Sloppy Spirituality

spirituality

For whatever reason we place everything before our faith and spiritual practice: career, children, spouses, house work, drama, and all the busyness that comes with our humanness. Spirituality seems to come as a last alternative, full of shameful guilt for not doing more, we touch it with half of our soul’s yearning.  Meditation and prayer come in moments of desperation. It becomes an assignment of negotiation with God.  The truth is we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Spirituality is not perfect. It isn’t stuck in a box of rituals for each person to follow. Spirituality is sloppy and chaotic at times. Our spirits desire the awakening experience. The Divine is in us waiting to be touched and held. My mornings require ritual: lighting candles, incense, saying my prayers to enter the world, and sitting in silence with a cup of coffee or tea. I need these moments of deep awareness as I open my curtains and allow the outside to join my space. I need to show my spirit gratitude for another breath. This is not a perfect ritual of contemplation but it is mine to uncover and welcome Divinity into my day. It is mine to join with the joy and acceptance of every single day.

Spiritualism accepts the imperfections, the messy lives, the brokenness, the unsaid truths, and everything under the spectrum that we think is not acceptable in organized religion. Why do we hide behind the façade of impeccable accomplishments? It seems that faith is based on what we can see and control rather than the acceptance of the unknown. We practice spiritual perception with fear of what we don’t know and can happen. What would happen if we allow synchronicity to dictate our days?  If we moved with serendipity rather than against it?  If we no longer feared the future? What would happen to us then if we allowed something greater than ourselves to move through us as the Commander in Chief of our lives?

At the end of your life you will not regret the lack of another degree, not having bought the little red sports car, not getting that expensive house, not having enough money in the bank. You will regret not having spent more time in nature, holding a friend’s hand in need, missing your child’s recital, not taking walks with your beloved, not speaking your truth, and so many other things that might seem irrelevant at this moment. You might feel ashamed for the time not spent with Divinity, kisses from your children, hugs from your parents, and sweet words from a lover. You will wonder why you didn’t sit and relaxed more, breathed the earth deeper, and allowed each moment to count just as it is meant to touch you. The things most important in life have nothing to do with money, winning, status or work. They have to do with love, sharing and other moments invaluable to your spirit. The first and only person you need to answer to is yourself.  The second is your faith. Give each moment the degree of importance it needs to be cherished and enjoyed. Be present in your conversations, visits, and life.  Don’t waste time worrying about the things that stress you, or the to-do list. Don’t be overwhelmed with anxiety for what could not happen and participate in the moment you have available right now. This is part of sloppy spirituality:  the deep awareness of each breath, touch, and leaving everything behind. It is about reprogramming your senses, needs, and releasing the control of what we have been conditioned to be religious beliefs.

I rather live a messy spiritual life than one of conformed social expectations while living inside of a make believe fantasy that never witnesses the miracle of God. I rather behold the eyes of someone speaking with me and truly seeing their soul unfold. That’s the most beautiful form of spiritual wisdom. I can’t think of anything more whole to experience the oneness of our existence.

Awakening to the Essence of Love

awakening

I have been walking a spiritual path for some time now.  It is not always easy to walk on faith without being able to see the end result.  Some time ago when I left my “old life” of the city to move to the mountains of North Carolina, I felt a shift in consciousness. I awoke through unconditional love and forgiving myself for the choices I made in the past.  I began to hold myself accountable for those lessons and experiences rather than blaming others.  Once I forgave myself it was easy to forgive those characters who played in my stories.

I consciously made a clear intention that I was going to embrace the love for life.  Awakening, to me, is just the allowance of being present in the evolution of life.  There is nothing more or less to it.  It is about being present through the journey. We are to wake up and expect nothing.  That is the beauty in it and the simplicity of allowance.  We hear about waking up or enlightenment and think we will walk on water or fly on air.  The reality of waking is to exceed the dream state, the matrix of expectation.  One sees the world as it is, not how our perception creates it.  Things just are.  The dream dematerializes, vanishing into sleep.  The illusion of control, law and science melts because life just is.  This moment is the only thing available.  There is no need for fear because all there is has been presented to you.  Because there is no past and no future, life exists as the path on a mystical journey.

Awakening is relinquishing ego and fully understanding what the great masters understood.  No thought can go beyond here.  No thought can go back.  One lives the texture, minute, tastes, smells and words in the experience of the moment.  That’s the enchantment of awakening to a life of Spirit.  It is never easy to walk on faith.  There is a “knowing” in the process of releasing all.  This knowing is the direct alignment of presence.  It is the direct voice of God and Spirit guiding you without anxiety, apprehension, ignorance, doubt and fear.  Those emotions vanish.  In waking they can’t exist because there is no need to control the future, or regrets in changing the past.  One arrives to this moment via the Karmic train of letting the universe guide you through your highest consciousness.

