When I was growing up I didn’t have much exposure to traditional religion. What little experience I did have was made up of a few visits to Sunday school and what amounted to less than a handful of visits to church. To this day I remember the rather musty smell of churches, a smell that I assume was derived from a combination of ancient wooden pews and ancient congregations; I remember the feel of thin pages in well thumbed bibles; the hard cushions that we knelt on to pray, I also remember how our voices swelled in fleeting unison when singing the comforting choruses of hymns and then how we mumbled our way through the rest of the song, grateful that at least the organist knew the words. The other thing that stays with me to this day is that my encounters with traditional religion were boring beyond belief, to me it was a dry, lifeless experience that seemed to captivate very few. As a child my world was full of colour and yet when I stepped into church all the colour seemed to drain from life.
So what is it that we are responsible for? Our kids, sure, each other, sure, being responsible citizens, yes of course, the environment, as much as we can, but what if the quality and level of responsibility that we are able to take for the things outside of us, was dependent on the quality and level of responsibility that we are prepared to take for ourselves?
As a yoga teacher I believed whole heartedly that I was a very healthy person. I exercised most days, consciously pushing myself to my physical limit, I ate what I believed to be healthy foods and I ate them in large quantities, believing that the more of them I ate, the better it was for me. I lived what I believed to be a virtuous way of life, I was kind to others and would help others out even at the expense of my own body.
Alexis Stewart is the mum of a beautiful boy and the partner to an amazing man. She works as a yoga teacher and a disability support worker and is a dedicated student of the Way of The Livingness. Alexis has recently discovered a passion for writing.