A Slow Awakening

I Never Did Like That Pattern by Ann Wasserman

I Never Did Like That Pattern by Ann Wasserman

About the art:  Ann and I have been friends since my sophomore year at Northwestern.  She let me use this picture for a long ago post — somehow it seemed to fit here.  Check out her blog for great quilting info and her website to see a gallery of her work.

I’m not one of those people who felt spiritual connection from an early age.  That said, I always believed that ghosts wandered the earth.  I read the story of Bridey Murphy in high school and never doubted the reality of reincarnation — in fact I began reading other things about it.  I so lacked a sense of spirituality, however, that I never connected those things to anything about spiritual or religious doctrine.  I always saw an energy field around people and I took it so for granted that everyone did that I never mentioned it and never realized that most people don’t see it until I was 30.

Aside from those little connections, I lived knotted in anxiety and worry and by the time I graduated from law school in 1983 at 30, I was numb, tense and miserable.  After more than a year of listening to my constant laments a number of friends gently asked me if I’d thought about therapy.  One of them had been seeing a transpersonal psychologist, Michele, who used meditation and past life regression, etc. in her work.  In 1985, once I finally acknowledged that I needed therapy, Michele was the only one I considered even though it involved two hours round-trip to see her.

She quickly started me on meditation, introduced me to the basic philosophy that I create everything in my life; if I don’t like something that’s in it I need to ask myself what I believe that has created that reality.  One of her first reading assignments for me was The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts.  The world made sense to me for the first time ever when I read it.  I loved the meditating and reading and the new life view that opened up for me but I still didn’t think of any of this as spiritual or myself as being on a spiritual path.

I think that years of going to church because my parents thought we should and sitting through both Sunday school classes and church services that always left me bored and feeling nothing of spirit numbed me to the idea that spirituality could be meaningful or feel good.  I had no framework of spirituality as I now understand it so my feelings about ghosts and reincarnation didn’t connect to spirit for me.  To me the path I’d begun under Michele’s guidance was about personal growth and trying to find some way to be glad I woke up in the morning instead of sad that I hadn’t died in the night.

In 1986 I started yoga, which has been an integral part of me ever since.  Even though my teacher based our practice on balancing chakras (that’s also stuck with me), I’m not sure how much I got about the spiritual connection, though I did wind up taking meditation classes at the Temple of Kriya Yoga and studied briefly with Goswami Kriyananda.  It all just seemed natural to me.  I immersed myself in classes and practices and loved it all but somehow I didn’t have a conscious sense of being on a spiritual journey.  I just so naturally and absolutely believed in a world beyond the physical that it all seemed matter-of-course to me.

It wasn’t until some time after going to Nine Gates Mystery School in 1990 that I really saw my path as deeply spiritual as well as one of personal growth.  I still sometimes have a tendency to see a lot of spiritual practices as tools in service of personal growth, but overall I become more committed to a spiritual path year by year.  I feel a lot of spiritual practices are designed to help open the dark places — hence the help for personal growth — and at the same time the energy created by them takes me deeper.

In hindsight I can see that some part of me was always open to all of this and open to it so naturally that I didn’t have an intellectual framework for it.  In that sense the work with Michele felt like coming home.  My mind just had no reference point for true spirituality because  my early experience intertwined church, religion and spirituality in a package that lacked any personal sense of the divine.  I moved along with meditation, yoga, and other metaphysical pursuits and allowed them to transform me but it was six or eight years before I began to think of it as a spiritual journey.

I don’t really consider myself enlightened or awakened and I don’t really do practices with enlightenment as a goal.  I’ve  become committed to “Being Peace” — or what I like to think of for myself as “Becoming Peace” since I’m definitely a work in progress.  Check out the Collective Prayer Sundays page if you’re interested in joining me on the journey to peace.

