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Ep. 14 - Untangling Spirituality From Religion - An Interview With Eva Live

by Hearts Rise Up
November 18th 2019
After years of fundamentalist evangelical Christian practice, Eva Live only felt disillusioned with religion. She was feeling aloneness, disconnection, and isolation — an inner sort of torture. She sp... More
right? Mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. Hello to all of your hearts Rise up podcast listeners. Thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode of this podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host for this episode on this podcast. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guests that we bring on our show. Our purpose is to inspire you to rise up to your best and greatest self, tap into your own inner wisdom and elevate your state of being, your life and the world around you. It's that simple. So let's get right into today's episode. Yeah, I'm so excited to introduce my guest today. Eva live. Eva is a writer, poet and teacher who is passionate about helping those who have become disillusioned by the aspects of religion that seeks to dominate human spirituality.

After healing long term traumatic effects of her religious past and letting go of the beliefs that held her back. She has discovered an ecstatic spiritual life lived in alignment with her inner soul calling. Eva started ecstatic soul calling. To help you discover your own ecstatic soul calling so that you can feel fully alive in tune with the life force that flows through all things. Eva, I am so excited to have you here today. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me I'm really excited to share today. And so with that introduction, I would love for you to share a bit more about who you are and the journey that you're on right now in both life and work. Yeah, so, um briefly about my history, I grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical christian church um and my parents were heavily, heavily involved in that and Sort of made some some changes in my early 20s, into more of a charismatic bent.

Um but in around age 28 is when I began to leave Religion and it's been 10 years now, it's been quite a process and uh so many discoveries along the way, so many challenges. Um a lot of sense of darkness and aloneness and isolation in there. Um but at this point I feel so much more alive and not that I don't still have challenges, um and um things, you know, triggers and things like that, but I also have the tools that it takes to heal those. And so it's been quite a journey carol, I bet it has. You know, I think that when I think about my own journey, that I experienced the same thing myself over time and sometimes I slip back into the same patterns and it's it's something that you have to just continue to push through. But I think it would be really helpful for our listeners to understand a little bit more about what, what were the triggers, was there a particular moment in time of something, an event that triggered these changes in you, or was it a series of incremental things that eventually led you to this shift.

Yeah, well, so the first, I guess that the first big shift in my life was leaving my parents form of religion, and looking back, I could look at all these huge shifts that I've made almost through the lens of loneliness versus longing for connection, and um and then that shift, it was like, I want more of a connection with God, was how I looked at it and their church was very blocked off from that sort of a way of away um you know, it was very much like, we can't hear from God today kind of church, and so um and then, like going into the charismatic world, it was like, I um want to connect with, you know, whatever I define in my spiritual that I want to, I want to have this connection, um but what ended up happening in that um in that path, in that church was um feeling disconnected from other humans and really feeling isolated in the midst of all that, and um it eventually led me out because I just, I wanted to feel it wasn't, it wasn't resonating, it wasn't working, there was there was just no, not enough connection, but when I was starting to leave from that charismatic kind of church, it was really around, I felt a lot of disconnection from other people I felt isolated in, in the, in the context, it's like it wasn't enough connection, it wasn't real enough, it was I just, I needed something a lot more real.

And so then then shifting out of that, it was just sort of me and my husband at the time. And um very very isolating feeling for many years. But um the next big shift that I made is the day that I decided I'm ready for a divorce. And I I had felt for so long like spiritually dark a dead everything that I all that I had put into spirituality for so many years and and so much so, so so many prayers and so much deep spiritual um intentions and connections. Just it felt like everything that I had ever built up spiritually in my life had been lost years of darkness. And so that day I was like I'm done with this marriage. And I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt one of the deepest senses that I've ever felt of spirituality of eternity, of being in the presence of infinity.

What I heard in that moment is everything that you've prayed for is not lost. Like nothing is lost. And it shocked me because I had become sort of an agnostic. Um I didn't even know if I believed in God at all. And yet this voice came back to me and that began my next phase of my journey where I chose to live into a mystery and not have to know, not have to understand everything, not have to define it. And you know, not going back to the religion that I was raised from. But also not having to be in this like Sure and dogmatic place. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. So it was giving you the opportunity to allow things to just unfold in their own natural way of being. As opposed to trying to force something into a way of being or a way of life or way of viewing the world. You were seeing things differently. And one of the prayers that I remember praying at that time is I accept you for who you are and who you are not without knowing.

