Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

 

Out of the Closet

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I’m finally coming out of the closet. I am and have always been a clothes-horse. Incorrigible. I inherited it from my mother (photo above right) who inherited it from her own. My daughter (photo above left with me), too, is quite the fashionista.

My unceasing passion for fashion led me from an early career as a social worker into my own retail accessories and leather goods business. Even now so many years later, as an interfaith reverend I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I touch a masterly crafted wallet.

I found this hunger for beautiful garments and accompaniments both a guilty pleasure and a curiosity for most of my life. What made it so large for me?

When I entered the spiritual world of ministry, a world in which materialism becomes less significant, I had to wonder at my continued yearning. I’ve thought long and hard about reconciling this seemingly disparate dyad: the wardrobe woman and the reverend.

Yet, I trust myself and my core values. Each day I awake to seek my center, my inner spiritual voice, looking to create another day of meaning. In that process, I recognize that I and each and every one of you possess the gift of artistic talent in some form. My daily art is seeing my body, my human form as a canvas upon which I paint everyday. What do I choose to dress in—the colors, shapes and textures I clothe myself in—which skirt, top, pants, dress, suit? The accessories, jewelry and lipstick that I select are the final brush strokes.

Coco Chanel once advised that when you think you are ready to walk out the door, have a last look in the mirror and take off one piece. I heed the message, “Less is more.”

I enjoy and amuse myself with this daily ritual. I call my style “classic with a playful twist.” Touches of the slightly unexpected, surprise, levity–hoping that some people I meet will get the message and smile. I love to make people smile. A look in the mirror tells me I am ready to face the day feeling fine.

I have stopped apologizing and feeling self-conscious for this seeming indulgence and have figured out how to accept that I can wed my worldly and spiritual selves and organically really enjoy doing so. Throughout my years, I have managed to observe and really discern colors in a fabric, admire the subtlety of shape in a garment and cherish the feel of a material’s texture. All of it excites me. I have learned much of this from nature’s beauty where there is not a moment’s hesitation to pair red with orange or chartreuse. It has been a long while since I stopped reading fashion magazines to find out the latest styles. Because I intuitively know my own, and how I want to express that individual style.

I am a master at bargain shopping and get as much thrill from the purchase as I do from finding a deep discount. I adore designer thrift shops, digging for someone’s discarded gem sold at a fraction of its original cost. I love reviving and recycling the brilliant creations of designers today and yesteryear. I get a kick out of helping other people shop and find their inner style.

My advice is: if you are zealous about shopping for clothes, if buying a new pair of shoes makes your day, if you get tickled pink by looking in your closets because you love your clothes so much and look forward to getting more—embrace your inner clothes-horse, dress to thrill, smile at yourself in the mirror and march out your door proudly, empowered, feeling like you can save the world! Try to do that too.

And remember the most important accessory you don is your smile!

–Rev. Lynn

God?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Let me try to tackle my theology.

As an adult and parent, I became attached to and versed in Judaism which informs my view of the world tremendously. I am extremely fond of the Torah, as literature, fable and soap opera; as an historic jumping off point for discussion, query and doubt. I embrace Jewish values deeply.

As to God–I was never clear in the past. I certainly thought if an all powerful God was operating, that he sure didn’t give me my full measure of compassion. So, it was about me.

In my early 30’s, I studied with a rabbi whose hero was Bob Dylan. He always ended weekly Torah study with this, “Remember, when you look into the eyes of another human being, you are looking into the eyes of God.”

This concept made a great impression on me and I have carried it forward for decades, not exactly sure what it meant. Sensing there was something in it that made some spiritual sense to me.

Many years later, I found myself in an Interfaith/Interspiritual Seminary where we were faced with our relationship (or not) to God on a daily basis.

Through this searching and the collection of my life experiences, what I believe today is that we are each fitted with godliness, the summation of which adds up to a powerful potential and obligation for us to make change in the world–either on a one to one scale or in the world arena.

I believe there is a Grand Spirit of Creation that places us here in this world. Whether that is born in physics, metaphysics or God no longer matters much to me, other than intellectual pursuit. I believe there are forces that originate nature, the life cycle, perfect imperfection and the need to love.

We are all connected. There is tremendous commonality among all human beings and that moves us into great compassion and understanding which is necessary for the world’s survival.

I seek what is good in every religion.

–Rev. Lynn