• being human,  embodied liturgies,  prayer,  writing

    A Liturgy in Service to Wholeness

    Dear God of All … Instead of asking ‘why am I just now ‘getting this?,’ may I be grateful for a recent divine discovery: that nature isn’t out there; it’s in me too. Yes I am nature in equal measure to the birds, beasts, oceans, stars, raging fires and blades of grass. I am a seamless part of the whole, and I see now that my job is to live into that wholeness, to live into this theology of wholeness I’ve uncovered, within myself and within every alive thing that exists. Spirit is whole; ego is fragmented. May I live in wholeness, dismantling fragmentation whenever I find it in myself. Spirit is truth; ego is non truth. May I ever live in Divine Truth. May I also recognize that my inherent brokenness as a human is not a curse. No, it is only that…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  spiritual direction,  writing

    The Truth of Myself

    I overshared today. At least it feels like I overshared. And yet it also felt essential. It’s been a hard week. I’m feeling lots of feels, the world’s weight and my past pressing in on me. “Must I be so dramatic?,” I think to myself. “Why can’t things be light and easy?” They are sometimes. Sometimes often. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s all too much. And when I get this way, all I can do is express (through writing), which is exactly what I did this morning. I’ve been back and forth with one of the teachers of my spiritual direction training program. I’ve been on the verge of leaving the program a few times now and we’re conversing about some work-arounds that might help me. After presenting me with options last night, I sat with them. And myself. I questioned my ability to keep…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    Voicing the Struggle

    I’ve been struggling the last few days. Part of the requirement of my spiritual direction certification is to meet in peer group a few times per month. The purpose of these small group calls is to present situations we are struggling with during our practicum period. The calls consist of five to seven people with one person presenting each month while the others provide noticings, questions, images and impressions. It’s a beautiful and meaningful process but I’m struggling with it. I’ve been struggling since the program started last November. And I’ve been open and honest about these struggles with my teachers. Earlier this week it came to a peak. After getting off of the call on Monday, I was in distress — debilitating distress. It was affecting my energy and psyche to such a degree that I considered dropping out of the program. ‘Old…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  writing

    Instead of Why

    Instead of asking ‘why?’ maybe letting things go is the better choice. Instead of asking ‘why?’ perhaps talking to a trusted friend would help. Instead of asking ‘why?’ maybe I should get up and do something else. Instead of asking ‘why?’ perhaps dropping the inquiry is better. Instead of asking ‘why?’ would it better serve me to tap into other modes of knowing? Instead of asking ‘why?’ maybe the better question to ask is: ‘how does this feel in my body?’ The mind is powerful. It’s also a saboteur. The body never lies. ‘Why’ is great to assess motivations and direction but when the why continually presents itself related to things we love, I’m certain it’s not helpful. No, it’s a diversion and a tactic of the ego to throw us off track. It invites separation, not wholeness. Instead of ‘why?’ I’ll rest in…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    Energetic Boundaries

    I honestly didn’t even know there was such a thing as energetic boundaries until I recognized the need for them in my body. This training program in which I’m currently enrolled is pushing me in ways I’ve never been pushed before, or I’m a lot more in tune and have the ability to notice more easily. Essentially the feeling is that of all (or most) of my energy leaving me and entering into the other, typically during conversation. As the other person speaks, I’m drawn into their words, feelings and situation. Sometimes it causes me angst; other times higher emotions, but always I am IN the experience — no separation between them and me. I’m in the process of catching and working with it in the moment, a task that has been difficult in the past. In fact, there are lots of parts of…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    The Insistence of our Own Demands

    “… what interferes with our living a contemplative life is not the busy, noisy, confused demanding, harassing world in which we must earn our living and care for our families. We like to blame this environment, but that is not really the source of the disquiet. Even if we could go to the country, have nothing much to do and no threats to our comfort, we would take our own noisiness with us. We would make problems out of trivialities–as happens in contemplative monasteries where the opportunities for distress have (by the standards of the rest of the world) been considerably diminished. Let us recognize where our problem is truly lodged and then confidently release it. We can be peaceful, even in the midst of the demands of contemporary life, because what is really pressuring us is the insistence of our own demands. Once…

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  prayer,  writing

    Simply Being Alive

    Oh Divine Light who moves us, loves us, sustains us, We thank you for life. Thank you for the rain, the sun, the wind, the snow. Thank you for the grass, the trees, the rocks, the dirt, the sand. Thank you, God, for the deer, the turkey, the chipmunks, the squirrels, the rabbit. Thank you for all beings, human, non-human, big and small. Thank you for these beautiful beings that snore at my feet, who show me your love every single day. Thank you for the graduation of darkness into golden morning light. Thank you for beingness, consciousness, life. May we always live in gratitude for these simple pleasures. Dear God, why do we know but continually forget? Why do we go to our heads more than our hearts? Can you help us remember? May we ever, deep-in-our-bones know that in you we live…

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  prayer,  writing

    Dear Holy All

    . . . Or Holy Awe, Divine Existence, Maker and Keeper of Truth, Exquisite Love, My heart is troubled as I write these words. I feel fragile. I feel deep sadness. I feel a sense of responsibility for those who didn’t/don’t have a voice, those who were/are oppressed. I don’t feel weak but I do feel uncertain. I continually search my heart for the next right step, but nothing is clear. There is so much to do. I want to make a difference but the path before me is dark and obscure. I know that you did not give me a spirit of timidity, but one of quiet power. I come to you this day asking for divine inner vision, clarity, strength, as I search the depths of my heart, as I discern the work you’re asking me to live into. As a person…

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  practice,  writing

    Visio Divina

    Many have heard about and maybe even practiced Lectio Divina, but have you heard of Visio Divina? If you’re more drawn to images than words, it might be the perfect contemplative practice for you. It is simply a way of praying and being attentive to God. “Visio divina, holy seeing, is a way to pray with the eyes,”   Adele Ahlberg Calhoun: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us. How to do the practice: God is always present to us. God is within. But we often forget. All Divina practices (Lectio, Visio, Audio, Terra) are excellent, simple ways of spending time with God. Messages locked away in our subconscious come through more easily during contemplative practice. Focus on breath. Relax. Take it all in. And let your mind wander toward what it will, without judging, controlling or fixing. (Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash)

  • being human,  breath,  embodied liturgies,  embodiment,  writing

    Divine Joy

    I love it when a new way of thinking presents itself, and as a person with borderline-manic-analytical-thinking tendencies, poetry and creative expression really lands for me, especially related to the natural world and our humanity. And last week, this excerpt arrived in my in-box: “The Divine Joy. Did you ever consider that maybe the “Big Bang” was a Big laugh?  Or a Big Shout of Joy?  That the Trinity could not take it any more—that is the joy of being, the joy of existence, the joy that is the joie d’vivere, the celebration of a universe where “existence itself is the miracle.”  (Rilke).  Or—even more likely because scientists tell us there was no sound at all when the universe began–a big, quiet smile of mischievousness when the Creator came up with the crazy idea to birth a universe (and put homo sapiens into it)?…