i found an awesome blog today! spiritual cowgirl is written by sera beak, an incredible woman who studies and experiences religion and spirituality and writes beautifully about the things she learns. she is basically living one of my dreams. i love her description of the difference between religion and spirituality, two closely related fascinations of mine: "I generally use the term “religion” to mean a structured socially-driven organization and institution with set belief systems, doctrines, rituals, and dogma. Spirituality is more self driven, intuitive, and personal. It recognizes that you don’t need religion to connect you to the divine, because it’s right inside you. You are free to know the divine through your own experiences, in your own way, under your terms, with no restrictive definitions. Spirituality is not about morals or rules, but about ethics and energy; it’s about recognizing the same spiritual essence in all people despite outer appearances or beliefs. You can be spiritual within or without organized religions." i dig it!
i am also obsessed with fresh starts. it's a new year, and tomorrow begins my last semester of undergrad. i love starting off fresh over and over again, it's one of the many things i love about being a student. new notebooks and folders (made of recycled materials so i don't feel so guilty about buying new ones) still excite me. yes, i know i'm a dork, and i love it.