Uncategorized

My Inner Lioness

My Inner Lioness – A manifesto of my spiritual journey

I wrote a story for you.
 
This explains where I am now in my spiritual journey and I felt was important for me to share before I start my new business in earnest. I need to be 100% authentic in order to full share my unique gifts with the world and a lot has changed in my spiritual journey.
 
I was a teenager/young adult when I started to discover my charismatic spiritual gifts. I would pray for people and see images and sense their meaning for the person I was praying for. I would sometimes sense messages without an image. Looking back, I have often felt a stronger connection to the Holy Spirit (the unseen, guiding, and intuitive characteristics of God). There were no dad issues to cloud my relationship, as the Holy Spirit didn’t have a clear gender like Father God and Jesus. I certainly prayed to the entire trinity, but I just related to that ethereal aspect of God on a different level.
 
I went to a charismatic conference and went up for a prophetic word (message from God) for myself, and what stuck with me most was that she said I would be a spiritual leader like Deborah (the only female Judge and leader before Israel had kings), that I was strong like a lioness, protective, and someone who would be an example to others.
 
I got a similar prophetic word from someone I knew who saw me leading people up a mountain, looking like Joan of Arc. At the time I had hair about 2.5-3 feet long, and I took it as a sign I was meant to cut my hair (I feel more like my true self now that my hair is short again!)
 
No matter what church I was in, I often had a place of leadership of some kind, most often leading musical worship in some capacity. I’ve been using my musical gifts in church pretty much my whole life.
 
Nearly four years ago I started learning and educating myself about systems of oppression and racism in our country (and the world in general). I saw how the “system” of Christianity didn’t always align with Jesus’ teachings as I understood them. I saw how so many churches and prominent Christian leaders rejected people in both obvious ways (rejection of LGBTQIA+, women in leadership) and not so obvious ways (supporting people and political ideologies that perpetuate systems of oppression). I was involved in churches that were closer to allyship, supported women in leadership, and whose leadership ideology supported anti-racism. But stopped short of open, full support of progressive social justice. This isn’t to say the work they do isn’t important for some people groups, and they are able to reach people earlier on their journeys towards dismantling white supremacy. But I couldn’t continue being a part of something with such a huge cognitive dissonance between the grace and social justice work of Jesus himself, and the fear and oppression inherent in conservative mainstream Christianity. How could I possibly be a part of something that was starting to go against my journey towards dismantling my internalized white supremacy and work towards leveraging my privilege? So I slowly backed away.

I went through a period of shedding the patriarchal and oppressive elements of my faith until I got to a core of who Jesus is. And I began to open myself up to other ways of thinking within Christian tradition. I discovered Christian mysticism, Contemplative Christianity, and the idea of nonduality – that God isn’t “out there”, but a part of us. That seeking to transform our minds into the mind of Christ is to become one with Christ in the truest sense.

Through this, I also became more open to other forms of connecting with God that conservative Christianity often views as “evil” or “witchcraft”. I found that connection to the earth by paying attention to the cycles of life and the world (phases of the day, lunar cycles, menstrual cycles, and yes, even astrological movements), and utilizing God’s creation to support my physical, emotional/mental, and spiritual well being (herbs, essential oils, crystals), helped me feel more in tune with myself and supported my spiritual growth. I discovered that card reading, such as Tarot and Oracle cards, could be used to connect with God and hear the Holy Spirit much in the same way as casting lots in the Bible or spirit-led prayer (and that more Christians utilize them than you might think).

Ultimately, I’ve shed the judgment and spiritual assumptions made about Christian spirituality that have become commonplace in Western mainstream Christianity. I am passionate about supporting oppressed and marginalized people groups. Who am I to judge how someone connects to God or the Universe? The Holy Spirit guides us and speaks to us all individually. I’m done saying “This is the way it is”, because God is bigger than my and my capacity for understanding in this human existence.

I realize that this may alienate me from some people. That some of my Christian friends may think of me as a heretic, a “lost” Christian, or that I’ve fallen away from the faith. But I can tell you that after years of feeling far away from God and like something was missing, I am more connected than I have been in a VERY long time. I have a stronger sense of purpose and clarity on how I can serve people.

If you don’t resonate with my words and don’t want to be aligned with me, that’s okay. I wish you well on your own spiritual journey.

If you DO resonate with my words, I hope that I can be of service to you! My services can be adapted to fit your current level of comfort with spiritual things. Don’t want me to use crystals during a session? Totally fine! Only want me to use my Jesus Oracle cards (with Scripture verses on them) during an intuitive reading? I can do that!

Ultimately my goal is to help YOU connect with your own spirituality and inner voice, and that’s going to be different for every person. The more we connect to ourselves (our inner Christ consciousness, the words the Holy Spirit speaks to us when we are wholly listening, our higher selves, or whatever language you use) on a deep spiritual level, the more we are able to come alongside our brothers and sisters on this earth with us. The more we are able to connect in true equality to create support systems and community the more EVERYONE gets free. The more we connect with our inner voices, the more we are able to bring our unique gifts to the world and we ALL need to do that in order to rise up in love for one another.

Keep an eye out for some of the ways I plan to support equality through my business:

* Inclusive marketing (ie: not just cis skinny white people)
* Scholarship program for intersectional activists and POC/LGBTQIA+ folx who serve others (ie: spiritual leaders, doulas, etc)
* Centering POC/LGBTQIA+ voices and services, including a recommendation page and continuing to share their public work through my communication outlets.
* Paying POC/LGBTQIA+ spiritual leaders for services and supporting them through Patreon, etc (ie: not just taking their emotional work that they do for free).
* Continuing to do the emotional work of educating white/cis people about issues of privilege.
I am so excited to be on this journey!

Humbly and with Love,

Marieke
[Photo Collage by Marieke Schwartz]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s