Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week

Dance, Religion and Spirituality is the theme of the UCT School of Dance’s seventh international dance conference entitled Confluences, which runs on campus from 11-13 July 2013.
Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
Designed to stimulate dance academics, students, choreographers and other dance fans, the conference incorporates the presentation of formal academic papers, research seminars and panel discussions as well as daily workshops and thought-provoking performances.

Discussions will centre on “the complex issues of the interconnectedness (or lack thereof) of the practices and experiences surrounding dance, religion and spirituality,” says Confluences 7 chair and director of the UCT School of Dance, Gerard Samuel.

Some of the intriguing titles of papers to be presented include Dr Doreen Gordon’s “From ‘other worldly’ to ‘world dance’: an exploration of the institutionalisation of dançá dos orixá as an artistic field in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil”, “Post-positivist Spirituality in Dance and Somatic Research: a narrative” by Dr Jill Green (North Carolina, USA) and “Dancing the Body through the City: preliminary concepts and notes on mobility, ritual, freedom and spectacle in the Minstrel Carnival, Cape Town” by Jade Gibson (South Africa).

Acclaimed choreographer and performer Vincent Mantsoe is the keynote speaker. He is now based in Saint Pont, France with his company, Association Noa-Cie Vincent Mantsoe.

Range of performances

Confluences begins at 9am daily at the UCT School of Dance, culminating in a range of performances each evening. See Jacki Job and Garth Erasmus’s Truth or Fiction and extracts from choreographic works from the UCT dance students under the banner Why Fit In? on Thursday, 11 July at 7pm. Vincent Mantsoe offers a rare performance of Gula on Friday, 12 July at 7pm. “This is arguably one of the signature choreographic works that has jettisoned this beguiling artist into the international arena,” says Samuel.

Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
The evening also showcases Jamaican-born Lisa Wilson’s Ancestral Whisperings, which premiered at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban in 2012.

There will be a mixed bill featuring the award-winning Underground Dance Theatre and freelance artist Nicola Elliott, fresh from their tour to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on Saturday, 13 July at 6pm.

The panel discussion entitled “What Place for Dance in Monotheistic Worship?” takes place on Friday, 12 July at 9am.

Go to www.uct.dance.ac.za for more information and online bookings. Would-be delegates can also sign up at the registration desk from 8.30am each morning. A limited number of tickets for performances will be sold one hour before show time at R40. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Those wanting to attend the full conference pay an all-inclusive fee of R700 (i.e. entrance to all papers, workshops and performances, daily conference kit/programme, complimentary tea and coffee). The cost is R200 for students. All those attending as a single day visitor (papers and workshops only) pay R70. There are no card facilities.

Afrikaans women’s magazine launches

Media24 Women’s Magazines have launched the first-ever issue of a unique Afrikaans magazine, Lééf – met hart & siel. The monthly glossy magazine is targeted at the modern Afrikaans woman who is looking for spiritual fulfillment, for personal growth and guidance and, above all, a sense of living a complete and balanced life.
Associate editor Christine Ferreira says that what sets the magazine apart from the many other women’s magazines is its strong holistic message and focus on personal values, the community and family, religion and spirituality. The contemporary title has two core pillars – heart and soul.

“The stress of today’s fast pace, global and local issues, and societal demands takes its toll on many. There is a need for a kind of ‘spiritual safe house’, something that addresses today’s issues but also instills a sense of balance and gives one that necessary guidance and helping hand.

“We believe readers will find solace in Lééf – met hart & siel, as it is a holistic read with much uplifting guidance and advice.”

Sarie editor Michélle van Breda is editorial head and writers such as Professor Piet Naude (motivational speaker and ethics professor at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth), Marzanne Leroux-Van der Boon and American preacher Joyce Meyer will contribute on a regular basis.

Lééf – met hart & siel retails at R17,95 nationwide and is also available at Christian book shops.

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

With the hospitality industry at its busiest during the holiday period, it is also at its most vulnerable. Here are some of the common risks owners face and how best to mitigate them.
Paul Halley
Paul Halley
1. Make sure even Santa can’t get in…

With a few weeks left before the holiday rush, now is an ideal time to check all safety and security installations such as alarm systems, perimeter fencing, fire equipment and safety evacuation procedures. All staff should be receiving refresher training so they are well prepared to respond to emergencies such as security threats, fires, floods, guest injuries, etc.

