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I Am Not Religious

Recently I was connecting with a fellow yogi after class. Her mother very recently died and like many of us, she’s been sick this winter. She has great balance and fortitude. I shared with her what S~E~E~P™ is and she shared with me her missing component.

I was explaining to her about how I developed S~E~E~P™ to help others find “Wholeness for your Soul Through balance.” I established S~E~E~P™ as means of self-care and awareness that was birthed in my life from a very broken place.

I was not going to survive if I didn’t find a way out of the place where I was struggling so desperately.

Although my spiritual life has remained strong through many trails, I have learned that I require additional components to stay balanced and to be prepared for the unexpected twists and turns that life has in store for me. The areas I chose to develop in the S~E~E~P™ structure are Spiritual ~ Environmental ~ Emotional ~ and Physical. I realized that if I can become aware of these areas of my life, without beating myself up for where they are in comparison to where I’d like them to be, then I can begin building a steady foundation in my life. This is hard work.

Establishing personal balance requires commitment, sacrifice, willingness to look soberly at myself, and being pliable enough to move towards change.

My new friend from yoga told me she doesn’t have a spiritual life, except yoga. “I grew up Catholic…but…” She didn’t need to explain. I imagine what she was thinking was ‘it was a lot of rules, commitment, guilt and shame and as soon as she was old enough to move on, she bolted’. The term many use for this association is “recovering Catholic”. This breaks my heart because there are so many Catholics whose walk with God is full of the Holy Spirit and blessed by the sacred sacraments and rituals of the church. The term ‘religion’ has such a negative association for many and has turned people away from church and even away from God.

Establishing personal balance requires commitment, sacrifice, willingness to look soberly at myself, and being pliable enough to move towards change. ~ Charlotte Chaney

“Yoga is where I find my spirituality.”

Ok, I get it. I also have blessed moments when I’m on my mat. I will have to say, however, being diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer, among other very devastating life events, proved to me my need to acknowledge my reliance on and the presence of a higher power. Yoga has been a potent tool, where I can find strength, stillness, and flexibility that indeed crossover into my life, but yoga will never be my God.

Letting go and letting your soul connect with something greater than yourself, is where the strength in spirituality comes in the S~E~E~P™ program. I receive great comfort when there are things I cannot control, but I can let go and let God. This is not a slogan for me, it is a way of life that I practice. Letting go allows me to shut my eyes and sleep at night. This is the comfort I get when I have been wronged and I know My God will avenge for the ways my enemies have sought to bring me harm. I can let all things go and not worry about retaliating or finding revenge. These are real promises that I have received from my real and personal God. I have seen His promises kept. I can confidently call on God to care for all eight of my children, my parents, friends, and world issues and know that my prayer has been heard. God not only hears my cries but desires to bless me, even more than I desire to bless my children. So many people don’t understand God because the religion they were exposed to, at one time, brought about feelings of less-than, feelings of shame and regret. Religion does not always serve as a vehicle to bring people closer to God, in fact, it often does the opposite. However, for those who know the Lord personally, religion serves as a phenomenal structure to gain closeness with Him and His people.

When I refer to the Spiritual aspect of S~E~E~P™, I am not suggesting you sit and judge yourself about whether you have checked off enough boxes on your yearly church attendance, whether you are maintaining rituals, having communion, or looking good in the eyes of others. I want you to check in on your relationship with God. Do you know Him? Do you hear Him?

John 10:27 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Check in with yourself spiritually.

Are you able to think about life after death? I think of it often. I am positive I am going to Heaven. I have a good idea of what it’s going to be like, though I know I cannot conceptualize it. This is one of the things that brings me peace which passes all understanding. If you are not sure of your eternal destiny would you consider saying this prayer.

Dear God,

I am a sinner. I try hard to be good, but I fall short over and over. I find it confusing but I am willing to believe that You love me in spite of my weaknesses. You love me because You are my Father who gave me life. You do not expect me to earn your love or maintain it, it is a free gift. I believe that when I receive the gift you offered me of salvation through Jesus that my soul will never die and though my body will fail, I will be transformed in the blink of an eye. I will go to Heaven where there will be no more sorrow no more pain.

Though it is very hard to conceptualize I believe You are big enough to care for the entire world and yet be intimate enough to know the hairs on my head.

Luke 12:7 ESV
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I admit I have judged others who follow You and now I am asking You to receive me as Your child. I believe You have allowed the punishment for my sin to be dealt with on the cross at Calvary through your son Jesus.

Please reach out to me or someone you know who understands if you have prayed this for the 1st time or even recommitted your life to Christ.

Follow me @CharlottesSoul and practice S~E~E~P™ for yourself so you will find Wholeness for your Soul though Balance.

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