“Don’t stop believing; and Bless everything no exceptions” Glee and my spiritual practice. ~ Erika Ginnis

“Don’t stop believing; and Bless everything no exceptions”

I am going to touch on three things in this post; the first one has to do with the TV show Glee. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it (and you don’t need to be for purposes this post, although it will be even more enjoyable for those that are 🙂 ) Glee is a new, very popular, show that revolves around the experiences of a High School Glee club; but it’s really about much much more.

Ok so yes here I am talking about a TV series, and one might say how can this really be spiritual. But I have to say that there are things in this show that touch my heart so deeply; one of which is a song that has become a kind of theme through the show thus far, the chorus of which goes …”Don’t stop believing, hold on to that feeling”. Sound familiar? If not feel free to scroll down to watch the YouTube video I included, and then come back up and start reading again here…

This song shows up in such poignant ways all through the season of Glee, and it speaks to many of us across a wide range of experiences. I invite you to think about what this phrase is saying.

Don’t stop believing.

Believe even in the midst of doubt; believe even though there is no visible evidence. This is the call of spirit, of our deep inner selves. It is the guiding light that shines on the path that we are walking, that shows us the turns to take.

Hold on to that feeling; yes that is the key because from that feeling springs the emotion and from that emotion springs the vibration and from that vibration springs the demonstration of your belief.

I love Glee, I love that we have these amazing individuals falling and returning to center, showing us our own path. Reminding us of times gone by or times to come; but also of what is right in front of us right now.

Every moment is an opportunity to believe, and it’s put to the test during the times when we feel lost or alone on our journey (how perfect that the song is originally by Journey, such a metaphor!). We lose who we are (we think); we think our dreams are lost too, but this is never true! Our dreams are right there waiting for us to turn back toward them and embrace them.

The next related point is something I have been thinking and writing about lately; as is shown in the season finale of Glee, the concept that you do not have to be the best to be really good, or worthwhile.

During the season Finale they (and I am assuming here that people have seen the show and I am not spoiling it for anyone) do not win the contest they are in, there are many reasons for that but they don’t in fact win. This is surprising especially for a TV show where these kids are the underdogs, I personally wanted them to win, expected them to win! However they don’t and they “didn’t even place” (as one character says) And yet, and yet… they are amazing and they are the epitome of heart and love (IMHO) and growth and evolution of self.

What I wrote previously on this idea of not having to be the BEST…

One thing that I have been struck with on this topic that I have been meditating on since it really hit home; was the idea that you do not have to be the BEST at something (ie perfect) to be good at it; or for it to be worthwhile. I started to wonder how many people are not doing/sharing their gifts and light and ideas because they judge it as “not-as-good-as” and so don’t do it at all?

If I take that to the extreme it means there can only be one who is the “good one” at anything; and even if you are the ONE that is the BEST, there is so much energy going into keeping that place because that itself is so transitory! Plus it’s totally subjective! I am not saying to stop striving to be the best you can be at something, but there is a difference between having that as something you are inspired to do; and letting it stop you from doing all kinds of different things or new things.

This becomes more important as we move into new avenues of expression that may be entirely new for everyone since we are all evolving in so many ways.

All is one, even though we are all a variety of expressions of that One. Each time you let yourself move forward become larger greater, move into new territory, it’s like one of the flowers on the HUGE tree of US opens and blooms; each time a flower bursts open it stimulates more flowers to bloom.

This whole show is about being your self no matter what someone else’s opinion is, it is about following that dream, believing in yourself. I think that is one of the reasons that the show is so powerful; there is such a strong message in it.

This same song in the finale; which echoes both the first episode, and another later episode; epitomizes the longing for a child hood dream (in this case music) and an individual deciding to follow it rather than desert it, which makes it all the more heart opening.

How do we then keep these dreams alive in us? There are many many ways, but one that I am going to mention is something that many people have suggested over the years; and that I had a very personal experience with it recently…

Last weekend I had to get up really early for a commitment on Saturday. I was having a hard time sleeping the night before; I couldn’t fall asleep in my bed so I was out on the couch. I was having one of those nights where I was increasingly aware of what time it was in relation to what time I had to get up. I had been sort of dozing but was awake again and feeling kind of stiff.  It was about 3 in the morning. I got up kind of sore from the position I had been in and was going to try the bed again. I put my arms up and stretched and was right in the middle of this huge sigh.

I was planning on it ending in a frustrated exclamation, I even kind of resigned to how I would feel after that…but oddly enough that wasn’t what happened.

It’s like I had been up in the air, ready to come down in a specific pre-chosen spot and something just shifted positions in me; and rather than landing where I thought I would, I came down somwhere entirely different and utterly unplanned.  What changed? Well in mid-sigh surprisingly I heard something within myself tell me this thought, rather than the one I had planned…

“bless everything; no exceptions”

And all of a sudden that “pre-groan” sigh, turned into a sigh of relief. It was like all at once I was a different person than I had been two seconds before. I smiled instead of groaning as I had been literally planning to do moments before, and I went to bed and slept well. It had truly been a moment of unexpected grace.

I want to note this because it was a good and powerful place to be in and return to. Since that time, all week (of course) I have been getting that message every time I turn around; in books; in spiritual practice on my iPhone; in emails 🙂 and so I know it is absolutely important to me on my path right now. This all on its own was lovely and inspiring but there is more to the story.

That Saturday I went through my day and came home and had time to read a good book and relax. I was in a pretty uplifted place and so that night I slept well with no need to watch the clock. I was still integrating this idea of “bless everything no exceptions”; which was not the most natural of spiritual practices I have encountered, given some of my own mental habits.

However what happened on Sunday was like a time release experience.

Sunday morning I woke up well rested (up early again for the second day of my budgeting commitment) and had this feeling of blessing running entirely through me. I got up and thought about various things and when I found myself slipping (by habit) into complaining in my mind or attitude; the phrase would resurface, and I would start just blessing whatever it was, no matter what I thought of it. This changed my entire morning.

Given the early start of my day I found myself driving into Hilo before many people were up (since it was a Sunday). I spent the whole drive in, blessing everything; it was like I had a long wide cloak/wave coming out from my shoulders and fanning out behind me. I was at the leading edge of the cloak/wave and I imagined just blessing everyone as they were sleeping. I was loving all these people who hadn’t started their day yet; who were still in bed or just getting up. I imagined their mornings and breakfasts and afternoon get-togethers and I blessed and blessed and blessed. It was effortless and felt so very good. I kept that feeling all through the day; every time I would feel that I was falling into worry or anything else I would move right back into blessing. It changed my entire experience.

I didn’t try to change the things I saw even if they weren’t the way I wanted them to be,  I just “blessed everything, no exceptions”; if I saw a place in my life with a hole instead of the something I wanted in it, I blessed it.  If I noticed anything at all, any person place or thing no matter what they were doing, I blessed them, I covered them with this cloak of blessing. It was so cool.

I share this story because I think we can use this for our own dreams and visions; every time we might get tempted to judge ourselves harshly (which can be so so so easy to do, at least for me sometimes) we can instead choose to “Bless everything; no exceptions”. This will entirely change our energy and therefore our experience.

We can take the example from the kids in Glee… Don’t stop believing hold on to that feeling! and Bless everything no exceptions, and see what kind of beauty we can create.

Blessings and Aloha,

Erika Ginnis

(ps this video is from mid season, not the finale, but it was a nice version of the song so I am including it here. There are as you might guess, a bagillion Youtube videos of this song in its various forms from Glee… so take your pick and enjoy!)