Guests should also be provided with general safety tips and made aware of the establishment’s safety and evacuation procedures on arrival. Guests should be urged to report incidents such as credit card fraud, theft, suspicious behaviour of on-site contractors (or even staff) and should be encouraged to keep their valuables locked up. Any incidents resulting in possible injuries also need to be recorded in detail.

2. Keeping afloat

The country is expected to continue experiencing sporadic, heavy rains over the coming months, and while this is a welcomed relief, the disastrous effects of lightning and floods are already evident. To help limit potential damage, holiday establishments should ensure that:

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

On the flipside, until dam levels reach more acceptable levels, water restrictions, and even outages will persist. The challenge here is flooding due to geyser or pipe bursts from the pressure fluctuations or taps being left open during water outages hence, establishments should ensure that:

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

3. Early morning blues

To deal with the volumes of guests, kitchens often close later with staff leaving in the early hours of the morning. At this point, they are usually very tired and may neglect to check that deep fat fryers, stoves, and cooking equipment are switched off, that freezers are operating normally and that the premises are secured and alarm system activated. Not only is there a danger of frozen goods spoiling but the establishment also runs the risk of fire damage. Implementing and requiring strict adherence to a robust shut-down procedure becomes critical; requiring additional checks and a review of the shutdown process is, therefore, also advisable.

4. Business uninterrupted

These checks and balances are invaluable in managing risks, however, cannot completely shield businesses from losses. The cost of potential liability claims (there is always that one guest who has too much festive cheer and gets injured), flood damage or even loss of income – coupled with costs of rehousing guests – if an establishment isn’t able to operate for a certain period, can be exorbitant. As the ultimate safeguard, comprehensive hospitality insurance and business interruption covers should form part of every service provider’s risk management strategy.

Two Types of Spirituality … Faith and Knowledge

The term … is a … term. Usually, when one mentions … the first thought in many people’s minds is that of … While religion is an aspect of … spi

The term “spirituality” is a confusing term. Usually, when one mentions “spirituality”, the first thought in many people’s minds is that of “religion”. While religion is an aspect of spirituality, spirituality is not an aspect of religion. Spirituality covers other areas of belief as well. Put simply, spirituality is the all-encompassing arena of “belief in something greater.” This can be a god, oneself as the greater being, or simply, the life-force or essence that surrounds us all. But, society and religion lead their followers in many different directions replacing the core meanings with moralistic and idealistic terms in hopes of garnering attention by answering those “big questions” pertaining to life, death, the after-life, and a god.

— Faith vs. Knowledge —

While many religious zealots view the idea of knowledge-based spirituality as “agnostic”, indeed, it is not. As a matter of fact, even agnosts believe in something, which provides them an alternative stance to organized religion and gods. You have to believe in something to take a stance!

Faith-based spirituality is the belief and trust that things will be as they will be in the future. It is the acceptance of the “great mysteries” of life and death for which religion and society teaches that there are no “definitive answers.” Such an approach to spirituality creates a fear-based environment based on gods who are vindictive and uncaring. Believers place their lives into the hands of an unseen being in the hope that all will “work out for the best.”

Knowledge-based spirituality is the understanding and kinship of all and the desire to achieve and progress through life toward one’s own Vision and goals. The “great mysteries” become topics of personal research and, with an open mind, answers can be acquired from the environment and the Universe. This type of spirituality invites one to set aside fears and examine the information and entities of the surrounding environment. One has the chance to take life into one’s own hands and guide it along a path to one’s own desires.

— Hatred and Faith —

One of the problems of today is that, in our world, wars, hatred, and bias begin in the moral grounds established by religion and society. Religion creates a solid separation between different factions of humanity. These factions take the core ideals of society and mutate them to suit the needs of their particular beliefs. In the end, when societal boundaries are breached, and control languishes over the ranks, uprisings and bitter conflicts begin to restore order. The stronger of the factions wins and forces their beliefs on the weaker.

In faith-based factions, fear is instilled and faith that a great hereafter exists. People fight to maintain their beliefs because they’ve finally “forced” their conscious minds to accept the unanswered questions based on invisible and unfounded guesses by their “noblemen”. The battles are fought to ensure that their foundations and comfort zones are not affected by the infidels of the intruding factions.

