Confession: I Have Spiritual Tendencies
Does this look strange to you?
It’s true. I am your average-looking, typically-dressed, coffee-obsessed young adult who, when hidden away in a room upstairs, regularly meditates and prays to a “Universal Spirit” that is pure Energy that exists within you, and me, and everything else in existence.
Let me paint you a picture.
If you caught me on the street, you would see a blonde-haired, athletic-built female who is always, always donning yoga pants. In other words, you would see a classic B.W.G. (basic white girl). You would probably guess that I just left my post-hot yoga class and was heading to the closest Starbucks for my standard iced/spiced/vanilla/holiday-themed latte.
You have me so wrong.
- Being of Nordic descent, I lose one year of my life any time I consciously put myself into a situation that is “hot on purpose.” Think hot tubs, steam rooms, desert vacations, and most certainly hot yoga. Nei takk.
- My caffeine only comes from local coffee shops. Speaking of coffee…
- Nothing gets added to my caffeine other than cream (see, I’m not so hipster).
Ok, so maybe your first impression isn’t so far off. I might trend slightly basic.
I have some of the typical tendencies of your average BWG. I love coffee, sushi, traveling, bulky scarves, dancing and daytime rosé. To look at me, I probably don’t appear all that interesting or abstract. I have one tattoo hidden on my ankle and a single piercing in each ear. I wear muted colors with sneakers on the daily. I have walked my way through life thus far looking like your typical human, and aside from some international travel and extracurricular experiences, I have mostly lived a life to back that image up.
Where I’m Coming From
I was raised in Smalltown, Midwest, where my entire family of uncles, aunts and first cousins — at least 40 of us — showed up together at Catholic mass every Sunday and attended the local Catholic school. My family upheld the Catholic stereotype of enjoying our regular beverage. As I grew older, I realized that some (The DSM-5) might even categorize it as a problem. However, for the most part, my family has managed to love working even more than drinking, and that kept everyone on track and quite successful. My family plays hard, but works even harder, and this has defined much of my adulthood.
Many lifelong friendships were made at that small Catholic school, where approximately 40 students moved through the grade levels together over the course of eight years. We were tight. Most of my childhood friends still live in that same small town and are now sending their own kids to that same Catholic school. The cycle of faith not only perseveres, but is alive and well in my hometown.
In high school and into college, I was a socialite, a party girl. I never missed a gathering where there would be large groups of people and an excess of booze. My only hobby otherwise was school. More accurately, school was my job. I intended to do well at it, and I did. Somehow, between the morning hangover and the next drink to initiate Sunday Funday, I would find my way to Catholic mass. It was rarely enjoyable or all that enlightening, but I knew that I needed it. The light of my spiritual proclivities continued to dimly flicker, even with a hazy brain and boozy breath.
After graduating from college, I headed West. While spiritual evolution had begun to take shape late in college, I started to actually formalize my own spiritual vision and where I might fit in as I settled into the progressive spirit of California.
Still, on the surface, to anyone catching me on the street, or in a bar, or at work, the assumption would be that none of this mattered to me. If you were to ask my California friends, my priorities were, in order: live music, Dolores Park, weekend vacations (mostly to Vegas or Tahoe), wine country, hikes and work. However, in the privacy of my alone time, I continued to feed the increasing needs and call of my soul through spiritual engagements like Kundalini yoga, meditation, alternative spiritual services (most often SRF), and journaling.
Clearly, over a decade later, it’s time for me to come out of the spiritual closet.
Perhaps you can relate. Almost no one knows about these tendencies of mine — of my inclination to engage with a mystical, all-knowing, Universal Spirit of Light to attain my ultimate fulfillment. The one person who is on to my strange ways is my husband, and I am still in the process of “coming out” to him.
Today, 12 years into my journey, I am finding my place as a spiritual human amongst other humans. These feelings can no longer live solely in my head and heart. The transition into parenthood (and likely the amount of time spent alone in a pandemic) has officially pushed me over the edge and out of my BWG. box.
