Friday, February 8, 2008

In the beginning...

I feel like this blog should have a profound beginning. It is meant to be spiritual in nature, after all, and it seems so many spiritual movements begin with something profound.

But the purpose of this blog is to record and explore my own spiritual experiences (and, hopefully, growth) and to share those things with others. If what I'm seeking is something profound (enlightenment? I don't know.) then it seems rather silly to expect to begin from someplace profound.

So I guess I'll just lay it out, so that people can decide if they want to keep reading or not.

Who am I?
Good question. It's one that the whole blog is going to try to answer. But to sum it up for the time being, I'm a twentysomething living in middle-class, quarter-life-crisis, midwest America. (wow, I don't think I've ever made myself sound so average :)) And I'm on a spiritual journey. Of sorts. I think. Rather, I've decided that I want to further and embrace my spiritual life, and make some deliberate effort in that area. And there are lots of other things I can tell you about who I am, but that's all that is important for now.

What am I doing?
Pursuing a spiritual journey. Now when I say spiritual, I don't mean religious. To me spiritual life and health are very intertwined, so when it comes down to it, what I'm actually doing is trying to get healthier. More in balance, in alignment. I want every day to be living in the best way I can, most fully experiencing life and helping others to do the same.

Why am I writing about it?
Because I'm a writer. I process things by thinking this way. And I'm hoping that maybe by sharing insights and knowledge that I discover in this process, I can help others to decide to pursue their own paths, or we can help one another through rough spots.

And the remaining narcissistic parts of my ego kind of like talking about themselves.

But really, it's because this is a nonlinear path. It's a process that moves forward and backward and goes around in circles. Sometimes it's really hard to see the progress you've made without looking back at where you used to be. In a way, writing is like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs.

My Toolbox (Where I'm coming from)
I can't say that this is where the journey starts. Indeed, most of us have little epiphanies and spiritual awakenings throughout life. We just have them a lot more often when we ask for them.

About three years ago (already!) I had graduated from college, moved home with my parents, and had NO IDEA what I was doing. I'd never pursued much of a spiritual life, and thought the meditation and various other "new-agey" things my mother had taken up in order to cope with my brother and I both going away to college were silly, at best. But then I saw the changes that some of those things began to make in her life, and I realized maybe there was something to it. For the first time in my life, I was watching my mother grow, rather than the other way around.

She was happier. Healthier. More aware. Less emotional. More fun.

So I went with her to learn about the Ishayas' Ascension, the meditative technique she practices. It is from Ascension that I get the title of this blog; the techniques focus on praise, gratitude, and love.

Around the same time (actually I'm pretty sure it was the same week) I decided to go to massage school, on a whim. I knew I wasn't ready for grad school, but also that I wasn't ready to stop learning. The meditation teacher, Lyrea (you'll hear more about her, too) was also a faculty member at the massage school. I went to their open house, won a partial scholarship as a door prize, and went for it. The school was rather Eastern leaning in its teachings, so rather than just learning sports massage, we learned about Reiki (a Japanese energy healing) Thai Massage, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong, guided meditation, and lots of other things. It was an interesting year, combining all of this with Ascension.

My mother has continued to influence me. A life coach and certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator um, person, (mom what is your title, exactly?) she has provided me with endless books and exercises to pursue. I've found the MBTI helpful for figuring out some of the "why am I like this?" questions, and deciding what's worth trying to change, and what to just accept as part of my character.

Most recently, she provided me with a book titled Love is Letting go of Fear. I've been working with it for just a few days, but am already finding it helpful.

So, what's this blog going to be about?
Wow, I can't believe you're still reading. My plan is to post here things that come up along the way. To share tools and texts and resources I find helpful. To allow myself to think "outloud" (feel free to give feedback or ask questions!) and to have a place to just "download" everything swirling about in my head. TO try to make sense of it all. To make a map of one twenty-something's spiritual journey.

It's a path not a lot of people my age choose. I'd like to make a sort of meeting place where we can get together and share, and laugh, and help one another along the way.

I encourage others to share their experiences. I want to know what you're going through too.

But mostly, it's about sharing the joy that is pursuing a fulfilled life. :)