People who find Bahá’u'lláh often feel an urge to tell everyone they know.
These days, many broadcast the good news through their Internet blogs.
That’s how Lee Ann Edwards of Altadena, California, informed friends of her business, Rose City Wellness, that she had embraced the Bahá’í Faith.
Her blog, under the headline “For This I Am Thankful,” was published Nov. 27 and is reprinted here with permission:
I officially declared myself a Bahá’í on Wednesday night, at the fireside. When they asked me what led me to do it, I went on and on, talking about my interest and curiosity as a young child in all religions; then later my atheism, due to the fact that I could not believe wholeheartedly in just one religion. Through working the Twelve Steps I was exposed to the concept of choosing my own form of a Higher Power, which meant that I could believe in God, my own God, rather than the punishing, stern God who only loves me when I am “doing the right thing.” Instead of the Christian God of my youth, a God who loves me unconditionally, accepts me just as I am and helps me as a partner throughout my life.
Since Thanksgiving Eve, I am aware of a definite shift in my consciousness. As I read about the Faith, talk about it with others and pray, I am also thinking “I am a Bahá’í now!” The difference is that now I identify myself as a believer, a follower and a member of a community. This is big for me! For the first time, I have finally chosen a religious path — what a feeling! Release and freedom, to be a member of a community and to feel part of something that feels so right and resonates so completely with who I am.
The beauty of nature and humankind
This weekend I am thankful to God for the beauty of nature and the beauty of people with all of their many gifts and insights to offer, just through being who they are, right now, for better or worse. I am presently staying at the Sierra Club Harwood Lodge on Mt. Baldy. I am enjoying amazing conversations, beautiful hikes and lots of down time to read, write, knit and relax.
Faith in a creative life
This afternoon, after an icy, snowy hike to the top of the chair lift and back, I started reading Bahá’í: The New Vision, by Lisa Janti. In it she talks about the connection between the Bahá’í Faith and a release of creative energy. So I guess it’s no accident that the stronger my belief in Bahá’u’lláh has become, the closer I have come to expressing and releasing blocked creative energy through playing music again! Also, my world view is broadening; I see how as a Bahá’í I am called upon to serve humanity and to fight for justice. As a newly-declared Bahá’í I am beginning to take this role very seriously.
A religion for our times
At the fireside I expressed my joy in the absence of ritual and an emphasis on the practical aspects of a spiritual life tied to what is going on in our world right now. I can truly understand and accept the Faith because it is totally relevant to our times. I feel called upon to do work that is uplifting to humanity. For this reason, I think that mentoring youth through yoga would be a good fit. I want to combine, once I begin working with this population, Kundalini and Hatha yoga. Integrating the breath and energy work of Kundalini with the flowing and held poses of Hatha I feel will be most beneficial to young people who are facing great challenges.
Gratitude for spiritual growth
So this time of Thanksgiving has been about growth, maturity, finding myself, and respecting myself for taking the steps I have taken so far as an independent business owner. I feel like I am coming closer to what it is I truly want to do, what I feel called to, from the most authentic corners of my being. I am going to see where I may be needed as a yoga instructor/flutist, and also as a Zumba dance instructor. Maybe the nutrition class can also be something I can do. I would feel so useful if this could happen. But I need to simply admit to myself that yoga is what I really want to do, with the music, writing and modeling. I need to leave the self-doubt and negativity out of my life and my head. This is the true prison of my soul, what is keeping me from a life of prosperity, happiness and peace.