spirituality

30 week blog challenge – week 5: favorite quote

This week’s blog challenge is to share my favorite quote with you. I have a lot of them, but there is one that sticks out in my mind:

“A room without books is like a body without a soul”—Cicero

Honestly, I live by this quote. Every room in this apartment has books. There are piles of books next to my bed, and bookcases in the bathroom. I love to read. I can’t get enough. It’s my default comfort zone. Like, when someone tells me they don’t like to read, I just don’t get it. It’s incomprehensible. But when I think about how I’d rather read than watch TV, I kind of get it, because there are people who LOVE TV whereas I can take it or leave it. I mean, I enjoy TV when it’s there, but it’s not my first choice for entertainment. I’d rather read. Different strokes. But at any rate, there needs to be a book close to me or I don’t feel right. It’s weird.

Another quote I like is this one:

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”— Martin Luther King Jr.

I really felt this one when I was going through my divorce from Chris. I saw people draw their lines and pick their sides, and I was often left in the dust. But there were some people who supported me through the whole thing. And that’s how I learned who my true friends were. I tell everyone who is going through a divorce or separation that they’ll learn who is truly there for them when times get hard.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”—George Eliot

At the ripe old age of 38, I feel like a lot of my dreams are silly and need to be shelved. Or they’re just unrealistic. And that’s OK. Not everyone can be a famous movie star. But I can still be a New York Times bestselling author someday. I just need to stop being scared and go for it.

“Kirtan is non-denominational, the Universal language of Spirit, the song of the Soul.”—New World Kirtan

Incredible was the day I realized that I got that same feeling of freedom, love, and happiness from singing kirtan that I did when singing certain worship songs in church. There are certain advocates that say yoga and kirtan is evil, from the devil, it’s “idol worship” and that the chanting is a bunch of gibberish. How close minded can someone get? And I won’t even go into how insulting it is that they call Sanskrit “gibberish”–it’s a legit language, asshats.

I remember the first time I went to kirtan, I was like “what the f—?” but then I couldn’t get the chants out of my head. And I started to seek them out. And I loved them. And before anyone gets all weirded out, please know that the first time I went to Catholic church, I was also like “what the f—?” …and the same when I went to temple. Funnily, I wasn’t like that the first time I attended a Lunasaugh ritual, but honestly, I am too darn lazy to be pagan.

My spiritual journey has been quite a ride, and I haven’t gone much into it on my blog, because I don’t fully understand it myself. I always put up a bit of resistance when deep down, I know something is going to pierce my soul in a good way. But I’ll tell you this. I can chant Jaya Jagatambe, or sing “Famous One”, or do a yoga practice to the Four Directions, and still feel that same soul shaking, party rocking good time. And that opens my heart more than any stern lecture from any pastor can.

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Easter Through The Years…or Snippets of My Spiritual Journey

Over the years, Easter has become less and less of a big deal in my life, which is sad, because Christ’s resurrection is like THE CORNERSTONE of Christianity, right? My mom used to make a huge deal out of it. New dresses. Dyeing eggs. Church (except the year we stopped going), and big dinners that always involved ham. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a pretty awesome holiday, but for me, it doesn’t have that same anticipation and specialness that Christmas does. And it should, and not just because of the chocolate.

Here’s a short pictorial trip down memory lane, where you can see how I celebrated Easter through the years, complete with retrotastic furniture and all.

Happy Easter, Little Ronica!
age two

Easter Basket
age three

Easter
age eight

When I was twenty, I was initiated into the Catholic Church through RCIA at the St. Thomas More Newman Center (Eee, Father Vinny is still there!). The ceremony took place during a three hour long Easter Vigil, during which I was baptized, confirmed, and had my first communion. It was pretty cool. After the ceremony we had a huge party and were given giant Easter baskets full of chocolate and a Pass The Pigs game. (We’d had too much fun playing Pass the Pigs at the RCIA retreat a few weeks earlier.)

Being Baptized
being baptized

Confirmation
being confirmed by Father Vinny

Neophyte
being a neophyte

Once I was a confirmed Catholic, I went nuts. I was a Eucharistic Minister. I was always involved in one thing or another. Student ministry. RCIA (this time as a sponsor). Volunteering. And I even worked on staff there as a part-time receptionist for a while after college. I very fond memories of that church and that community.

I am no longer a practicing Catholic, but I still find many aspects of the faith beautiful, and I still have a collection of all kinds of rosaries, including a few that I handmade. I was just thinking tonight about how I kind of wished I was at an Easter Vigil. Yes, it’s a long service, but the way my church did it? It didn’t seem that long at all. It was a beautiful, amazing service. I don’t know if I’d want to go to anywhere ele, but I kind of wish I was at Newman Center right now. I have this to keep me company though:

As I said, I drifted away from the Catholic Church and church in general. Until about 2004, when I became really involved in an evangelical community. This was Aidan’s Easter basket that year:

Aidan's Easter Basket

That Easter was pretty cool. I spent the night under the stars with a bunch of other young (or young at heart) people (I’m sure I was the oldest one there, but it was still fun) and we did a sunrise service that was amazing. I was SO HIGH from that.

2004 was a crazy year for me in so many ways. I made a lot of new friends (most of whom I no longer really talk to except for the occasional facebook stalk or facebook game spam), I became super involved in church activities: volunteering with the teen ministry (my FAVORITE!) and the young adult ministry, doing Power Point presentations, throwing parties, putting together newsletters, and even running a life group. There was a lot going on at home as well. I get exhausted when I read those entries–I was always going going going. No wonder I’m so content to just sit and read these days.

There was the Easter in 2006 where I was treated to a double rainbow.

Double Rainbow - Easter Morning

2006 is also the year my life changed in so many major ways that to think about everything that happened to lead me to where I am today is overwhelming and crazy. And also kind of amazing. Needless to say, my spirituality took some crazy twists and turns, and right now, it’s an ever growing and ever changing and ever winding journey. Maybe one day I’ll go more in depth.

Happy Easter!

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My Aura (Revisited)

Your Aura is Violet

Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.
And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don’t always use it!

The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say

Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony

Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach

So funny. I took this quiz to see if it would match up the the reading I had done several weeks ago. Pretty close, huh? :) Neat-o.

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Protected: [God Stuff/ Venting] Conflicted

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