What do they teach at Riverdell? What IS spiritual education – sounds like an oxymoron! How can that help me live a happier life?
In March, Jenni Douglas, Program Co-Ordinator at Riverdell, and I attended an an Education Summit at Sunrise Ranch in Colorado exploring these and other questions.
Let me share a story with you. As a medical doctor, I was trained to think that I had all the answers. More knowledge was the way to end all the pain and suffering in the world and hey presto, happiness and joy would naturally follow, right? WRONG!! Knowledge IS helpful and I’m thankful for all I’ve learnt to help reduce misery. But what’s needed for happiness, joy, fulfilment, love & lasting relationships is so much more than knowledge. It’s about how I choose to see myself and the world around me. Whether I see the glass half full or half empty makes a BIG difference. So how do I choose to see the glass half full all the time? How can I know that no matter how shitty something feels, it’s NOT an indication that everything’s wrong? For me, that’s been through spiritual education.
So many times in my life, my oh, so clever mind thought it had everything worked out. And then I’d find myself feeling like I was driving down a highway on the wrong side of the road. Wrong Way – Go Back! When I retreated and thought again, another option appeared for me. What was I now seeing that I didn’t before?
I saw that the things I’d learnt about in my spiritual education courses at Riverdell were happening in my life right now! I was taught that there’s an energy that comes with heart felt agreement – and yippee, I could FEEL it in my body! WOW- that changed so much in my marriage. I learnt that there’s a process by which things are created and I could see this happening in the plans I had. I discovered that when I felt lost, I could simply “offer it all up” as a type of prayer and lay my lostness to rest. Even though I wasn’t into prayer, I noticed how much better I felt when I could lay those burdens down. And to my astonishment, they often changed in what seemed like amazing ways. Miracles DO happen!
And the most astonishing thing to me as I look back over 30 years of spiritual education is this – THIS education has saved my life. Saved it from becoming boring, repetitive and stale, just coasting to a retirement of golf and holidays. Not for me. I’ve been drawn forth and have found myself moving from medicine into personal, spiritual development programs at Riverdell. I love it! Nothing gives me a greater thrill.
Out of all this I’ve discovered the foundation upon which I stand. I wrote this short song to describe it:
Love is making all things new
Opening up a wider view
Love is making all things new
Love in me, love in you.
The spiritual education in which I’ve been privileged to share at Riverdell and within The Emissaries worldwide has led me deeper and deeper into the arms of Love. I know I’m loved, as are you. And I know there’s nothing I can do, nowhere I can go, where I’m outside Love’s reach. Love wants to live through me – and I’ve said yes to that. This is where my spiritual education has taken me. Now I have the joy of discovering what new adventure I’ll undertake today at Love’s command.
I want everyone to have access to this type of education. That’s what my life is about now.