I wonder sometimes about the prophets

I wonder sometimes about the prophets,

Do you?

I wonder if the prophets are speaking,

And If the people are listening.

Or if the people would rather ignore

Anyone who challenges the institution.

I wonder where the prophets are

And if we would even recognize

The voice of God in their message.

Or if they would be pushed aside

And labeled as ‘mentally ill’,

Or exiled to Patmos.

But would exiling the prophets silence

The voice of God?

Or would they still prophesy

From the wilderness.

I wonder if the prophets are speaking.

Something about lighting a candle

There’s just something about lighting a candle

That makes me smile

The flicker of the flame on the wick

Sparks a momentary indulgence in thought

About nothing in particular

So I sit back in my chair

Listening to silence

Something that has become a nightly practice

A time of prayer

A divine invitation into stillness + trust

Nothing to say or do

But these are the moments I discover

True rest

And beauty

And so I am once again able to see

that God is indeed everywhere all around me

And when the world proclaims darkness

I see Light

That shines brighter than the sun

june musings

The thought occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t yet written for the month of June. Life for us has been unfolding steadily, slowly. I’m in a season where I am being directed to learn new things.

I’ve spent some time this year reading and encouraging my inner child to heal.

I’m no psychologist or psychoanalyst, but I am drawn to those who are.

I am curious and fascinated by what makes humans do and say and behave the way they do. I became aware of this fascination when I turned 24 and experienced a spiritual awakening– what I would now call, twelve years later, my first awakening.

I now wonder if these awakening experiences are simply my own soul experiencing and observing what it is like to be human, open to transformation, collaborating with Spirit, working together to create this human anew. In stages and over the span of a lifetime, perhaps.

I once heard a story about a man married to a woman, who underwent several transformations in her lifetime. By the time their relationship had come to a close the husband said it felt for him like he had married 8 different women!

I love this story because somehow I relate to that woman. She emerged from her cocoon 7 times in her lifetime! I have only begun to emerge a second time. I wonder if I will experience this five more times. It is a fascinating thought full of wonder.

For now, I will be here. And I will continue to slowly emerge from my cocoon. I might have grown attached to the chrysalis this time. It is so beautiful, I don’t want it to break open yet.

what calls to me?

I opened the door again and walked into the room

Noise.

Loud.

And clamoring.

The sea of voices longing to be heard.

I am pulled in every direction–

How can I really listen when all of the voices are yelling,

All at once.

Confusion and anxiety are now being felt in my body.

I am overwhelmed after being in the room only a few minutes

I walk out the door and catch my breath.

I wonder, what is it that calls to my soul?

I can’t figure it out.

I want to say something… to add to the noise.

Somehow I know I can contribute, that my voice would like to be heard too.

But my voice is a mere whisper,

that my own soul can’t hear.

So I quiet my anxious heart and grow still,

and hold the tension I feel.

And I pray, God, can you hear over all this noise?

tell me, what calls to my soul?

the spiritual path, a poem

This season.

It’s so hard to find the words to describe transformation.

All I know is I’m not the same as I was before.

Not who I was yesterday or even an hour ago.

My soul is dynamic and changing.

Flowing through the great endless river of Love,

That flows within this bodily expression somehow, energetically.

The divine seed planted inside me is growing roots that cannot be seen.

And my soul is going down with them into places it has never lurked before.

Penelope was unsettled before but now I am intrigued and curious, and I know my soul can be trusted.

Rumi’s wisdom guides me now in this moment to quickly go in the direction of my soul’s leading.

And so that’s where I will go.

Letting go of fear and walking steadily on the spiritual path.

a lovely spring walk

She opens her front door and steps outside. Pausing, she breathes in the fresh spring air around her. She started taking regular walks through her neighborhood, leaving her phone unused in her pocket most days. She walks with the intention to connect with nature and the present moment. Today, she notices how much her perspective has shifted since the start of the year and she pauses inwardly to give thanks for growth. Walking has turned into a spiritual practice for her, a time of deep reflection and communion with God. Today, she feels grounded and at peace and she gives thanks for being present to her emotions. She remembers that today is the Full Moon Supermoon and remembers the spiritual practice she learned recently from a book she has been reading. So she presses in to the moment, asking herself to reflect on the past two weeks.

She has been releasing a lot of fear. Love invites her to let go of fear, but it hasn’t been easy. Her heart knows to trust in Love and this trust has somehow begun to take root and grow within her. This time of reflection has been healing for her soul and she closes out her spiritual practice by opening her heart, making room for the mysterious unfolding of life.

a reflection for lent

One of my favorite daily rituals is opening my email inbox to find a daily meditation from The Center for Action and Contemplation. Last week, I happened to receive not one, but TWO emails and the second one was a brief note on Lent, the season that is now upon us.

