This is the first in a series of random posts about mistakes I’ve made over the years with regard to my spiritual path.
When I was young, I walked away from the church and immediately began running here, there and everywhere to obtain information on how to develop my psychic ability. This was before the New Age so I did not have the New Age shops and bookstores as a resource. I was also interested in a variety of topics from unexplained phenomena and hauntings, to world cultures, etc.
As we moved into the 1980’s, more resources became available. I have a lot of time and money invested in psychic development workshops, books, lectures, etc. If you had asked me, at the time, why I was doing all of this I would have told you that it was my “spiritual path” and that I was trying to develop my gifts and increase my knowledge so that I could “help people.”
The issue is, when I was in these learning modes, there really wasn’t much spirituality in it at all. I wasn’t actively praying or humbling myself to any higher power at all. I was on a path of self-improvement, strengthening my talents and gaining knowledge. The Divine did not have a lot to do with it but I would have been offended if someone pointed this out to me back then.
In my previous post, I stated that my spiritual mentors were able to distinguish between intellectual knowledge and spiritual knowing. I was well along in my path before I made that distinction and I am sharing this in hopes that one day it may benefit someone else.
I love books! I’ve been a voracious reader and an almost compulsive collector of books since I first learned how to read. But they can only take you so far.
Back in the early 1990’s there was a young girl in our community who developed Leukemia. Some of the neighbors got involved with the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training program in which you train to run in a marathon to raise money for Leukemia research–each runner participates in honor of someone who has the disease.
I decided to sign up! It was just after the new year and I had nine months to prepare for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC that fall. I was in terrible shape and I had never been a runner.
Of course, being the queen of reading, I ran out and bought half a dozen books about training to run, training for marathons, fitness and nutrition programs for runners, etc.
I’m not kidding when I say that I would sit on my couch with a bag of Doritos and a can of Pepsi READING about becoming a runner! I did this for a couple of weeks before I finally had to face the reality of putting on a pair of WALKING shoes and taking a walk around the neighborhood as that’s all I was capable of when I started.
As the weeks went by, I walked farther and faster until the day came when I bought my first pair of running shoes. Then I started adding short bits of jogging to my walks until I was completely jogging.
By that fall, I was running about 50 miles a week and was in the best shape of my life. The point of this story, of course, is that reading about runners never could have made me a runner. Only walking until I could run accomplished that.
Reading about running made me knowledgable about running. Walking until I could run made me a runner. This applies to spiritual disciplines as well. Reading about ceremonies cannot take the place of actually participating in them.
Just a simple walk alone in the woods can bring one to profound encounters with Spirit. I still enjoy books but I’ve definitely become someone who prefers to learn by direct experience.
Thanks for reading! Spend some quiet time with the Divine today!