Attending Mass each Sunday and Catholic school during the week, Roman Catholic dogma was a part of my formal education as well as personal experience throughout my childhood. But even at a young age, something deep inside of me would not allow me to fully "get on board" with this indoctrination -- what I now see as EHEs (Exceptional Human Experiences) kept me open to possibilities outside of those offered by my religion, especially the idea of reincarnation.
Midway through high school, I was transplanted from New York City and my private school education to suburban life and public school in Maryland where I experienced a “life through the looking glass” level of culture shock. The experience left me questioning just about everything I thought I knew before, including who I thought I was and who I wanted to be in this strange land and beyond. This included the examination of my religious beliefs as well; first of the ones that had never really “sat quite right” with me, and then over time, ones that had once fit into neat categories that were now being thrown catawampus.
In finally “escaping” my fate as a high school student in a school where I just didn’t fit in, I took a world religions class at the local community college, and found myself most intrigued by eastern religions, philosophies, and practices. From there, I began to devour books from the “Self-Help” and “New Age” sections of libraries and bookstores, (I think I read everything Shirley MacLaine had written up to that point about her own spiritual journey and mystical experiences,) and thus began my exploration into being spiritual without being religious.
Yet in all this exploration, I never looked to another person or faith/spiritual community to guide me towards new experiences. Instead I took a solitary and more academic approach, (at least until I joined an "Artists' Way" group about twenty years ago. But that's a story for another time...)
In twenty years of dedicated spiritual exploration/practice, I've been most fortunate in having both personal and professional experiences that delve into the spiritual. Though for a while I held a somewhat negative view of the role of religion in my own life, I am now so grateful for its influence in the formation of my values and by extension, my current beliefs and experiences.
Currently, I consider myself a Spiritual Eclectic and I tend towards a pluralistic view of spirituality. Years ago, I decided that if the Great Creator had created even individual snowflakes so that no two were exactly alike, there were surely many different ways to God/Goddess, to reach the divine and express the Oneness or unity of life. As a spiritual mentor who appreciates both the perennial and the pluralistic views of spirituality, I feel comfortable working with others of different faiths.
One of the reasons I've felt compelled to create this website is to offer others something that I wish had been available to me when I was taking on this kind of exploration - a place where I could take my questions and have them validated, but not necessarily answered for me. How comforting that would have been to have a place where I could just be with the questions, and be supported in asking them. Wouldn't it be great to be able to take these questions to someone, not so that they could necessarily answer them for you, but simply so that they could be there for you as you waited for the answers to be revealed? Sometimes questions don't have immediate answers. Sometimes questions lead to additional questions...