The journey to enlightenment is never traveled alone and fortunately there are others, such as Kirstie and Trina, to guide, inspire and humor us as we stumble, fall and leap on the path that is forever unfolding beneath our feet.
Enjoy the stories below as Trina & Kirstie share revealing conversations about their “Enlightenment for Schmucks blog.” From its humorous and humble beginnings, to the path their written word is creating for many who are seeking a more meaningful life on their way to enlightenment.
Thanks Kirstie & Trina!
Journey with Enlightenment for Schmucks
Shortly after our blog Enlightenment for Schmucks launched, I was doing some personal assisting work for a woman. On the day I told her about the project, she sat me down on the sofa and gave me a look like I give my dentist when he asks me a question while scraping around in my mouth.
She then proceeded to inform me that in Hebrew, the word ‘schmuck’ actually refers to a specific ‘member’ of the male anatomy.
“Uh, oh” was all I was able to muster for about 30 seconds. Finally I said, “I didn’t know that.”
This was followed by several more seconds of awkward silence that felt more like several hours.
Finally, I decided to just own it. “Well, it’s already launched, so I guess there’s no turning back now.”
And as it turned out, my language faux pas in picking a blog name with this particular word in it was actually the perfect example of what becoming enlightened looks like. You see, we find out more and more meanings to life as we go along on our journeys. ‘Forgiveness’, for example, starts out as a lofty concept meant for those who’ve hurt us the worst and transitions into freedom from beating ourselves up for our own schmuck-like moments. ‘Staying present’ begins with a few seconds of being purely in the now, and then one day we find ourselves using it to face the uncomfortable moments in life head-on in order to break through to a happier life.
We started Enlightenment for Schmucks to demystify this process, to try to take away some of the intimidation factor that sometimes sets in when we try to make the transition from part-time schmuck to full-time Being of Light and Love.
Well, I was invited to join the Schmucktastic journey by Kirstie who had been checking out my random Facebook posts. Having been friends in college, I jumped at the chance to collaborate on the blog because it made perfect sense to me. I had spent quite a bit of time in seeker circles, and had felt a disconnect between the application of the ideas and real-world translation. How was I going to gain enlightenment and work, clean the house, raise my kid and keep my feet on solid ground?
Enlightenment for Schmucks was not only a blog adventure, but a key to learning how to forgive ourselves when we have those human moments. It is about being better than you were before, redemption, finding calm in the chaos and taking a look at the messages often missed in the midst of chaos.
The title of the blog did give me pause, but it also helped me own a final piece of my puzzle. You see, I had spent the majority of my life worrying about what people would think. I had made crucial life decisions based on the whims of others, and for a moment I hesitated. But since I had gone through major upheavals in all facets of my life, I was more than ready to reclaim the girl I used to be--the girl I speak about in the blog post, Chasing Eighteen.
My eighteen year old self was reflective and considerate, but she made her own choices and owned whatever came of them. There were glimpses of her inside,
but the wrapping I looked at in the mirror was unsure and pensive. It had no signs of life--no signs of excitement on the horizon. It was the outer shell of a woman who had spent one too many nights without sleep, without inspiration and steeped in a quagmire of grief. Enlightenment for Schmucks was the jolt I needed to draw a line in the sand, and the eighteen-year-old me loved it. It helped me find my voice again, and if it could do that for me, what could it do for others who felt that they had no voice? And if we had these questions about the journey toward enlightenment in the real world, surely others did too.
The most interesting thing about being a co-author on the Enlightenment for Schmucks blog, is telling others about it. The reception, while some have stared blankly, has been very positive. The initial reaction is usually a laugh, and then a complete understanding about what we are presenting.
Everyone has a story, but not everyone has a forum in which to present it.
Enlightenment for Schmucks is for the rest of us. We are all on this journey, but to be a Schmuck in this context, means to be honest about the moments we get lost, distracted, and forget the breadcrumbs at home.
That honesty is very empowering, and is such an overriding aspect of enlightenment. In today’s world, self-empowerment is often presented as self-centeredness. Yet this is the farthest thing from the truth. In reality, pursuing the goals of our Souls and not the goals of the world often means a lot of sacrifice, “free” work, and making the hard choices. Choosing to heal ourselves rather than blame others; chase our dreams rather than running after money; forgive instead of seeking revenge – all of these choices take
a lot of courage.
We wanted Enlightenment for Schmucks to be a safe haven for people exhibiting this kind of authentic courage. Too often there is a lot of societal pressure to conform to “the way things have always been done”. Our blog aims to honor the zany ones, the ones who want to turn the world right-side up.
We not only write about what we’ve learned in our own journeys, but we are also students of others’ experiences. This is why we welcome guest bloggers and those who have Dream Projects who want to share their knowledge on our website.
It has been a great journey so far, and we are excited about where it is going, upcoming projects, the people we've met and the ones waiting in the wings to be fellow travelers.
Enlightenment for Schmucks is a welcome space for everyone, but especially for those who have always felt out of place. For the ones whose blueprint for life doesn't seem to match the one set out by the
world or the expectations of others. All are welcome here, because everyone has a story to tell. And here, at Enlightenment for Schmucks, imperfectly perfect is not a reason to be shunned, it is a reason you shine on.
Trina & Kirstie
Follow: Enlightenment For Schmucks
Some images copyright of enlightenmentforschmucks.com
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