Um and in saying that prayer, I didn't even know who I was saying it to write. Like I didn't know if I was saying it to God to myself to whatever this bigger experience that I'd had. But that was my intention that I went out on this on this path with and I've held to that. So, I can imagine that that was probably a major turning point in in your life. And there's guess major several major things, but a major turning point in your life that triggered the way forward in a different kind of way. So, what happened once you left religion and started exploring more of your own spirituality in your own way? Yeah. So I had left religion um probably like six or 7 years before that experience, but after after I had that moment and after I began my divorce process, I that's when I really dived into spirituality and I started picking up steam when I began to take some courses and I found something that resonated.

I discovered meditation that I really liked. I had been doing like some silent meditation that that I started way back when I was a christian. But um I really started to find like the things and the teachers that were resonant for me, and it took me into a process of like discovering what, you know, what rings true to me, what's resident for me and reconnecting with my own inner voice, my own inner wisdom and then veering into a lot of healing work. Came up through all that. So in terms of where you're at right now, you have a an initiative that and in the business idea that you're building right now, um called spirituality after religion, let's let's talk a little bit about the vision that you have for that and what you hope to bring to the world with that concept.

Yeah, I'm so passionate about untangling our spirituality from religion. I think that religion um defines your spirituality sort of co ops it, you have a spiritual experience, but it defines it as that was God and then you have to do these things and it's not necessarily true. Like I believe that all humans have an innate spiritual essence and you can define that anyway, you want, you can explore it anyway, you want, and I sort of like to take a approach of, I observe what is and do what works and so what is working to help you access your spirituality and so what I want to do with spirituality after religion is invite people into experiencing your own spirituality, help help you find that, help to help you connect to that.

I think a lot of humans, a lot of former religious and christians are still walking around today, like stuck up in your head a little bit and haven't necessarily connected that much with so many other parts of you and you know, Christianity teaches you to turn off like your connection with your body and your connection with like who you are in order to try to be like someone else. So my message is all about becoming who you are exploring who you are, reconnecting all of these places in you that have been disconnected and removing all the blocks from that. Exactly. I think this is a good segue to even help to explain and from your perspective the differences between religion and spirituality. Yeah, I think that religion is top down, it's it's all about having someone outside of you to direct you, whether that's God, whether that's the Holy spirit, whether that's a guru, whether that's your priest or your preacher, you need an outside voice and it comes down to this premise, you are not good enough and you are small, you are separate, we are all separate little humans and we are sinners on top of all that.

Like we're totally messed up and we need someone outside of us to save us and we can't trust ourselves. You know, there's a verse in the bible that says the heart is deceitfully wicked and who can know it. And it's like you're you're you're taught full on, don't trust yourself, don't trust your heart, don't trust your intuition and your small, but I just don't happen to believe those things. I think we're in a framework in this world and in the physical bodies. That is a separate sort of situation. But that's not the whole picture. When you take that little snippet that we experience in the physical and you say that's all of who I am. I think we're missing a lot. But I think that you have also experienced the expansiveness of your own spirituality, of experiencing the infinite business of who you are as opposed to the finite nous of what this physical reality seems to to bring us to to think about this, this physical reality is that it's so finite when really as eternal beings of the light, we are infinite and connected.

We're connected to all things. And even science proves that Yeah, absolutely. And that's that's the other piece of it, right? Is that when you connect to your spirituality, you there's no end of how where you can go. Um and how expansive you can feel. And so I've had so many different experiences where I dove into this sense of oneness, a sense of expansiveness. Um one of my deepest experiences went into this world that I interpreted and I'll just leave that as a mystery if it's, if the interpretation is accurate by interpreted as my spirit, God showing me their world and going into that sort of a dimension, everything felt completely interconnected and the idea of separation was ludicrous. The experience like completely blew my mind. I was like, whoa, like this is a totally different sort of space and so just being in this world and just being these humans and it's part of our experience, but it's not the whole thing and it doesn't have to be the whole thing.

And I, you know, I think this leads to my next question that I'm dying to ask is how has this changed you in terms of who you are today, what you're doing, how you feel about yourself, even your whole emotional state of being, your state of being, basically going from where you were when everything was steeped heavily in religion and unmasking that and then experiencing the expansiveness of who you really are, how has it changed you as a person and how you interact with the world. Yeah, I am definitely went through a lot of bouts of depression and loneliness isolation in Christianity and out of it before I really got into the spiritual path and these things have come up as well, but I've had different tools to deal with them. And so some of what has been transpiring lately is feeling more and more connected like on a maybe a low level but on a lot more of the time and so one of my um parts of my life vision is to constantly live and flow.

