Another day is about to unfold. I always look forward to the treasures of life that await me. This morning I rode my bike along the Hollywood, Florida Inter-Coastal and up the bridge and along the sea side. What a view! As I pedaled with energy and enthusiasm I thought about how I used to feel exhausted and full of dispair. I have come a long way from the overweight girl with body, mind, and spirit deficits to living my best life.
After swinging from one diet to another my food addiction made me so desperate that I fell to my knees in hopelessness, and then I began to carve out a God. God can be a gentle breeze, the sun, or light. What you call this great energy doesn’t matter. You could call it God, Lesley, Sam, or Toto—a name is simply that, a name. God is bigger than what you call Him/It. He is consciousness—a higher self of me. He was in me all along. Sort of like the situation of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She had everything she needed within herself, and it only took the wizard to point her in the right direction to learn what she had within all along.
Tap deep into your own desires and you’ll find what it is you’re looking for. God may show up for you while you pray, sleep, dance, swim, or when you’re in a compulsive eat-frenzy and can’t stop. You’ll find Him through your understanding of what He is. People are often confused about the difference between religion and spirituality.
Religion isn’t necessarily a context for the spiritual. Religion can be defined as a (mental) belief in and reference to a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. It’s an institutionalized or even personal system grounded in such (mental) belief and, ideally, worship—which consists of a mental/emotional turning to that supernatural reference point. Religion generally includes a set of credos, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. It is a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion and/or mental allegiance.
Religion, hopefully, encompasses an increasing experience of the spiritual reality of one’s relationship with God. Over the years, my own spiritual practice evolved into honest conversations with God, meditations, rides along the ocean, silence, and letting go of my silly mind chatter. From these efforts and spontaneous arisings, I felt an inner transformation and an overall improved sense of well-being emerge. This process of frequently turning to the greater power in all sincerity brought me closer to a spiritual connection I couldn’t find with my religion alone. Thus, I have come to see a difference between religion itself and the spirituality it may or may not foster.
Yes, another day is about to unfold. I always look forward to the treasures of life that await me. This morning I rode my bike along the Hollywood, Florida Inter-Coastal and up the bridge and along the sea side and I saw God’s art work splashed in hues of orange, purple, and shades of green behind white puffs of clouds. What a spectacular view! I have grown spiritually, emotionally, and physically from the obese girl I was.