Out in the Middle of Somewhere

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My GPS often directs me to unknown places and I used to think it had something out for me.  I would end up going down dirt roads and in the wrong direction when I blindly followed and then I would hear that snarky “recalculating” when I tried to go another way.  It was not a surprise then on my recent return home that I ended up in Lost River State Park on treacherous narrow twisting roads that climbed to stomach churning heights.  It eventually opened to a breathtaking view of the mountains and valleys below. I stepped out briefly in one of the few places I could pull over to take a picture which does not do the awesome scenery justice.  The sun was still behind the ridge and the bare trees obscured most of the view but it was breathtaking just the same.

Descending this mountain ridge was heart stopping at times.  The narrow road, covered with leaves and difficult to see had several switchbacks and it began to snow.  I wondered what my GPS was doing sending me home this way, was this really the “fastest route” home?   “Really!” I said out loud  ” What am I doing here?”  The steep unguarded banks of the road and thoughts of getting lost here tightened the grip on my steering wheel as I drove at a crawl down the mountain praying all the way.

On the way down one pickup truck passed me, definitely a local who had no difficulty navigating the road.  I still have no idea how he made it around me on the narrow turn.  Once the road opened to a more pastoral spacious area my breathing and my grip on the wheel eased.  I was grateful.  Not only to have arrived safely through the mountain pass but for the opportunity to see and experience it.  It wasn’t until I returned home and Googled a map of the place that I saw there was another simpler way to go.  The GPS did it again but this time I am grateful for the remarkable views of the journey and the testing of my ability.  Some of the best growing I do is when tested.  I highly recommend a trip to this beautiful place and plan to return one day to really enjoy it.  Lost River State Park

Enjoy the journey, rerouting and all.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5 NIV

 

 

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Monday Meditation – Eclipse

Clicking the computer on yesterday morning the artsy screen saver announced that it was yet again my birthday.  At first I thought that amusing, but as I do at times I pondered the meaning for the day.  My attempt to change it to the correct date failed as I am not the administrator and don’t have the password.  And so the day began.  One small thing after another reminded me … I am not in charge, not even today when the computer still says it’s my birthday.

The day’s events can at times throw us out of synch.  As I am a person of routine it is a challenge for me to be off schedule, and as the day went on the feeling became more and more uncomfortable.  And I remembered my birthday.  A new day, a new person?  When Jesus talks about becoming born again he is talking about our ability to change course and turn to the life God had planned for us all along.  Not that each day’s events are organized in God’s humongous binder with checklists and things to do, but that our lives were created to be good, to be well (healthy in mind, body and spirit) to be love and to love.   When we surrender our own self-serving desires to the Divine Creator’s  hand the sculpting that takes place is wondrous and more than our own plans had envisioned.  Patience is required as sculpting the art of life can take time.

Today, a new day, the moon will hide the sun.  We know the sun is there and that even though hidden we can’t look directly at it.  This overshadowing is temporary and causes many interesting effects of shadows on the ground and animal behavior.  I will keep my eyes on those things today.  Like the earth and it’s creatures, changes for me can create unusual events, but I know that behind the shadows the Divine Beloved Creator is shining on my day, on your day for all of us.  The Administrator of creation whose password is love.  Today indeed is a new day, I was born yesterday !

 

Peace, Wellness and Blessings,

Sue

Monday Meditation- Signs and Signals

Living in the present moment with awareness of others, surroundings and self creates direction for this journey of life.  Not always with certainty but there are practices that provide help to be present and centered.  Prayer, meditation, Gestalt work and Yoga have been guides to quiet my mind and heart to focus on the here and now and decide which steps to take on the path.  But sometimes I need more.  I need a physical symbol,  a wake up call to know I have wandered off the path.

The most obvious are signals of neglect.  When life becomes too busy and I stray off my course my plants begin to wither.  I have a schedule of watering my houseplants, they are important to me and the health and aesthetics  of my home but it seems they are the first to suffer from my negligence.

Others are less obvious and only creep into my awareness when missing.  When I am attuned to my spiritual life with God, when I am focused on prayer and meditation, attending worship and studying scripture I generally wake up with a song of praise in my mind and on my tongue.  On these days other signs and signals are glaringly obvious.  Awakening to God’s presence of love opens my heart, mind and eyes to so much more of life.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that if I believe in a creator God who made the heavens and the earth, and if I believe that God is a love so great that my guilt and shame were erased through that love in Jesus, then I needed to spend more time getting to know Him.  On a Monday, because that is when you start new things, I read from the Bible and meditated on the reading.  I thanked God for this leading and guiding and then went for a walk.  I discovered that my conversation with God, listening to the creation sounds of birds and leaves applauding in the wind, continued with the taking in of so much beauty. Love seemed to wrap around me, joy filled my heart and peace settled into my whole being.  It had not rained in several days,  there was not a cloud in the sky and a soft breeze blew.  I turned the corner and right above me was the largest rainbow I had ever seen, it seemed I could touch it if I wanted to. I felt light and I heard a whisper “thank you” .  It wasn’t my word, the Divine Love touched me in that moment as I decided to love back.  To love the creator is to love the creation, the earth, all people, myself.

Much has happened since that time and I continue to learn and grow, I forget and stumble, my plants can suffer and I can wake up without that song in my heart, but I know God loves, not only me but all of creation.  God speaks to us, in dreams, in nature, in music, and all we need do is open our hearts, our eyes and our ears.

