Among the many FAQ’s during sessions and emails, some variation of the following comes through a lot: “If you don’t mind me asking, what are your spiritual disciplines, and who do you consider to be your spiritual leaders or mentors?” I live a deeply spiritual life, but I tend to keep my beliefs and practices quite private. More and more people keep inquiring, though, including this morning. I decided to write a somewhat lengthy response and will share that here, in case more people wonder what informs my work and life. I’m not one to post everything online, but this will give a general overview of some behind the scenes attitudes and inclinations.
My spiritual disciplines morph with the seasons and have shifted across the years. I used to meditate and/or chant for hours per day, but for the past six years, my primary spiritual practice has been gardening. In late 2012, my husband and I began renting a gut rehabbed house on a barren, weedy, horribly ugly lot in Northern Indiana, which I have gradually transformed into a permaculture paradise, along with the house and yard next door, which I took over as an office in 2015. Since we were only renting this while helping David’s parents transition to higher levels of care and never intended to stay long term, it has been an exercise in non-attachment, love for love’s sake, beauty, restoration and communion with Nature.
I follow the Wheel of the Year, honoring the changes in season, along with the symbolism attached to each Turn of the Wheel. I also find inspiration in mythology, Faery Lore, studying symbols, and welcoming the creative process in all its forms — garden design, floral bouquet arrangement, painting, writing. For me, creativity is Divine flow.
In the past, I’ve studied a lot of Hindu, Celtic, and Norse mythology, Runes, alchemy, history of Christianity, Tarot, ancient and more modern philosophies, world literature … I still read and research a lot, but it’s less structured than when I had entire days at my disposal to listen to audio books and lectures while disabled from my 1998 brain injury. Now I just flow wherever and whenever I feel led, but Nature grounds me.
During the winter, I tend to write more, as well as create beautiful, healthy meals from all the produce I’ve frozen or dried in the other seasons. As a Reiki Master Teacher, I offer Reiki and gratitude every day. I also find my intuitive work serves as its own spiritual practice, since it involves tuning in, prayer, and forces me to slow down into hyper-presence throughout much of the day while I connect with other individuals in a very multidimensional way. I have conservative Christian, Orthodox Jewish, pagan, New Age, Druid, Hindu, Sufi, atheist, agnostic and philosophical clients, whose breadth of experience makes me ever appreciative of what I call “the great Mystery with a capital M.”
I especially admire (poet, author, speaker, Earth activist) Joanna Macy, (Norse scholar and incredible storyteller) Maria Kvilhaug, and Colette O’Neill (of Bealtaine Cottage), Reiki founder Usui Mikao, as well as Will Allen and Ron Finley (African American men who have transformed their impoverished communities through growing organic food with children — and adults!). Anyone who can tell a good story, create beauty from ugliness or neglect, walk through the fire and turn their burns into blessings has my respect and admiration. I go for depth, grit and transmutation, definitely not the fluffy platitudes.
(That was my answer via email to the latest person who asked about my spirituality. If you’re still curious, I’d suggest sifting through the years of blog posts and realize that everything I post represents an aspect of my spirituality. I don’t separate the spiritual from any other part of life, so to explain my relation to Spirit would literally involve describing and analyzing every moment of my life, including Dreamtime. Or, I could just summarize it by saying, “I’m a mystic who finds the Divine everywhere and in everything. I value the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, and I honor the sacred through devotion, play and work.”)