Beliefnet
Reprinted with permission from "The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything" by arrangement with Red Wheel/Weiser.

Tami Coyne and Karen Weissman met in 1994 through Concept-Therapy -- a course of study that emphasizes the underlying unity between science and spirituality. Tami (the "passionate" one) has an A.B. in French Literature from Smith College and is the author of "Your Life's Work: A Guide to Creating aSpiritual and Successful Work Life." Karen (the "analytical" one) holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Princeton University. They began collaborating as the Spiritual Chicks when they realized that despite operating from different sides of the brain, their spiritual sensibilities were basically telling each of them the same thing -- that we're all expressions of God, Spirit, or the One Life.


Despite the enduring myth that enlightenment can somehow be instantly bestowed upon us at the feet of a master, it usually takes real life to wake us up to who we are, how things actually work, and what it is we're here to do.

So, let's cut to the chase. What's your real life wake-up call? Work? Relationships? An unyielding desire for the truth, inner peace, or a new car? Believe it or not, the ups and downs of everyday life are tailor made to kick us into cosmic consciousness so there's no need to sell the family farm and move to the Himalayas. In our own lives -- and within each of us -- is everything we need to become enlightened which sure can be a shock when we've been taught to rely on the experience of others rather than think for ourselves.

"The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything" is about using our everyday lives to gain spiritual understanding and to uncover our own power to create the lives we want to live. It doesn't matter what roles we've played over the years, how much we've struggled, or how much wisdom we've acquired up to this point. Sound intriguing? Maybe even fun? You bet it is! And it's a lot more productive than complaining about our troubles or blaming our parents, bosses, bank accounts, or international terrorists for our lack of fulfillment. It may be hard to accept at first, but it's our own beliefs that determine what we get out of life. If we don't like what we have or where we are, then it's up to us to question what we believe and throw out all the limiting ideas that keep us from being happy. It takes courage to break the chains of conventional opinion and get rid of cherished beliefs. It doesn't happen overnight. But it's well worth the effort... and it's a hell of a ride.

Before we get going, let's clarify a few terms. First, what exactly do we, the Spiritual Chicks, mean by "spirituality"? To us, spirituality

is the process of exploring our connection to the universe -- or, more precisely, to the elusive power that holds the entire universe together and makes our hair grow, all at the same time. OK, but what is this power

we're talking about? Science calls it energy

or consciousness

; theology calls it God

or Spirit

. The interpretation of of this power varies (scientists meansure and quantify its effects, while creationists ascribe human-like body parts and personality traits to it), but there are three general characteristics that are more or less consistent: this power is everywhere, knows everything, and can do anything. Now, that's a kick ass power. We use the terms like God, energy, Spirit, and consciousness, along with Nature

and the One Life

, interchangeably. But it's all the same ever-present stuff.

So if energy or God is everywhere, then where

are we? And who

are we? This brings us to the definition of the term -- the One Life Principle -- that just happens to be the foundation for this book. This ancient idea says that there is a single underlying power in the univese, but its expression takes many different forms -- baseball players, puppies, exotic dancers, Supreme Court Justices, rocks, trees, even criminals. And, while you might not be ready to jump on the One Life bandwagon just yet, you must admit that this principle explains a lot about life -- not the least of which is how Jerry Falwell, Larry Flint, and Mother Teresa can all be "children of God." We're all spiritual beings, because we're all Spirit. There you have it. God, or energy, is all there is. Isn't it enlightening to realize that we've always been what we're trying to become... spiritual, that is?

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