Skip to main content

The Big Questions

I spent this past Memorial Day weekend in one of my new favorite places in the world - Massachusetts.  Specifically, at Marc's parents' beautiful home near Boston.  The weekend was so peaceful but also stimulating - the LeVasseurs a philosophical, intellectual family that can debate, theorize, and just plain converse until the sun comes up.  Especially when there's excellent wine involved!

For a variety of reasons, on the train ride home, Marc started asking me some Big Questions.  Questions about how I deal with my undefined faith and if it bothers me that I don't have something solid that I believe in, the way Christians believe with all their soul that Jesus is the son of God, for example.  Does it bother me that I don't have a defined belief for what has happened to my loved ones that have passed away?

Marc has always been one to ask the Big Questions that mankind has never found an answer for.  What is the meaning of life?  His endlessly inquisitive mind has lead me to realize that mine is startlingly uninquisitive.  Or rather - it doesn't bother me that no one has the answers.  To me, spirituality and all those Big Questions are very personal things that slowly unfold.

When I was a kid, we didn't really go to church.  My mom was raised Episcopalian, but she never connected with a church when we were little and so we just never went.  I never believed in Christianity - it just never resonated with me.  I think it's something you have to fervently believe, and I didn't - it was almost an instinctive lack of belief.  This didn't bother me because I couldn't really imagine living differently.

For a long time I identified as an atheist, until I got older and realized if I couldn't have belief in a God, where was I getting this assurance that there isn't one?  I changed my label to agnostic with no existential crisis or fanfare.

In college, one of my favorite professors and mentors would always reference The Universe.  "The Universe will take care of you, The Universe will show you."  It endeared her to me further and I liked the idea.  I found that after I graduated, I thought and spoke in those terms more and more, and it was the first time I felt the need to have a spiritual connection or some kind of faith.  I wasn't able to define it anymore than "the universe," and I wasn't even sure I believed there was a fate or a way in which the universe provides.  But I was comforted by it.  After spending nearly your entire life in the school system and then college where everything has an order and is mapped out for you, going out on your own without any kind of organizational system is scary.  I needed an anchor, even if it was a vague one.

Here's where yoga really entered the picture.  The year after I graduated college, I started taking a gentle Hatha Yoga class that was pure stretching and relaxation - very little physical challenge and not a chaturanga in sight.  Because there was so little physical demand, which was new for me in a yoga class, I really began focusing the mind.  Eventually, these gentle classes started to feel like my very own church.  I'd dedicate one class to my mom, one to a friend in need, one to myself to try to wish for more strength or whatever you might think of.  I really loved how it felt and was very comforted by it.  It really showed me that I had some kind of space inside me that needed filling up by something spiritual.

Fast forward to today, and I've learned so much about yoga philosophy, meditation techniques, Sanskrit chants, even the Hindu gods and goddesses.  However, I still feel about the same as I did once I turned those gentle yoga classes into church.  I don't have any specific belief.  Ironically, two of my best friends in the world are very devout Christians (and shining examples of all that is good in Christianity!).  It helps to have them to listen and bounce ideas off of when we get into spiritual discussions.

I do wish I had a rock solid belief system.  I often find myself on a difficult meditation day - or a day when I skip meditation altogether - wondering what exactly I'm doing.  Am I praying to someone?  To myself?  If I'm not praying, who or what am I exactly communing with?  I know that I'm still very young and I have a lot of faith that my own spirituality and belief system will develop if I just keep practicing.

What about you, readers?  Is faith and belief something you struggle with - struggling to define it or struggling to maintain it?  Are you testing the waters or have you even decided any kind of spiritual connection isn't something you need?  I'd love to hear opinions.  Until next time...Namaste and enjoy beautiful June!


Popular posts from this blog

The Magic of Brain Gym

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about Brain Gym yet!  That is absolutely bananas, and also sort of great because after a few years of incorporating the little bits and pieces I learned from Shari (founder & director of Karma Kids Yoga and the only boss I've ever had with whom I've also done crazy things like the pose on the right, which she named "fart neck"), I finally took the "Brain Gym 101" course this past weekend to learn more in depth about the what's and wherefore's.

Brain Gym is a lot of things, but what it is primarily is a way to facilitate better learning through movement.  Although it started in the field of education and helping children learn better, everyone can benefit from it.  You may be reading and writing just fine, but do you have a situation where you struggle to communicate your needs clearly to a partner, a friend, a co-worker?  Do you struggle with random bouts of unexplained anxiety that you struggle to release…

Faith in Humanity

The oft-quoted Kathrine Switzer, long distance female trailblazer, once wrote, "If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."

Marathon Sunday is always one of my favorite days of the year in New York City.  I've spent these Sunday's over the last eight years that I've been here as a spectator and cheerleader, both in person and on the couch in my boot nursing my injury last year, I've been a volunteer, I went down with other marathoners and marathon volunteers to Staten Island after Sandy in 2012 after the race was canceled - and I've spent the last two years fighting to qualify for it.

Next year will be my year, along with my 'sole sister' (I'm making it happen) and work wife Laura, so this year was another year spent being absolutely inspired beyond measure cheering on the sidelines.  Seeing the heart, the raw emotion, the joy, the pain, the absolute love from the sidelines and from the runners is awe inspiring.  Ye…


It's been eight years today since I've been with the love of my life.

A few months from five years married (Costa Rica, here we come).

Eight years and a couple months since living in the city.

Seven years of Friendsgivings in NYC with my chosen family.

Seven years of Karma Kids Yoga - more chosen family and buckets of kids.

Ten years since college; fourteen of the friendships.

One picked-clean, no leftovers turkey last night.  A table of desserts.

And in ten days we do it again with family.

This morning I'm tired, still full, and grateful.