However, with knowledge-based factions, fear is minimized and the great hereafter is right here and now and continues on forever. Knowledge provides the mind with a greater degree of processing information arriving at our many senses in many contexts. It allows us to look beyond the basics and outside of the accepted “comfort zones” to comprehend the ideas and ideals of other entities, both physical and spiritual.

— Opening Your Mind —

As part of our being, we all have the need to believe in something greater than ourselves. There is a part of us that “has to belong.” Many people fall deeply into organized religion because it provides the camaraderie and a focal point for their community as well as a basis for the moral code of the community. These, in addition to the faith-based answers to the “big questions”, provide a comfort zone and a foundation for many. However, by opening one’s mind and examining the many facets behind these “big questions”, one can develop and acquire the true answers within one’s own context.

What is the key? Context-free rationalization. Of course, “context-free” is a little strong as we must all have a context, or a point of reference, that we can use to compare information and apply our rules and belief systems. However, open experience and vast knowledge can provide us with multiple contexts that we can use to devise a wider view of a particular piece of information. This wider view is what is called an “open mind”. The open mind has no safety zone as it is always risking it’s “comfort zones” in search of new information and new ways of examining situations and other beings.

— What’s next? —

Acquiring this knowledge and ability to move across many contexts is not a simple task as it requires the ability to acquire, accept, and process information outside of our current context. It is a “chicken or the egg” situation; however, it is a decision that we make as humans to initiate such a move.

By opening our minds and perceptions, we allow our conscious minds the ability to communicate more freely with our subconscious minds. In doing so, the vast amounts of information available in the collective unconscious, “The Grid”, “The Universal Library” is available to us, simply by “looking.” Consider the idea of opening the mind as a primer for what follows once you are able to use your mind to its fullest capabilities and acquire immeasurable knowledge from all entities across the Universe and throughout time.

This is the true meaning of spirituality. The knowledge and desire to exist with and within the Universal essence. To accept and acquire knowledge that is freely available to you through time and space. Finally, the knowledge to use this information in a way that is beneficial to you, as protecting and projecting yourself, you are providing a pathway for others and the betterment of your communities.

— About the Author —

Edward B. Toupin is an author, publisher, life-strategy coach, counselor, Reiki Master, technical writer, and PhD Candidate living in Las Vegas, NV. Among other things, he authors books, articlesScience Articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. Check out some of his recent print and electronic books as well as his articles covering various life-changing topics!

Addictions – Spirituality vs Religion

Why spirituality and religion are two distinct practices, and why only one of them is beneficial to addiction freedom.

Without question, addiction freedom does require a spiritual transformation. And while Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) should be credited with uncovering that element, most participants fail to make an authentic spiritual transformation. I believe this can be mainly attributed to the false pretense that spirituality is somehow connected to religion. Spirituality and religion are distinctly and undeniably different practices. Religion is a community or group practice while spirituality is a personal journey. The practice of outward ideals and doctrines is not, nor has it ever been, a substitute for inner righteousness. Can one practice religion and spirituality? Yes, of course! However, one should not assume they are synonymous because they aren’t! Ironically, this is exactly what occurs in the Twelve-Step Program. Alcoholics Anonymous professes its independence from organized religion, but that’s a bit disingenuous since the majority of programming is sponsored by churches and various religious denominations. Moreover, two of the early, influential leaders of (AA) were deeply rooted in religion. Frank Buchman was a Lutheran minister, and Samuel shoemaker was a rector in the Episcopal faith.

While the end goal of both spirituality and religion is to establish a personal relationship with the divine, only spirituality can deliver on that promise. Religion is a community or group based practice, which usually follows a doctrine or set of ideals. When practiced correctly, spirituality is a personal journey that encompasses self-reflection, discovery, growth and a greater connection to ones higher consciousness and the divine. Truthfully, I have nothing against religion if it is practiced authentically. However, when it is not and is passed off as spirituality it becomes a grand facade that is completely counterproductive to addiction recovery. This is why many folks in (AA) trade masks or exhibit a behavioral transference. In other words, they transfer their addiction to (AA) or religion. Four of the steps of (AA) touch on self-discovery and selflessness, however, that valuable guidance is quickly quashed by the concept of powerlessness.

