A Gathering of Spirit

This is a gathering place for all those interested in spiritual growth and healing. If anyone wishes to share insights, experiences, knowledge and/or has a question, just e-mail: alahandra.geo@yahoo.com.



What Is Spirituality?

To me, Spirituality is a way of being, of living, of feeling. It is a way of creating a whole new life for yourself. A way of truly knowing yourself.

How Do I Practice Spirituality?

Unlike belonging to a religious group, spirituality has no set rules or practices instituted by others before us. It is a journey within oneself to remember our spiritual nature and then expressing this spiritual feeling in a sacred way. Treat yourself in a sacred way and then bring the sacredness to your daily life. All is sacred -- the people you pass in the street, the ground below your feet, even the work you perform.

How do I Grow Emotionally and Spiritually?

Following this path is not without struggle. It will mean looking at how you perceive yourself and others. Letting the hurt feelings come up that have created these perceptions, examining them, seeing where they originally came from and then releasing the feelings. In most cases, these perceptions were conceived in childhood -- some all the way back to your birth into this world. Allow your child within to grieve and to release these feelings. When the perceptions were created, they were necessary, in most cases, to survive. Even what you perceived as your role in the family was created by the child within.

When I started on my journey to break free of the perceptions I created, I was happy to find a psychologist who had many spiritual gifts. One who understands and has her own spiritual relationship with God. Her name is Brenda Morgan. She guided me in my quest to learn about myself and to help me change my life. I am very happy to call her my friend even to this day. Be sure you get the support you need to help you through this time. It can be a friend or companion who can allow you to feel and express yourself. If you have the support of a psychologist, counselor, etc., be sure he or she has gone through their own letting go. Many people go into the "helping" fields without dealing with their own issues.

Be gentle with yourself. Remember how you felt as a child when you had hurt feelings and the adults around you just dismissed your feelings as if they did not matter. Listen to the child within and let that voice finally be heard. There are no trivial perceptions. To a child everything seems like it is life or death.

I remember not too many years ago sobbing like a 4 year old over a lost cat. I had given one of my cats to a friend and the cat was lost, suspected of being stolen. This event triggered feelings from my childhood of my cat, Lucky, becoming lost in New York City. At the time it happened, I do not remember crying. I remember feeling upset inside that my brother could not get my cat back but my outside child felt numb. I perceived I was suppose to just accept it. Can you imagine holding those tears inside for over 40 years! Inside me was still that 4 year old child upset over my lost pet. I finally allowed myself to grieve.

Don't despair. The letting go does get easier. One of the fears that often comes up -- "what will fill the spaces left after I let something go." You as a spiritual being have been tucked away all these years. Fill the space by allowing your true self to grow and stretch your wings. Let the bird come out of the cage. When you want to fill the spaces, visualize going within and locating the child inside. Explain to your inner child that now there is more room to grow and that it is safe. You as the adult will protect them. Allow your child to decide. When the feeling is positive, visualize your child growing and expanding and getting stronger. (This exercise can help repair the hurt child and help build trust in you as the adult. For each experience that caused pain, your true child became smaller and smaller decreasing in trust. As you look at and release the painful experiences, you are removing at least part of the obstacles to your child growing. And remember no incident is unimportant. It is how the incident made you feel inside.) Take your time. Give yourself a break. You don't have to do this overnight.

Another struggle you will encounter is pressure from outside. Usually there are many around us who do not want to look at their own hidden feelings. It is easier to let them lie deep within themselves. Your journey will be a threat to them. They will pressure you to stop whatever you are doing. Seek out those that will support you.

You will probably also go through a time trying to change the people you love. I remember having discussions with my mother. I was trying to get her to change, to be the mother I needed. The discussions only caused my mother tears and a perception that I thought she was a bad mother. This passed for me when I realized that I could not change anyone except myself. I was then able to speak with her and accept her as my mother the way she was. Spiritually we were connected. After she died, I remember during my sleep state holding and comforting her as she sobbed. I don't know where we were but I believe I was with her.