We interpret faith as a release and an allowance of quantum energy not seen, not known, but allowed.  Awakening is not work.  It is the opposite of resistance.  It is not manipulation.  No one can translate it and try to teach “awakening.”  That’s ego teaching.  Spirit can guide you but can’t physically show you.  When one is ready one travels and awakes at the perfect moment. This might be as a child, an adult or on the last breath in this life.  “Letting go, and letting God” is the perfect example of this theory.   I believe that through daily spiritual practice, whether it is through meditation, prayer, yoga, hiking, writing (to name a few), the process of authentic truth arrives.  It is then that the awareness of the NOW becomes the awakening catalyst.

Complications and situations in our lives are the components of our humanity.  Humanness is weaved between reality and the esoteric world.  We are all interconnected.  The one way to release our perception is to completely let go from the heart.  Love is all there is.  Allowing the love to flow through life will present a vacated spot inside where there was once emptiness.  That’s another part of the awakening process: allowing love to unite each person.  No hurt can exist when there is only love.  There is no emptiness to fill if there is no desire to exceed wants and needs.  Expectation is the ego’s way of assuming control.

Awakening doesn’t require you to withdraw from the world.  It requires you to withdraw from your ego.  Once awakened you don’t need to avoid humanity.  One becomes even more compassionate without the ratifications of others to penetrate.  One cannot stop ignoring divinity inside which is your essence moving outward.  This is the gift of awakening.  It is a choice.  It is freewill.  It will come if one renounces the old paradigms and beliefs.  Stopping the presence of love is the state one lives in when not awakened.  Love is not to be held, controlled or withheld.  It is the ongoing energy of the universe.  It is all there is.  There is no need to go to a monastery, or escape the real world to reach this state of openness.  Ultimately the only reason we have been placed on this beautiful planet is to live, love and learn from one another.  And, this is perhaps the truth in fully awakening through love.

Finding Faith

finding faith

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am on the Bipolar Expressway and most of the exits loop around Crazy Town. So I mindfully begin my mornings with an hour of prayer and/or meditation. I cannot miss a day or I begin to feel ungrounded. I lovingly light my candles for those who need light. Every day is different. (If you’ve been to my house you have witnessed the bucket with a hundred plus tea candles). I light my sage and incense. I wait for the break of day reciting gratitude mantras. This ritual is imperative to continue driving along the expressway of life. Some days are awesome (no traffic from looney tunes) and others are bumper to bumper chaos that require my complete (Im)mature level of patience (I have patience for most people. It’s patience in myself that is a constant struggle). Life is a magnificent teacher. It will provide all the lessons needed for the evolution of the soul. Stay on your lane. Breathe. Get off on rest areas that bring momentary peace. Find center somewhere in the pit of your spirit.  This is part of spiritual life.

Spirituality has a personal definition to all.  There is no right or wrong answer to how it is perceived. It is a personal belief. There is something larger than our selves but it is definitely unique to our individuality. Is it the sense and acceptance of allowing spirit to lead?  Is it the releasing to something greater than ourselves?  Is it the soul parts of the self?  Does it change depending on the circumstances?  The questions are endless!

A while back as I sat with a friend drinking tea staring at the gorgeous scenery of our pond, a comment was made, “This living on radical faith and trust is not for sissies.”  I believe that one statement holds the true meaning of spiritual growth and allowance.  Spirituality is about the unconditional trust in that which we cannot see.  The moment we let love replace the fear of the unknown I think we find the Divine holding space.

When I am having a difficult time in waiting for things to happen I stop.  I get off the Bipolar Expressway.  I take the scenic route. I go deep within me to find Spirit.  It is there that I find that eternal happening of intuition.  There are those moments that my impatience becomes too much for me because I ask for something and expect the result immediately.  But the lesson in spiritual growth is allowance.  There is no time limit to our prayers.  We place those restrictions in our asking.   There is no quick-fix solution.  We interpret the answers however we want.

I believe spirituality is about letting those magic-mystical moments enter and exist without obstruction while allowing the universe to be the only thing in control.  This sense of allowance is part of having the courage to accept things as they are, not as we want them to be.  Living a life of faith requires the release of all control.  It requires that we leap into the unknown without fear.  Just like my friend, Tom said… “It isn’t for sissies!”   But, it is one way of living a deep authentic life of truth and grace.  This is the difference between just surviving and truly consciously existing in the world. Find solace in a breath. Search for God’s presence in you. There, inside that space of love, you will find faith.  And, don’t be so quick to press on the horn when someone is changing lanes or cutting you off.  You have no idea what that person is going through.

“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”- Elizabeth Gilbert