I’m embarking on a journey. Actually I started a long time ago only now I’ve discovered new direction. I had the pleasure of having a session with Emma Churchman, The Quaker Shaman (seriously, how cool is that?). I spoke with her as I felt I needed some unbiased guidance. If you read my blog you know I’m constantly seeking, writing my way to figuring out who I’m supposed to be in this world.
After my session with Emma I began to see the issue was less about who I want to be and more about being who I am. With this realization came another . . . I realized I need to deepen my spiritual practice. My roots were shallow – my soil had eroded. I have been stuck in a spiritual kiddie pool. I can splash and cool off and there is happiness there. But there is no diving allowed. And I want to dive.
I sat with this for a while before really knowing what I needed. For the longest time I mistook watering down my core values for being open minded. Somehow I thought having a strong belief was like drawing a line in the earth; it created a place of division. This was especially true of religion. I saw religion as a great contributor to the “Ism Schism”. But here’s the kicker . . . my faith is strong.
To get around that internal conflict, I just claimed to be “spiritual”. It seemed nice, New Age-y, open, non-confrontational. But it left me spiritually homeless. I didn’t have a real practice; I didn’t have the boundaries to work within. I was open to anything. And actually I still am. BUT I know now that I need to claim a space to drop my roots. I understand now that the line in the earth I mentioned earlier, the one I thought identifying my spirituality created, it only happens if choose to pick up a stick and draw it. If I remain rootless, the slightest breeze can carry me away. I can be grounded and open. I can be deeply rooted in my faith and still sway with the wind.
So when I made the conscious decision that this is where I needed to start, I contacted my new Friend Emma again to ask if she could recommend a few books. One of the books she recommended was The Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment by J. Brent Bill. What better title when looking for some direction? From the back cover: “As you use this book to chart your own spiritual course, you will find yourself led to unexpected places . . . “ So here I go yo! I’m climbing out of the shallow end. I’m a fish out of water eyeballing that deep end. With Brent’s kind permission (thank you Brent!), I’ll be posting all about it as I move through the lessons. They all will start with the title: Soul Searching for anyone interested in following along. For me, it will be decidedly Quaker in flavor but I will strive to present it in a form palatable to any without watering it down to bland mush. And so the adventure begins. With that, I dive in….