Sick of reading? Listen here.
"From what I was told, this is the talk in which I’m supposed to talk about me. I already do that often enough, because I want to be vulnerable and honest in this world. It’s important to me that everyone knows I’m very human, and have done very very stupid things; and that they too can overcome the karma from doing very very stupid things, propagating better karma for themselves in the future. However, today I want to tell you things about me you may not know; and if anything, I can offer you some insight into why this, why Chapel, is so important to me. Why it’s my spiritual home.
9 times out of 10, I’m a happy go lucky type of gal. As happy go lucky as I am, there’s a lot of serious business that happens within me. Although I’ve always been able to find the joy in almost every moment, most of my ponderings are heavy weighted. I consider a lot.
Ministry is an exciting new journey for me. I view ministry, for myself, the same way I view leadership. Leadership is being of service to others. I’ve been in leadership for a very long time- I was a supervisor at 16, manager at 20. I was always just sort of tossed into supervisor and management roles...like, "You’ll do, you’re loud". It’s really not something I sought, it was something that just happened. I really thought I was good at it for a long time; but I really wasn’t.
I wasn’t good at leadership when I was younger, because I didn’t understand what leadership was. Leadership is being the boss, yea? Being in control, yea? Telling people what to do, yea? Hahahaha, it’s funny now, looking back at super stressed out 26 year old me freaking out trying to manage people at work...You can’t manage people! It’s like herding cats!
What you CAN do is be a good example. You can be the change you want to see in the cafe you’re managing. You can shut your mouth, and listen. You can use your voice when it’s necessary. You can think of everyone and everything, not just yourself. Taking yourself and your ego out of the equation may very well be the most important part of any type of leadership: work leadership, family leadership, spiritual leadership...it’s not about you. This, all this, isn’t about me. If I made this, all this, about me, I wouldn’t be able to do a very good job, I think. I know that, intuitively, so I remember it always...even in moments I would like to conveniently forget.
Being on board and staff at Chapel of Awareness, I have voted no for things I personally wish to say yes to; and I have voted yes on things I personally wish to say no to. This doesn’t happen very often, we’re a pretty darn harmonious bunch; but it happens. I’ve voted yes when I want no, or no when I want yes, because I’m not just voting for ME.
This, all this, isn’t about ME. It’s about all of us. I don’t just vote for me, I represent all of you; and harmony will always be my main priority. Harmony must be a priority when representing Chapel, it’s students, and it’s members. But, just for the record, if ya’ll want to install a go-cart track on the patio, I’m voting no even if it causes disharmony!!! That’d be a major safety hazard. It would go against my personal integrity to vote with the crowd, if I believe that vote will lead to disaster...or cracked skulls. Although I cannot promise you I will always vote or act alongside of you, I can promise you I will always vote and act with integrity.
Let’s chat a little bit about how I found Chapel.
I think by Duality of Man in the BLS I knew I was going to work towards ministry. That was about four and a half years ago; but it seems like it was four and a half months ago. I’ve been waiting for this, this moment, for awhile now; and now that it has arrived, I’m frankly in a bit of shock.
Thank you for being on this journey with me, I value all of you so much.
When I arrived here, I had been very awkwardly navigating a bit of an awakening. Very awkwardly. Now, you must understand that before Chapel, no one could get me in a church unless it was for a funeral. If someone I knew was getting married in a church, I would skip that bit, and meet them at the reception. I was very jaded by religion and spirituality in general. It didn’t make any sense to me, and I felt like it gave so many people excuses to behave badly. The judgement I had towards religion really held me back, holistically as a person, for a long time. I didn’t see it then, but I do now.
I found Chapel on Google...sort of. You see, I had been seeing a Spiritual Guidance Counselor (someone I had awkwardly stumbled upon); and she advised me that I could do what she did. At that point in my awkward stumble, I was aware of Cassandra and Paul; but I also wasn’t sure if I was Schizophrenic, or stressed out to the point of insanity.
At the time, I figured Googling psychic school near me was a better option than throwing in the towel with regards to my sanity. Hey, and wouldn’t you know it- Chapel popped up on Google! Hey, and wouldn’t you also know it….I had been driving by Chapel ALMOST EVERY DAY for a couple months, and at least twice a week for about 3 years. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the Google results: “I DRIVE BY THIS PLACE EVERY FREAKIN DAY!”
