Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Happy Sadhana

We are an ecumenical community,
The Body of Christ, St. Mary of Magdala Church.
As the Church in this place at this time,
We are called to:
Gather for worship
Cherish our living catholic tradition;
Witness the Gospel; and 
Minister to others as Christians in the world.
All are welcome here.
The past two and a half years of my life have changed me.  These years actually resided within a larger group of years, hours spent in trying to find my path since my retirement from a work-life that had become stale, taking with it so many of my creative desires.  Fortunately, I did not allow my inner voices to cease and my journey is on-going.  I have become so much more aware of the gifts that the universe delivers, so alert to the messages, and the messengers and more and more, I try to follow the popcorn trail of inner-speak, allowing myself to be internally guided, to accept the fact that my thoughts need and love empathy and curiosity.

It is when I look and listen that I learn that all I really need is already here.  It is when I write that I am able to affirm this belief and it is through my creative pursuits that I have found an ability to trust my inner self more and rely less on what I took for granted as "right" for so many years.  Personal development, the building of new paths, is tough work but it can be exhilarating and fun.  

I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Dutifully, went to Mass every Sunday and, in the earlier days, on all "Holy Days of OBLIGATION".  Just because my parents did. I followed, almost to this day, the path of least resistance in my spiritual pursuits. My mother, I now have a hunch, had ideas of her own, perhaps an inner voice that was begging to be heard, but she dutifully did what her parents did and sadly, she remained attached to "outcomes."  

It does not surprise me that at the height of my angst regarding my own spiritual journey some very, what to me are relevant signs, popped up.  First, out of the mouth of a highly unlikely person in one of my writing groups, came the link to the Chopra Center http://www.chopra.com  Next, on the very day that I had decided to establish my very own "Sadhana"*, I opened my email and found a blog that was written by a former writing workshop classmate and I knew, without a doubt, that the popcorn trail has been laid out and I was ready to follow my inner voices.  http://www.freesialane.com/looking-god-wrong-places. Boy, was I ever!!  I was convinced that the time was right and my inner guidance system would be allowed to operate in harmony with the rest of my world.

So, on Sunday, joined by another searching friend,I took the plunge, dove in head-first, and found what I may have been seeking for a long time in a small congregation of people, motivated by their faith and their desire to be part of an Ecumenical Catholic community rather than an Exclusive Catholic community.  Their mission statement, above, says it simply and it is the very last line that became the bait that I grabbed and hope to hold on to for a very long time to come.

Just think....a church where all are welcome.  All.  Where personal spiritual goals are recognized and honored.  Where both men and women can become clergy.  Where all relationships are validated and no one is judged or excluded. Where people of all ages are encouraged to follow what they believe is right for them, even if it means taking the paths of resistance rather than remaining on those of least resistance. Where the homily is relevant and clear. Where the parishioners are invited to comment on what they just heard and not judged by what they say. Talk about finding Heaven on Earth!

It wasn't easy, taking that first step but it was easy stepping away from what I found to be so wrong for me. Change, even for the better, is not easy.  Discernment takes time and courage.  I'm not turning away from anything, I'm turning toward something new, exciting and liberating.  I'm listening to my inner voices, letting go of those things that I had been taught were the "rules", the only open gates to where, I'm not sure I know.

I'm listening to my thoughts with empathy and curiosity and it's a whole new way of doing business but I am glad I did not wait much longer. And, one last thing. Comments from readers are now possible again so please, feel free!

*Sadhana is a Sanskrit word that translates into "a spiritual discipline undertaken in pursuit of a goal"

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