Lead with Love: Come together, right now | AspenTimes.com

Lead with Love: Come together, right now

Gina Murdock
Lead with Love
Gina Murdock

A shared sense of spirituality is the antidote to the diseases of despair that plague our nation and our world. This is the key takeaway I got from Dr. Lisa Miller, who spoke at The Aspen Institute in August as part of our Mind, Body, Spirit series.

Dr. Miller’s research legitimized what I have known through my own life experience: That believing in and having a relationship with something greater than myself provides a sense of comfort and peace in good times and bad.

To put it another way … to know I am not alone makes walking this earth easier and more joyful. 

I didn’t have a relationship with God growing up and felt super uncomfortable even saying the word God. It didn’t feel authentic to me. I didn’t believe in the stuff I heard at church because it didn’t seem right to me that there was just one way to be and to believe.

I knew there were so many different religions, and that they all couldn’t be right talking about “their” God as salvation, while everyone else was wrong and going to hell. The people who did believe it seemed judgmental and righteous, not what I thought people who followed some all loving, all forgiving God should be like.

God, from a religious standpoint, never resonated with me, and, until I was older, I didn’t realize there was any other way to know God. 

Because I didn’t have faith in God, I found I didn’t know where to turn beyond my friends and family when times were hard, but, then, I started to realize that even in my darkest times I never felt alone. Through that awareness I built a relationship with that presence. I wasn’t looking for God; I was looking for peace. When I would get quiet and do my own version of a prayer or meditation, I felt comforted and held by something I couldn’t see or touch but I knew was there.

This presence, which I can find within myself and outside in the natural world, is my God. It is indescribably immense and all encompassing. It is lightness. When I listen to this presence, I always hear: “You are not alone. I love you.”

For me, spirituality has always been an exploration, an inquiry and, finally, a knowing. But, even with that knowing, it’s not as if I am completely insulated from hardship and pain. I forget sometimes. I feel separate. I judge and am fearful and righteous. I struggle to control things that are not in my control. I get upset and feel victimized.

Then, I remember: God is love, and I am an expression of God serving my purpose here on Earth when I choose love. Simple as that.

There are so many interesting questions to ask on the spiritual path: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “How can I use everything in my life for my growth and evolution?”

If those questions touch something inside of you, then you, too, are interested in a spiritual life. To be in community contemplating these questions makes the experience richer and more profound. It gives us meaning and a sense of connection to each other.

A shared spiritual life can prevent or repair feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and even suicide, according to Dr. Miller, who proved these findings through fMRI studies. (Read her book, “The Awakened Brain,” to learn more.) 

One of the things I’ve always felt drawn toward is creating space for connection. I am always yearning to connect more, with myself, others, God. Through shared yoga, meditation and other spiritual practices, I’ve found a deep sense of community, a sense of oneness and with that a lightness of being and a sense of joy that permeates.

This type of convening is sacred, necessary to our wellbeing and absolutely not religious. Love is my religion; nature my church. Come join us in community on Thursdays to explore what it means to be spiritual, to know you are never alone. 

Gina Murdock is the founder of Lead with Love, an Aspen-based nonprofit dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love. Lead with Love is partnering with The Aspen Chapel to offer a Thursday Satsang, a place to gather and connect and deepen our spiritual practices together. Through Nov. 17 everyone is welcome to come participate. Call (970) 355-4243 for more info. For more information about Lead with Love, go to http://www.ileadwithlove.org.