Spiritual Awakenings

photo by leslie sheraden

“Spiritual Awakening is a shift in consciousness – an initiation into an expanded sense of awareness.” ~ Melanie Beckler

Preface

A spiritual teacher is the one that told me I had a lot to say about my experiences. At that time, I had experienced much: my feelings of spirituality versus religion, dreams, channeling, paranormal, teachers entering and exiting my life, past life regressions, intuitives and divination and last but certainly not least visitations. I was growing spiritually. But there was much more that I needed to learn and the universe was guiding me to new teachers and mentors because when the student is ready, the teacher appears. 

I have been blessed with many more spiritual experiences since that time about ten years ago. That teacher suggested that I write a book. I was skeptical but kept an open mind. The only problem was I did not write. That is, I did not like writing. I did not like writing in my academic life or my career. A middle school English teacher assigned a creative writing project. I think I wrote a paragraph where in it I wrote something like, “…the tops of my boots wilted over like rose petals.” She loved it and told me to keep going. My creativity wilted just like those boots. I’m not sure why I did not like writing. But as I grew older my dislike for writing did not change. In a committee I was involved with where I worked at the time, I was tasked with coming up with a mission statement. Just a short paragraph that tells everyone who we are, what we are and how we might attain our mission. Naturally, I froze. And then I asked someone else for help in writing it. 

Several years later during a career change due to the economic turn down in 2008, I took several classes at a community college to sharpen the saw or change direction altogether. And that’s almost what happened. On a club board in the student lounge there were several options for participation. One that really popped out was the school newspaper. The suggestion to write came to mind as soon as I saw it. I amused the universe and attended the first club meeting. I read a lot and listened to the news that was delivered on news broadcasts, so I thought I knew how  to structure a story. At the journalism club I learned to write, investigate and report and discovered that I liked writing. The words just flowed. How the words flowed or where the inspiration and motivation comes from is a mystery to me. They flowed into a blog and (so far) two books. At each step on my  journey the universe has opened up for me at the right time, like each petal of a lotus that is blossoming. 

Writing

My first byline read ‘Lindsay Sheridan’. My immediate thought was who is Lindsay? My second thought was that would be a good pen name – but no one I know would know it was me. The publisher had made a mistake going to press. I decided it was okay since that first article was not really helpful anyway. By the time it went to press in the college newspaper, the event I wrote about, ever so concisely, had already happened. But it was a start.

My next piece – with a corrected byline – was an investigative report on plagiarism. The publisher said he wanted me to do it and gave me the name of a professor on campus to interview for the story. I found three more leads on my own to interview. During this creative process I realized I was having so much fun researching, interviewing and writing the story and discovered that it was not so difficult. Nine hundred words later my investigative report was the lead story in another issue of the newspaper.

In middle school, as I recall, I really did not like writing stories, papers, reports or anything. I had to write a creative paper in class and I remember using a simile – something about the top of my boots falling over like a wilted rose. My teacher liked that and told me to keep going. I could not. My creative drive was, well, wilted like that rose. I had no desire or motivation or inspiration. Anytime anywhere that a paper needed to be written, I used a minimal amount of words or if possible, avoided it altogether.

Later on in my working life I was asked to write a mission statement for a committee I was involved in.  I froze. I had no idea where to start. Instead, I enlisted someone else at work to help me write it.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself out of work due to the downturn in the economy in the late 2000’s. Interestingly enough I worked for a local newspaper where I was not a journalist but a clerk in the accounting office. After numerous attempts at finding work in my field I decided to go back to school at a community college and try something new. While I was studying there I joined a club: The college newspaper. I don’t know why, I just walked in. I didn’t like writing as I have stated a few times in this story. Actually, I did know why I joined.

A few years earlier I had been to see a channeler who said that I should try writing books; that I had a lot to say. Start with a children’s book, the channeler or rather the entity coming through the channel had said. I did not agree and wondered if the message may have been meant for someone else. So, perhaps by walking in that day to the college newspaper I was humoring the universe or just curious to find out if writing was what I was supposed to be doing. That day I decided I would keep an open mind. 

Here’s how I have learned to tell my stories. For me, writing is just like gathering facts and information and adding adjectives, a simile here and there and writing as if I was talking to someone about what happened. Another way I learned to write was listening to the radio or television news to hear how a story was structured and presented. Also, reading a lot of books on any topic. The newspaper journalist and book author Pete Hamill has also said that reading a variety of books growing up is what helped him to be a good writer.

But how writing came to be something I love to do now is a mystery to me. Maybe it was there all along and maybe it was destiny. Maybe it was a bit of both. I know what stories I’m meant to tell. I believe I just needed to have had the experiences to share and hopefully inspire people. Perhaps this story is one of them.