Getting Rid of What You Don’t Need

2014-06-27 10.18.06I was at the kitchen sink doing dishes on a perfectly still morning when I heard a crashing sound out back. I looked up and saw a 15-20 foot branch tumbling down from a poplar tree. I went out on the porch to look more closely and what struck me as strange was that the branch looked perfectly healthy. There was even a totally dead branch still holding on to the tree just below where the healthy looking one had been living. I wondered why the dead one clung on, while the green, leafy one took a dive.

A few days later I was working on the back porch and it happened again. A large branch came tumbling down for no apparent reason. I wondered what is going on here! I’ve not seen this before and now it happens twice in the span of about 5 days?!

My friend’s husband is an arborist, so we asked him. He said this is not uncommon. There can be some past injury that makes the limb drop.

This made me think that we all carry around old stuff that no longer lives for us. Maybe they are memories, maybe they are old habits, but they are pretty benign.

Then there are the old injuries that we’ve covered over, we look healthy on the outside, but the fractures are there underneath. We can’t keep faking it. Eventually we need to shed those parts of us in order to move on in healthier ways.

It seems like this is a more complex aspect of letting go of what doesn’t serve me. It’s not just ridding myself of the obvious stuff (a negative relationship, drinking too much diet soda, whatever the case may be). It’s opening my eyes to what I’ve covered over, maybe I don’t even realize it’s there and unhealthy. It’s a part of my shadow work, admitting to myself that this is not only a part of me, but one I need to jettison. For example, perhaps I don’t think I’m trying to be right, but maybe I need to admit that I’m not really trying to help the other person, I just want them to do it my way. It’s ugly, but life is too short to carry around excess baggage. In traveling light we can reach to great heights.

 

© Copyright 2014. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.

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Meditative Kayaking

It’s funny but true. You can find God and peace anywhere.

M2014-06-07 17.12.17y cousin, my fiancé, and I went kayaking down the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Princeton, NJ. The three of us left the house early before it got hot. I am by no means an expert kayaker, but the smooth canal water made it carefree.

We had the canal to ourselves and we quickly relaxed into the dip, pull, dip, pull, rest-coast. The rhythm, the glassy water, the beauty, the quiet made for an easily meditative experience.

Peace filled my being.

Isn’t it wonderful when God sneaks up on you like that? God was just waiting there.

Kayaking that morning was a body prayer as well as a prayer of gratitude for the surrounding beauty, the willing and able muscles, the communion I shared with people I love, the turtles sunning themselves, the moments filled with the Holy.

Gee. Wow! Thanks.

 

© Copyright 2014. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.

The Blessing of Silence

2014-06-13 10.12.09I love silent retreats. Usually there are people who attend who have experienced the great quiet before and are hungry for more. And then there are people who are there for the first time. They usually express some trepidation about what is going to happen. Questions like, what do I do and am I going to be bored arise. But then there is the anxiety about the unknown that is about to be embarked upon that can be seen in their eyes.

Many of us are used to the clutter and white noise that surrounds so much of society. When it’s gone, it is noticeable and a foreign feeling. We are so used to chatter of one sort or another filling our time and ears.

But, as John of the Cross says, silence is God’s first language.

I think it’s a matter of perspective. When I am introducing a silent retreat, I explain that the silence is not a time of doing without. It is not a time of not talking, it is a time of listening. It is a time of making space for the richness, the fullness that the Holy has to offer.

The silence is a place to deeply listen, fall back into it. Listen to the rustle of leaves, the exhale, the still small voice where we can hear God. Silence is a place of creation, a place of letting go, of emptying ourselves from clutter, of filling up with abundance.

In the silence we can come home to the fullness and richness where we can begin to feel it is safe to open up to your true selves. It is a place where we can be instead of focusing on doing.

There are times in my life that I actually hunger for the Holy Silence. When the world is too much, when the stress and strain ratio is too high, then there is nothing as healing as an extended, deep silence. Ahhh….what a relief!

“There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven.”–Meister Eckhart

© Copyright 2014. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.

The Art Of Following Your Bliss

2014-01-18 10.57.55I think most of us have heard the phrase, “Follow your bliss.”

I’m not sure if it’s just me or a human thing, but when I hear that I have often thought, “Yes! That sounds like a good idea. Great advice. Follow what you love and you will be living your Truth, what you were put on the planet to be.” But, does anyone else experience a hiccup when attempting to live that?

HOW does one live one’s bliss? Does that mean I am chilling on the back porch, writing blogs, and eating a little chocolate? What does it look like when it comes to balancing my bliss and my need to fulfill my promise to the mortgage company or my husband and our new company? It feels like my bliss is to make my son, my customer, and my neighbor happy, but I can’t figure out how to humanly accomplish that when they all want/need me at the same time. Where does Bliss end and responsibility begin? Or does it? Is there a way to live my Truth so it all works?

I do know that feeling when I’m on the Bliss Trail. When I’m on to what I’m supposed to be doing here in this lifetime. It’s that butterfly-tingly-zing. The energy races through my core. Yahoo! This is it!

I’ve recently gotten that feeling again. I’ve been letting the idea of becoming a spiritual director/companion season a bit. Well, I now know it’s time. When I was casually looking at the different programs I got the zing feeling. So, here I am, embarking on a new leg of the journey. Zing! Taking one step at a time. We’ll see how the bliss and life’s other components work together!

 

© Copyright 2014. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.

Flow From Me Like A River

2014-06-01 15.31.56I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
(Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)