(Added: I know that others may feel the exact opposite of me on these things. And I do respect that completely. I once felt the opposite as well. I’m really just happy for anyone who feels power from their chosen path!)
–I have felt more connected than ever with people outside of the church.
I hate to even say this out loud, but I often felt like an “other” as a Mormon. It’s common in the culture to see other religions as not having the full truth. So you can imagine that can lead to a feeling of separation for many reasons – even if it’s only because you fear others feel awkward around you because your own beliefs suggest superiority. Not sure if anyone else has experienced this. Anyway, that feeling of awkward separation is gone for me. It’s GONE! It feels very freeing! I feel more connected to humanity more than ever; more equal with everyone around me. (I still feel very connected to Mormons, too, of course. I guess the gates just feel more open in every direction.)
–I feel freer in my body.
Most faithful Mormons wear a set of white clothing underneath their regular clothing (it’s a white top with short sleeves and bottoms that go to the knee). Without them, I feel lighter, as you can imagine. I feel more in tune with my body, with my feminine self, with my womanhood, with my own skin. This is what I feel now: I am enough. Me – and my body – and my spirit are enough for spiritual connection, even without the clothing. Also, some added bonuses: I feel prettier and more feminine when I get ready for bed with my husband. I don’t have to worry about rashes – as for years I had rashes, which one astute doctor told me was due to so many tight layers. Packing for long trips requires much less clothing! Less laundry, too. And it’s been delightful wearing some feminine under things. 🙂 I have yet to shop for a black tie dress, but I can tell you already it’s going to be a whole new world. Less tears at Bloomingdales, too. (Note: to those who wear garments and find it sacred – I know why you do and know that I do honor that part of your life. I do feel symbols can be beautiful.)
–My voice feels stronger and freer.
I feel I can speak my truth according to my own censorship, not that of another. I had times in the church when my voice felt silenced. Or when I knew my words would not be welcomed as they weren’t a part of the program. So now, I just feel free. I can support whom I want. I can share my opinions boldly. I can speak out against something if I desire. No other party has authority over me and my thoughts or my words. There is not the pressure to be found “worthy” by an outside party.
–I feel empowered on my spiritual path.
I feel limitless in my seeking of truth. I can explore anything – dive in deep – try something different. It’s like the gates are open to many ideas, experiences, and philosophies. I want to keep exploring.
-I feel more connected to charitable efforts of my own choosing.
I grew up being taught to give 10% of my entire income to the church – and that tradition continued in my adult life until recently. I do love the tradition of giving – and it was beautiful to have that reminder to share what I have. Though it also came with drawbacks. For example, I often wouldn’t give to outside needs because “I already gave 10% to the church.” Anyway, it actually feels wonderful to go out and choose causes that I personally feel aligned with – and to be a part of the causes myself, if possible, with not only money, but time and talents.
–I have encountered a few who are sad for me (or Danny).
I know what that fear is like. I know that loss. I know that you might pray for me or Danny – so that I might come back to the key Mormon beliefs. If this helps at all – know that this path is beautiful to both of us. People are always evolving. We accept that and embrace the evolving spiritual path and don’t fear it, but welcome it.
I share all of this with love – with great love for my experiences as a Mormon. Wouldn’t change a thing. So grateful for it all – for every part of this beautiful experience called life.
P.S. In these photos I was trying to find an outfit for a photo shoot (for our new site!) – and…the skirt happened to be shorter than I would have been able to wear with the Mormon undergarments. It was actually the first time I’d been shopping without the garments. You can see my face as we realized this, and I said, “I’m definitely okay with it” and Danny was, too, and we smiled and knew that all was well.
As always, we love hearing your thoughts! XOXO
And don’t miss our 2016 events:
3-Day Body+Soul Camp in PA (July 8-10) – $847
1-Day Love Boot Camps in Portland, Mesa, and Austin (July 16, 23, & 30) – $395
7-Day Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador (Oct. 9-15) – $2,750 (book by July 15 for $500 off)
Note: the Ecuador event is now verbally oversold – meaning more than 12 people have verbally confirmed they are coming. So don’t delay if you’d love to secure a spot! Bookings are first come, first served.