A Living Spirituality

I hope your religion
has plenty of roses
and lots of sunrises.
I hope your faith
is full of smiles
and alive with joy.
I hope your spirituality
tastes good,
smells sweet,
and holds you kindly.

I recently finished reading a book called The Spirituality of Imperfection. (Side note: it doesn’t indicate it clearly in the title or book jacket that it has a significant emphasis on AA and the assumption seems to be that the people who are reading it will be AA members.)

As I read it, I started to reflect on the glorification of suffering in some religious perspectives as well as the ascetic mystical traditions that encourage extremes of self-denial (only eating one a meal a week, wearing only a single rag, sleeping on a board without a blanket or with a rock for a pillow, etc.) and how sometimes these seem to be held up as admirable examples or goals to attain. I wrote this short poem above spontaneously while talking to my husband about the book and then read the poem aloud during a small online circle.

Goddess spirituality to me is a spirituality of joy, of embodiment, of presence, and feeling. It is a living spirituality of embodied knowing and truth. It is about being in your body, about loving where you are, about being alert to the everyday magic and ordinary enchantment that surrounds you, and about trusting the world to hold and nourish you.

When we arrived at the beach, I started writing a new book, which has started to flow forth like it was already formed and just waiting for me to sit down at the keyboard. I’ve written 44,000 words since we arrived on January first and I think I’m going to have a complete (rough) new book by the time we return home at the end of the month. It is primarily about devotion and daily practice, about walking a goddess-centered path, about a spirituality that holds you kindly.

“When religious ideologies and their associated spiritual practices begin to  take us away from our lives instead of connecting us to the center of  ourselves, we need to be willing to let them go. To not be in a hurry to  replace them. Instead, we can shift our focus back to the ordinary and  bless it with the gift of our full attention. Then watch in awe as it brims with holy light.”

Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy


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