Updated: Nov 9, 2021
I was four-years-old when my guinea pig Spooky died. With sadness and confusion in my voice, I asked, "Dad . . . what does this mean?" I will never forget that initial look -- the way Dad's face changed ever so slightly -- the way his eyes twinkled -- and that long, deep breath he took. As a healer, a theologist, a spiritual researcher Dad heard a question from his first daughter that he had only dreamed about. He warmly and calmly sat me down on the grass next to Spooky's cage and explained in a simple way that when a body dies, the soul survives. I don't recall each word he said, but the gist of it was that different families have their own beliefs around the topic of death. He shared how people who follow the Bible believe a particular death-story, and those who follow the Torah embrace a different belief while those who follow the Quran have another way to explain this journey. He told me how earth-based families honored the dead in a variety of different ways, and he wrapped this all up with his typical phrase, "...but what matters is how YOU feel. What do YOU believe? You won't have immediate answers but ask the questions and never stop asking."
I looked up at Dad and said, "Yeah, but do I feed her? Do I still clean her cage every day?"
From this encounter, a deep groove was forged in my path as both a student and a teacher.
Listen to the REAL questions being asked.
Don't be afraid to question everything.
Explore multiple thoughts, ideas, and beliefs as they won't diminish your own thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
Excitement for a topic can be contagious.
My Dad wanted the absolute best for me and loved me completely even if he didn't abide by item #1.
We found a special place in the backyard for Spooky and she was joined over the next 50+ years by MANY other much-loved and honored members of our animal family, but it was this moment that stoked the fire of my spiritual journey.