My mother worked very hard as a single parent to send my brother and I to Catholic School. I went for eight years...and I'll tell you, my favorite class other than Art was Religion. I especially loved it when the priest or pastor came in and taught--because to me at that age, I felt he was the most qualified--and I believed he had a direct linkage to the big guy himself. You know being on his payroll and all.
Also I was always intrigued by the nuns in my school. They were old and grumpy and wore skirts that hung longer in the front than the back. And each of them had white hair.
White. Not grey.
White--and I was sure that that had a direct correlation to the big guy himself as well.
And right up until middle school I dreamt of being a nun. A cool nun. A nun that did Art and wore ripped up jeans instead of frumpy skirts.
I wanted to be a nun because once a priest told me that nuns got married to God.
Yes, can you imagine what my eight year old mind did with that nugget of information?
I could see it clearly in my head....God coming down on a rainbow--looking quite Ralph Macchio'ish and I there adorned in a dress quite similar to Princess Diane's (am I totally dating myself or what?!) And we marry--and I go through life doing whatever I want--because I'm married to the big guy himself.
No worries. No struggle. No money issues. No school even. Just me and God--husband and wife. Forever and ever.
Yep, somewhere around sixth grade I think, I figured out that being married to God didn't mean a unicorn carriage ride and angel flower girls. So I canned that idea and stuck with Artist instead.
But my love for God...for the divine...for the magic in life never left me.
Though, for years and years I buried it. I gave up on religion--only because I failed to see the passion and magic there like I found listening to all the great stories in religion class.
I remember being in my 20's and taking my grandmother to church on Christmas eve. It was the first time in years that I had been back and I sat there listening to the priest speak of how our savior was born....and then people began to mumble from behind their psalm books.
Where was the passion, I thought?
Where was the joy and celebration?
Your savior is born people--shouldn't we be knocking it up a bit? Shouldn't we be setting off fireworks and opening up a bottle of bubbly? What's with the horrible singing and drained faces. I thought. Where's the magic?
Where's the magic?
Come on--where's the magic?
Right around this time I found yoga. Like really found yoga.
When I rolled out that mat and started putting myself in funny shapes...I started to feel different. I started to connect with that love for God again. And lucky for me, I found yoga through a studio that knew that yoga is way more than just funny shapes--and the things they talked about there got me fired up. The people there chanted--and we chanted loud--and lively--and with passion. There was magic every time I went to class. There was love just bursting in that little, tiny studio room--that I knew I found my God again.
Me and the big guy were back together. It was on.
So why do I bother to tell you this? Why do I interrupt my stream of painting-Art posts to ramble on about childhood dreams of nunhood?
Because on Friday I start my Yoga Advanced Studies and Teacher Training Program. I can't help but feel nervous...scared...as if I just got engaged to God himself.
Because seriously, I did.
I know everyone I talk to about this program says the same damn thing...how it will transform your life--how it eats you alive--then spits you out--and you're never the same. I get that. I want that.
But this is something even more to me. This is something so profound, so sacred...that I struggle for words.
I'm not stepping into this journey to learn more silly poses and to color in my anatomy book. I'm not even stepping into it to help other people make their own silly poses. I'm stepping into this journey for that eight year old Connie that loved God so much that she longed to marry him and dedicate her life and Art to him.
I'm stepping into this journey because it's time me and divinity pick up where we left off and get busy making magic.
Because that, to me, is what religion is.
And that's what this Creative Juicy Life has been missing.