Inspiration Journal - Body - Mind - Spirit
Issue 47 Inspiration Journal, April - May - June 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Nirvana... by Shani Wong

It's hard to tell when my spiritual journey began.... I suppose some would say it began at birth, but the awareness of my spiritual journey began about two years ago. Perhaps it had to do with the disintegration of my marriage, my change in opinion about my career, my age (and aging).... lots of things collectively were the catalyst, I guess. An old friend told me I said to her one day, very seriously, "I'm going on a spiritual journey." When she told me this later, I replied, "What the *&%@?! Does that sound like something I'd say?!" She insisted that those were my words exactly. So, the drama queen in me has decided to mark THAT moment as the beginning of the search for purpose and meaning in my life.

I began by exploring books, New Age websites and was overwhelming (and a little weird), to say the least. There seemed to be such a huge gap between living ‘of this world' (with a normal job, good family, good friends and a little religion to top it off) and delving head first into the vast sea of New Age. I was SCARED. Everyone in this New Age world seemed over the top and, dare I say, a bit out there. Was I ready to live off the grid? The vast sea of New Age appeared too deep, dark and unknown for me at that time and I was fearful of getting sucked in and losing myself. So I hopped out of the vast sea of knowledge and set forth walking by the shoreline, dipping my feet in, jumping in here and there...whatever I felt I needed to do...all to eventually immerse myself in the vast sea of New Age. It was my own jimmy-rigged spiritual mission to discover what we all are doing here and, ultimately (and selfishly), how to make myself truly happy.

I explored everything and anything, cutting edge and radical new perspectives as well as long-standing beliefs. All the while, my daily mantra was a quote from Buddha:

"Believe NOTHING, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

That being said, the entire world was now open to me – nothing was taboo. I explored Hare Krishna, Buddhism, yoga and yogis, tarot cards, meditation, Wicca, the Bible, Chinese energy therapy, Tibetan DZI beads, frequencies of stones, stigmata, Bruce Lee, The Power by Rhonda Byrne, life after death, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, aromatherapy, acupuncture, ionic, magnetic.....EVERYTHING that sparked an interest in me. It was beautiful and enlightening. From this buffet of knowledge, I got to serve myself and built a meal of everything that felt right to me. It was the most satisfying meal of my life. My world was starting to make sense! I started to watch sunsets, sunrises, birds flying, clouds breaking, grass growing, people living...... all with new eyes. Different authors started to interest me...Louise L. Hay, Doreen Virtue, Don Miguel Ruiz and Chelsea Handler! When I ceased judging what was right and wrong, I found lessons in everything.

The rest of my story probably isn't much different from many others, including the entire range of, sadness, first love, broken heart, embarrassments, successes, pain, pleasure.

However, as someone who is ‘in transition,' I respectfully and humbly offer some advice for all who read this:

If you are new to New Age.... ...and are just starting your journey to find the meaning of the universe, God, or whatever....FOLLOW YOUR OWN INSTINCTS AND INTUITION. Don't be afraid to venture into areas that are judged harshly by others....your truth is your truth. Don't let someone else tell you who you are or who you should be. Let your own heart and soul guide you. Don't let fear keep you from learning about everything before you make your own judgments about truth, love, God and the universe. You'll no doubt be pleasantly surprised. Take your own journey, choose your own path, make your own decisions...because this is YOUR LIFE and YOUR JOURNEY. Knowledge is power. Keep your integrity, challenge your beliefs to date...and keep your faith in the process.

If you are swimming freely in the vast sea of New Age... ...and already living deeply and intuitively, please be patient and compassionate to people like me. Fear, worry, emotional baggage and old habits are not quickly shed and we are all trying very hard to find happiness on our own terms. Teach us and share with us...gently and lovingly. Please be patient when we ‘freak out' from time to time and run back to our old lives. Know that even our smallest interactions with enlightenment have an ultimate impact on us... even if we don't admit it immediately. I can't thank certain people enough for the power of their love and understanding in contributing to my growth. And, let me tell you, I have been a real rebel/ /debatequeen... pushing buttons, reacting before thinking, fighting/kicking/screaming whenever my fragile ego was challenged. I have been far from lovable during portions of my journey, but every day I grow just a bit more...and I am so grateful to everyone who continued to love me through it all.

I send love and peace to all of you....we are all necessary parts that make up this amazingly well-oiled machine called the universe. Each piece is connected to another, yet each is perfectly everything works!

One drop of water can create a ripple effect; each and every drop of water is power....and precious. Never, never underestimate your power to make a difference in the world.

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