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Up Close and Personal

From a young age I struggled with finding my place in organized religion. I liked some of the music and the beauty of the surroundings, but those were the outer features and accessories. I especially liked the minister that headed up our church because he sang some of the service in a beautiful, mellow voice. That helped me connect to my inner soul more than any of the sermons or lessons.

I was born "woo-woo". When I looked up that term while preparing for this blog, I took offense with some of the definitions.

"ideas considered irrational"

"concerned with emotions, mysticism or spiritualism; other than

rational or scientific"

"the woo-woos are more comfortable being ignorant of reality"

I'm taking this on -- let's start from the top.

Some synonyms for irrational: unreasonable, illogical, groundless, baseless, unfounded, unjustifiable, absurd, ridiculous, silly, foolish, preposterous ... unless you're experiencing it. One definition used the example "an irrational fear of insects", yet what if you had a bad experience with bees, ants, or spiders, to name a few?? It seems to me that our ideas all come from something or somewhere. It may be that we've misinterpreted or generalized our reactions, but they are very real to us. It's like a doctor telling us that we "shouldn't" be in pain because there's no actual reason -- yet, ... something hurts.

Being rational or scientific while discounting the emotional or spiritual aspects is the separation of body and mind. Buddha, Plato & Aristotle were early teachers and

philosophers who embraced the connection. This understanding prevailed from the mid 19th century until now, at least in the Western world. At some point, researchers moved to split the two, yet who hasn't experienced feeling better, physically, when enjoying something? Fretting or worrying and allowing our dark, depressing thoughts to take over leaves us feeling tired and drained. This is not about throwing the baby out with the bath water. This is about taking scientific research into consideration and also acknowledging that it is only part of the puzzle. Since I'm an RN, I usually fall back on medical examples ... why do some people get better and others don't when it's the same diagnosis and treatment?

I'm actually more comfortable being ignorant of "reality", especially when it's a reality that doesn't suit me. I'm going to do my best to explain as clearly as possible what I mean ... if I watch the news every day and I get myself all riled up and start to feel hopeless about the world, I am only going to contribute to that effect. Everyone who comes in contact with me will sense my despair and that will likely contribute to theirs. Our conclusion will be that life is miserable and we will live it from that perspective. However, if I choose not to watch television or read the newspaper and I spend my days looking for good things and be grateful for all the wonders around me, I will be upbeat and cheerful and life will feel good. That will cause its own ripple effect. Yogi Bhajan, practitioner of Kundalini yoga, once said,

"I want to make myself so happy that others get happy just looking at me."

Do you know anyone like that? Wouldn't you like to?

As Robert Holden says,

"The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see."

Or, as Jon Krakauer wrote,

"Joy is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living."

I find that the best way to do all that is to get up close and personal with your soul. As this week's Pleasure Peek stated:

"Find your personal connection with Spirit.

Call it whatever you like, but really connect with it inside."

Get quiet and find the link with what allows you to breathe. Start trusting that invisible force. Invest in that infinite potentiality. Look for signs. Experiment. Instead of watching disturbing news stories and concluding that life is scary, try believing in goodness and set an example. I recently read about someone who paid for a coffee for the person behind them. That person, in turn, paid for the next one and the generosity continued for a few hours after! It sounds to me like the Universe at its best.


If you have trouble finding the quiet within, I know how to get you on track. Contact me at my personal email: and put "Soul" in the subject line.


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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