This is going to be a long post. I'm not sorry, but I did want to warn you.
Tomorrow morning I will wake up, and after my morning meditation and spiritual practices, shower and breakfast, I will finish packing and take off for a celebration on Saturday in Santa Rosa, California.
I'll be getting my Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies.
It is, quite frankly, blowing my mind.
It has been a nine year journey to that celebration on Saturday. When I began that journey, I had no clue where it would end. I am reminded of a saying that I will distort for purposes of this little story: A Masters Degree wasn't even a gleam in my eye when I began this particular journey.
I just wanted to be happier.
I began my journey by taking classes at my local Center for Spiritual Living. I was in a place in my life where I knew that there was something more. I wanted to discover that something more. So I began taking classes.
I really just wanted to be happier.
I ended up gettting what is called a Practitioner's License. It's a type of spiritual counselor. That was a bonus. I was happier, and I set up a private practice, helping other people to be happier.
Life went on.
Then, the opportunity to go to Holmes Institute presented itself. Holmes Institute is a multi-faceted sort of program: graduates not only get a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies, but they are trained to be spiritual leaders, with emphasis in spiritual psychology, philosophy, science and religion, of all types. And, graduates become ministers with Centers for Spiritual Living.
I didn't even like church when I began attending Holmes Institute. Now I give a talk every Sunday, in a Center for Spiritual Living.
And I'm getting a Masters Degree.
I'm still happier. And more at peace. Each class I have taken has changed me at a fundamental level. And I've discovered that something more.
And I'm getting a Masters Degree!
What is making it even more "wow" is the celebration itself. I have people in my life who are driving for five hours to Santa Rosa to watch me get this degree. I am honored, surprised and truly humbled by that.
There are nine of us graduating. The choir and band at this celebration numbers at about 80. I expect it to be a packed house at the Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa, which seats about 500 or so. I like a big party, and this promises to be one of the biggest.
The emails have been flying back and forth the last few weeks. The wonderful people who have been putting this thing together and us, the nine graduates, have discussed seating protocol, processional protocol and punctuation protocol. We've revised wording on the program, and been admonished to be there promptly for rehearsal.
My dad, a retired CSL minister, is presenting me. Yesterday they sent him an email telling him he had three minutes to do so. Imagine giving a minister three minutes to say anything! This should be fun. The other ministers presenting the other graduates also have three minutes each. I know most of those ministers. Like I said, this should be fun.
I've done my nails, all 20 of them. I got some pink highlights put in my hair, and my hairdresser gave me a tiara to wear during the ceremony. I bought a special dress to wear under my robe. I don't typically wear dresses. I'm trying to decide whether to wear my cool cowboy boots or a more comfortable pair of shoes. My fiance made the cowboy boots, I love them, but I'm going to be on my feet a long time on Saturday.
This is important stuff! Never mind the nine years of study, or the academic achievement that no one else in my family has ever done, or the incredible training I have, or deep and profound connection I have to god or the something more I've discovered. It's all about the shoes....and the pink hair....and the tiara.
Actually, it's about the whole package. All of it. I'm so excited! I'm so grateful! I'm so honored!
Wow. Just wow.
If you've read this far, thank you! If you feel moved to write a comment I'd love to read it and respond to it.....after this incredible weekend is over.
Bye for now!