Is there a better time this before x-mas gathering to think about our relationship with god and with spirituality? And since yoga is often mixed up with a religion or affiliated to hindouisme, I figured that could be worse a little article!
How do you feel like when I said the word “God”? And what about “spirituality”? I know I stared at people distrustfully when I heard the word god and it had been like that for many years. Here is a small account of my intimate relationship with God and how I reconciled with this word and how I view « him » as.
I grew up in a not practicing protestant family. This means that we did believe in something closely related to God, but the concept of an omnipresent being did not guide us through our daily lives. I was baptized when I was little when I had no clue about what was happening. I conformed when I was 15 years old and I still did not understand much more than before. We essentially would visit the church for the main ‘rights of passage’ like weddings, baptisms and burials.
I attended Catechism classes and therefore learned the basics of the Christian teachings. Frankly, all I remembered was not to steal, which m mum had already told me, and that Jesus was doing miracles, like walking on the water, which made me just doubt all those religious things all the more. Therefore, I still had a lot of trouble identifying myself with religion evolving in a modern world.
On very rare occasions and when I was really desperate, I spoke to God through little improvised prayers. I remember that in those moments the idea of the existence of God was still very reassuring and that I always felt better after my little communication with Him. Every time thereafter, life resumed its course and God went back to oblivion too.
Since I was a little girl I have always defined myself as a citizen of the world – my belief was that borders should not exist and that we are all equal. For me humans should be free of choices and tolerance has always been my driving keyword. Moreover, I knew that everyone does their best and, above all, that they can do what they want to, as long as they do not harm their fellow humans.
The church, which for me at the time stand for the word of God, was constantly passing judgement on what is good and what is bad, what we can do and not do, that we cannot divorce, that we cannot be gay, that we cannot abort. In short, the church was the antonym of freedom and modernity to me.
The point of time where I thought I had my nose full of it was when I got married and the Roman Catholic Church refused to allow my Muslim witness to sign the marriage register, so her companion who was Catholic ad to do this instead. It is but the sad reality…
I then did completely block off the word “God”. I no longer identified with a religion even though I never stopped believing that there was something bigger – a force, an energy, a reality, above us. As long as we did not call it “God” it was alright for me.
In recent years, as you know, I have come closer to my true self. Through the practice of yoga and meditation, I turned inward and found serenity, love, my soul and spirituality in there.
Yoga does not advocate of any religion but all religions can be found there. Remember, yoga means union, so it is simply the union of the earthly and the divine. The practice of yoga leads you naturally to your spirituality, to your Self. In yoga there is no judgment, no strong recommendation to follow, there is acceptance and love of who you are and have been.
I feel inspired by wise men such as Sadhguru or Amma as they do not speak of “God” as an entity that would govern and judge all our deeds and actions, they speak of the divine, of pure potentiality, of unity, of joy, of love, they speak in terms that correspond to my values and make sense of modern life.
I reconciled myself with the word “God”, I got rid of the negative connotation that I had made over it throughout my evolution. I found my spirituality, I found meaning in my life, in life.
Today more than ever, we must put spirituality back at the centre of our lives. Individualism, selfishness and lack of meaning are destroying our planet and with it humanity too.
Our children need meaning to move serenely and forcefully towards their adult lives. Their task will be great, their task will be heavy, how can they work hand in hand towards a common goal without a sense of union, without spirituality?
In my workshops for children, like those I have for adults, I do not speak of God because I work with respect towards everyone’s beliefs, but I speak of the inner being, the soul, the connection with the earth, sky and especially that with other human beings.
Our bodies are different, our thoughts are different, but our hearts beet all with the same energy and for the same purpose – to be happy.