This post is part of Barbara Franken’s challenge to write a post about awakening.  You should check out the other posts:

January Challenge Schedule…

1st     Barbara  - http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com
2nd    Paddy    - http://paddypicasso.wordpress.com
3rd     Emanuel- http://emantable.com/musings-of-a-table/
6th     Julianne - http://juliannevictoria.com
7th     Sarah     - http://theskycladwriter.wordpress.com
8th     Shree     - http://heartsongsblog.wordpress.com
9th     Dace      - http://mywaytotruth.wordpress.com
10th   Korinn    - http://www.korinn.com
11th   Sindy     - http://bluebutterfliesandme.wordpress.com
12th   Stefenie - http://dancingwithstefanie.com
13th   Mick      - http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com
14th   Joss      - Postphoned
15th   Megan   - http://mychroniclifejourney.wordpress.com
16th   Pat         - http://patinspire.org
17th   Marga    - http://lifeasimprov.com
18th   Kimberley - http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com
19th   Becki        - http://isurvivedamurderattackmyfamilydidnt.com
20th   Serena      - http://beingmefromatoz.com
21st   Heather     - http://wildflowerwomen.wordpress.com
22nd  PurpleRay - http://purplerays.wordpress.com
23rd    Sue          - http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com
24th    M…          - http://seeingm.wordpress.com
25th    Brian G    - http://middlepane.com
26th    Dotta       - http://dottaraphels.wordpress.com
27th    CW          - http://sunflowerrosecw.wordpress.com
28th    Laurie       - http://lauriesnotes.wordpress.com
29th    Debra       - http://ptero9.com
30th    Linda        - http://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com
31st    Michael     - http://navigator1965.wordpress.com
February
1st      Leigh        - http://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com
2nd     Shaman   - http://shamanictracking.com
3rd     Joss         - http://crowingcrone.com
4th     Jenna       - http://jennadee222.wordpress.com
5th     Shelley     - http://livingwithshadows.wordpress.com
6th     Elisabeth  - http://almostspring.com

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16 thoughts on “A Slow Awakening

    • I’ve been so glad we found each other. I haven’t forgotten your offer, but my schedule for sleeping is so unpredictable these days and I’m so often asleep in the late morning that I hesitate to say I can be available then… Soon I hope to be past the muscle issues and settled in to a more normal schedule.

  1. My first teacher recommended Seth Speaks! (back in 1984) Like you, for the first time the world made sense to me. I felt as if I ‘knew’ Seth, had been his student for ‘eons’. I also knew immediately the I’m one of what he calls a ‘Speaker’. As are you obviously.
    I love this journey we’re on.
    xox

  2. Your posts are always so humble and straight forward. It’s funny how much we get fussed about describing spirituality and defining who is spiritual… We are all made of spirit :)
    I guess you were ‘spiritual’ all along wothout calling it or thinking about it that way. And I am not sure if there’s a clear cut line between personal and spiritual development, they always go hand in hand.
    Having more global benefits in mind, such as peace, and doing something about it makes you perfectly spiritual in my books :) I always define spiritual persons by their way of being and doing in this world and much less by their practices or so called ‘enlightened’ states of mind – especially when they create controversy or disharmony around…
    Luv xox

  3. Life is so fascinating and simple isn’t it Leigh… and then we try and make it all complicated by giving everything labels, names and explanations… spiritual, personal, awakening, enlightenment… We allow words to take away our beingness and peaceful existence… and separate ourself when we are truly ALL… spiritual, personal, awakened and enlightened… when we allow it to naturally happen…

    You radiate peace and wholeness Leigh and are indeed a magnificent divinehumanbeing… I thank you for sharing your most intimate journey and insights into life with us all… Your collective prayer sundays are an inspiration and IAM happy to join them with you… I wanted to ask if you still saw aura’s and energy around people now… Thankyou, take care, Barbara

    • Thanks so much.
      I actually never did see auras. What I see is kind of like the waves you can see coming off a car’s hood when the engine is really hot. No colors just waves. It isn’t always there for me, especially not in a big crowd, but I still often just see those waves of energy moving around people.
      I’m so happy to know you’re joining in for CPS! Thanks so much for organizing this round of posts and the e-book.

  4. Thanks, Leigh, for posting my quilt, and for writing about your path in the I-knew-you-when times gone by. I love all the glowing comments you and your writing have received here. I concur. :-)

  5. Hi there :)
    What a beautiful, peaceful you! I do like your terms and view of life. Spiritual self can’t be separated from personal self, at least methinks :)
    Antone who still holds on to hope and peace is my spiritual and personal mate, thanks so much for your picture here, I’m humbled yet again.

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