Searching For Truth: A Blog by Sherri Smith
I work with clients in groups and individually and often as someone first approaches either my website or comes in for a consultation the initial question is posed ‘what does spirituality mean?’ I thought I would share my experience in that which it has come to mean to me to better prepare one for their own journey.
Growing up we had to recite the Lord’s prayer in schools and church on Sundays. I never gave either much thought as they were both outside of me, something to be memorized but not holding an immense amount of relevance. The depth I invested in it was the depth I received – but it was like a guidepost in how to best live my life. This coupled with the sometimes confusing instruction and behaviour of those imparting these teachings and morals imposed on me by my family created the belief system I operated under for many years. As new information came in, it too became adopted as a guidepost unless it conflicted with that which I had been taught, or it was put on a shelf as ‘the dark side’ and not to be explored. Or forgotten. The introduction of the internet brought in more anomalies that didn’t fall in line with my belief system, as well as experiences as my travel life expanded beyond my current locale. I began to see that something was amiss and it sparked my curiosity. How could we live under one God and on one planet and yet have so many unanswered or conflicting beliefs? And so much hatred and fear around speaking of it or acting on it?
Then our society began to explore a greater depth of the human body and its capacity to ‘think’ beyond the mind, in the mental and emotional body. How trauma impacted us on a cellular level and created memory of the experience and a belief system for the future. It sparked in me the desire to read beyond the text and into deeper and non-devotional texts, ones beyond just a story of someone else and some rules and poetry. I began looking more to current scientific facts and into history deeper than most had explored. It really engaged me; more than anything had captured my interest in my life perhaps. And it really started a process of piecing together some very big gaps in understanding of a greater picture for me.
My first spiritual mentor if you will was my yoga instructor back in 1985, and although she has since passed, she instilled inquiry into something much more within me and beyond me. It was the first of 2 times that my body actually levitated and she held no solid explanation as to why it occurred for me during savasana (final relaxation posture) but the direct experience I had became one of my new truths. Then some interaction with spirit that I was beginning to understand from my childhood, which my parents dismissed as imagination as well as a growing list of experiences got me really desiring to dig for a greater understanding. I continued to fill in the boxes on my passport applications and other applications I was presented as religious with an X because it was the right thing and least controversial thing to do but it was like I was living a lie. It no longer captured that which I was feeling. It was not that I no longer believed the stories, but I was experiencing concrete things at random points in my life that did not fall into the big story.
When I really started to walk towards something bigger was when I was in Arizona and randomly turned down a red dirt road with a cardboard sign at the intersection saying ‘Dinosaur Way’. I followed this path into the depths of the desert until I came upon a small lean to shelter with a couple young indigenous men of the area, of Navajo descent, and they offered me the opportunity to look at some dinosaur bones still embedded in rock that were millions of years old. Because it was on native land, no excavation could be done so it remained in its natural state. In witnessing each of the almost perfect remains of raptors and such I was in awe, but in stepping back and witnessing the whole region I asked the question ‘What happened’? because it was as though time came to an immediate halt in this playground of history. I took several photos and spent the afternoon there conversing and learning that which they had come to understand of the area and its demise and again, it only further confused the story and the timelines I was taught. It meant this world, this earth, that I had come to understand was still in a young age, was in fact much much older than I had led to believe. I had direct experience to this revelation, not a story. So I tucked that into my file system in my mind for later reflection. They suggested that I visit some inscriptions from another indigenous community before I left the region so I took them up on the offer. You had to be invited into the depths of this area as it was sacred land and very beautifully preserved so an element of trust needed to be established. I came upon the ruins called Inscription Rock within the Hopi Reservation and was in awe of the hieroglyphs and petroglyphs depicting a time much before us, but had little understanding of the meaning until a much later date in my life. I took many photos during this spectacular day and often revisit them as a deeply trans formative point in my life.
Science advanced and with it the calling of deeper meaning to life and more and more anomalies which were not revealed to the general public but available to ‘alternative media’ which I had begun to become active in reading and studying. I would witness year after year more grief, despair, separation and greed consuming our communities and our planet and would become overwhelmed with sorrow and the confusion of how to invite harmony in, or how to fix it to some capacity. This darkness seemed to grow at a speed that matched my anxiety and my then chaotic state of existence. I was living my own dimension of that which I was witnessing.