I come from a Pentecostal-Charismatic Christian upbringing and one thing I never learned about in church was the Christian calendar. We celebrated Easter and Christmas, but there was not much mention of Advent or Lent. In fact, as I write and reflect, my perception was that Lent was a purely Catholic practice. And I once believed that Catholicism was “bad” and “wrong”. I’ve grown a good bit since then, thank God! Anyway, I have come to appreciate spiritual practice as I age and Advent and Lent are two that although they seem to creep up on me before I’m ready, always tend to find me anyway. Ash Wednesday came and went and I did not spend much time reflecting. And now here we are, what – two weeks in already? Oy vey. I’m grateful for the emails I get from the CAC that help me remember to pause and reflect during these seasons. Each email I get from them seems to hit me on a profoundly deep spiritual level, sometimes one that I am not ready for in the moment but will spend time with in the days, weeks, sometimes months following. I’m still contemplating an email that was written for Advent and it’s been three months. But that is the beauty of contemplation, isn’t it? We come across something so deep and meaningful, something that our soul is fascinated with and finds terrifyingly true, yet it takes time to settle in to a psyche that is conditioned a certain way.

What I wanted to share with you is something I continue to learn. From the email last week: “the word Lent comes from the Old English lencten, time of spring and new life. Of course, in the contemplative tradition there’s an awareness that in order to allow new life to come forth, we have to go about the inner work of recognition and letting go – of ‘dying before we die’ (a quote attributed to the Sufi poet, Rumi, as an invitation to live fully – the way we would if we knew we only had a few more breaths to take.” These words spoken by that wise Sufi poet call to me, beckon me to make this choice to live this way for the rest of my life. Interestingly, I have been drawn to the Scriptures a lot recently and happened upon Psalm 90:12, a verse my brain is connecting with Rumi’s philosophy: Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Wisdom teaches us that life is short and not a lesson we learn via the intellect alone. It is a lesson we learn with our whole being, a lesson of mind, body, and heart. This lesson has presented itself to me yet again in this more recent season of my life. It has presented itself before, and I think it slipped out of my awareness for a little while, but it is returning again and I am paying attention now.

A meditative prayer for your soul today:

Teach me to realize the brevity of life so that I may grow in wisdom.
May I be open and not afraid.
Help me to trust so that I may be free.
Open my eyes, help me to see.
Help me to die before I die,
To let go of what I cannot control.
If I’m honest I am afraid,
But I will trust anyway.
Oh great Love, carry me today.

Penelope & Billy

Penelope and Billy have been friends from the time she was 3. They love to spend time together, and invite her to join them all the time. She joined in for many years until she started to realize what was really going on and began to discern some things about these two that she never realized before. So yesterday, she started to call them out. Penelope and Billy didn’t like it at all. Not one bit. But because of that reaction, she knew she was on track and is now using her voice to call them out when they show up telling her stories that scare her. She is using her voice to challenge them and they don’t like it, but the stronger the reaction of the dynamic duo, the more powerful her voice becomes. She is realizing that she can reach down into herself to draw from the Truth that lives in her already.


Story Explanation:

Andy and I went to a show the other night called Say Yes – A Liturgy of Not Giving Up On Yourself, by artist Scott Erickson. At the beginning of the show, Scott defines the word liturgy to mean story of the people. His show was created around this definition and in collaboration with others, he tells a story through visual effects, poetry, art, and the lived experiences of others both good and bad. It was a lovely show, packed full of healing messages for my soul. One thing he said that stayed with me was how he personifies his fear, calling it a name, and therefore decreasing its power significantly. So I decided to put this idea into practice for my own life and that is how Billy and Penelope came to exist. Penelope has existed for me for a little while, but she has evolved from being the voice of the critic in my head to simply being the voice of the false self, varying with degrees of intensity in the energetic stories she tells me about who I am, what I am now seeing as false stories. This story is about how I am learning that Penelope and Billy are codependent and can’t live without each other. So when they show up, I can name them for who they are and see what is really going on in me.

a poem for waiting

It’s different this time, you know

But It feels so familiar like I’ve been here before

Penelope can only fear and dread

Yet there I am at rest in the chaos and uncertainty

I guess this is what it’s like to be human

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

Penelope, she fears and dreads

But April

She trusts

She is at rest

She dwells in peace

She loves the process of transformation

This is where her heart knows

There is no fear in Love

something new

Hey guys! So, in my last post I talked about my experience with panic and anxiety during my recent experience with a sinus infection and then trigeminal neuralgia following the illness. What I didn’t talk about was everything I heard about this condition and that this can also be a symptom of other things underlying. I heard from a few people that trigeminal neuralgia can be debilitating and I started to do that thing where I obsessively looked it up and heard story after story about how terrifying and debilitating and excruciatingly painful it can be when it attacks. I was terrified. All I could see in my mind was that I would be debilitated for the rest of my life with never ending excruciating pain that would hold me hostage inside the prison of suffering. And then I relaxed and started to recover from this first attack and the panic and anxiety that accompanied this new thing I was experiencing. I started to return to the present moment. I started to realize I wasn’t actually debilitated right now. I started to realize, again, that this experience and the nature of fear in it was telling me a different story than what I was experiencing in reality.

