Dharmist in Progress

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." ~ Einstein

Once upon a Time…

on May 13, 2012

(part 2.  See part 1 here)

A few weeks ago, I decided to do some yoga.  I have Fibromyalgia, and I’m trying to become more active to help with my pain, so yoga seemed like a good place to start.  It’s light, it’s healthy, and I can stop if I hurt.  Good plan.

I put in the DVD, and was immediately met by a cheesy early ’90s introduction.  I grabbed the case and checked the date.  1990.  My yoga DVD is older than I am.  Roll my eyes, roll out my mat, let’s do this.

The woman in the DVD stood with her feet together and there was a gap of several inches between her legs.  I looked down at my own thighs squeezing against one another.  Sigh.

As I was doing the poses, the woman was talking about the spiritual parts of yoga.  Nothing too drastic that would scare people off, just little things about being in touch with your body and the world around you.  My throat felt tight.

I assumed my asthma was acting up, and stood to get my inhaler.  I began sobbing.

Sobbing?! Why am I crying?

I haven’t touched my yoga DVD since this experience.  I found it confusing, and a bit frightening.  It took several weeks for me to realize that I’m not crazy, and something really did happen while I was doing yoga.  I had a spiritual experience.

I sang in the choir in college.  I’ve been to what seems like dozens of different churches.  But never, ever, had I felt something like that.  The Holy Spirit?  Never.  But this?  This was real.  I had felt something.

It was somewhere in this period that I found Project Conversion.  As I read about Andrew’s experiences, I saw that he understood.  He understood what I believe.  I had never met him, he didn’t know I exist, but he understood.  How was this possible?  And that was when I read it.

There are literally thousands of representations of the divine, each for one or more of its aspects. This is why figures like Jesus, the Buddha, and Krishna are all acceptable as projections of the divine within Hinduism. Each are a way to Truth. When I began this month, I clearly thought that Hinduism was a polytheistic faith due to these various representations. Now I know that, depending on which school of thought a Hindu belongs to, they are either monotheists (God exists as a part of and/or outside of creation and selects manifestations) or monist (the divine is manifest in all of creation).

“Holy !@#$,” I thought to myself, “I’m a Hindu.”

Those words.  Those utterly terrifying words.  Christianity never felt right to me, because I’m not a Christian. I am not a Christian.

What does a nice, southern, Christian girl do when she realizes she isn’t Christian?  Panic and mope around for a few days.  But then I caved.  I couldn’t deny the longing in my heart.  I had to follow it.  So I texted a friend of mine, and asked her how to safely become a flexitarian (someone who rarely eats meat, but hasn’t cut it out entirely).  Even though I really don’t want meat right now, doesn’t mean I’ll be able to resist a bacon cheeseburger down the road.

Not knowing where to start, I took a risk.  I emailed Andrew Bowen.  He inspired this change in my life, so I thought that maybe he could help.  And he did.  I never expected him to answer (I have low self esteem, it’s just how I think), but he did, and it was wonderful.

He’s put me in contact with another wonderful, helpful person, and I’ve begun my journey.  However, there is a storm on the horizon.

I’m from a pretty conservative family, as far as beliefs go (not politically.  just thought I’d clarify).  To avoid being disowned or starting some sort of feud, I’ve decided not to tell most of my family, including my own mother.  Eventually, yes, I will come out about it, but I’d like for that to at least be sometime after my wedding.  My wedding will be another blog post.  Whew.

So I’m going through the biggest, most unexpected change that I’ve ever experienced, and most of my support system is null and void. For those friends that I can share this with, I am ever so grateful.  For those people who have stumbled upon this, thank you for reading.

I am terrified, and so excited, and I see a long, winding road ahead of me (not the one that the Beatles sang about, though, I think that one leads to Yoko Ono).



One response to “Once upon a Time…

  1. Your Flexie friend ;) says:

    ❤ you!!! *nuzzles*

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