Accepting And Loving Yourself

When you were born into this world, your connection to God was still fresh in your mind. You knew yourself. When you began to interact with those around you, you were confused about the messages you were receiving from their body language and what you saw in their eyes. You were feeling and seeing their issues, their fears, their lack of love for themselves but you thought something was wrong with you. This is where the perceptions began and you started to put yourself aside. "I need these grown people to take care of me, I must be better, I must be prettier, I must be skinnier, I must be cheery all the time..."

It is now time to see your true reflection in God's eyes and you are beautiful. As brand new as when you were in spirit before you were born. God loves you unconditionally. God sees the "who you are". It is now time for you to see it too. It is now time to love and accept yourself as God does.

Our Spiritual Nature

John Bradshaw in one of his video series talks about our true destiny. He illustrates this by drawing a circle. Inside the circle we are surrounded by and our vision clouded by the perceptions of ourselves. We do not see beyond these perceptions to our true destiny. When we start to clear away what is blocking our view, we see that our destiny is to break through the limitations of the circle and become fully aware of the spiritual beings we are.

To share my own experience, my desire to heal was very strong. I had many issues to resolve that affected my relationship with family, with my church, my husband, with work and most importantly with myself. Because of my deep desire, many doors opened to me. I found Brenda Morgan just when I was ready. I learned about John Bradshaw's Inner Child work just when I was ready to see the dysfunction in my family. (The book "Celestine Prophecy" explains this quite well.)

As you journey letting go of the past, there is a good possibility that you will start to experience your spiritual nature sooner than you think. I always thought that you had to be far along the path to experience God but that is not the case. Maybe it is because I had a strong desire to open to God that these experiences happened. I began to feel energies and help with hands on healing. I began a healing circle and was able to help others to meditate.

So when you start your journey be assured that help will be given from many different levels -- both physical and non-physical. Like hands guiding you ever so gently. Start practicing discernment. Go by your "gut" feeling, your intuition on what is right for you. Ask for help in your journey and know that it is always there.

A Little About Rev. Elizabeth

Rev. Elizabeth McCabe is a Reiki Teacher and Practitioner. She has facilitated Healing Circles for the past 16 years and has had a Reiki practice for 15 years. She is available for spiritual counseling and guidance. Rev. Elizabeth has participated in the "Women and Spirituality" Conference at University of Minnesota at Mankato for several years, and is registered with IARP -- The International Association of Reiki Professionals. For more information on IARP, see their website at http://www.iarp.org

Rev. Elizabeth resides in Pipestone, MN and she can be reached by email at alahandra.geo@yahoo.com. If you wish to speak with her personally, email her and she will send you her phone number and set up a time for you to call. Elizabeth has started a center called "Women Helping Women" as well as her own Reiki office at 116 2nd Avenue SW in Pipestone. The building is south of West Main Street in Downtown Pipestone. The name "Women Helping Women" was given to her by a friend and co-worker, Helen Coughlin Ray. Helen said she would like to be part of a women's group that would share experiences and knowledge. The open house was in September and the concept is gaining interest. Women come together for coffee and sharing on 1st Sunday of each month from 3 to 6 pm. On some Sundays a program will be offered with sharing afterwards.

What Has Been Helpful

John Bradshaw: Any of his books, audio and video tapes. He deals with family structure, inner child work, family secrets, creating love, bringing your child home. In the audio and video tapes, hearing the emotions in his voice helps you to understand. Even better is an actual in person lecture and/or workshop. What he shares comes from his own life and in doing so, he connects with your feelings and allows them to emerge. Amazon.com should have the books, audio and video tapes.

Anthony DeMello: The Prayer of the Frog, One Minute Wisdom. Ones I use all the time are The Song of the Bird and Taking Flight. A student of Anthony DeMello -- Carlos G. Valles, S.J. -- wrote a book called "Mastering Sadhana, Anthony DeMello". This book literally fell off the shelf in the bookstore to get my attention. The other books are books of parables that help you to ponder what is really important.

Movies: I have found there are more movies being made that give you entertainment but also deeper meanings to life. Robin Williams' movies like Bicentennial Man, What Dreams May Come. Movie called "Contact". Another one I use in groups is "My Life" starting Michael Keaton. It is about letting go of anger from the past. How holding on to the anger affects your life. And how letting the anger go can free you.

If you would like to share what books, workshops, etc. have been inspirational, life changing in your journey, please email Rev. Elizabeth and she will include your information on this section.

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