The “Church of (Insert Your Name)” + thoughts on spirituality.
The Church of David
He said, “Jews question everything, it’s ok to have questions, and I will address them to the best of my ability. Some things I may not have answers for.”
This was coming from a teacher at my Jewish Sunday School I attended as a child. I think this sentiment was the only thing that kept space in my life for spirituality to grow on it’s own. It was almost like he was preaching the scientific method over a dogmatic “this is what happened.” When you give kids dogma, they’ll push back and rebel. When you give kids space, they’ll seek to learn more on their own.
I used to joke that I follow “The Church of David.” Meaning, I just believe whatever I want at that time in my life. It’s pick and choose. The “Church of David” was creating what I want to believe, and just grabbing the best aspects from each religion and compiling them into one thing, with a few new flavors of my own. Maybe it’s telling of my particular personality, but at the same time, why not pick and choose?
So if you’re looking for a new group to join, in my religion if there’s heaven we all go there, I don’t really care about your sexual preference, and the religion changes with the times. Maybe our rules include upcoming technology. We can always re-evaluate the rules if we need to. All are welcome!
I’m still a happy member of this church. We can meet online if you’d like to.
Or, you can just start your own chapter of the “Church of (Your Name)” and then I will love you and encourage you for pursuing it. That’s the other big piece of “The Church of David,” to each her own! I’m happy for whatever makes you spiritually happy.
If you do start your own church, let me know what it’s about, I would love to hear what you come up with that works for you.
Even if I’m not personally a part of any particular large-scale faith, I’ve been getting more spiritual over time. I think it’s improved my life. I cherish the moments when I feel spiritual.
To develop the spiritual side of my life (and I believe we can develop this), I do a few things.
Diet. You can’t feel overwhelming gratitude when you’re blocked up from fast-food or you’ve just gorged yourself. No wonder why every major religion has days of fasting involved in their rituals. I feel more in tune with my emotions and senses when I’m not numb from over-indulgence.
Practice. We can feel more spiritual by practicing the art of putting ourselves in a state of spirituality. Yoga and meditation are life-long practices for me that help me get there, but there’s many other ways to practice. It could just simply be thinking about things that you’re grateful for before bed or going on a run to a view overlooking the city.
Music. We know it’s part of the formula for feeling something. It’s why every religion includes it. Music puts you in an emotional state of mind over a logical one. There’s nothing wrong with intentionally using music to enhance your experiences. We do it on our road trips, when we ice skate in the Winter or when we work out. I personally create triggers with music, by playing the same song after every meditation. That way if I want to feel more zen or feel spiritual I can just put on the song and it takes me back there.
Being in love. You can feel in love, for a moment, with almost anyone. I get this when I people watch. I remember riding the Subway in New York and practically falling in love every day. It would be the way a mother would help her child, how a guy carried himself, how someone mouthed the words to a song they were listening to. Little, unique moments that gave me a second of a feeling love. All in noticing the beauty we all have in the tiniest of moments.
To me, spirituality is being open to powerful moments in your life that we simply can’t explain with our simple human words or brain. It’s not necessarily that a higher power exists or not, but rather a feeling we have for the incredible things that happen all of the time.
Spirituality is watching the ripples of water on a pond. The shared energy in a group of friends. It’s the wind as you’re watching the world go by in a car with the windows down. It’s a slight squeeze of a palm into someone else’s, or an impactful message from a friend.
Spirituality is love and gratitude.
Spirituality is a deep connection of our bodies and minds into the present moment.
Spirituality is experiencing a special union with the world.
And that’s it. I personally don’t need that other structural stuff. Others might, and that’s ok, too.
I find when I’m feeling some type of spirituality in my life, things seem to align more often. The world becomes less complex and more elegantly simple. I have a more relaxed confidence and I notice the magic that’s around us.
I feel like I’m paying attention.
In the “Church of David,” it’s ok to ask questions.
And I don’t have all of the answers.