Recently I sat with somebody who shared that she began her spiritual journey in her 40‘s. When I heard her say that, I felt confused. “Wha?” Something didn’t resonate…I couldn’t even put it into words until hours later. There’s no age or moment I can pinpoint as the start of my spiritual journey – I’ve been on a spiritual path my whole life…as long as I can remember.
As a young girl, sitting in church, I was uncomfortable reciting things like: “we are not worthy to eat the crumbs off thy table.” We were taught that God was love and that didn’t resonate for me. It wasn’t adding up for me and I rebelled. As only a Preacher’s Kid can. (Actually, I rebelled because I was rebellious and an acting-out kid.) My dad was pretty cool and new-agey as a Minister of Divine Science – I swear it’s not a cult, but it sure sounded like one. My mom was, and is, a devout Episcopalian and I reluctantly spent most Sundays of my childhood in church.
I have always had deep respect for earth-based wisdom teachings and was drawn to Native American culture as a teen. My father lived in New Mexico and I would spend hours on my own in the museums of Albuquerque studying the history of the different tribes in the Southwest. My father opened my eyes to the mystical realm, speaking to me of past lives, and third eyes, crown chakras… He taught me the iChing and how to meditate. I took it all in, feeling the truth in all of it, even as my mind struggled to make “sense” of it. I know that my father recognized the seeker in me, just as I see it in my children now.
Later in life, I married my first husband and converted to Judaism. I was attracted to Jewish culture; the warmth (and fun!) of holidays celebrated with family, and the food. Towards the end of our often turbulent marriage, I discovered kirtan – which is a type of call-and-response devotional chanting. It was then that I discovered the power of mantra – even though I didn’t know or understand the words, through hours (and hours) of listening to kirtan music, the sanskrit words of devotion worked their medicine on me and I began taking my baby-step journey on the path to self-love. I credit this time in my life as the beginning of consciously opening my heart. (Always a seeker, but with a very protected heart…until the birth of my children and the discovery of mantra.)
Eventually, I got divorced and left Judaism behind and gravitated more towards Eastern philosophy; aspects of both Buddhism and Hinduism deeply resonated for me. During my Kundalini Yoga teacher training, I was introduced to Sikhism which spoke to me as well.
Today, I call myself a Mystic. And a Priestess when I’m not being shy.
All these terms say to me – “There is mystery and potency in the spirit realm and we don’t have to see it, touch it, understand it in order to feel it and know it’s powerful.” Love is my religion. Corny but true. And…spirit belongs to everyone (not just special people who recite special prayers or pay special money to special priests, etc.) Spirit is. Spirit is in all of us…I am spirit (love,) you are spirit (love,) we are spirit (love.) Make sense?
Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.
– Gary Zukav
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