy visting your blog!Thank you for sharing!

Fosho said...

I too have felt a kind of spiritual energy that isn't explainable. I felt this energy when I was younger, 13 or 14. I've had days where I felt like i was on a cloud-feeling close with nature and everything is peaceful, but lately it seems like my days are just melting into one another. I know that I am just a speck of energy in this enormous world, but I would like to feel that spiritual peace once again and have it be a consistant feeling from day to day.
I started reading your blog a couple of years ago, I was starting out in nursing school and I felt a little more relaxed knowing that the worries and fears that I had were normal and it would be alright. In the beginning of 2007 I got pregnant and was unable to continue through the nursing program-which at the time was devistating because after all the work I had done I was now told that I couldn't continue through the LVN program and I knew it was over. So now, I am a stay at home mom, and I feel as though that passion I had for life, for learning to be a better person through nursing is gone. I love my little girl, who is now 18 months old, but I feel like I should have become a nurse. When I read your blog now, I question myself as to whether or not I would have made as good of a nurse as you seem to be. It does seem very stressful, and I don't know how you do it with a family-but I am inspired and thankful to you Christy for blogging about your life so people like me can have some kind of connection and a source of hope. :)