Nichole thanks for creating an enrollment that has me thinking and engaged about what is in it for me. I have a wood carved mask from a trip I took to the Mayan ruins of coba chichen itza and talum. I am going to ask my mom for her bible as well. Thanks for the Pinterest link. I loved the ideas you have and I have a really good friend that creates living succulent art work and I am going to see if he will make us a small piece.
Thanks also for the invitation to share our experiences around spirituality and for sharing yours. Thank you Brittany and T for sharing too. I am looking forward to hearing from everyone.
I grew up in a Christian household. I went to a Christian private school until I was hurled into the public school system in the 8th grade. Before that abrupt change I went to church every Sunday, chapel on fridays and awana (awana was a church group for kids where we memorized and studied bible verses and played games) on Wednesday nights. For me religion holds access to so many great ways to meet the needs of the human spirit like unconditional love, forgiveness, gratitude and it has a component of control through fear of the devil and hell. So much shame and lack of tolerance for those who oppose certain views. I remember not being on the same page with these lack of tolerance views. It was not natural for me to see the way the Christian church I grew up in had so much hate and rejection of other humans who didn’t share the same beliefs “we” did. I remember being so afraid to do anything wrong for fear of going to hell when I was a kid. In school I remember getting a spanking in front of my 4th grade class for not doing my homework. I was mortified and beyond embarrassed. Spankings were a regular thing in my school. I’m having a physical reaction in my body right now just thinking about all the times I watched my friends have to get spankings. I remember one time after getting spanked and having to take a paper to the principals office on the way back to class I stood in the parking lot looking at the exit to the street thinking I could just leave and walk home to escape having to go back into the classroom where i would have to face everyone and the fact that I was somehow bad or wrong that I needed to take three direct hits to the cheeks.
I went to Jerusalem a couple years ago and it was really cool to be there and walk where Jesus walked. For me It made me realize that the Bible and the Christian way of believing is just one way humans could relate to this uniquely human experience of feeling connected by a higher power. It’s also just one of the first recorded transcripts that survived to today. I’m really curious why Jesus the son of god came to Jerusalem. How many other Jesus’s have been where the record keeping didn’t survive to today? I was in Jerusalem with a Christian group and at one point the pastor of the group I went with said something along the lines of here is the proof that our god is the god because Jesus was raised from the gave and that is why every other religion is wrong. In that moment it was like a sucker punch to the gut. I was all happy and on board with the love and community and connection and forgiveness and then boom!! Everyone else sucks and is going to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus and “our” god.
My belief of spirituality is simple. We all have this deeper naturally pure pristine core self. This subconscious primal part of us that is taking in huge volumes of information every second that we are completely unaware of in our conscious minds. From that place we get these gut feelings these connections we feel and when we release our defenses and let go of our guard our walls we have a deeper access and connection to the inner beings of others. This connection is what I consider spirituality. When essence meets essence. Pure unconditional love. It’s a human need to be attached from the place of survival and this attachment can’t be felt any deeper than from the expression of true unconditional love. It soothes it heals it lets us know we are safe and taken care of the same way we needed to feel when we were babies until we could go out and survive on our own. It’s the humanity in us all to be accepted and loved and simply put without it we die. Especially back in the day when if we weren’t accepted and loved and “in” the tribe or family we would be outcast to fend for ourselves……and die. I love the movie the croods. Anything new is dangerous and must be destroyed!! Lol. This way of looking at spirituality is very logical and hopeless actually and it is also my belief that “life” all life came from somewhere. What or where that was is the eternal question for me and everyone else actually. The big man in the clouds was a novel and practical idea for people to hang onto but now we have neuro science and can study and measure the human experience to some degree to make sense of it all in how the brain operates. So there is evidence of the different states we can be in and how the mind body connection can lend to experiences of god or oneness. We can measure these things now so it isn’t as mystical and our experiences can be logically explained to some degree. But there is no answer for where life can from. Why and how. So from that place the power of the universe is still the mystery and the connection we all share through living and being a part of life on this planet not knowing if it exists anywhere else in this seemingly endless expanse of space up in the sky we can only see when the sun sets. As I lay here tonight my belief is that there is a higher power or purpose or will or energy or god. I believe we are all connected through This insanely unique gift of life that is a massive cyclical,swinging of the pendulum, ebb and flowing of birth and death that is happening every moment. This planet is living and breathing on a macro scale and we are all a integral part of the whole. So unique and perfect in a sea of masses. How can that be if not for some greater intelligence. Even if that intelligence is simply the miracle of life, I am still in awe of that being the greater power the source the one the universe god. Regardless, at our core we all crave and need unconditional love and acceptance to be filled up, soothed, complete safe. What a worthy cause to live for.
AND…….Brittany,T how great would it be for all of us to have a ceremonial experience with Brittany’s sister leading us. I am so enrolled in that happening. Please let’s make it happen on Friday. I volunteer my house and would love to host. And if not this let’s make something else happen that would generate spirituality in our beings going into the weekend.