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Creative Thoughts

August 24, 2009

When I was growing up I rarely went to church. Technically I was a Protestant, but I honestly remember actually going to the church about three times. Mom, if you took me much more often than that, sorry. I really got my Christian education when I was about 16. My boyfriend at the time was playing guitar in the pit band of our school’s production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The boyfriend, Erik, played the CD version of the play over and over and over and over again. It really grew on me, but I was frequently asking questions like, “Who the heck is Pilate?” and “Wait, who’s Peter?”

I may sound like a big giant ignoramus, but I’m glad I was raised the way I was. My mom wanted me to make my own decisions about religion and spirituality, and taught me what she believed in, which was more about souls and peace and acceptance than hell and blood and lambs. Or whatever.

I have a horrible track record when it comes to attending other people’s churches. In college I went with my good friend Christy to a Catholic service (mass?). She’d been raised Catholic, so of course everything going on made sense to her. The church was beautiful, that I enjoyed, but when everyone  went up to get their communion, I became confused. Some people took the wafers in their mouths from the Priest and some took them in their hands and put them in their own mouths. When I asked Christy about it she said that if your hands are dirty you let the Priest put the wafer in your mouth. I took this to mean if your hands were…dirty. You know, growing-hair-on-your-palms-dirty, not dirty with motor oil or mud or something.

I said to Christy, “So everyone up there who is taking the wafer in their mouth is admitting to the whole church that they…” (I’m hoping you can fill in the blanks yourself here, people!) She said NO! and told me that if you hadn’t washed your hands and didn’t want to touch something that was going in your mouth, you let the Priest feed it to you! After that I got such a fit of giggles I could barely stay in my pew. I thought I was going to explode from trying to stop my laughter.

Thank goodness I survived, but that was not the last time I was to laugh like a fool in someone else’s church. A few years later I was dating someone who had been raised Seventh Day Adventist. He wasn’t practicing the faith anymore, but we worked with a woman from New Zealand who was also raised Seventh Day Adventist and she wanted to attend an American service, so I went along with the two of them. Bad idea. Seriously, what is wrong with me that I can’t stay calm and controlled once my butt hits the pew?

The preacher (minister?) was visiting from some other church and he seemed to be having problems with knowing the English language. I can’t remember what the first phrase he used was, the one that got me (and my friend from New Zealand!) laughing, but he only added to our giggles when he said, “Transform your eyes upon Christ”. I leaned over and whispered to my friend, “I think he means transfix, not transform”, to which she started making suggestions as to what our eyes were supposed to transform into. Waves? Unicorns? Bald Eagles? That was it. We laughed for the rest of the service and were very, very thankful to be released from the church.

So why am I sharing all of this with you? For one, I’m not ashamed of my actions, in fact, I believe in a loving God and Universe, so I’m pretty sure God would get a kick out of my silly church experiences. Also, I thought this would be a good segue into my next topic: I went to “church” this weekend and didn’t laugh hysterically. At anything. Okay, I kind of chuckled to myself when we had to stand up and sing along with a tape and some words that appeared on the projector screen in front of us, but overall it was a wonderful experience.

There is a place called the Creative Thought Center in the town where I live. They practice “Science of Mind”, which is completely new to me, and if you’ve never heard of it you can read the Wikipedia info about it here, if you’re interested. The reason I attended this service on Sunday, including the meditation beforehand, is that I need a community. Working from home writing and being a life coach are exactly what I want to be doing, but I have come to realize, especially over the last few weeks, that I’m turning into a crazy cat lady who talks out loud to her pets because she has no one else to speak to all day. In other words, I need to get out of the house more often!

The Creative Thought Center seemed like the perfect way to start doing that. They hold meditations, show movies, have Zumba classes, do “Goddess Luncheons”, and seem like my kinda people. The service yesterday basically entailed lots of talk about us being one, accepting and learning from all religions, realizing we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be, there is boundless prosperity, there is more than one path to God, God is within us, etc. Like I said, my kind of people.

I’m happy I got out of the house. It’s so interesting that one part of my life always seems to be in transition; trying to find its way. If my career is steady my relationship is shaky. If my social life is strong my personal hygeine suffers. (I’m kidding.) It just seems like at this point in my life my romantic relationship is strong, my career is strong (well, I am happy with the path I am on; I could use some increased business!), but my outside activities and the structure of my day are lacking.

Me getting out of the house and going to the event yesterday was a big step for me. I’ve always been shy about meeting new groups of people and joining up with things. I’m extremely hesitant to join into any organized religious group, since I believe organizing religion seems to make it less than what it is. However, at this point in my life I think being part of a community is very important, and I’m proud of myself for getting out of the house. I also realized I’ve been lacking in the spirituality department lately and it’s time to get back on track with meditating and clearing my mind.

When I studied to be a life coach they taught us that when we blog we should talk about our experiences and how they’re applicable to other people. I’ve already written over one thousand words on me, me, me, so I feel it’s time to talk about you, you, you.

Do you feel that all areas of your life are strong? What areas of your life feel like they need a tune up? I believe the first and most important step is acknowledging that something in your current way of life is off. From what I can tell, we’re always a bit off in some areas of our life; but some people choose to stay off. That might mean staying at a miserable or at least unsatisfying job, staying in a less-than-gratifying relationship, spending too much time on the couch and not enough time outside, eating too many RingDings and not enough brown rice, or making too much money and not having enough time.

Once you figure out which part of your life is lacking, it’s time to decide how to fix it. Mostly likely you would have already done something about it if it was a quick fix, right? Jobs and spouse or other romantic partners are probably the hardest to change. Making a decision to get outside more, meditate or pray more, or eat more brocolli are simple and easy if taken in small steps. In fact, that’s probably the way to tackle all of the areas of dark in your life: small steps.

For me (yes, we’re back to me!) that small step was getting out and doing something new yesterday. The next step will be to go back to another activity at the Center, or to go to a yoga class or meditation class sometime soon. It feels good to know I’m moving in the right direction. What small step can you take today to improve your life?

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 5:00 pm

    You discovered the Science of Mind, isn’t it wonderful. It all makes such perfect sense.

    I read the book and use it often for inspiration. I’ve even written about it on my website.

    Yes, one small step at a time I whole heartedly agree, there is no quick fix but if you take it one small step at a time you’ll be suprised at the progress you can make.

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