Twenty-one years ago, I was feeling a bit sick much of the time, and so I decided to find a doctor who was interested in a more alternative approach to health, as I had just gotten interested in a more healthy lifestyle. Fortunately for me, C. Norman Shealy, founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, had his offices nearby, so I scheduled an appointment with him.
After a thorough examination that lasted over an hour, Norm and I sat down to chat. As we neared the end of our time together, he looked at me and said, “What do you believe in?” I had to ask him to repeat the question because, well, no doctor had ever asked me such a thing. I said, “Well, you’re born, you live, you die. Nothing before or after. No soul, no God, nothing. I guess you could say I’m an atheist.”
Norm looked at me with a kindly smile, and said, “About 5% of the population believes as you do. And that’s okay. But statistically, people who believe in something beyond themselves tend to be healthier and happier. The research is pretty clear on that score.”
Then, he absolutely floored me with what he said next: “I’ve examined you thoroughly, and as far as I can tell, there isn’t anything physically wrong with you. You are quite healthy. Yet, you feel lousy. If I were you, I’d get a spiritual life.”
I’ll never forget the next words out of my mouth: “How the hell do I do get a spiritual life?!”
Norm smiled at me, patiently explained that he didn’t mean go to church or anything like that, and suggested a few books that I should read. He seemed to know, somehow, that once he pointed me in the right direction, I’d be okay. And he was right. After reading his few book suggestions, I discovered the local new age bookstore, Renaissance Books, and went crazy, reading everything under the sun.
After reading dozens of books in the space of nine months, a set of 3 blue books kept catching my eye. I would pick-up one, read it a bit in the store, and then put it away, somewhat disgusted, because the books had all this Christian sounding lingo in them. After doing this little drill 4 or 5 times, I finally broke down and bought them. Within a week, I was hooked. A Course in Miracles became my spiritual path for 12 years as a result.
Strange how these things get started.
I’d love to hear your story of how you got started on the spiritual journey. I’ve turned the comments on for you to share.
Happy Holidays. Namaste.