“On this new day. . .look to the ways that the path before you is illuminated by a light so subtle, so gentle, so certain that the delicate soles of your feet can Trust the walk ahead. With each step, imagine the soft earth rising up to meet you whispering: “I’ve been here all along…you never walk alone.” When fear rises, let your Faith–the invincible belief in that which cannot be seen, prove itself an absolute warrior over your fear. Walk onward with the Grace of light shimmering before you, behind you & all around you & with the certainty that when the path grows dark, the light will always reappear & that if you look closely, you’ll see the light streaming in through all of your cracked & broken places…this is how I shall walk. . .Forward we go…”
–Christine Kiesinger FB status 1/1/15
The Internet is pretty amazing. Beyond cat videos and distraction, there is the potential for true connection in ways previously unknown. This glimpse is the result of one such connection. Christine Kiesinger lives in Pennsylvania. We have never met but connected on Facebook thru a mutual acquaintance. Her posts have often caused me to pause, ponder, wonder and smile. It is a rare thing to find depth, presence and authenticity in a status update on Facebook and yet that is what Christine offers almost every day. I was thrilled to connect over the phone with Christine recently and I wish to thank her for sharing of herself and her wisdom so deeply.
Your writings reveal a deep connection to Spirit Christine. When did you first become aware of the spiritual side of life?
I was very, very young. I remember things I felt and experienced as a toddler. I recall feeling intense loneliness even as a young child. I had a feeling back then that I knew something that others did not and I remember feeling separated from something important. I had an ache and a longing even at a young age to re-connect. Looking back, I believe I was remembering a time before my birth when I was completely engulfed by Spirit. Once here, I felt a fierce longing to remember and reconnect to that beautiful state. My Mom always says, “You were a weird kid. You were like a ghost. You would float around the house and were very quiet.” I was quiet, reflective.
I grew up in a fairly conservative Catholic home. Although I was infatuated with the blessed Mother, Mary Magdalene and Jesus and his story as a man, I never felt a strong sense of connection to the Divine within the organizational structure of the church. It was not until I was in graduate school that I found the connection I had been seeking for as I long as I can remember.
Can you describe just how you found that connection?
I was living in South Florida at the time, under a great deal of stress and going thru a major relational loss. I was sitting on my patio meditating- although at the time I would not have known to call it that. I was praying and I was in a very calm, almost trance-like state. Suddenly, I began to feel as if the world of spirit was merging with the earthly plane. It was as if I expanded and merged with a completely separate realm of existence.
Visually, I saw a male form sitting and facing me. We were both sitting cross-legged in lotus position and our knees were touching. This was God in form and it was as if my spirit was merging with his. It was beautiful and I remember a large part of me not wanting to leave this place of connection, this wondrous experience. However, another part of me knew that I had to return to my human life and that this experience would never really leave me.
How did that experience change your perspective Christine?
That moment was a true game changer for me. For me, it made the idea of the Divine undeniable. No one can ever refute my belief because I had this direct experience. It is like it is part of my cellular make-up now. Another theme that emerged from that experience is the idea of Divine Remembrance—which is the idea that our journey is one of “remembering”– remembering who we are and where we come from. These days, experiences of grace are the many small moments sprinkled thru out each day that allow me to glimpse and remember.
How do you define “Spirit” Christine?
Spirit is that presence or force that moves thru me speaks thru me, thinks thru me in such a way that I get the gift of feeling completely connected again and again. When I am wide open and spirit is moving thru me, I get the benefit of being completely aware of being a piece of that mirror you talk about or a ray of the spiritual sun- a beautiful piece of the whole. I remember and feel totally connected.
My work in the world is to be and live in such a way that others get to experience spirit thru their encounters with me. When I saw my first yoga teacher, she did not even have to speak a word but simply walked into the room and I thought. “I don’t know what she has, I don’t know what it is, but I want that.” Her presence exuded spirit and reflected it to all in the room. Sometimes these days, I have students who say similar things to me—they want what I “have.” What they really want, what we all want is that connection to God.
How do you live your purpose in the world Christine? What does it look like for you?
The purpose of my life was revealed to me in a moment I will never forget. I was 22 years old and standing before my very first class of students at the University of Virginia. The class was an Introduction to Communication Studies or something of that sort and within the first three minutes of introducing the course, an absolute feeling of electricity passed through my body along with the thought: “This–ah, this is what you were brought here to do…to teach.”
Had I been photographed with a mechanism that could pick up light and energy, I think I would have been a ball of blazing light–because that is how it feels to not just find your purpose but to BE your purpose and I never looked back. The “seeds” of our life purpose are born with us and if tended to, they will flourish. As a child, my favorite thing to do was to “play school” and I was enamored by many of my teachers along the way.
Once, while contemplating my tombstone, the words: “She lived to teach and in doing so, to heal,” flashed across my mind. It’s all been so crystal clear. I care not about the context within which I teach–it can be in a classroom, from the yoga mat, in a workshop or public presentation. I can teach over a cup of coffee in a one on one dialogue. I can teach as I write. What matters is sharing what I know, feel and have experienced in ways that help others step into the best expression of themselves and to engage in such a way that they, too, become my teacher.
If you wonder about your life purpose, look closely at your life–look to those things that cause you to light up–to become ablaze with passion. Let your LIFE tell you what you were brought here to do. Then–don’t just do it–BE it. Fully aligned with your Purpose, you will evolve a life that is worth living–a life that will be most fulfilling.
Despite a glimpse or even a direct experience of the divine, life is not always easy. Can you speak to that Christine?
Absolutely. The support of the connection I feel has helped me thru many tough times. I often think without it, I may have been institutionalized, addicted or generally travelled down a very different life path.
When I am going thru rough times, my number one “go to” is meditation. I try to return back to that same imagery of sitting with God knee to knee and I am nourished by that connection. For people who are inclined to these practices and who find themselves in a real life crisis situation, the key is to remember that now is the key time to pray. Now is the key time to meditate. It has to be your priority above all else. If you have to get up at 5am to have your time—you must do it!
Another practice that I use is something I call “Taking it to the Altar”. I made it up and it has helped me thru some very challenging times. The key to this practice is that you really have to be ready to surrender and turn over the issue at hand.
I imagine myself climbing a big hill while carrying a large wicker basket. Inside the basket is the issue I need to surrender. I know I simply cannot carry it anymore. It is heavy. I have done everything I can do and now I need divine intervention.
I come to an altar at the top of the hill and place the basket down upon it. I ask God to take it. I trust him to take it from me.
Usually, immediately after doing this short meditation, I have an immediate sense of relief and then shortly afterwards, something seems to shift externally and the situation gets more manageable.
To connect with Christine find her on Facebook or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org