I was baptized Catholic and raised with the teachings of the Bible. My mother always told me, "God doesn't like evil." She would always preach the bible and call out to God in her trying times. I can hear her voice now. My father is a born Muslim, but I have never read the Quran. When I say a born Muslim, I mean yes, my father is Indian and was born into an Islamic family. My last name is not Ali by chance, nor did my father convert to Islam, and no I am not related to Muhammad Ali.
There is a mixture of religions among my family; some are Christian, Episcopalian, Hindu, Catholic, Baptist, and whatever other denominations exist. I am fortunate to have grown up in a multi-religious family with total acceptance of other religious practices. That is Trinidad for you––we are the only country in the world that celebrates ethnic and religious differences in unity.
I am effing proud.
Before I discuss my present-day spiritual practices, let me step back and discuss my journey in Catholicism. My mother had my brother and I baptized at 12-years-old in Trinidad at the Catholic church across the street from my grandmother's house. We were baptized at a later age because my mother wanted us to have an understanding of both religions and a choice in the matter.
At the time, I told my parents I choose to be Catholic because I didn't want to cover my body from head to toe nor give up the experience of drinking alcohol when I become of age. That was my extent of knowledge regarding the Islamic faith. I know, I know, what does a 12-year-old know about these things? Not a gawd damn thing.
When we returned to the the United States, my mother, brother, and I would attend a Saturday evening Catholic service as my father worked the night shift. There was a time my dad converted to Christianity, I think it was when he married my mother way back in 1981. My mother also enrolled my brother and me in Catechism classes during my freshman year of high school. I didn't like going to these classes, at the time it was more of a social gathering to me in trying to fit in. I still didn't understand the repetitious kneeling to pray either.
Yes, Catholic girls are indeed bad and a little fast (not me––I swear). I completed four of the seven sacraments; Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, and Reconciliation and Penance. Shortly after graduating from high school, I stopped attending the Catholic church. I think my brother and I had no interest in going because we were dropped off and forced to go by my mother. We were more concerned with house parties and kickbacks.
As I entered my mid-twenties, I began attending a non-denominational church with my uncle and aunt the first time I lived in Florida. It was our Sunday ritual, the sermons were easier to understand, the message received, and it gave me comfort to do something together with my family. I was also lost moving to a new state. I didn't know anyone and was unsure what direction my life was going to take.
Eventually, we all stop going to church.
Life happened, my uncle and aunt began to care for their grandchildren on a full-time basis. My time was consumed by a full-time job, part-time graduate school, and my newfound love for health and fitness. Throughout that time, I always prayed to God and I always knew the good in my life was only because of my faith in Him.
Ultimately, I stopped believing in the church. I realized I believed more in the power of prayer and living my life right than I did the church.
I believed in one universal God with no separation of religions. It was all the same to me; the same lessons, the same discipline, and the same words translated a million times over. Phrases like "my God", and "our God" truly bothered me. It's the same God.
As I entered my early thirties, I attended a non-denominational church upon returning to California for a total of one time. I just didn't like being there. It seemed like one big show, a free concert, with colored stage lights, and drop-down projection screens. It was too extravagant for me. I continued with my nightly prayers at home, but then trauma hit. When trauma hits, it hits oh so differently. I knew I needed a different type of prayer and healing as my life began to spiral. I decided to undergo Reiki. Reiki resonated with me more than any religion.
To understand my energy, chakras, and my soul was what I needed to learn to become high vibrational and step into my power and light.
I have done both in-person and distance Reiki four times. Each time it revealed things I had to work on within myself or be conscious of.
I started to work with sage and crystals. I would sage myself, my car, and my room. I started carrying crystals every single time I traveled and kept them under my pillow at night, setting an intention for each one. I have purchased oracle cards to learn more about my divine feminine energy too.
More recently, I have had readings from a medium and a psychic. Again, revealing things to me I needed to be aware of, heal, or work on.
Fast forward to this current moment.
As of yesterday, I underwent a past life regression (stay tuned for part two of this article). A past life regression is a form of hypnosis. Let me tell you, I most definitely had a past life and a happy one too. It also reveals your soul lessons and helps you understand yourself a little better.
I still believe in God. I still believe in prayer. I still believe in faith. I still go to church if I am asked to go. But, I also believe in the universe, synchronicities, spirit animals (mine is a horse), and spirit guides too.
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