Monday, June 16, 2014

Katie Gets Philosophical

I’ve been on a spiritual journey these last few weeks. I think, at some point, many of us experience a period where we start to question our beliefs, who we are, and why we’re here. And lately that just happens to be where I’m at.

It started with yoga. I know I joke about a broadening of perspective that many people claim when they begin practicing, but in my case it’s true. I started to feel different. And I began to desire a closer relationship with something. Something big and important and imperative to human life and happiness.  (I am Catholic and I’ve always believed in God, but I wanted something beyond religion)

I began by reading The Secret. I’ve read it before, and while I believe in the Law of Attraction and thoughts creating our world, I still felt there was more to it than that. Something deeper.

Then came Positive Magic by Marion Weinstein, which has been on my kindle for a long time and I’ve read before, but never really ‘got’ it. Now, however, the messages were breaking through and this has become pretty much my go-to manual. Everything she has to say rings true for me,-- but while I felt and agreed with all of this on an intellectual level, the desire to feel it on a skin deep level remained.

Then our yoga book club started reading The Four Agreements. Even though this book didn’t have the same effect on me as Positive Magic, there was one thought, one idea that stuck with me and for which I’m so grateful. And it happened. I finally began to ‘feel’ what I’d been looking for.

This is going to sound trippy. Don’t be frightened. I’m still wearing shoes and haven’t purchased any white robes yet. No plane tickets for any deserts.

But the basic idea is--there is something inside me. A force, an energy. The universe is made up of it- like one, huge, perfect diamond. And each of us are shards of this diamond, smaller but equally perfect and equally priceless. And this piece of me, at my core- it is also in each of you. We are made of the same thing. When you can look at others and see that part of yourself staring and reflecting back, recognize the sameness in every living thing, and acknowledge it, well, you can’t help but love it as you love yourself. Because that is the force, the energy, or at least what we call it down here. It’s love.

Many people have said it in different words and different ways but only now have I really ‘felt’ it.

I think this force is positive and that is why we are constantly striving to be happy and joyful and grateful and see this life as a pursuit of happiness--, because those emotions are more closely aligned with where we came from.

But between positive and negative polarities, everything hangs in the balance. All life.

Without one or the other, there would be nothing. Therefore, we need the negative. The key is learning to appreciate it and be thankful it is there, helping hold everything in place, without letting it take hold of us, our thoughts or our lives. It is possible.

Whew! *sigh*

I think it’s time for some coffee.

Any of you ever had a spiritual awakening that threw you on your ass?


Old Kitty said...

Trippy is great!!! :-) Spiritual enlightenment even better! Awww lovely Katie - what a fab post for this dreaded Monday - see? Yin to yang: for every Monday, there is a Friday! Brilliant!! Take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Accepting Jesus was a big moment for me.
Love is the greatest force, and in the end, it's people who matter.

A Literary Anthology said...

I was also raised Catholic (a little bit, anyway) as a young boy but didn’t experience the ‘identity crisis’ phase of life until high school, sort of. George Harrison’s song “What is Life?” was at its peak in 1971 and the lines “What is Life” and “Who am I” became two of the foremost questions that I desperately needed answers to.
Lying wide awake one night, plagued with knowing the answers to my questions, I also wrestled with other questions, philosophical ponderings, and life. One of the most important ponderings I churned over in my mind like butter was that if there was no God then there are no absolutes - except society’s, which has no right to superimpose their collective ‘rules/laws’ on any individual. How could ‘they’ tell me what is right or wrong? ‘Their’ summations were, after all, only a matter of collective/majority opinion. Remember: "The Crowd Is Untruth" by Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard - 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855 - Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author.
I knew that Christ had his own ‘channel’ through to God and having that same spiritual communication avenue became paramount for me to possess also, so I asked God to give me a channel through to Him like Jesus had. After that night my life/thoughts/inner-feelings changed and have continued growing in that direction for over 42 years.
Other things that helped with learning life was reading, especially my Bible I had earned way back when I was 8 years old in Good News Club at a neighbor’s house where I grew up before moving away. Another event: a college student pointed me to the Creation Research Institute and the books available there. And finally, most importantly in a way, was the Christian Research Institute that dealt with aberration theology, cults, religions, etc. Having logical and factual answers to my never-ending questions was far better than those ‘scientific’ proclamations, studies, assumptions that wear, and are, so common in the wandering-in-darkness secular world.
Being free from religion and ‘practices’ and living a simple spiritual life with a relationship-style faith in God has been wonderful… not always easy, but with solid hope and the knowledge & trust that God has control of my life’s outcome and direction.
Like I say often: “Life is a bed of roses… with all of the thorns” and “Life is a bowl of cherries, with all of the pits”

As the Star Trek character Spock said while conversing with Lt. Commander Data…

Lt. Commander Data: Ambassador Spock, may I ask a personal question?
Ambassador Spock: Please.
Lt. Commander Data: As you examine your life, do you find you have missed your humanity?
Ambassador Spock: I have no regrets.
Lt. Commander Data: "No regrets". That is a human expression.
Ambassador Spock: Yes... Fascinating.

I also have no regrets with my life’s path.

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

mshatch said...

I have yet to have a 'spiritual awakening' but I have been asking questions about life, God, and what it all means ever since I was old enough to grasp big thoughts. Still waiting on some answers.

D.G. Hudson said...

Being aware of spirituality is something that takes most of us some time. It does center us more when we find something that suits us.

Yoga and being in touch with your body and mind does cause us to think more of esoteric things. (or outside the box of regularity) As you show an image of water, it reminded me that water soothes. btw - never heard of a yoga book club before. . .

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Gosh, if you only knew how closely I'm relating to your words....

I'm a cradle Catholic. Went to Catholic school, received all my sacraments and so forth. However, just before and after the birth of my third child I knew I needed more - a reason for all that I do while practicing my faith. Any hoot ... maybe someday I'll write up a series of posts explaining my experience after that. All I'll say now it that I grew closer to God and entered into a personal relationship with Him unlike anything I ever thought possible.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I meditate and do yoga too. At least I did before I became a parent and got too busy. I definitely need to get back into them and my spiritual reading. I need the feeling of purpose and connectedness these practices bring. Glad you're getting into this and thinking about it all too.

Hart Johnson said...

Love this, Katie--I went through a sort of similar process in grad school. I'd rejected my childhood religion, so a bit different, but that process of working through and coming to the conclusion that we are all part of some bigger thing--that the life energy connects us and allows us both to put in and draw from our energy. It feels better to really feel like part of something. I've learned since it is very compatible with Buddhism and with Native American beliefs.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I admit to playing around with Feng Shui. It's not that far removed from the rituals and symbols of Catholicism I grew up with -- and if nothing else comes of it, at least you've had an excuse to re-decorate your home. ;)

Stephanie Faris said...

I did read The Secret--but I need to read it again because I've forgotten what I learned in it!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have thought of getting into yoga and/or meditation. I have friends who swear by it. Getting lost in nature helps me as well. I love to hike and enjoy the catharsis that the forest can bring :)


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