There are days that I experienced that just the other day I felt like I woke up in the morning and I felt like I'm plugged into my power source and the whole entire day is like there's so much more energy and there's so much more um wisdom, everything makes sense, everything is in flow and my intention is to have that happen more and more and more of the time as I removed all of the triggers and all of the old garbage that needs to be healed. And as I intentionally connected with my power source and learn how to do that, learn how all of those things work. It can be incredibly hard and challenging in the world that we live in today because of all the distractions and it's not just the distractions but all the negativity, all the the muck that we experience in the world and I didn't have a better term. I just decided to use muck but that's what it somehow feels like as opposed to bliss and I know that that's part of being in this three D.

World this reality and there's a point where if we connect to ourselves and the deeper part of ourselves we can transcend that we're always going to be challenged because we're in this three D. Reality. And so I think for you when you think back on that experience that one day, what was it that kept wasn't just being in the flow that kept you in that that mode of expansion and and feeling like you were in your power source. Yeah. You know, I really think it's an energetic thing carol and I think I don't think that your whole life has to feel or you know you have to eventually go back to the muck. Like I see it as like a mindset, a mode actually of consciousness is a term that I like to use. And so when you're in a mode where you're conscious of like time's passing, I've got to get things done.

I gotta live by my to do list. I gotta, well you know, I'm stressed and worried to me like in my experience and what I've been sort of exploring in my own inner spaces is that's a different mode than this sort of a flow mode and when I when I am in flow mode I can actually manage all the parts of my life, you know, I can take care of my kids, I can make appointments and deal with personal tasks. It just feels so much easier and I feel like a sense of gratitude around it. So you might be doing some of the same actions, but it no longer feels like muck. Exactly, it no longer feels like it's a struggle each and every day to get out of bed and go through all of the emotions basically that we typically go through and I think that's really interesting for us to to stop and think about in our lives that we can just get really carried away because we're not conscious or mindful are fully present, were so focused either on the past or the future, something we have to get done that it creates anxiety and stress in our lives, but if we are in the flow and just accepting what is and not getting anxious about it all, we can truly experience a better day, a better life, a better reality.

I'm curious too, the changes that that you have gone through and this this transformation and you're thinking your whole state of being has that affected your view of your current reality and how, where you're going in life versus prior. Yeah. You know, one of the things that I had on my mind that I wanted to share about is purpose. I so basically back in back in religion, you get your purpose from an outer source, you know, basically from the bible or from God you have this purpose which is basically to try to convert everyone to your way of thinking. But even if, you know, taking religion aside, a lot of the purpose that that we try to to take is related to what's going on outwardly. You know, you see people struggling deep pain in the world a lot, you know, physical, a lot of wars and things like that, and so it's like I have to do something to make this world better, but what I found is when your purpose is coming from outside of yourself, it doesn't come with enough energy to really feel good about it.

And one of the reasons why I named my business ecstatic soul calling is because I have discovered that when you really align with your soul, you sort of get the sense of purpose and I can just say like I've come up with or realized or downloaded my own purpose for my life now, is this some sort of a cosmic plan and my soul is tapped into it and this is my piece like frodo maybe or do I just need purpose and my soul has like this ability to sort of know what the world needs and what I'm most attuned and most most ready to do it feels like that could be, but either way I need, I know I need purpose in my life. I said a life vision a couple of years ago in some deep meditation and some deep through a class that I was taking, bringing a lot of consciousness to my life and feeling into what is what does it feel like is my soul's calling.

And a lot of the times when I go into my deeper energetic spaces and deeper meditation spaces, I connect with that and that fuels my journey. No, I think that that's beautifully said. And I think that when you think about purpose, if you, if you're just thinking about purposes, just, you know, your, your, your, your calling in life, I think that that's limiting. I think that purpose, we have to find purpose and experience that each and every day and everything that we're doing, not just in one particular thing in our life, but really we experience more meaning and purpose if we're focused on it in the present moment each and every day. I know that's not always easy to do because again, there's a lot of distractions in life, but at the end of the day, if we, we focus on that, I think we can have a more enriching life if we are, it's seeing and feeling and experiencing purpose and things that they were doing.