Then yoga returned to my life. It was brought to the West in the 90’s with somewhat of an explosion in the alternative world and my passion for it was recalled. Again I was deeply fortunate into whose class I landed because one of the first things beyond my ability to restore a component of self-love to myself after years of self-destruction, judgement and abuse was a greater wisdom called Ayurveda. It in itself is a deep spiritual teaching, a limb of the yogic path, and something I chose to explore. Although the Hindu religion was threaded fairly tight throughout the teachings, I chose to look beyond it and into what the text was implying with our bodies and minds. It was so empowering even without the need to honour their deities as it gave the power back to the body, that we were something so much greater than that which I had been taught. Now this isn’t meant to rattle the cage or ruffle the feathers because I was a child when I first was exposed to religion so I can’t say my commitment to the text was there to the depth it was now, but there lay before me something more….and something beyond the original timeline that I had been taught. I realized I was onto something because I knew that I stood amongst dinosaur bones and wanted some answers as to how that happened.
Spirituality to me isn’t a one size fits all study. I am still walking this spiritual path, but what it has become is a continual revelation of more. More facts, more history, deeper connection to something greater than ourselves, more power within us than we are led to believe and a beautiful thread of love and curiosity that pervades it. If it claims to be the only way, I move away, because that to me says an end. I don’t believe the journey will ever be complete but the curiosity, desire and commitment to understand more and more remains. There are more pieces of the puzzle being filled in but I need a bigger table to lay the pieces on because as one corner seems to become complete, another leg is added onto it. Spirituality is a path of many teachers, many experiences and many traditions. It encapsulates all cultures, and many core beliefs of these cultures but also juicy bits of detail that help to fill in those voids. It is beyond just our bones and muscles and mind. It entails our hearts, our emotions and our spirit. It encapsulates that which is beyond us, beyond this world and even this galaxy. I have come to know our spirit is energy and a frequency that can thrive within our physical bodies and also beyond our physical bodies. In working at the depth I am now with spirit, I am in awe of its ability to be so magically alive in each moment, within each living thing and forever present. I am in love with its ability to assist, and to be called on, and for it to be a quieter and more gentle guidepost of wisdom. It is a teaching that is meant to be explored rather than understood. This is not something that has come to me overnight; it has been a lifetime study, sometimes a dedicated student, and sometimes I miss out for weeks on doing my homework, but I continually return to the study because nothing has captured my interest as this has. It brings me immense hope, it brings me direct revelation, it brings me clarity and it brings me peace; all the while the world around me seems to be collapsing. I recognize that as one thing dissolves, another is created so it gives me immense hope that amidst the sometimes painful changes occurring in the world, something much greater is being created. One that serves the greater humanity instead of a segment. One door closes and another opens. Its a beautiful thing. When I know I am on the right path the puzzle continues to fit together in this beautiful and harmonious way and when I have strayed away from truth it starts to become jumbled again, much like it first appeared in my youth.
I welcome you to explore your spirituality. It is the most rewarding and joyful path you can take. You step beyond the ‘normal’ of what society is trying to feed you and look for your own unique truth, or level of truth you are ready for. If someone had of shown me the answers or told me this story I wouldn’t have believed then it because it would have been at a literal level only, one more thing for me to swallow, and at that time not within my capabilities of understanding. Do know it requires time and commitment, it requires us to stay curious, practice and to have an openness to discover more truths but the payoff is indescribable.
One final piece that holds maybe the deepest relevance in creating the healing needed today is this; spirituality honours the feminine equally to the masculine, if not more. The religious world is or has been changed to one of great masculine dominance, maybe not the original intention but it is what it has become. And one that does not look much farther than the physical world in which we walk upon, the feminine. The spiritual path deeply honours the feminine and well beyond the earthly plane. In saying masculine or feminine, it is important to understand the implication of the word – it is beyond embodiment. It is a quality of living, a level of understanding the elements of all living things. It is our behaviour and interaction with all things. It is the structure and container that holds us, of how we utilize, teach from, interact with and thrive from. The feminine in its greatest form is one of love, of that which all is born from and that to which we return…it is that which we consider creation in its greatest form and every level that permeates from it. It requires the union of action and seed.
Sherri Smith from A State of Bliss has trained extensively and globally with ancient modalities and traditions to combine the wisdom these teachings into her own unique therapies. We are deeply connected to the natural world and many of the ills of society today are a result of our separation from this. Sherri's commitment to her own journey keep her immersed in teachings, experiences and advancement, in turn providing rich and rare content to her offerings. There is a yearning within each of us to live a greater life. Discover your power, your gifts and your truths.