My Beliefs Buoy Me
Cultivated Over Time & Eclectically Based in Unconditional Love and Joy
My passion for studying, researching, and practicing meditation, yoga, and spirituality began over thirty years ago when, as a young girl, I had my first spiritual conversations as a little girl with my grandmother. And thanks to my parents, the seeds of these conversations were planted in the nutrients of the basic teachings of intuition, unconditional love, God, and the power of prayer. Even with three differing perspectives on spirituality amongst them, my parents and grandmother never argued about their beliefs but loved and respected each other instead. Witnessing this harmony, I thought it was normal for everyone to be free to express and have their unique beliefs on religion and spirituality.
As I grew older, I learned differently. I was often berated by others for believing that God loved all people of all religions and that there were many paths to the divine. Additionally, I was told on several occasions that it was very wrong for me, being of the female persuasion, to even consider becoming a minister. A friend of mine once even tried to convince me that one of my favorite books, written by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, was the work of the devil. (Clearly, I needed to pick different friends!)
From my life experience, I knew that people were not likely to ever alter their beliefs and that was absolutely okay, but I felt sad for them having such limited perspective. However, for me, I could see the golden thread woven through all the religions I studied. Woven through the stories of the mystics who had me in awe at how they expressed their experiences with the divine, God, and the universe—its name did not matter to me, I understood it as the same force. I thirsted to learn more because what I learned helped me to become cognizant of and connected to the divine, and I could apply that knowledge to how I lived my life. And so, my spiritual toolbox began to fill. Throughout my life's journey, my collection of spiritual tools has been essential to me for managing the turbulence of life while also learning to flourish.
My spiritual beliefs and practices buoy me. I notice that when life throws me a curveball, I have better tools to embrace the situation—handling it even when I feel I am on the brink of crumbling to pieces. Sometimes, I need to be reminded to use them, as I can get caught up in the dramas of life and forget. But as I stumble and fall and accept those moments caused by my failures and mistakes, I open more to my spirit. Eventually I hear that voice and it says, “Get up! Just move. One step. That is all.” So, I pick myself up and walk through the experience. Healing as I proceed with my life: stronger, braver, and more authentic than when I began.