Someone got shot in my back yard this weekend. It wasn’t literally in my backyard but in the backyard and to the right of my backyard. Close enough that I heard the gunshot and then saw another person running through my neighbor’s yard to deal with the situation after my dog started freaking out! Besides someone actually being shot (it was in the leg and I think he’s ok) in my neighbor’s backyard…. is the fact that I’m not surprised. I have one set of suspicious neighbor’s. We think about moving but honestly I don’t know where else to go right now because crime is everywhere.
Even though both my kids are dealing with constant lock drown drills to prepare for a live shooter in school…. even though they both have been on a real lock downs because of a shooter outside of the school in one case and a kid threatening people with a gun inside their school; when it’s close to home, it’s too close.
But this post is not about the crime, it’s a reminder of the bigger picture.
Although the practice of spirituality, of honoring the spirit of life that dwells in others and in our world, is strong in our family life; we are not a religious family. We have discussions — not lessons — about spirituality. We talk about what “god” might be, we talk about our loved ones whom have passed on, we talk about signs from beyond the realm of time and space, and we talk about our guardian angels. But… I’ve never really told them what I believe because I thought I was still working that out in my own mind and heart.
But… Sunday night, though I called it a “come to Jesus” moment to a friend, actually presented itself as a “a come to the truth of it moment.” We had to talk about the fear that was quickly swelling up in our house. I want my kids to be careful in life but not afraid of it. I believe that’s how we’re meant to live life…. with great respect…. and with courage…. so that we can make the most of our time here and hopefully leave behind something good and valuable for those who come after us.
After I told my kids I hoped they lived with caution and courage, I found myself sharing “my faith.” I teach yoga classes and trainings that are rooted in what I call “universal spirituality” because I don’t want to define spirituality for anyone. I believe it’s up to us to discover what spirituality actually is by developing a deep inner awareness and understanding of the spark of life that lives within each of us. Rather than contributing to the conditioning that happens around “god/dess” and spirit, I like to get under the conditioning of life to help people experience what is at the heart of truth for them. This process takes time and leaves some people exploring longer than is comfortable for some people. But as that inner relationship with spirit becomes truer it also becomes clearer and more soulfully empowering for those who stick with the process. I do believe hearing other people’s relationship with spirit is most helpful when it’s simply offered without the hope of the other person adopting it as their own and so I decided to share it with you today too. For context, this conversation is wrapped with the history that quite a few “bad” things happened to a number of good people we know this summer.
I believe we have a soul and a body. For now you’re soul is in you’re body. When we die, our soul goes on… somehow… somewhere… that part I’m not sure of yet. I do know that if I die before you, my soul is going to do it’s best to keep an eye out for you just like I believe my dad does for me — often. 😉 The more important thing though…. is that I believe each one of our soul’s has it’s own destiny. We all come here with something special to be, to do, to share. Sometimes it’s just one thing… maybe it’s small…. maybe it’s big. That thing might happen early in your life or late. Sometimes your thing is just to be there for somebody else in your life. Sometimes, I think being born and dying early is also the thing you were meant to do to shift the energy for other people in your soul family.
I do believe in that soul family… small ones… that merge into one great big one. I think sometimes things that seem bad actually happen to make other things better.
I don’t think our destiny is always guaranteed. I think it’s “our job” on earth to pay attention to our heart’s whispers. Our heart’s are our soul’s compass and they guide us to what is right and true for each one of us. It doesn’t matter how long you live or what you do in your life if you honor your heart and make the most of all that you came onto this beautiful planet with. Cherish every moment, be loving to the people that love you, do the best you can with what you have, enjoy your life, and try to bring a little more goodness into the world too. Listen to your heart, do your best to follow it, it wants what’s best for you and that’s nothing that anyone else can tell you.
For whatever reason there are always going to be scary and “bad” things happening around us. Sometimes fear is telling you…. get out of here this isn’t the right path for you. There’s another kind of fear though too…. a fear that makes you doubt the goodness in the world…. it makes you doubt yourself….. it makes you doubt your choices….. it holds you back. It’s hard to tell the difference between the kind of fear that keeps you safe and the kind of fear that makes you live in a very tiny little box. Your heart knows the difference.
When life feels scary, or sad, or makes you mad; take a deep breath…. close your eyes if it’s safe…. and listen deep. Your heart always knows the way! It’ll be up to you to take the time to listen deeply underneath all the chatter of the world… the chatter of your own mind too…. and then to have the courage to make the most of your life by following your heart.
Even if the road is bumpy, and sometimes scary, our heart’s always know the way.