The educator in me wanted to start this blog post with a quiz (don’t worry…it won’t be graded :) )

  1. How many pairs of yoga pants do you own? (ok, this is primarily for females….although if you are a guy who wears yoga pants, I’m thrilled that you are living your truth!! Honestly!)
    a. 0
    b. 2 (to wear to yoga class)
    c. 7 (one for each day of the week)
  2. If you are a business owner, how do you price your product?
    a. I don’t own a business
    b. In dollars and cents, what else?
    c. Products and services are priced as an “energy exchange”
  3. Quartz is:
    a. A liquid measurement
    b. Used for making countertops
    c. A stone used in healing, psychic protection, and spiritual growth, just for starters
  4. How many types of yoga exist?
    a. What’s yoga?
    b. Um, there is more than 1 type?
    c. >20
  5. Which answer comes closest to describing your diet?
    a. I eat anything and everything!
    b. I enjoy a normal mix of healthy and not-so-healthy foods
    c. I eat a vegan/vegetarian/lacto-ovo/or pescatarian diet

So, how did you do?

Mostly A’s? You are a happy-go-lucky, ‘ignorance is bliss’ kind of person.
Mostly B’s? You are down-to-earth; your friends would probably call you “normal.”
Mostly C’s? Caution! You could be accused of being a metaphysical guru!

(disclaimer: this is in no way intended to diagnose any disorder; this writer is not a physician, clergy member, or psychiatrist; do not be alarmed or disturbed by the results – this is simply for fun!)

As you may have surmised from my recent radio interview (and which will be fleshed out in more detail in my book), I have recently “come out.” Although I still love Jesus and his message, I no longer identify with the major tenets of the Christian faith (or any “religious” doctrine). As you can imagine, giving up something that has been a part of your identity for over 50 years is difficult, because your entire world – friends, family, lifestyle – is woven into the fabric of that identity.

Over this past year, a year in which I separated from my Christian comfort zone, venturing out into the generic spiritual community at large, I found myself in limbo – not really feeling a part of this new spiritually-minded “tribe,” yet no longer a part of my old tribe. I realized early on that no matter the peer group, there is still a subtle pressure to conform. There is a role that must be played in order to gain true acceptance or to fit in. I found that the spiritual community was no different. In fact, just like mainstream religion, it even has its own language and practices (energy exchanges, anyone?). In essence, I was simply trading one doctrine for another. As I began to engage with my new tribe, it became evident that although we hold many of the same beliefs on the inside, we are not alike on the outside. For example, I don’t own a pair of yoga pants and in fact, can’t even touch my toes. Truth be told, I tend to be a bit assertive, I don’t know my carnelian from my citrine, I love red meat, and I curse….a lot. All of these things set me apart from the stereotypical “enlightened” individual.

The cool thing is that, once you shed that cloak of doctrine and start to live a life that is true – one in which the inside feeling matches the outside appearance – it becomes easy to detect and avoid doctrines in other disguises. Can I let you in on a secret? A spiritual guru doesn’t have a monopoly on truth any more than the priest or the rabbi. And besides, as I mentioned in a previous post, when you look outside of yourself for answers, you give away your power! Everything you need to know can be found within. It all boils down to the INDIVIDUAL’S relationship with God…Source…All That Is. There is no right or wrong way to live your life, so long as you are operating from a place of love. Feeling obligated to abide by a certain meditation technique or a particular kind of diet or yoga practice is simply another form of fear-based decision making.

Slowly but surely I am learning how to listen to that small voice inside, trust it, and then follow its guidance. It’s not about looking outside of ourselves to find direction or acceptance. I can tell you from experience that this is a challenging concept to overcome. There is no shortage of (very persuasive) people willing to tell us what to do, how to dress, what to eat, where to shop, when to speak, and…well, I think you get the idea. Instead, discover for yourself how liberating it is to live the life YOU were meant to live!

Written by : drallisonbrown

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9 Comments

  1. Donna Kennedy March 13, 2017 at 7:00 am - Reply

    And there in is the dilemma. Always acquiring and internalizing information to feel like we are making the best choices for our self, but not projecting our new found beliefs onto others, (for their benefit of course). So difficult.

  2. Morgan July 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I love it :) A timely message for me, as I am currently trying to find my true identity . . . It is a journey, often bittersweet. Thank you for sharing :)

    • drallisonbrown July 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      I think this happens to all of us at some point in time. Thanks for reading!

  3. Sara July 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Wow, Allison, this is so spot on. My husband separated from the Christian world a few years ago and went back to his roots LOVE.
    It’s taken me longer as I don’t identify with the negative (and incorrect) parts of Christianity, I identify with Jesus – and ultimately Love (which is God).

    No matter what group of people you interact with, you are in some way conforming to their way of thinking and living.

    I know full well the feeling of isolation when you ‘go out of bounds’.

    For me, when I try to conform to something that conflicts with my soul-heart, I may be fine for a while, but eventually, I become miserable, depressed, and hopeless.

    Some people feel safe in a given role and others grow out of past roles and step into new ones. Looks like that is where you are now.

    My life motto since I stepped out of my role as “Christian Wife, Mom, Daughter, and Church Attendee” is Love At All Times.

    At the surface level, people say “cool, I can live with that”, BUT, it goes deeper than most people are willing to go.

    It means loving the unlovable, the opposing party, the ugly demeaning Father, the violent husband, or the cruel leader.

    It’s not about accepting or tolerating this behavior but it is about knowing that even people we feel don’t deserve Love or even life deserves Love in its purest form.

    Can you love an enemy?
    Can you love the lady who just cheated on your husband?
    Can you love the murderer of your son?
    Can you love Hitler or Charles Mason or [input person] through the ugliness today?

    Looking forward to more of your posts. #blogboost

    • drallisonbrown July 4, 2017 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Yes, you are right….all of us have a shadow side and are capable of both good and bad. Thus, we all deserve love, regardless of our deeds. But, as you mentioned, it is difficult to follow through on, given our human perspective.

  4. Tracy July 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I was especially intrigued by your post, as I faced a journey similar to yours (at least the first part). I was a devout Mormon for decades before discovering it isn’t what it claimed to be (certain events and practices of early Mormonism were covered up by leaders, and no external evidence exists for the Book of Mormon). I went from Mormonism to evangelical Christianity, and after several years of research into the Jewish roots of the Christian faith I now jokingly refer to myself as a “Jewtile”(Jewish + gentile). I follow Biblical faith and practices despite my lack of an identifiable label. I published a book about my journey seeking and finding God. I see from your post that you are working on a book as well. Writing can be very cathartic, and it’s a way of reaching out to others with the same kinds of struggles and experiences. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading your story once it’s published!

    • drallisonbrown July 4, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Wow, your story does sound like mine! Thanks for sharing! I will look up your story…

  5. Diana February 1, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I’d love to sit down and have a tea with you. We are of the same tribe. (Although I do wear yoga pants, but only on the weekends. True story!)

    • drallisonbrown February 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Haha! That was almost a year ago and I have since broken down and bought some leggings! Love them in the winter. Yes I agree Diana, we seem to march to the same drummer!

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