My nervous system is recovering right now. I am incorporating things to help with this like deep belly breathing exercises every day and contemplative prayer. What I am learning in this is that stress management and self care are very important things to figure out. In hind’s sight, I could see how I accumulated stress from 2019, which happened to be a more stressful year than others. With the increase of that stress and my own ways of coping with stress, it became clear to me on the other side of it that I need to do something new to manage stress in my life. So at the peak of the panic and anxiety, I started doing yoga. I wasn’t sleeping, but I had more energy than I ever thought I had. I did yoga. I went to they gym and walked on the treadmill. I tried the elliptical. I walked around my house. I got moving. Movement and connection to my body in this way has always been a struggle for me. Inactivity was a more natural way for me to cope, but it is not serving me in a healthy way anymore. I realize now more than ever how important it is to move my body. Even doing basic yoga stretches for 15 minutes is enough. So I’m not going crazy with this. I don’t do it everyday yet, either, which is a goal I am working toward.

Meditation and contemplative prayer are also practices I started a few years ago that I am seeing an even greater need for now. There is a lot of buzz in our culture about meditation and mindfulness and for good reason. It is so very needed in our mind-driven intellectual way of showing up. I am learning that meditation is a practice that helps to train the mind to calm down. The mind is an energetic powerhouse, but it cannot be the only one from which I draw. My body and heart are also energetic powerhouses and alignment in all three areas takes discipline and practice. It takes a lifetime of discipline and practice, actually. And there is no such thing as arriving anywhere with it. The mind is the mind. I am learning so much about the nature of the mind and the stories it crafts around my experiences. So far I have experienced a lot of mental chatter around this new experience and I am learning to observe the thoughts and then allow them to vanish into the cloud of forgetting. As I do this, I experience peace. As I was driving into work this morning, I experienced a great peacefulness even though I see this terrible threat approaching.

In my last post, I talked about a dream I had and in that dream I could see a threatening E5 tornado heading in my direction. This new thing is a threat to my ego. My ego doesn’t like another diagnosis and the possibility that my body can experience excruciating pain if this nerve were to attack me again. My conditioned self has also made an appearance and I am learning to challenge these stories now as they enter my mind, instead of being carried by the stories as factual to my current experience. Yes, I am experiencing new things in my body that I don’t like and that quite frankly are scary. But you know what I see right now? I see that I am a participant in the human experience just as you are. I see that people experience terrible things all the time and receive terrible diagnoses from doctors all the time. I see that we are all connected to each other through the pain we experience– the physical, mental, emotional pain we all experience. And you know what? That brings me to a place of peace and interconnectedness that I haven’t experienced before as a whole being. I have known with my mind that we are all connected to each other, but this experience is connecting me more deeply to my fellow humans on a deep heart level.

But guess what, guys? These things we experience that we can perceive as threats to our existence are not truly threats at all. What is divinely true is that we are held together in Love’s cosmic energy and nothing can stop the flow of that Love toward us. Nothing. No bad news or medical diagnosis, no pain, no fear or shame, or even the experience of our own hell on earth can stop Love. Not death. Nothing can stop it and we are not separate, but joined to it whether we know it or not. Something I continue to learn is that when I suffer, I share in Christ’s suffering and therefore the suffering of all of human kind. We share it. We are joined together by it. We grieve through it, together. I also am familiar with the ache in the soul accompanied by trauma and loss and acquainted with the part of that process when the mind and heart can grow numb to words. Words don’t matter at the peak of our grief and suffering. I can say that there is no fear in Love or that there is nothing that can separate us from Love, but sometimes words make the human experience worse. I am learning that the energies of Love and compassion and grace and kindness flow from the depths of our being into someone else’s being simply through presence. The presence of Christ dwells in us. We are carriers of this presence. We do not need to ask for it to come. It is with us and in us one hundred percent of the time at all times, whether we feel it or not. All we can do is trust it and let it carry us like a great flowing river into the wild and unknown of life. Love and peace to you, friends.

May you be at peace
May your heart remain open
May you be aware of your true nature
May you be healed
May you be a source of healing for others
May you dwell in the breath of God

Prayer by St. Theresa of Avila