Even the simplest things like washing the dishes you're taking, taking the trash out, you know, taking a walk with your dog or whatever. You know, petting your cat. Those kinds of moments can also have a certain amount of purpose. Yeah, definitely. And you know, I would love to share a piece of my life vision and how those things relate. So I have chosen like what I want my life to feel like. So my yeah, so part of my life vision is I am experiencing utter peace, love, joy and passion. I spend my time loving every day. I increase in every way and experience who I really am limitations I used to feel are gone, My life feels exponential. I constantly live in flow and everything falls into place easily because I'm aligned with my true being. So with that when you're talking about doing dishes, for example, like part of my life vision is that my life feels orderly, there's there's a sense of peace in my life and and everything everything is ordered and peaceful and you know when you're going to pet the dog or cuddle with your kid, like I spend my time loving is part of my life vision.

All of these pieces sort of start to fit into play when you put this consciousness to what do I want my life to feel like. And and setting that stating that coming back to it over and over again and you start to see it manifest, you start to see it happen in your life. I love that. And if you have anything that you would like to share with our listeners that would help them to define their own life vision that would be great. We could put that in the show notes might be a nice little bonus for people who really have an interest in really honing in on their own life vision and, and also knowing that our life vision, it's, it's, it's an unfold mint, you know, it's, it's continually evolving, but you gotta start somewhere, right? So if you have something where you know, hey, you can ask these few questions or you know, take some time to ponder this or whatever, I think it would be great. Yeah, yeah, I developed this through a course, but I've been honing it.

Um, and I think it's really about diving into the deepest places, asking some of those big questions and writing down the answers and then keeping on coming back to it. Yeah, I think a lot, a lot of times a lot of us don't, we just go through life, We don't write things down. We don't take the time to clarify. If we take the time to ask the right questions and you've got to ask the right questions right. If you don't ask, if you don't ask yourself the right questions, then you're never going to get to. I think a point that is going to be the most beneficial or enriching or satisfying for you. I'd love to ask you if you have a personal philosophy or a mantra or something that you live by that has meaning for you, one of my mantra, XYZ, I absorbed what is and do what works. And so as I shared about that life vision, it's like what works towards getting towards my life vision, what works to propel me towards the kind of life that I'm consciously choosing and towards a sense of ecstasy actually, because I think that um that are how we're feeling the bliss or the depression, you know, or even the ecstasy, it's a sort of like a compass and inner compass of joy um is a term that I've heard before for that, and it's when you feel like your barometer and your compass is turned more towards towards joy, it's sort of like a signpost that you're more in line with your being, you are more in line with your soul.

And so that's like my kind of a framework for how I choose a lot of things in my life is I don't want to just assume and I want to be more in an observational kind of viewpoint, like what is this really asking those questions and then how is this working and then being able to shift that right, rather than just flowing into life blindly. Um but really taking a more introspective view of things and, and then navigating that way. Cool, I like that. I would love to just ask a little bit more around what lifts you up, what are the types of, well, I love to do ecstatic dance, that's one of my favorite spiritual practices, Oh yes, and I've been wanting to ask you Yeah, it's basically a free form movement practice and it's usually done sober, so without drugs or alcohol and it's barefoot, so you're really connecting with your body, it's all about connecting with your body and with other humans and you can dance in any way that you feel there's no steps and no one cares if you look silly.

And so that practice has really helped me to connect with my body and a lot of times through my body, the more that I connected with my body, the more that I feel my spiritual connection as well, and that's when that flow really starts to um amp up. Exactly. So it's all, I mean everything's connected, you know, the mind and the body and the heart, it all needs to be flowing together, and I can see how the movement and the dance can do that because that, that, that gets you really kind of out of preconceived notions about who you are and just free flowing with the dance, just allowing it to be whatever it is, which is awesome. Generally, in my morning meditation, I'll picture myself grounding into the earth and then connecting into my own inner core. And so that's just part of my normal energy work, I would say that's great.

Do you have a favorite? So, like I said, I love the ecstatic dance so much, and it's really about not just coming into my own um my own body, but really connecting with community and that's something that I missed from leaving religion and so many people when you leave religion, that was your community to, so I have found a re connection to community through these kinds of movement practices and it's not based on having the same beliefs or anything like that, it's just really based on we, you know, we have the shared value of coming into a deeper kind of connection and I've developed some really, really rich relationships through that. And so coming into those spaces is definitely my favorite thing to do. I love that. Where would someone go to just google ecstatic dance with the name of your city and usually there are ecstatic dances all over the world now. Um so if you live near any big city, I can almost guarantee you there's going to be something there around that.

