As long as I can remember I have been seeking, searching, hunting and grasping for that “thing” that I was sure would bring me peace, security, joy, and happiness, everything I did not have but was sure everyone else did. Growing up I was one of those kids who never fit in, was always anxious, and wanted desperately to be loved and accepted. And despite walking the path modelled by my parents – the path of hard work, the attainment of material possessions and societal validation – I was miserable. No matter what hurdle I jumped through, what degree I obtained or what success I achieved, it was never enough. I was never enough. And peace, security and joy were elusive.
But despite my misery there was something within me that was calling me to not give in and not give up. I began to wade through the illusions, the stories, the lies, and the pain of living on the surface of life. I began to explore the self help isle at the bookstore, attend yoga classes, join meditation circles and participate in various spiritual communities. Meditating, journaling, chanting, reading and sitting with others became my portals of hope. Slowly my life as I knew it began to dismantle along with my ideas of who I was and what I was here to do and be. Eventually longstanding health problems complicated by a cancer scare, forced me to leave the world as I knew it and to begin to live life not on my terms but on life’s terms. I finally realized there was no “thing” that would make me complete because I was already complete despite the messiness of my life. And that the messiness of my life is not only part of life, it is life. To be messy is to be alive, present, open and available. It is to grow, evolve, move and change, and to birth the new.
The Spiritual Practices series are workshops founded on both my lived experience, as well as my formal studies at an Interfaith Seminary, where I completed a Certificate in Applied Spiritual Counselling, and at the Centre for Action and Contemplation’s Living School.
It is my hope that together in community we can help each other explore the path of moving beyond the surface of life, get a little messy and find the fullness that is always there giving birth to each of our unique and creative projects – our lives!
Join Dana Sundays, 3-5pm Oct 22-Nov 26 in her Spiritual Practices Session.