Right at the outset, I’m going to share with you that I am a student of everything you’re going to read about on this blog. I am no expert in spirituality although I have done a lot of work and spent a lot of time stumbling along my path. I continue to learn more about myself every so often as I find another layer inside the onion to shed away.
The reason for this blog is that I have come a long way in my own spiritual development and I’d like to share what I’ve learned- as well as to learn from what you have to share. It’s taken a lot of time, more than a handful of therapists, and a hell of a lot of work not only to learn about myself but also of the processes you go through to get to where I am.
No doubt there are people like me who know this is a path they want to take but can’t even find the start of the path, never mind what to expect along the way. It is you I’m reaching out to. Through this blog, if I can help out a fellow traveller or two along the way, so much the better.
I’d like to think I’m not too ambitious when I say I hope a book will come from these musings and a podcast would be cool too.
So where did I really begin on this journey toward my heart?
A rational empiricist to the death, my attitude toward spirituality when I first started down this road could be summed up with these words: “Don’t fucking talk to me about crystals and tea leaves”. I was an angry person, pissed off at pretty much everything. That anger tainted everything. If I appeared to be happy one day, it’s just because there was an absence of actual rage. Nothing got past my ego. No doubt you’ll learn more as I share these onion layers in entries to come.
My ideas of spirituality were gnarled and distorted by my ego through the charred lens of stereotyping. People who were ‘spiritual’ were those weird flower-children types who started out with free love and Volkswagen buses and who fell into veganism, noxious homeopathic concoctions and crazy rituals that ensured they were ‘grounded’ in their bizzarro world that had no connection to the hurly-burly world we find ourselves every day of our ‘going-anywhere-but-here’ lives.
I have fought depression for most of my adult life, which leads me to believe strongly that mental health and spirituality are tied together. For some, depression is very much a chemical process in the brain and I did experience some of that. So while I’ll make the connection between the two, I add a caveat. Mental health is very complex and frankly stumps the medical community today. There is so much about the brain we don’t know. The opinions I express are just that and if you do experience lapses in mental health, I strongly suggest you seek professional help. To be honest, I couldn’t get to where I am today without the assistance of counsellors, psychologists and a couple psychiatrists. More on that to come too.
Anyway, today, years- decades- later, I’m still not a ‘crystals and tea leaves‘ kind of guy but at least I understand what that is about and can appreciate that there are some who believe these sorts of means of connecting to their reality and to the Earth are real to them. I don’t judge- at least I don’t believe I do.
It’s just that I’m still a rational empiricist but one who believes in something bigger, something we can’t experience with our physical senses that provides the context in which we exist. “Get the Big Picture” is only the start of what I mean. Once you understand the foundation of spirituality in its purest essence, you’ll understand that “The Big Picture” doesn’t even describe how big it is.
One of the most daunting things about starting on this path is that the books we read, the videos we watch, or the workshops we go to, seem all to be anchored by people who are “there“. Most talk like they’ve been inspired, or enlightened, or free their entire lives and it seems like they were perfect from the start. The gap between their ‘perfect’ lives and my sometimes shitty, miserable circumstances seemed impossibly huge. There was no way I could ever get from where I was to where they were. And so the task, the “journey” was just too friggin’ hard.
So this is where I hope I can be of help. I hope that by holding out my hand, an ordinary guy living an ordinary life can help someone get from where they are to a better place just by starting the journey. I can do this because I am just a few steps ahead of a newbie and can relate to ordinariness of being ordinary yet wanting something different, something better in my life.
I can do this while still standing at the same buffet table of life as all these super-stars and experience the same thing as they do: happiness and sometimes even joy in life. I still have my challenges and I’ll be working through them here with you. In the end, it’s a process and if I can help even just one person by sharing my vulnerability and my struggles, while remaining authentic and real, then I know I am going to leave this world a better place than how I found it.
I really hope this is going to be a two-way conversation. I expect to be irreverent, and insightful. I’d love to read your comments and pursue conversations on topics that catch my eye.
Together with each of you, I’d love to make this a site worth visiting again and again.
Be good to yourself. Be kind to others.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton