In this episode, I will share my own journey from atheism to belief. You will hear stories about my upbringing in Belgium within an atheistic environment, as well as some spiritual experiences in Brazil. Additionally, I will discuss how I overcame the biggest obstacle to my spiritual growth.
If you want, you can read the transcriptions of Episode 7 of Under The Baobab Tree here:
Hey, welcome to a new episode under the baobab tree. I am so grateful you're here. This episode, in my opinion is a very interesting one. Just know that I share from my experience my world and what is true to me. So you are free to take out of this episode, what resonates with you. Be open and let it all sink in.
So I grew up in an atheistic environment. In my primary school, we learned about different religions in the world. And I actually really loved learning about it. I do remember I deeply believed in God as a child, and that I prayed before I went to bed, and that it helped me I just don't remember where I got it from, or where I learned it. Because I didn't go to church, I didn't grew up in a family who believed in God, neither did my friends, or teachers or anyone in my environment, really live with spirit in a conscious way. You know, but when I became a teenager, I lost that faith in God. I also didn't pray anymore. I just stopped doing that and forgot that reality a little bit. And as a teenager, I was actually very, very atheistic. Atheism means that you don't believe in the existence of God, right? I used to joke about spiritual people. For me, they were not down to earth, and were seeing things that were in there. There things weren't scientifically proven. So, why would it even be real? I really laughed at those people. You know, it also didn't help that the people I would encounter or see in Belgium back then, who were doing spiritual things, also, were people who spoke very slowly or softly. And try to be as calmly and meditative as possible. So for me, they were just floating or something, you know.
It was just all weird to me. I didn't have people around me who went to church or who were Christian. We celebrated Christmas and Easter. Yes. But was that really about Jesus? Those celebrations were about coming together with family, to share presents and eat delicious food. And until today, I still find it weird in Europe, or let's say Belgium, where I grew up. That these holidays are celebrated, but the reason why it is celebrated is actually kind of lost.
Again, I'm not saying here, there weren't religious people. I'm also not saying there weren't spiritual people. Because I mean, in a way, we're all spiritual in a way right. We're connected with spirit. But I'm really talking about showing it and practicing spirituality, I in my environment that really wasn't there. And if I think about it, actually, the religion that I saw people really living and following was Islam. From my schoolmates or my neighbors. I saw them devotedly fasting during Ramadan and bringing sweets afterwards. Some people in my school also talked about it more, like what it meant to be a Muslim and the values around it. Anyway, just to give you an idea in which environment I grew up in.
For me, everything changed when I lived in Brazil for the first time in 2012. I still can't pinpoint what exactly changed it all. Maybe it were different experiences. Maybe it was the energy of the place or the people that I met, that unlocked some things within me. But it was the first time I had a feeling. I wasn't with atheistic people or people who followed one of the Abrahamic religions. I encountered many people living with spirit in many different ways. Mind you, I still laughed at all of it. For me, many of these people were just weird and not living in reality.
The only spiritual system I was interested in when I lived in Brazil was Candoble because Candomble is a spiritual system that comes from the Yoruba out of Nigeria, and it came to Brazil with the enslaved Africans. And it fascinated me that it still existed, and still was practiced after so long. It survived through colonization and the horrible situations and all the hardship people went through. The people were able to keep those systems alive and that really triggered something Within me. That was really, really intriguing to me. When I lived in Brazil, I also made a friend. And she said she was reading people's hands. And she said, if I was interested, she could read mine. Again, I laughed at it. And I was very skeptical. But I was open to it, you know. So when she was doing it, I was really testing her, when she said things, as it were general things in the beginning that anyone could have said to anyone. But then she became way more specific. And she started saying things that were really true about me. And my jaw just dropped. Whaaaat! That was a kind of mindfuckery. For me at that moment, my brain still tried to find reasons why it wasn't true, or why she was cheating.
Anyway, you get the point, I guess you understand by now what I taught, believed and what kind of energy I was in. I can actually talk ages about this. But I actually want to talk about when the shift happened, and how much it changed my reality. Those times in Brazil, encountering different spiritual people, letting someone read my hand, receiving an aurareading myself for the first time. I believe it all unlocked things. Even just deeply living with nature, waking up when the sun was rising, and being so close to different plants and trees, it all unlocked things. There was also a lot of this terminology, I didn't understand at the time that people were using, for example, someone was talking about chakras, and I didn't have a clue what chakras were. But the fact that people had been saying, and seeing very accurate things about myself was enough to make me think. And that maybe there was more, or at least things that I couldn't explain. And that brought me on a whole journey. And I realized that the more open I was, the more that the world, the spiritual world, let's say, would reveal itself to me.
I was entering that world, learning, trying to understand what it was all about. Still, in a very rational way, of course, but with an open heart, I had buried my skepticism and jokes, I started believing that spiritual things could be way more true than I thought. And that made all the difference. Even though I didn't understand it yet. I even at the time felt a bit ashamed of how I had judged before, I almost felt a bit dumb. And this is the main point I want to make here. That the biggest block to living spiritually, having spiritual experiences, is not believing it is possible, or not believing that it exists, which in my case expressed itself in laughing at it all and my skepticism. But when you just don't believe it, you shut yourself completely off from your own higher spirit, and therefore the channel to the spiritual world. It's almost as by not believing, and therefore not being open to the possibility, you shut the door to a whole other world and reality. And I'm not only talking about seeing spirits and seeing auras and other things. I'm also talking about what's deeply spiritual, like being connected with your spirit and therefore feeling connected to everything else, like this interconnectedness.
When I learned how to do aurareadings in Brazil, this was also my biggest block in being able to read auras. I would close my eyes. I was ready. I tuned into someone's aura. I would see visual images and receive messages about a person. But the things that I would see would be so random, so crazy or weird that I wouldn't believe it was true what I was seeing, I just thought I was making it up. And in judging the messages into disbelief, it became super difficult for me to still read the aura of the person. My vision got blocked. I honestly don't know why it works in that way. I can only talk from my own experience. I have seen and experienced so many deep, mind blowing spiritual things that I just wouldn't have been able to experience when I was still skeptic about everything. Those things weren't part of my reality back then.
So if you are someone who wants to grow spiritually, but you feel blocked, try to be honest to yourself and ask yourself, Where am I still not believing? Where do I have doubts? Where am I judging? And I'm not saying you can't think critically, of course, I'm actually a super fan of thinking critically about things. All I'm saying is that skepticism and not being open is one of the biggest blocks in growing spiritually.
And to conclude, I want to read a small piece out of the book, the holographic universe from Michael Talbot, because it also illustrates in another way what I'm trying to say here, actually, it's part of that book. But in that book, they're talking about another book. And therefore, actually about someone else's experience. So here we go. Let me read this for you.
"I was having dinner with one of my professors at a local restaurant, and we were discussing the philosophical implications of Carlos Castaneda experiences. In particular, our conversation centered around an incident Castenada released in one of his books. Don Juan and Castaneda are in the desert at night searching for a spirit when they come upon a creature that looks like a calf, but has the ears of a wolf and the beak of bird. It is curled up and screaming, as if in the throes of an agonizing death. At first, Castaneda is terrified, but after telling himself that what he's seeing can't possibly be real. His vision changes and he sees that the dying spirit is actually a fallen tree branch trembling in the wind. Castaneda proudly points out the things true identity with as usual, the old Yaquis shaman rebukes him. He tells Castaneda that the branch was a dying spirit while he was alive with power, but that he had transformed into a tree branch when Castaneda doubted its existence. However, it stresses that both realities were equally real."
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