It is time to live a life reflective of our spiritual truths, however far from the fold they may seem. So without further ado… *cue Usher circa 2004*
This confession goes out to my neighbors, my colleagues, and any acquaintance who is a potential new friend. On a day-to-day basis, you will witness a typical human: I flash a smile and say my hello’s. We make plans for the next toddler playdate or dinner and drinks. I want to confess to you that what I am really looking for is a spiritual ally — someone to join me at Kundalini class or discuss the need for radical spiritual evolution. Perhaps over the next glass of Pinot?
This confession goes out to my family. We were born and raised in the church by generation after generation of the faithful. Every smile exchanged in mass further solidified our familial bond. Catholicism was so much of who we were. Our beloved matriarch was a constant reminder of what worship looked like, and our devotion to her made the religious life an easy path to follow. I want to confess to you that I no longer “worship” anything, and while I do regularly pray, it is not in the way we were raised. My engagement with Spirit is through meditation. In meditation, I find peace, and where there is peace, there is God, alive within all of us.
This confession goes out to my oldest friends. We spent so many formative years together, exploring the bible, observing the sacraments, and celebrating our religion. As we grew into adolescence, we transitioned from a life of innocence to the typical teenage storyline: social life, alcohol, sexuality. We survived the drama, no doubt because we had each other. And though we may not see much of each other today, I carry the foundation of our friendship with me everywhere I go. I want to confess to you that while I admire the religious path many of you continue to follow, my practice will likely seem a little strange to you. This West Coast got to my soul, and I am bound to the idea that my soul is a pure element of Universal Light, or Source, or Divine Energy, or Spirit.
This confession goes out to my West Coast friends. I discovered adulthood with you! We were completely set free on the wings of our earned incomes. Inspired by all that California has to offer, we did some ridiculously fun things, from weekend trips, to music festivals, to early days that turned into late nights. I want to confess that in my free time without you, I am seeking to engage with my Spirit. When I’m not imbibing a glass of wine or cocktail with you, I am at home or in nature, sitting in meditation, reading spiritual texts, and journaling about God’s presence in my life.
This confession goes out to my father. You have been a source of confidence and security my entire life. Because you have met (and exceeded) my basic human needs of survival and safety, I have been able to turn my energy inward, to expand on my spirituality and light. I am forever indebted to you. I want to confess to you that you will no longer find me in church on Sundays. No longer will the patriarchal subordination caused by the wrath of “God the Father” or the “wrath of Dad” cause me to live in fear of my spiritual path. It is this sort of patriarchal subordination that first prompted my deep questioning of the religion in which I was raised. Now, raising two divine females, I am certain beyond any doubt that God is not our Father. God is Love. God is Joy. God is Peace. I vow to always choose Love in my relationship with you.
This confession goes out to my husband. You were the impetus of my spiritual awakening. I said it 10 years ago, and it remains true today: I did not know what love was before you. You are God because you are Love. You are a living example of Light on this Earth, of what every human should be. You will forever be my muse. I want to confess to you that things might get weird as I travel along this path. As you always do, please keep that beautiful mind and heart open. Trust that regardless of my spiritual evolution, you are my human, and every moment with you I consider divine.
More than anyone else, this confession is for myself. While I have understood the importance of my spiritual growth for many years, I was also always ok with keeping it comfortably tucked away in the closet. I had to confess to myself that not only was this aspect of my life important, but it was also worth sharing and living with others. In acknowledging its significance, I am able to talk openly about it, find friendships revolving around it, and infuse my career and everyday life with it. For me, living a spiritually rich life means living a fulfilled life, and when we are fulfilled, we are whole. We are able to show up for our families, friends, colleagues, and community in service, which is what I believe to be the purpose of our existence — to make the world a better place than we found it.
If you have made it this far, then I imagine that this has resonated with you in some way. Perhaps your family, your past, or the image that you have created for yourself is holding you back from living differently, from living a life that lifts your spirit and feeds you with blissful energy. My hope is that this confession, from your average white woman from Smalltown, Midwest, will inspire you to come out of the closet and into your truth so that you may live your fullest existence to serve others and experience joy, peace and love.
If you are on a spiritual path and looking for an ally, reach out to me! As you can see, I could use a friend :). Coffee anyone?