Some people have life experiences with religious observances, customs, understanding that they stay with for their entire lives.  My life’s journey has not been that way.

I have been blessed with a robust connection to the source of all that is, Great Spirit, Divine Creator, Higher Power, God in all names and forms.  This connection has emerged at different life stages, different communities, different types of buildings and no buildings at all. 

I was raised in a certain denomination and attended church as a child.  I remember the Sunday school classes and choir and eating sugar cubes from the coffee service.  During the adult services in the sanctuary, I experienced some connection and upliftment, but mostly I fidgeted and couldn’t wait to get on with my day (outside the building).  At some point, we stopped going to church as a family, though I continued to be involved with some youth and community-based groups.

In high school, I met folks with different orientation to the Divine Creator/ God.  I was very attracted to this organized religious system for various reasons.  As a young adult, I decided to make a choice for my own religious path (different from my childhood).  Something in my soul recognized and resonated with it.  It became a journey of deepening and exploring an alternate path of worship and understanding, through a very set structure of words, rules and concepts.

About 10 years after that, I was heading to Maui on a trip with my daughter.  At a local metaphysical bookstore, I purchased two books by Max Freedom Long, which explained his understanding of Hawaiian spiritual practices and the connection between humans and the Divine Creator.  This is presented in great detail from his journey in the early and mid 20th century.  Not only did I resonate with his understanding, but I found myself very comfortable and at home on the island of Maui, as if I’d lived there before. (This was the first and only time that I have had such a “feeling” and the first memorable experience that I had of spirit in nature and the natural world.)

I began to attend another kind of worship service in a building, which I found very inspiring as it afforded me a personal pathway to connect to my Higher Power, i.e. that I didn’t have to reach for any other concept than my own inner connection.  Soon I noticed the link between this understanding and the connection that I felt with the earth and ocean in Maui.   

The wisdom and connection that I experienced with the earth and spirit led me to immerse myself in Native American and West African traditions.  In this expanded state of understanding and connection, I have come to know and to realize that there are so many ways to connect to the Great Spirit.  And it is very personal.  My journey led me to more understanding and more connection as I progressed through / in my life.  About 14 years ago a path led back to Hawaiian spiritual practice that focuses on my inner one-ness and love and forgiveness.  I use this practice daily and incorporate reading from the long-ago acquired books of Max Freedom Long. 

I’m grateful for my journey.  I am sure moving forward that it will include my connection to spirit.  In my heart and mind, all pathways and ways to connect to the Divine Creator are wonderful! (and full of wonder!)