Relig-ish: Creating a Custom-Fit Faith

Our nativity lambs stand in for a shankbone at our vegetarian inter-faith Seder. E.Claire, Pastry Child Photography

Friends, I want you to know something. To know it deep in your core.

You can create exactly the kind of spirituality you want. Half this and half that. With a dash of x and a sprinkle of y. You can special order. And once your find the perfect combination, you can (and will) change it again.
If you are a new kind of soul, you recognize this desire. The desire to customize, to blend, to create anew. It’s thrilling. It’s motivating. And it can be overwhelming. When you do this kind of work, when you live this kind of life, you dig up the very ground you stand on. Why?

Because you are mining. You are looking for the buried treasures you want to keep: the traditions your foremothers that you want to pass on; the good habits you’d forgotten that work so well; the bits of your past you want to polish up. They got lost. Lost in the dogma, and the rules, and in the expectations of others. You want to find those valuables, so you mine your past.

Because you are plowing. You are preparing the soil. You are planting the seeds of something new: something that may not bloom when you expect it to; that comes in a mix of unknown colors; that may bear a lot of fruit or a little. You are creating fertile soil for something you are curious about. Something that will bring beauty, or sustenance, or provision into your life.

Mining or Planting – either way things are getting churned up. Things are getting lumpy. So, how do you stand when you aren’t sure what’s solid ground?

  • Start with functionality. What works for you? What creates fruitfulness in your life? Not what’s supposed to be helpful, or what “they” say works. What serves you well? Do that. (Screw the rest.)
  • Follow Your Muse. You know that impulsive surge that rises up when a new thing strikes you? The brief clarity of an ah-ha moment? That rush of energy that comes with new idea, just before your naysaying voice kicks in? That’s your Muse. She may seem like a flibbertigibbet, especially when viewed through someone else’s lens. But for you, she’s rock solid. She’s the oracle in The Matrix. She’s the Huntress who comes to guide you out of the woods. She knows what you need to create new life – even if it seems wildly impractical. Even if – especially if – no one else is doing it that way. Her ideas don’t feel burdensome—challenging maybe, but not burdensome. That little thing you’ve been dreaming of in your subconscious? She sees it. She’s making sure you see it too. What makes your pulse race and your blood boil? That’s your Muse turning up the heat. Jump in.
  • Assume it will Change. We the Dreamers, we are not stagnant people. We look for the growing edge. For the flower slipping free from the bud. People like us do not find a way of be-ing and stick to it. We evolve, and so do our beliefs and practices. Our way of be-ing changes with the seasons, with the decade, with the location. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s brilliant. Settle into a way of being when it’s time to settle. When you get twitchy, when the things that once worked stop serving you, bounce on your toes – it’s time to change. This doesn’t mean what you were doing before was wrong. It just means you’ve noticed something others might let pass by unseen. And when you notice that little niggling prompt, you alter your ways once again. Life is change, sister. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something.
  • Connect the Dots. The way you pray might suddenly convert. The names you call God might change. Your understanding of friendship might grow. Your relational rules might expand or contract. Your career goals might radically alter. The way to keep your footing during these little earthquakes is to connect what you are doing back to your values. Your values are deep rooted. They act as touch stones in your fantastic journey. Feeling lost? Gremlins telling you mean things? Wondering why you can’t just be happy with the status quo? Connect the dots back to your core values and feel yourself come into alignment.

What about you? What custom-fit part of your life are you building? What’s working for you in that process? Where do you need help? Let us know in the comments below. Your Tribe is here for you.

Relig-ish is a new series at Magpie Girl dedicated to exploring a new kind of faith. Come along with us as we help each other find a spirituality that fits. Click hereto read all the Relig-ish posts, and join the mailing list for additional musings on this (re)construction project. Thanks for being here today. Much Warmth, Rachelle
This article is cross-posted from Roots of She, where I am part of the writing tribe along with a group of fabulous, soulful women. Come on by!
Spiritual but not religious? Recovering Evangelical? Jill of all faiths? You might be relig-ish. Browse the posts to learn more, or click here to watch a video about our relig-ish community.

Saire May 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

This is why I loved reading The Life of Pi. The main character becoming Jewish, Catholic and Muslim all at the same time, trying to keep the Imam, Priest and Rabbi from finding out. I used to think I was a religion slut, because I find parts of so many different religions attractive. Relig-ish, a much more attractive description.

Shauna June 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

“Your understanding of friendship might grow. Your relational rules might expand or contract. Your career goals might radically alter.”

Wow. Do I love it when everything comes together! On my mind the past days have been: friendship, relationships, and career. And here you are.

I adore the way that you put it all together, and thank you for that. I needed to see this tonight, at this moment, on this day. To read what has been so heavy on my mind (not a bad ‘heavy’) has secured for me that the new, the fresh, the ideas come to life, is exactly what is supposed to be happening at this time for me.

Gentle Hugs—-<3

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