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 stores.....it 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
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
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
emotions...joy, 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
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
If you are swimming freely in the vast sea of
...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 unique....how perfectly everything
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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