Christianity – A Message Written in My Heart

Many years ago I found myself on a course to become a Shiatsu Practitioner.  I’d been suffering with chronic fatigue and became fascinated with energy work as a way to understand my illness and healing.  I was a long way from full recovery but just about found the strength to drive the 70 miles from Somerset to Totnes in Devon every few weekends to attend my course.  Having arrived there I then had to find the strength to learn something new that challenged me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!

The biggest challenge for me was spiritual.  Within the philosophy of Shiatsu there didn’t seem to be any room for a relationship with a personal God.  I found myself floundering and lost within a belief system that saw God as more of a cosmic force and us as metaphysical beings.  The most significant thing to me was the absence of grace as I was told I had to work at my connectedness. It seemed that God couldn’t simply flow in me and through me to heal others.  I had to do energy exercises, breathing exercises and meditation to work up the chi.  I was insensed, enraged by this challenge to everything that I had found so dear, so beautiful and so meaningful.  Why couldn’t I just work with the connection I already had – permanent and unchanging?

I struggled to understand this new philosophy and to try to reconcile it with my own experience for 2 years.  I even created my own approach to Shiatsu that I called Shiaki based on a more Christian philosophy.  I found myself speaking up for Christianity – the wonder of relationship with God and the gift of grace – at every twist and turn of my course.  I was utterly amazed by my zeal and conviction as I had no idea that I would go out on a limb like this in a situation where no-one else shared my experience or beliefs.  It was as if God had lit a fire in my heart and nothing could quench it.

Today I still feel the Christian message.  If people try to discuss doctrine with me I feel my energy sink and become almost troubled.  I don’t have all the answers and some days I don’t know exactly what I believe but as I live my life I become more and more aware that the message of Christianity is written in my heart

Don’t Choose a Full Life Over a Full Heart!

Yesterday I met a friend – someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. We had our first child at the same time and met at a post-natal group. We both shared our love of babies and everything newborn. We both wanted more children but we still only have one chick in our nest whilst she has 3. I was envious, desperate to have more children in our family too. We tried to adopt but it didn’t work out.

What was it I wanted I had to keep wondering. Did I want to look out of the window and see three children on their bikes or in the paddling pool? Did I want to do the school run and proudly drop my 3 little cherubs at the school gate? Did I want the sports days, parents evenings, dance classes and football matches? Did I want the big family Christmases and holidays? 

I really thought I did want these things but even the school run with one little chick and parents evenings, sports days, paddling pools and holidays was too much for me! I wanted them to give me this ‘full, complete’ feeling but all they did was seem to take away from my energy and leave me feeling empty.  I couldn’t find anyone to talk to in the playground when I collected my son from school, I picked up everyone’s strained stressed tired energy at parent’s evenings, the paddling pool could feel overstimulating on bright light days of summer and holidays, well – I just like the daily small things and my routine best! 

When I met my friend yesterday she told me how her busy full life had developed. She was working, running a business, taking her children here, there and everywhere but I didn’t hear the passion in her voice, the excitement I would expect of someone with a full life. She seemed tired. Then all I could say about our life is that my son is home mostly playing computer games with friends, we have doves now and like hover-boarding. But in that moment I didn’t mind that my life may not have sounded full because the one thing that is very full is my heart. And at the end of the day, surely that is what counts.

Are you choosing a full life over a full heart?