There's also other names for it, that I can post into the show, show notes that you could google. So I have a list of those awesome, That's great. Um and we'll put that definitely in the show notes. Just another few questions here that I'd love to get into, but what's the best advice that you have? Well, I have been thinking about this quote from one of my the teacher, actually that did this help me do this course on choosing your life basically. Um and that is the most successful people say no to almost everything. So there's so much out there going on telling you do this, do this, try this, like, learn this, and I have just been unsubscribing lately from a lot of stuff and just really focusing it on what is my own intuition and wisdom saying to do. And even though there's so, so, so many good things to do in the world, I really come back to what feels resonant for me and that's the only few things that I can do.

I think that's great advice. That that's that's that's great advice because so many of us feel that we need to have some sort of affirmation or reinforcement from others outside outside of our own inner understanding or awareness or feeling and we are really the the only ones that know what's really right for us, sometimes it's helpful to get perspectives from other people, particularly if it's an area that, you know, a technical area that you don't know, but when it comes to your own emotions and what is right for you in life, what what life direction, what decisions you need to make? You need? People need to trust, learn to trust their own intuition. How have one of the things that you have done to trust your own intuition? How how do you, how did you learn? Yeah, well, I think part of it is even connecting with your intuition in the first place and starting to realize what what does it feel like to have a yes and what does it feel like to have and no.

Um a lot of these things I think we're mostly unaware of and some of what I've learned through the ecstatic dance community is to feeling into your own consent. Um and that's that kind of practice has actually really, really helped me with knowing what I feel like and what feels right to me. But I also have this, you know, this sort of framework that I'm the expert on my own dimension. I'm not looking to a guide, a spirit guide, a holy spirit of God to tell me what to do, like and it's totally okay to make quote unquote mistakes, like I am just trying things out, I don't need to be scared about it, I'm experiencing life. And so yes, I I tune into intuition and I do meditation sometimes to sort of feel into what seems to be coming, but I also don't just take that and just run my life by only what I hear in a meditation space and also like pulling pulling all the pieces together and realizing like I get to choose and coming back to I get to choose, I get to choose, I get to choose and it's okay if I choose wrong, I I love that and I think even my own experience, I have learned to trust my intuition just more and more and you know sometimes I might get in and in the past I may have gotten gotten it mixed up a little bit more with my ego self telling me this is what I need to do, but when I just quiet my mind and just get rid of all the distractions and just go within and if I will know if, if something feels right, particularly if I have a warm feeling in my heart, in in my body, that's what I know, my intuition is speaking to me when I feel the most connected and the most inflow and I've totally shifted my mode and a lot of times that's at, you know, thats at one of my dance places, then all these ideas and all this sort of um directional type stuff will come and I pay that a lot more attention because I know that I'm in a deeper kind of a space when I'm getting that.

So I still don't necessarily say I have to do those things, but it gives me a lot more confidence in it then if I am, you know, just trying to hear something or, or you know, something like that, right? And I think that we'll we'll go ahead and close on that note, but also what I would like to do just briefly is to let our listeners know where they can find out more about you and the community that you are building, share a little bit more about that community. So I have a facebook group and the information is at spirituality after religion dot com. And so that's a place to share our spiritual journeys. And I'm also sharing content that I create. I am doing a live cast every week and so you can sort of ask about topics that you'd like covered as well, and it's really coming into a space of relational lee connecting and making some big transformations in our life towards connecting in with who you really are.

So if you're someone who's been in religion and you've come out, that's definitely for you. But even if you're someone who just values a non religious spirituality and you want a space that doesn't feel dogmatic, but that's a good, healthy place to explore these things. I would love to have you join that group I think would be, it's a great group because I'm I'm in it as well and I've, I've been experiencing and seeing you evolve it over the last few months, which is wonderful to see. So I'm excited that you're doing this and what you're bringing to the world, Eva it's um it's fabulous and I just want to thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your story. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. Okay, stay with us just a bit longer before you go. We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We hope it inspires you to unleash your own inner power and to rise up to your best and loving, heart centered, highest self.

Just a few things before we go, we'd be so grateful if you'd leave us a review on ITunes because those reviews are important to our show and we'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others. And finally let us know what tips and strategies you use to rise up to your highest self by reaching out to us at www dot hearts rise up dot com. Or email us at Hello at Hart's rise up dot com. Well, that's it for now. Until next time. Keep rising up and made love and happiness Always Be in your heart. Bye for now. Mm hmm, mm hmm. All right, mm hmm.

Ep. 14 - Untangling Spirituality From Religion - An Interview With Eva Live
Ep. 14 - Untangling Spirituality From Religion - An Interview With Eva Live
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