By any normal standard, it was not a good time for me to start classes...or start anything new, for that matter. I was working 60-70 hours a week, I was at the beginning of the end of my marriage, I was anxious, and I was exhausted. Then, just for fun, my dad had a heart attack a couple weeks before I started Tuesday classes. Although I knew he’d be alright, I actually had something to be terrified about for the first time in my life. Jeez, thanks, Dad.
Some people have to be completely broken at some point in their lives, so they can put themselves back together as they want to be, versus what the world molded them to be. I happen to be one of those people- because I freakin' insist on doing everything the hard way.
My point is that I was broken. I was entirely shattered: emotionally, energetically, physically, and spiritually. Nothing made sense to me any more. But Chapel, this place, these teachers, you people...This made sense. Chapel of Awareness made sense. Absolutely nothing could have stopped me from coming here; and I will be forever grateful for that, because “here” is why I, as a shattered person, could put myself back together again into the person I planned to be in this life.
I spent a very arduous 30 years trying to be someone I am not; and for many years, I was very good at it: being someone I am not. The process of developing personally isn’t about taking in new knowledge, so much as getting rid of knowledge you do not need. Right around 30, I started shedding things that were not me; more importantly, I started shedding things that other people thought were me, gave up on being who everyone wanted me to be, and stopped caring about being the me that other people didn’t approve of. This wasn’t my first try at a personal reform; but so far it’s been my only successful endeavor. In the past, I always shrunk back compliantly into the human everyone approved of….eventually. I certainly spent some time in my youth lashing out, driving my parents crazy- they are here, they can confirm. Confirmed, guys? Confirmed.
Rev. Nancy, in her ordination speech, mentioned being a rebel without a cause….and I laughed in my head, thinking of all the times my mother said that about me. Mom, confirmed? Confirmed.
I think we can all relate to feeling ashamed of who were are. After all, society is set up to shame people for who they are, unless they are like everyone else. So often growing up, I was made to feel ashamed, or wrong, simply for being...me. Can anyone relate to that? “You’re like this, and that’s wrong, because I don’t like it.” So I hid from me, I did my best to change ME, or be a me that wasn’t me. I did all this to be accepted, to feel accepted- except it didn’t work.
You may, or may not have noticed, that I have what appears to be an abundant amount of energy. Some people call it hyperactivity...or ADHD, whatever. When you’re an energetic child around less energetic adults who are trying to squash kids into a box maze, attempting to teach them how to get through the maze which is society… you don’t make a lot of friends with authority figures, right? I didn’t even see the maze! What maze?! Why are you trying to herd me through this thing? I just want to color, and learn about space and dinosaurs, and figure out where Cain’s wife came from! I can remember listening to most of my teachers, thinking…."Dude, this maze isn’t even real, dude...you need to chill out." Thinking like that...you don’t make many friends with authority figures...they just want you to sit down, shut up, get good grades, and be a drone, right? I heard “Don’t rock the boat” a lot, and all I could think was, “There is no boat!”.
But alas, the very real human need to be loved and accepted won me over; and I did my best to fit in. I was okay at it, I guess. No matter how good I got at trying to be normal, I never felt normal. As it were, I’m...just not normal; and at 36...I’m finally okay with that.
Chapel gave me the tools I needed to develop spiritually; and the ability to truly know, love, and understand ME. See it’s magic, once you learn how to shut down your mind monster, and stop thinking...you make space for knowing.
I was 32 when I found Chapel; and I had 32 years worth of mind monster to shut down. “I’m too hyper active, I’m not pretty enough, I talk too much, There’s something wrong with me, I’m too into wounded birds, I’m too excited, I’m too impulsive, I’m not good enough, I’m not normal, I can’t meditate, I’m crazy.”
My monster was very loud, and very convincing.
My mind monster is still there; but now I can tell the difference between Meaghan and the Monster. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to catch yourself in a mind monster moment, and being able to say, “Monster, you’re not real. I know what’s real now.”
If I can do nothing more with my ministry than teach people that difference, I will die so happy, and so fulfilled. If I can give people the tools to be free, that will be enough for me to feel I have given back as much as Chapel of Awareness has given me. Freedom. Freedom from my mind, freedom from delusion, freedom from emotions. If we could all just be free.