In the beginning...

I'll preface this post with the fact that I wrote it two years ago. Most of the content was written in some sort of intensely connected flow. Recently I felt called to share my story again.

As I start from the beginning in a new chapter of my life, I was brought back to the content I wrote during that time of intense focus and clarity. It's my hope in sharing it, my story, that I'll be inspired to continue to document this wild journey.  It's my hope that maybe it may inspire someone, comfort someone, or help someone boldly take action in some area of their life where they need healing. 


Whenever I tell my story I have a hard time figuring out where to start.

Do I tell people my name, age, location, occupation?

Do I share my soul?  

My story is long. Sometimes I wonder how at 27 years old (now 29 at the time of publishing this) I came to a place where I realized my story was its own novel.  It consists of many chapters and while most are fairly short, many still resonate and hold guidance in how I live my life today.  

 

As I sit down to start this blog, this journey, this new passage; I find myself feeling much like I’ve spent my life in a raft heading down river. I have fought the rapids, fallen trees, and sand banks. I have been thrown out of my raft and been sucked under, fought and clung to keep my head above water. I have come up for breath to find myself directly under the falls.

 There are moments of peace that come periodically as am rushed downstream in the whirlwind adventure that has been my life.  The peace of surrender. The raft is gone, I’m nearing the falls and I know the only way to survive is to surrender. Will it hurt? Will there be rocks at the bottom? Will the falls be Niagra? Or will I come to the edge and find my footing but choose to boldly dive off? Are these falls followed by more falls or still waters? Will I even make it through the first falls?

 The river is our spirit, it is taking us on our journey. I like so many other spirit seekers, have had so many questions and fears and doubts on my journey. I have had so much adventure.

 

The river that sustains me has had many periods of flooding as well as a few of drought. Both have changed the terrain. The landscape adjusts; trees are knocked down, flowers are watered, reeds grow to provide protection to nature’s fragile creatures during vulnerable life stages.  The animals adapt as the river changes. Some areas are lost and others are given new life. Our beautiful natural cycle. The seasons give birth to changes, the river is constantly flowing and shifting. The seasons force the inhabitants of the river to change. A painted turtle buries itself in the mud for the winter to reemerge in the spring.

This blog is about my journey of losing faith and finding spirit. My soul hopes that in sharing my story and experiences I may help assist others on their path of spiritual or self-discovery.  I get it, this sounds unbelievably Woo-Woo. I've learned to love and accept that word. It helps me keep my ego and imagination in check. But life has moments of awe, it has moments of Woo-Woo. It has moments where you can not escape the power and wonder that exists around you.  

 Let me provide you an example.

In this example imagine that the river is the source of life.  It is a representation of our spirit. Water keeps us hydrated, the stream provides fish for our food, the water nourishes the land to grow plants we need to breathe and survive.  We can not live far from the river. It can guide you on your passage downstream or sometimes we fight with all our might to go back upstream but the current is too strong.

We simply can not go back the way we came.  

 We read and speak thousands of words every day. Sometimes I wonder if we are really understanding what we are saying and using the word as it was intended to be used. Often times in discussion of spirituality or religion we get caught up in semantics.  I frequently hear things like “I’m spiritual but not religious.”

For a long time, I personally struggled with how atheists could find purpose, meaning or happiness without some sort of faith.  It has only been as of recently that I have realized that having faith and having spirit are two totally different things, by even the core definition of the words.

 Spirit is not a religious figure, it is a state of existence.

When I speak of connection to spirit- I speak of the deep connection to my life force, my driving energy, my purpose, that which completes and fulfills me and is necessary for my survival.  So when the first period came where my connection was weakened or disconnected, everything in my world felt out of place. Suddenly it doesn’t matter how well built your boat is if there is no water to go downstream.  

When disconnected from spirit I constantly find myself asking:

Who am I?

What is my purpose?

What makes me happy?

How can I be happy?

How can I be fulfilled?

 

I’ve sought different ways to answer these questions. Different religions, relationships, hobbies, and even drugs. Ultimately, I am beginning to understand that my purpose is to follow the river.  

Sharing my choices, observations and discoveries are what I believe I am here to do. I am here to take everything I have learned and share it with anyone who is willing to listen. Anyone seeking guidance, answers or just companionship on this often lonely passage. 

 A few years ago I had the privilege of telling a little piece of my story to a newscaster who had decided to feature my placenta encapsulation business. We sat down and talked for nearly two hours about just a small portion of my story. She was amazed and intrigued. When the piece came out, I was almost disappointed at first. I had thought they’d sell my business, my professionalism. After a few hours of feeling sullen and a bit disappointed I realized what they had given me is a valuable gift,  Instead of selling my business, they sold my story. Not only was the story featured on the local station, but quickly spread across the country.  

 It was the first time have ever felt like my story wants to be heard as much as it needs to be told.

Laurel Miller

Entrepreneur, Wife, Mom