Spiritual Biography

I have been thinking a lot about the road I’ve traveled, the long and winding road that didn’t make sense so much of the time, yet always made sense to the Divine. We are always being led, whether we realize it or not. I just wrote about this very thing on Instagram. And so today, I thought I’d try to make sense of my journey, my spiritual biography as I understand it thus far.

My Living School journey has been such a turning point in my life, and an apex of sorts. It’s the highest point I’ve reached yet, and I can see that life has been leading me to this place all along.

Are you a seeker? That is the best word I can use to describe myself. I have been seeking for God, the Divine, Source of all of life, for as long as I can remember. Literally. Since early childhood. I remember the peace I felt at Sunday school in the years before Pre-K. I remember feeling proud of myself, at peace, on the right track the day I graduated from that Methodist kindergarten I attended. And I remember a few years later, after we moved to a new town, into a house within eye-shot of the Methodist church, dragging my brother to said church, just the two of us. Our parents didn’t attend.

In elementary and junior high, I attended Catholic mass with my best friend Theresa. I couldn’t wait to go, even though I was an ‘outsider.’ I wasn’t baptized, couldn’t take communion, and didn’t understand most of the strange things we/they did in the mass, but I vividly recall the peace I felt in the sanctuary. Even as a child I was drawn to interior silence, though I never could have articulated that in my adolescence.

I so wanted to belong. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be one of them, one of the chosen ones. The ones I knew were so self confident, popular, assured, amazing individuals. I was just, well, me; and she wasn’t anything like them. Nor could she conceive of becoming like them. Was it even possible? If it was, I didn’t understand how.

Fast forward to high school. I met a guy. He was a Christian. His family attended church two to three times a week. His dad was an Elder. I think I fell in love with his family and the ‘practice’ of church more than I fell in love with him. He was a means to an end. I didn’t know this at the time, of course, but I can see it now, especially since I ran into this man, my ex-boyfriend, just last week, 35 years later.

My twenties were spent in deep disembodied states. I didn’t go to church, drank too much, dabbled in drugs, had sex with men who didn’t love me, yet I was always seeking. For what? Meaning, I think. I was having fun but deep down I always knew there was something more.

Life finally came alive at the end of my twenties. I found yoga. No. I dove headfirst into yoga practice and philosophy. I became obsessed with the possibility of enlightenment and the regular practice of the eight limbs of yoga.

Mid-way through my thirties, I became a yoga teacher and a few years after certification, I fully followed my heart path … teaching yoga full-time to college students in a university setting. It was the most beautiful way I could have spent most of my thirties and forties. I raised my daughter during this time and I watched my mom suffer immensely and then die. These were the bookends of my yoga journey. I still practice but I no longer teach.

Somewhere midway through my ‘dark night of the soul,’ in the midst of my mom’s illness and death, my daughter (only child) moved out of the house and I found contemplation and the Center for Action and Contemplation. I re-discovered non-dual consciousness but this time from a Christian perspective instead of Hindu. All of my yoga learnings complemented my newfound contemplative practice. Everything made sense. My seeking grew to an apex point. I enrolled in the Living School.

As I write this today, I am more than half way through my two-year Living School journey. I finally have a *mostly* settled nervous system. I believe in myself. I love myself. I am a child of God. And I have a message for others … you too are loved, immensely. We are all whole in God’s eyes. Our smaller selves only tell us otherwise.

I am arriving where I, perhaps, should have started, though I know in my heart of hearts that was not remotely possible. God had to take me down the long and winding road so I could feel all of this in my body, in my bones. My faith is grounded deeply in God and in my body.

I just applied and was accepted into a spiritual direction program that doubles as a Master’s in Pastoral Care. I will spend the last half of my life helping people recognize their callings, the ways they are being led to and beyond their wildest imaginations.

When I say I’m a seeker, it’s true, but my seeking has revealed more than God to me. It’s revealed my wholeness. It’s revealed deep, unfathomable love. It’s revealed a peace beyond all understanding. And it is my hope that I can lead others to this place that I’ve discovered within myself, a place within and beyond me. A birthright place because I’m human, a place God wishes all of us to live into.

Photo by Olga Solodilova on Unsplash