My Spiritual Journey

For most of my life, I’ve been searching for a belief system that is comfortable for me and makes sense. There has always been an itch I can’t scratch and this unknown has led me on a pretty awesome path of self-discovery and acceptance- my spiritual journey. I think more of the spirituality has been in the actual journey itself. While this is an abbreviated version of my spiritual journey, I hope something in it speaks to you.

As a kid…

I was raised as a pretty standard issue Christian. I went to a non-denominational elementary and middle school. My middle school, nowadays, would likely be considered evangelical. I went to Methodist and Lutheran churches for Sunday service with my family. When I was young I never thought much of it. I went to school and Sunday school and believed the narrative that was shared with me.

As I got older and my critical mind began to develop, it got harder to believe. What I was being told was “the way, the truth, and the life” wasn’t jiving with our human ways. The moral code seemed outdated. The unflinching belief in an old book seemed a bit sheep-like. And the utter hypocrisy of do as I say and not as I do.

When I asked questions about virtue or why people’s actions deviated from what the book said to do, I was shut down or told I wasn’t Christian enough. The school had beef with my dad’s classic rock records I found because it’s the devil’s music. They also wanted to censor my booklists (looking at you Harry Potter).Thank god my mother was vehemently opposed to censorship and got me the Harry Potter books to read shortly after being told I couldn’t read them. I heard so much bullshit that was meant purely to stymie my creativity and critical thought.

Putting my thinking cap on…

I stopped my religious activities altogether for all of high school. It didn’t feel right to me, especially after coming out of the sheltered environment I was in, in middle school. Despite this I felt a pull, I still was looking for something to nourish my soul.

In college, I started to research and explore other religious practices. I was thinking another organized religion may have held the key to what my soul so desperately sought. What followed was a beautiful journey of both the world and my soul.

I googled, read, talked to, and visited other religious institutions. My soul knew what it was looking for but couldn’t articulate it. [Looking back: That is all part of the spiritual journey.]

And so it begins…

My first obvious research landed me on Buddhism. I really liked the Buddhist teachings and philosophy. The zen really spoke to me, but meditation was and is still not something that I really do. It aggravates me more than it helps me. And true practitioners in the West didn’t really seem to exist. This made it all seem too inaccessible. So my spiritual journey kept winding on.

Later in college, I stumbled upon the Bahais. Super peace-loving, community positive group of people who didn’t care what your religion was and it was a tenant to accept all religions. That really jived with me and seemed really nice. I learned as much as I could and I stayed in the community for a while. Then I moved and had to change over to a new community and it didn’t really vibe with me so I moved on.

My spiritual journey took me to the Middle East. When I lived in the Egypt, I was introduced to Islam. I’d given a bunch of religions and school of thought a serious look and I was in the prime spot to learn about Islam so I took to opportunity to observe. I did my best to learn about it, the history, the practices, tenants, and something I didn’t know. It is as much about culture as it is religion.

I took a liking and a deep fascination to Islam. Especially, when I got to see the holiday Ramadan play out. The dedication. The love. The sense of community. It was captivating. I saw people put their differences and judgments aside to focus on the reflection of self that Ramadan is all about. It is a lot of fun and has real implications for the soul. Breaking fast is like a Thanksgiving meal every night for 30-days with your friends and loved ones. Your soul can’t help but feel good.

It still wasn’t what my soul was looking for in religious doctrine, though I still maintain a deep respect for Islam.

Shit gets real

Cue the most stressful and soul-sucking point of my life.

I was broken and down bad. I started to follow a 15-minute yoga flow every day to just move. Yoga helped me start to move and quiet my mind. The 15-minute flow turned into a 30-minute flow, then I started going to classes, and now I’m doing my YTT. I loved it when I first started, it was my lifeline that gave me something to cling to and work towards that wasn’t affected by external forces.

I wanted more, so I started to do research and dug deeper into yogic thought and sister practices. That is when I discovered Reiki and wanted to try it for my anxiety. It worked and I was so skeptical of it, but that started my upward spiral into my spiritual practice that is exactly what my soul needs.

My spiritual journey may not be like anyone else’s. But I am happy and have learned so much about myself and life.

But my point is this:  you may hunt high and low looking for what your soul wants on your spiritual journey. Be open to it and try everything. See what fits and doesn’t. Keep the elements that you like. Nowhere does it say you must follow only one doctrine. Do what makes your soul dance.

It is your practice and yours alone. I hope you will have the opportunity to share your practice with the world, but if that is not part of your calling, that’s ok. No matter what, do you and focus on what aligns with your soul. That may also evolve over time too and that is ok.

I hope you find your happy! If you have questions or would like to explore more, consider Soul Light Coaching.

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