The Valkyries & Who is God?

I’ve been in somewhat of a cloud for the past 24 hours because of Paulo Coelho’s “The Valkyries.” In essence, it’s about the journey to find one’s guardian angel. I think it has rooted itself in my brain because of my dreams. For weeks, I had the same dream. I asked my father last weekend to identify the lake and the dock in my dream. He knew it easily. He remembered the moment I did easily, too.

I think I have to go there.

I was thinking about this last week, and I asked my friend if he would go with me. But I wasn’t entirely sure if I would do it or if it was that important. I didn’t explain it to him. I don’t know why. I guess it seems strange, and I like to test out the waters with people before launching into huge spiritual discussions.

I like the idea Coelho presents of “breaking the pact” in order to see one’s angel. I think maybe that’s why she started to appear in my dreams. In a lot of ways, I have freed myself from not attempting to fulfill my destiny. He describes how easy it is to speak with angels when you are a child, but how that disappears as you get older. That is, until you can break the pact of un-fulfilling prophesy. I like that idea a lot.

As I slept last night, I did not have the same dream. It’s actually been awhile, but I think it’s because I don’t need the dream anymore. I know the place, and I know the why.

So, I saw my friend again tonight. I did not ask him again if he would go with me. I thought perhaps that it wasn’t right to ask someone to go with you. Coelho does on his journey, but it is his wife. She understands why he’s going and what he needs to do. There’s no way, at this point, that my friend would know those things.

So, tonight, I asked him something else: “Do you believe in God? And how?”

I knew the answer to the first question. I could feel that answer when I met him. It was the “how” that I was interested in. The how would determine if I would explain this again and if I would ask him when I decide to make the drive up north.

I’m always a little nervous when I ask this question. I suppose, though, I shouldn’t be because I always ask it when I have seen a certain amount of a person’s soul. So, I must know somewhere deep inside me what their answer will be. I think I ask because I really love the interpretations of God that I hear.

I believe in a Creator. A Creator who split his soul up into the Earth and all of us. And it’s our job to figure out how to make them one.

I like that a lot. I can’t help but smile thinking about not only the answer but the fact that it was shared.

I didn’t explain the dream after that because I think it was a statement that needed its own space. Not to be muddled up by my thoughts–at this moment. So, I said simply, “that’s probably why I like you so much.”

I think, though, that I will explain the dream. If it seems right, I think I will ask again.

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on resurrection & God

I was raised Catholic. I practiced faithfully through the time I worked in a Catholic Church just over a year ago. Prior to that, I had already started to pick up ideas of God from more native traditions. I love Toltec interpretations. I love the Navajo concept of the energy of God. I practice an Ignatian form of meditation. I taught World Religions this year and loved some of the Jain principles of integrating with the world.

I’ve had three spiritual directors. Two really amazing ones. One who told me that at the core of praying we are trying to listen to God. And if God is within us, our only goal is to still ourselves long enough to hear God.

I’ve felt God’s presence. I’ve heard God in dreams. I’ve seen God in waves and red rocks and sunsets. I’ve felt God in the wind against my face. I’ve heard God’s voice in the air and in the voices of my students and in the stillness of my soul.

When I was a junior in high school, our religion teacher asked us if anyone knew without a shadow of a doubt that God existed. I raised my hand. He was angry with my response and challenged me saying that only God could know if God existed and to say otherwise is sacrilege. For that one moment, I wasn’t trying to be antagonistic. I said to him very simply, “How can you look into the eyes of another human being and deny the existence of God?”

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Catching Up

After my super helpful-ness of a few weeks ago, I returned to my brother and sister-in-law’s home on Saturday to help them try to complete sodding their yard. I had a complete blast even though I was sore for two days afterward. I didn’t realize how much I was twisting getting the sod into place with my sister, but it was quite a workout.

If I were to be totally honest, I would have to admit that I truly love playing in dirt, and it’s a good thing because it was everywhere. At some point, we just took off our shoes and were on our knees in the dirt, moving it, smoothing it, putting everything into place.  So, I have this theory about dirt. Not to get all philosophical about dirt—well, yes I am. You have to think about it. If dirt contains all these vital elements that, presumably we come from, it’s a good way to get in tune with the universe (and God) in a lot of ways. It’s a pretty simple way to do it, and probably why I want a garden.

At any rate….that was Saturday….

Fertilizer galore!

Fertilizer galore!

Sod galore!

Sod galore!

About 1/3 of the way done. It was mostly the girls working.

About 1/3 of the way done. It was mostly the girls working.

The best part. Grass!

The best part. Grass!

So after nine hours of work on that Saturday, I woke up early the next day so Tanaya and I could head down to Long Beach for our second bridal show. (Clearly, I don’t plan things well and was about to keel over standing up all day.) But it turned out well and were able to get our information out to several hundred people.

Us in the middle of our display.

Us in the middle of our display.

And for the last part, I started a new job. After about 3 months of job searching, I think a job may have found me. I’m excited for two very big reasons. The first is that as much as I loved my last teaching job, I really wanted to teach English. So, now I’m teaching English. Not only teaching English, but American Literature, which is my absolute favorite in the California Content Standards for high school English.  In addition, I will also have 2 sections of World Religions and Social Justice, which as I said in my interview I’m uniquely qualified to teach not because I’ve studied it, but because I’ve attempted to live it.

I used to say that working in the inner-city is comparable to an abusive relationship. It hurts like heck, but you can’t help but returning. So, as I embark on my third journey into such an environment, I am nothing but excited. I had a bit of conflict of, I suppose you could call it, conscience during the summer. And things didn’t work out as they shouldn’t have. I am very glad that I have stayed true to my desire to make a difference in the very small way that I can and have come to peace with this next chapter in my life in a way that I couldn’t have imagined would be possible.

Oh, the other thing, is that I’m teaching all-girls. It should be interesting, and I’m sure somewhat amusing. I know lots of people are already laughing at me, but the girls I have already met during the teacher prep week are absolutely delightful. I’m thrilled to be spending the next year of their lives with them.

If

If God is within us, then I wonder….

If I run away to find God, then am I really running away to find myself?

The truth is I think I found Him and somewhere in that, I think I found myself.

I came out here not only because I love the desert but because the Native Americans believe there are vortexes here that harness spiritual energy, or the very energy of God.

All I can say is that it is completely overwhelming.

It was a day of tears. But good tears. Cleansing ones.

Of listening to the wind.

Of hearing the very voice of God. And by extension, listening to myself.

I don’t want to go home. I know I have to, but I have found a certain kind of peace that is inexplicable.

It started when these tiny little pieces of paper literally flew out of my hand. I watched them. ANGER. It was the first to go. It flew right off of a rock. CONFUSION. It floated downstream.

Strange because at some point I stopped. And I had four more emotions in my pocket. Then, I stopped to see the sunset, and when I pulled my camera out of my pocket, the last four pieces of paper flew out. I watched them dance across the red sand. Somewhere deep inside my soul was smiling because I couldn’t help but dance along with the paper. I know it had to be a strange sight as tears streamed down my sunglasses-covered face.

From one of the vortexes flows a stream of water. I walked in it barefoot and listened to the wind in the trees. It was as though the entire rest of the world had disappeared. And for a few moments, I truly felt my place.

This is one of those experiences that I wish I could prolong for an eternity, knowing full well that doing so would not be good for me. It would be easier, yes, but not as fulfilling.

I think that I have accepted that the things I choose to do, the people I choose to be around, will always cause pain.

I have also accepted that I know how to take care of myself. I’ve had lots of practice. And if that means running off the beaten path and looking for God in the rocks, then that’s what it means.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.