A spiritual practice must be born in the fire of liberation. One’s higher consciousness or spirit doesn’t exist in the realm of anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, judgment or fear. Consequently, to make that connection you must take the necessary action to relinquish your fears and insecurities. To put it bluntly, you must wipe the slate clean. It really boils down to looking your demons squarely in the eye! However, it’s hard to liberate or empower yourself if you’re being told that you are powerless! Think about it! Have you allowed others to usurp your personal power, strip your personal identity, or prevent you from following your true divine purpose? These issues can only be addressed in an authentic spiritual practice. If you’d like to embark on an authentic spiritual path, begin by examining you fears and self-limiting beliefs. Adopt a set of principles and stand firmly – no matter what anyone says or does. Take back your personal power by learning to say what you mean and mean what you say. Say no to others when it’s necessary. And, learn to speak your will in a calm and confident way.

In Summary, religion and spirituality can be practiced together; however, they are vastly different paths. Religion is a community path while spirituality is a personal journey. The path that is most beneficial to addiction freedom is spirituality.

If you’d like more information on overcoming addictions or how to make an authentic spiritual transformation, click on the links below to get a free copy of my E-Course!

RegardsFree Reprint Articles,

David Roppo

The Addiction Freedom Coach

addictions

overcoming addictions

overcome addictions

Addiction Recovery – Cognitive Psycho-hypocrisy

(CBT) is based on the assumption that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned. Therefore, the goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting. Many of the CBT principles adopt stoicism: the emotional indifference, especially admirable patience and endurance shown in the face of adversity. The therapist’s goal is to conduct treatment sessions in a way that promotes the persons self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth while teaching him or her to unlearn problematic behavior and replace it with more helpful behavior.
No one would dispute the fact that addictive behavior is problematic; however, unlearning it is an impossible task since addiction is not a learned response! My experience has taught me that the root cause of addiction is the emotional trauma caused by family dysfunction. This emotional trauma directly relates to the addicted persons self-esteem, and for all intent and purposes can be defined as a self-esteem issue. Self-esteem is defined as having self-respect and confidence in your own merit as an individual person. So, how does one obtain a greater sense of self worth or a high level of self-esteem? Is it a commodity that can be purchased, a fruit that can be plucked from a tree, or a behavior that can be learned? Well, the proponents of (CBT) would have you believe that it can be learned, but I beg to differ with that hypothesis. Self-esteem can not be learned, purchased, or discovered through external modification or stimuli. You see, possessing confidence and merit as a person is a product of self-love, and that comes from within. However, self-respect and self-love must be propagated by the fuel of liberation! Liberation is defined as achieving freedom from traditional socially imposed constraints. In regard to addiction, these socially imposed constraints are directly related to family dysfunction. Ironically, (CBT) principles are based on stoicism which promotes the passive approach of patience and endurance in the face of adversity. In my opinion, this approach is not only fundamentally amiss but is also dangerous, and the very reason why many develop an addiction to anti depressants! How can the addicted person gain his or her self-respect by taking a stoic and passive approach by disconnecting from the dysfunctional patterns that caused the addiction in the first place?

Addiction counselors who employ (CBT) generally combine it with the support of a 12-step group program. This is not only counterproductive, but it also exacerbates the before-mentioned misguided stoic approach. The (CBT) model also outlines depression as a fundamental of psychological dysfunction, whereby describing it as hopelessness and a feeling of being powerless to change a situation. Ironically, the 12-step program promotes self-incrimination and powerlessness. Bombarding group members with shame and guilt, this program instills the inferior beliefs of personal shortcomings and defects of character. In my opinion, this is not only counterproductive, but it is also dangerous.

In summary, the primary purpose of (CBT) is to teach addicted people to modify their problematic behavior by unlearning and replacing it more helpful behavior, which is supposed to lead to an increase in self-esteem. But, taking a stoic approach to a problem that requires liberation and empowerment is absolutely absurd and hypocritical as well. The very concept of (CBT) undermines and contradicts the psychotherapy community’s basic understanding of self-esteem. I wonder if the proponents of (CBT) deal with their own emotional issues by taking a stoic approach and sweeping them under the rug! Last time I checked, disconnecting from a problem, ignoring it, and sweeping it under the rug does not liberate you from it and nor does it promote self-respect! The pile under the rug keeps growing until one falls flat on their face!!

