My partner and I have a Sunday morning ritual of sleeping in until it's time for Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
We're both from very traditional Christian upbringings, but neither of us currently attends church on a regular basis.
We've talked about finding a place where we can worship together, though we've only visited one church in the whole time that we've known each other. We acknowledge the yearning for connection and relationship with others who believe in God as we do, but we're also clear that we really can't afford to spare the energy that's required to deal with all that often comes with traditional worship spaces (i.e., cliques, hypersexual closeted homos, and gay-bashing).
So I was really happy when I stumbled upon this show, and even more thrilled when I realized that he was just as captivated by it as I am. Week after week, we tune in to Oprah's conversations with the spiritual gurus of our time, from Deepak Chopra to Wayne Dyer to Iyanla Vanzant.
The first episode that we caught was with Gary Zukav, famous for the metaphysical masterpiece The Seat of the Soul. I started reading it shortly after one of his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Watching their conversation reminded me that, for whatever reason, I hadn't finished the book.
I found my copy on my bookshelf, still bookmarked on the page where I had left off. As I opened the book, I heard Oprah in the background talking about her favorite chapter; the one written about "intention." I looked down to the page and, lo and behold, it's in the heart of Intention I (the book actually has two chapters about intention).
If you're not freaked out yet, keep reading. It gets even weirder.
A few years ago, I was out Christmas shopping and came across Wayne Dyer's The Secret of the Power of Intention. At the time, I didn't even know who Wayne Dyer was, but a little voice inside me urged me to buy it as a gift for a friend. She later told me that it was one of the best gifts that she's ever received.
Her mother noticed her reading the book and shared an audio recording of Dr. Dyer's seminar on the power of intention, which my friend then shared with me.
While listening to the recordings, the idea that everything that exists does so as the result of both conscious and unconscious intention resonated with me in a way that is changing my life in ways I could never have imagined.
A part of me feels like I've always been aware of the relationship that exists between thought and reality, and I've experimented with it enough in my own life to know that it's real. What I was hearing from Dr. Dyer was simply external confirmation of a truth that is as central to my being as blood.
Ten years ago, when I was given a 50/50 chance of recovering from mycobacterium avium complex, I'm clear that the thoughts that I held about my life and my future changed my reality. I've always known that I was put on earth for a purpose (we all are, actually), and during the most difficult time of my life, the people closest to me kept reiterating that truth through their words and gestures of love.
My faith in God, the source from which I come, served as the bridge between thought and reality for me. Knowing who I am and from where I come provided me with the audacity to believe that, not only could I recover, but I could also accomplish everything that I'd ever envisioned for my life. And, because I also believe that God can (and often does) provide us with more than we could ever ask for or think of, my dreams of becoming an educator are now being actualized in a way that I could have never imagined: doctoral studies at the University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration.
I finished reading The Seat of the Soul and was reminded yet again that everything happens for a reason when it is supposed to. Most important though, I was reminded to see good in everything. All things are lessons that God would have us learn, with the end goal of realizing who(se) we truly are.
I hope to one day find a congregation of believers who witness God at that level and want to use their collective thoughts to actualize a better world for us all. Until then, I'll stay cuddled up on the couch watching Super Soul Sunday!