Why Are We Here?
If you are reading this blog, chances are that you found yourself here because you are searching for meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in your life. Additionally, you most likely find yourself haunted with a desire to do something to contribute to the betterment of our world. In short, you were born a Changemaker and the Divine in you is urging you to do something about it. I’m here because I’m a lot like you and because the Divine in me continues to urge me to speak to the process that brings us into the fullness of our Divine mission, quite often through my own journey of realization and self-actualization.
What Does This Have to Do with Lent?
As I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week – the time on the Christian calendar when we journey with Jesus through the final days and hours of his life. I know it’s no longer fashionable to call ourselves Christian, and this is especially true for those that were raised Catholic (or any other Christian denomination) and who currently find themselves either on the fringe our outside the Church all together. It’s way cooler to be Buddhist or some sort of Western version of neo-Hinduism, or even better, agnostic or atheist. But, in my journey of being raised Catholic, becoming disillusioned with Institutional religion and eventually realizing I no longer felt welcome in the Church where I had been worshipping, Jesus NEVER came into question. In fact, my relationship with Jesus only deepened and my faith in God became stronger. Why? Because the Jesus I have come to know is one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth, and from a Western, rational, pragmatic, logical and reasonable perspective, he is the perfect model for the rest of us on how to become fully human and to realize the fullness of our Divine call. I look to Jesus during Lent, not as the sacrificial lamb, but as the perfect example of how to transcend the fears that prevent us from realizing our greatest potential.
Women and Shamans and Priests? Oh My!
Here’s the my journey helping you with your journey part. 🙂 I have already written much about my journey toward embracing my call to be priest and have accepted that call (in part) through the launch of the Virtual Church. I naively thought that with this revelation, I was done….in my truth….living the fullness of my call. HA! HA! God, apparently has something else up her sleeve! I’m still in midst of allowing all the pieces to come together but suffice it to say that apparently it isn’t weird enough to be a woman, raised Catholic, with a call to the priesthood. Just to make things even more strange, God has included some sort of shamanistic call into the mix. Thanks to my PhD studies at the university I have come to affectionately refer to as “Hogwarts,” I have learned that for YEARS I have been undertaking shamanic journeys and I didn’t even know it! Specific experiences I have had, usually accompanied by certain types of music, are apparently shamanistic in nature and not simply a product of my imagination or the fruits of contemplative prayer. Instead, as I learn the traditional hallmarks of a shamanistic call, I find that I fit every one:
- Able to achieve alternate states of consciousness at will.
- Called to make a lifetime commitment of service to the community.
- A mediator between the sacred and the secular.
- Emerge where and when there is a need and called forth by the community.
Then there is the final proof of a shamanistic call, that when someone looks into the eyes of a shaman, they either choose to stay and grow, or they run away in fear. I can tell you, this particular quality makes for some really interesting human encounters.
What Does it Mean Jelly Bean?
In truth, I don’t really know what it all means. As a species, we are in the midst of a significant period of evolution and change (which some might call ascension), and I think that all Changemakers are experiencing an enormous amount of flux – being hurled into the unknown, clutching a trail of clues in our hands, but having no idea what they mean or how we are being called to use them. For myself personally, I am aware of the clues – pieces that have to do with Jesus, being raised Catholic, priesthood, some sort of shamanistic call, something that has to do with my Irish ancestry, gifts of counsel, discernment, writing, teaching, healing and leadership, all rooted in my unique reformer/recovering perfectionist/introverted/thriving on order and routine/intuitive/empathic temperament, but I have no idea what it will all look like. So, again, in the spirit of Lent and Jesus’ journey toward the cross, I take up my own cross of HAVING NO FLIPPING IDEA, facing the fears of all the unknowns, and turning it all over to God. My mantra for the past 6 months has been,”Let it be done to me according to your word.” In the spirit of Lent, I change that to:
“Into your hands I commend my Spirit!”
What is the unknown you currently find yourself facing?
What are the clues that might be part of your Divine call?
What are the fears that surface in connection with that call?
How can Jesus be a model for you of how to move through your fears and enjoy the fullness of you Divine call?