Addictions – Spirituality Vs Religion

Without question, addiction freedom does require a spiritual transformation. And while Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) should be credited with uncovering that element, most participants fail to make an authentic spiritual transformation. I believe this can be mainly attributed to the false pretense that spirituality is somehow connected to religion. Spirituality and religion are distinctly and undeniably different practices. Religion is a community or group practice while spirituality is a personal journey. The practice of outward ideals and doctrines is not, nor has it ever been, a substitute for inner righteousness. Can one practice religion and spirituality? Yes, of course! However, one should not assume they are synonymous because they aren’t! Ironically, this is exactly what occurs in the Twelve-Step Program. Alcoholics Anonymous professes its independence from organized religion, but that’s a bit disingenuous since the majority of programming is sponsored by churches and various religious denominations. Moreover, two of the early, influential leaders of (AA) were deeply rooted in religion. Frank Buchman was a Lutheran minister, and Samuel shoemaker was a rector in the Episcopal faith.

While the end goal of both spirituality and religion is to establish a personal relationship with the divine, only spirituality can deliver on that promise. Religion is a community or group based practice, which usually follows a doctrine or set of ideals. When practiced correctly, spirituality is a personal journey that encompasses self-reflection, discovery, growth and a greater connection to ones higher consciousness and the divine. Truthfully, I have nothing against religion if it is practiced authentically. However, when it is not and is passed off as spirituality it becomes a grand facade that is completely counterproductive to addiction recovery. This is why many folks in (AA) trade masks or exhibit a behavioral transference. In other words, they transfer their addiction to (AA) or religion. Four of the steps of (AA) touch on self-discovery and selflessness, however, that valuable guidance is quickly quashed by the concept of powerlessness.

A spiritual practice must be born in the fire of liberation. One’s higher consciousness or spirit doesn’t exist in the realm of anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, judgment or fear. Consequently, to make that connection you must take the necessary action to relinquish your fears and insecurities. To put it bluntly, you must wipe the slate clean. It really boils down to looking your demons squarely in the eye! However, it’s hard to liberate or empower yourself if you’re being told that you are powerless! Think about it! Have you allowed others to usurp your personal power, strip your personal identity, or prevent you from following your true divine purpose? These issues can only be addressed in an authentic spiritual practice. If you’d like to embark on an authentic spiritual path, begin by examining you fears and self-limiting beliefs. Adopt a set of principles and stand firmly – no matter what anyone says or does. Take back your personal power by learning to say what you mean and mean what you say. Say no to others when it’s necessary. And, learn to speak your will in a calm and confident way.

In Summary, religion and spirituality can be practiced together; however, they are vastly different paths. Religion is a community path while spirituality is a personal journey. The path that is most beneficial to addiction freedom is spirituality.

Are Science And Religion Mutually Exclusive?

It was a refreshing experience to hear the meeting of science and religion at the 42nd annual Spring Conference of the Wisconsin Association on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse in Madison. In a society that has increasingly grown more secular since the 1960’s, to have a distinguished psychiatrist share his belief that religion plays a vital part in recovery is evidence to support the claim that science and religion do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Michael T. Wikowsky, MD, MA Wisconsin Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, was the first plenary speaker of the conference and shared from his Jewish heritage. He began his remarks with an interesting point about breath. In Hebrew, breath and spirit are the same word. We have often heard that addiction is a disease of the spirit, and so the idea that breath, which is of the body, and one’s spirit should be tied together is logical. He illustrated his point by sharing experiences he has had with teenagers. Wikowsky has worked with teens for more than 14 years and he said that studies show that religion has a positive effect on kids, because it helps to delay their first experimentation with drugs. Instead of a first exposure coming in middle school, it would come in high school. More importantly, religion contributes to a teen’s decision to discontinue use after that first experience.
Religion, as Wikowsky defined it, is centered on faith, belief and ritual, and how people relate to themselves, each other, the world and their higher power. Wikowsky pointed out that religion is different from spirituality, which is on a personal level, transcending outside of one’s self. It’s an individual activity, but it is about relationships with others. You have probably often heard people say, “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.” Spirituality would be that means toward an ultimate transformation.
The teenaged years are all about transformation, as Wikowsky explained, as there are tremendous hormonal changes, coupled with the maturation of their brain. The teenage mind is ever-changing. This results in bad decision making, as the brain is reorganizing its reward system. The teenage years leave a person more vulnerable to addiction, and he pointed out that 10th grade is the year for the most suicides, as depression and life changes. Religion serves to help the teen through these transitions and in an ever-changing world their religion is something that does not change.
We are body, mind and spirit. Wikowsky understands the importance of the religious/spiritual aspect of addiction, as well as the scientific facts of how the human brain matures and functions. In his work with teenagers, he embraces the religious, rather than summarily dismissing it is myth and nonsense.
Wikowsky draws from his own heritage, his scientific training and the experience of his complicated and often mysterious teenaged patients, to bring two worlds together.
AODA professionals are always seeking new knowledge. The theme of the conference was “Many Roads to Recovery: New Knowledge, New Hope.” The theme of the conference was summarized by WAAODA Executive Director Kate Nesheim, who said, “It is our intention to bring new concepts and research to the training, which will allow each participant to better help those who suffer from addiction and substance abuse.” Sometimes the best solution is found by combining new knowledge with very old knowledge.
Science and religion do not have to be, and I assert are not mutually exclusive.

