Posted by: Marie | February 26, 2009

(21) My spiritual journey – Part 8 of 9

Post #21
[Therapy homework assignment completed on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 – continued from previous post]

In October of 2003, I met with an intuitive reader named Diane.  She provided a whole bunch of helpful and healing information to me.  One thing she told me is that I would soon (very soon) become part of a “church-like” group – she said it wasn’t a traditional church, but it was a “spiritual church” rather than a “religious church”.

That same day, on my way “home” (I had lost my house and was living in my sister’s basement at the time), I passed by a huge church in Denver.  I felt strongly drawn to it, so I stopped to check it out.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I was wondering why this church would be any different and what would keep this stop from being a waste of my time.  Since it was a weekday evening, not much was happening, so I just browsed the literature in the lobby.  Well, it turned out to be a “Church of Religious Science”.

Now, let me be very clear, Religious Science is not the same as, not even in the same ballpark as, Scientology – Scientology has red flags all over it for me and I am not interested in going down that path at all.  The Church of Religious Science is actually very similar to the Unity Church and the Unitarian Church in its teachings.

A guy named Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) created all kinds of waves in the local “traditional” churches when he dared to question “traditional” teachings.  He relentlessly studied all different philosophies and eventually crafted his own belief structure from material drawn from a multitude of established belief structures and religions – he called the common themes the “golden thread” of truth.  He started speaking about his hybrid belief structure to small crowds, then larger crowds – from that the Church of Religious Science was born.

The church’s foundational teaching (Science of Mind) is centered on a series of metaphysical laws that are supported by teachings found in all religions.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything the church teaches – I haven’t found anything I totally disagree with; however, I currently don’t fully embrace everything it teaches.

I do find the freedom of choice/expression the church offers to be very comforting for me.  I can openly disagree with what is being taught and no one blinks an eye – I’m free to have my own journey and worship in my own way, and I know I can do so openly without judgment from others.  Although I haven’t attended on a regular basis, I still consider it my “home” church.

In August of 2006, I had been struggling to get my feet back under me financially for 4½ years.  I thought I had a solid contract established that summer – I was starting to believe the worst was behind me – but then the contract was suddenly pulled out from under me after only three months and I was back in “survival mode” – I didn’t know how I was going to pay the rent on the apartment I had leased, buy groceries or put gas in my car.  I didn’t know where I was going to live.  I was spiritually, mentally and emotionally exhausted from living fearfully everyday for so long.  It was one of my lowest times.

So, I went on a hike on Mt. McConnell on Hwy 14 between Fort Collins and Estes Park.  I needed some time to commune with nature/God and receive guidance to calm my fears about my income – I needed to be in my sanctuary of choice.

When I left my apartment (I was living in south Fort Collins at the time), I only had about 1/8 tank of gas left.  I thought it would be okay because it was a short trip.  However, I had to drive up and down a several-mile stretch a couple of time before I found the trailhead (I had never been there before) and my gas gauge was on empty by the time I reached the trailhead.  Since there are no gas stations in the canyon, I didn’t know how I would be able to drive the 28 miles (45 km) back out of the canyon.  I told myself to relax, that I would find a way to deal with it, that someone would have some gas in a can somewhere along the route.  I told myself to just get going on the trail and get some stress released.

I hiked for about 15 minutes and came to a look-out.  I stopped and looked, then continued on the trail.  Within 100 yards (91 meters), the trail petered out to nothing but a steep drain-off careening down the mountain.  There was no way that this was the trail.  I re-traced my steps and tried finding my way – I went back and forth a few more time.  After about 20-25 minutes of trying to find the trail, I just sat down on a rock under a couple of trees.  I was frustrated by life and frustrated by my inability to find my way on this hike.  I really wanted to hike, but if I couldn’t find the trail, I couldn’t hike.  I was pissed.  I cried.  Hard.

After a few minutes of a good cry, I sat and looked around and drank in the peace, listening to the wind in the trees.  Two little birds skipped from branch to branch, moving closer to me, watching me, tilting their heads from one side to the other.  They settled on a branch about four feet (1.2 meters) to the left of me.  Then, they sat there for a good 3-4 minutes, talking cheerfully to me, welcoming me to their space.  Then they moved along to another tree . . .

A minute later, this tiny bird, not much bigger than a hummingbird, landed on the branch and started watching me.  He took his turn, “talking” to me (figuratively, not literally) in the most loving and wise way, for at least 3-4 minutes.  I clearly and intuitively understood the message he carried to me from God:

Be at peace:
– it is on its way
– it will arrive soon enough
– it will be enough
– there is nothing for you to do right now except to celebrate

– and you deserve it

With a nod of my head, I mentally married the message from the bird with an email message I received the day before from a friend: Congratulations on the contract dissolving! Now, something AWESOME can happen!

I clearly understood that I was to sit back and relax, to do the work laid in front of me to do each day, and trust that what I need would arrive at the perfect time.  I was not to frantically search for work, I was to allow the work to appear, according to the divine plan.

I picked up little piece of rose quartz and placed it in my pocket – a reminder to relax and see what happens – a reminder that the message from the wise bird was real and valid.

I dried my tears and decided to go back to the car because I didn’t feel safe walking into the wilderness without the benefit of a trail.  As soon as I got back to the overlook, I saw the trail.  From the overlook, it reversed directions – I had missed it because I had only looked forward with tunnel vision.  It was a big wide trail, well-marked, so easy to see – I just hadn’t see it.  I had to laugh – how many ways could that lesson be applied to my life?  So, I took off up the trail, with a bounce in my step and a grin on my face.

I had a refreshing hike . . . oh, and . . . about my empty gas tank . . . I made it back to the mouth of the canyon without running out of gas . . . angels by my side, at all times!

That day was a turning point for me – it was another year before I was able to establish steady and dependable income, but during that year I was able to relax some and start operating from a place of faith instead of trying to force things to happen.  And, today, I am enjoying my ability to focus on aspects of life beyond survival . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Very nice!

    • Thank you!

  2. I love this story. Your own little spirit quest.


    • Hey, Kate –

      Yes, I find nature always provides the sanctuary I need . . I feel so close to God in the woods.

      Thanks for continuing to read! It is nice to see your name pop up in my comments every once in a while!

      – Marie

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