That’s Not My God

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I
Have
Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call
Myself
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim
A Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of
Itself
With me
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, and angel
Or even pure Soul.

Love has
Befriended
Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me
Of every concept and image
My mind has ever known.

– Hafiz, ancient Sufi poet

The first (and only) time I ever said no to my mother, it was about religion. I was 8 years old and she wanted me to get baptized. I refused. When she asked me why, I said, “because that’s not my God”.

What she heard was that I was a Satan-worshiper. That single statement sparked an 11 year battle to save my soul by beating the devil out of me – literally…but, that’s a different story.

What I meant was something altogether different. I didn’t know how or why but I held a belief, strong and unwavering within my soul, that God was simply about love. The God they taught me about in church was angry, judgmental, and, in my opinion, a bit insecure. That was not my God!

However, like many of us, over time I chose to put my own truth on a shelf and live in a manner that conformed to the beliefs and mindset of those around me. I became a “born-again” Christian and got baptized when I was 13. I was completely faithful and, had you asked me about my decision at age 8, I would have told you I had been a foolish child and I just didn’t understand things back then. I held fast to that stance for 6 more years.

…and then I died.

The experience that I remember from my death shattered the concepts of everything I was being taught by the world. During it, I was bathed in love and acceptance and I recognized the same energy that I had connected with as a child. I also reached the personal conclusion that there was no way to encompass THAT power in a particular dogma or religion so, when I returned to life, I instantaneously went from devout Christian to firm believer in the energy and power of love – and nothing else. The new rules that I followed shifted to simply living as love on a regular basis.

Let me tell you, it ain’t easy! We live in a world divided; one filled with hatred and fueled by fear. Standing firm in the space of love takes courage and fortitude. It takes busting through fear, pretty much constantly, in order to face the world as an authentic individual.

I don’t talk often about my spirituality or the place it holds within my business but I figured if I’m doing a blog challenge with a group called Spiritual Badass, I should at least touch upon the concept of spirituality.:-)

Does my spirituality influence my business? Of course it does!

I think that everyone is influenced by their spirituality, or even by the choice to not believe in anything. So, to me, it goes without saying that my business is influenced by my spirituality. If you ask me what I do, my response would start with something like, “I help entrepreneurs bust through the fears that are keeping them stuck.” but I could just as easily hint at the spiritual influence and say, “I help entrepreneurs live in a space of love.” Tomayto, tomahto.

How about you? Leave me a comment and tell me what influence your spirituality has had on your work. (Play nicely!)

 

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Tired of Speaking Sweetly

hafiz

If I hadn’t made the commitment to write 30 posts in 30 days, this would be one of those days where nothing would get written. I don’t feel inspired today and my brain seems to be made of mush. SO, instead, I will share one of my favorite poems, written by Sufi poet, Hafiz. I get a LOT of odd looks for saying this is one of my faves but, it truly is. I think it’s because I’ve felt that way about people I love. Like I see them doing all these things that bring them pain and I just want to shake some sense into them.

Enjoy! 🙂

TIRED OF SPEAKING SWEETLY

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

~ Hafiz ~

(The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)