Age New Spirituality – Inspirational Quotes ( Part 9 )

The debt which the world owes to our Motherland is immense. Talking country with country,there is not one race of his earth to which the world owes so much as to the patient Hindu, the mild Hindu.

To many, Indian thought,Indian manners,Indian customs,Indian philosophy,Indian literature,are repulsive at the first sight; but let them persevere,let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas,and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result.

But the Older I grow, the better I seem to think of these time honored institution of India. There was a time when I used to think that many of them were useless and worthless; but the older I grow, the more I seem to feel a diffidence in cursing anyone of them,for each of them is the embodiment of the experience of centuries.

Believe me, there is much talking in other lands, but the practical man of religion, who has carried it into his life is here and here alone.

I have said that we have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reasons, the raison d’etre,that this nation has lived on,in spite of hundreds of year of persecution,in spite of nearly a thousand years of foreign rule and foreign oppression.This nation still lives; the raison d’etre is , it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.

In this land are,still religion and spirituality,the fountains which will have to overflow and flood the world to bring in new life and new vitality to the Western and other nations,which are now almost borne down, half-killed,and degraded by political ambitions and social scheming.

Who Or What Is God?

I grew up in a religious home and was baptized into a religion when I was eight years old. It’s assumed that an eight year old is old enough to make a decision like this, but I surely don’t remember much about it. During my formative years I was taken to church by my parents and required to attend the various classes and such. I never cared for it, but it was what I had to do, seeing as how my parents were well…my parents. I attended all of the meetings and such, but it never felt right. I never understood the logic of following something blindly, just because everyone else said it was “right”. When I turned 18, I almost immediately left the house and didn’t attend church anymore.
My life continued as everyone’s does and I was left with a lingering thought in the back of my mind as to who or what God was. I definitely believed in a higher power, something bigger than myself if you will, but it pretty much stopped there. Then something interesting happened. I didn’t have any children and never really wanted any, but then my daughter was born. Experiencing this event changed my life. Suddenly it wasn’t about what I thought God was or wasn’t. God was obviously real, otherwise how could something like this happen? I began studying spirituality.
Through my studies of spiritual texts such as the Bhagavad-Gita, Science of mind, and the bible, I began to learn about things like peace, forgiveness, non-judgment, and love. It was an awakening for me. The reason it happened was because of my daughter incarnating into this world. Now that she was here, I knew what love was. I not only knew what love was, but through that I knew what God was. And what was that? I think Gandhi said it best when he said, ” Where love is, there God is also.”
As I studied these subjects; peace, love, forgiveness, etc., My entire life changed. I stopped drinking and smoking, both of which I engaged in fairly heavily for more than fifteen years. Was I necessarily trying to stop these practices? No I wasn’t, I believe it was just a natural progression of my journey. Now I wouldn’t dream of wasting my time doing either practice. For me my daughter being born and me subsequently quitting drinking and smoking, was proof of God.
I gave up the notion of needing to describe or define such things as what or who God is. All I have to do is take a walk along a flowing river and I know what God is. I think Ayn Rand put it as well as I’ve heard it described: “God… a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive.” That is the answer to whom or what God is.