I wish you awareness to see signs of love.

 

 

Monday Meditation – Friday

I saw a bumper sticker years ago that said, “I do yoga for savasana”   It struck me as funny because it is mostly true, for me anyway.  I step onto my mat for my body and about halfway through practice I am ready to lay down and meditate. It seems that Friday, for most is that savasana we can’t wait to get to.  It is the end of a workweek and a the beginning of a weekend filled with promise.  By Wednesday, now termed “hump day” those of us starting work on Monday are already rushing to Friday.  During the weekend there is time to rest and relax, spend time with family, go to parties or have one for friends.  Time to sleep in or time to catch up on the chores we let slip during our busy week.  So we begin many Monday’s just looking forward to Friday.  Sometimes when there are longer term goals in mind even the weekend is difficult to rest in.  My savasana is sometimes restless with anticipation of what is to come.

My work week is no longer Monday through Friday but I still hold some of the old habits of rushing through anything to get to my purposed goal.  I love that God reminds me (knowing I need constant reminding) that life’s journey is not about the middle or the end, it’s about the beginning.  When we set an intention or goal for our work, when it has purpose above collecting a paycheck, the week is full of growth and grace.  This week I am working at camp.  It’s an easy place to discover God’s work.  The beauty of the place aside, it is Holy Ground to me.  Stepping on my mat this morning I enjoyed each movement and what it could teach me.  My tightness about work that needs to be done today settles in my shoulders and jaw, I breathe and let it go.  A wonderful Gestalt phrase is “What is happening now”.   I set a new intention of momentous awareness.

In this week filled with promise I promise to look beyond each whole day to see the present.  I seek to find rest in each day even for a short time so that I need not glare into the future.  To look in instead of looking out or past.  I intend on loving and living in each moment and rely on God’s grace of reminders to live fully and appreciate instead of anticipate.

Thank you to Meg who is teaching at the Library and the studio this week.  Enjoy her practice and teaching.

May you be blessed this Monday and each day of this week.

Sue

Monday Meditation ~ Rain

Everything is wet….rain and more rain creating soggy ground and it seems a mushy brain and body.  Still, the new plantings in the garden grow taller by the minute and their greens become greener.  Droplets glisten on their leaves.  For me a time to sit and read, clean out a closet and take a nap.  .  A rainy day can be splendid after a week of hot dry days.  But a rainy week??  After a few days I become lazy, I feel too tired to take on any chores or read (as that seems to send me directly to nap-time).

I made an attempt, really I did.  In the yoga studio I practiced sun salutations with the intention of warming up my inner being, getting that light to shine from within.  I forced myself to tidy up some spaces and prepare for upcoming events, but the things I usually like to do were onerous.   And on this particular Sunday I attended the funeral of a long-time family friend.

Now this week of rain seems different.  It is still wet and even soggier in the garden but the plants are not complaining.  Perhaps they know that warmer, drier days will be coming so they drink it all in now.  Death reminds us of our terminal physical nature and a funeral in the rain seems appropriate.  The hearts of those who remain are waterlogged with grief yet still full of wonderful memories and blessings for having known such a man.

There is no controlling the weather; there is no keeping back the rain, or the tears.  Our physical mortality eventually claims us. . There is a time for everything and in the every things a time for us to drink it all in.  Learn lessons, clean out the closets, take a nap and wait, for the sun will come out.  Life has changed as it is always doing and I can choose to turn my face to the rain, slosh my feet in the puddles or take a nap.   Whichever I choose, I pray to do it with an awareness of the blessings that arrive even when the rain keeps coming.  At the end of the day it is my faith in God that opens my eyes to the blessings of the rain, the continuity of life in changing seasons and the hope of life eternal.

May you have a blessed week no matter the weather.

   Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.   So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Son Salutations

 

Moving through Sun Salutations in my mind and heart, another steps on to the deck to practice.  Her mat ready and her mind set on movement of body with focus and intention….she is present.

My mind tends to jump ahead more often than it slips behind but at times the review of events is appealing as well.

Sweeping my arms to the sky with a gaze toward heaven….I know it’s not there.

Diving slowly to surrender is where I find it.  Letting go the grip of burdens and attachments in worldly terms there is a peace that enters.

Stepping back to open my heart in acceptance.  What is……is.  The gifts of release….

To     Just      Be

Breathing in the Son rise there is nothing left to do or that can be done to enter this state of Grace.

Son Salutations

Sunrise 

Dreaming is Listening

A hummingbird flits around me it’s wings creating music so beautiful, and words… ” begin something new” form from somewhere deep within me and all around me. Before it parts, the bird stops and offers a kiss…then flies away.

I have always been a dreamer in the literal sense, ever so vivid in colors and active it seemed like another life lived while I slept. It was often just pieces that would come to my awakened mind and dismissed as imagination. Now I know that my dreams are so much more. That when I rest and remember before feet touch the floor, I can hear my spirit speak to me and on wonderful occasion, God speaks as well to my soul which is so much more attentive when my mind and body are at rest. It is no mystery to me that God spoke, and still speaks to us through dreams.

I hear the message to begin something new and will keep listening. For then the path will clear and the journey grow full and rich with love and blessings. These blessings then glow to light life’s way and purpose.

I am thankful to Tilda Norberg who developed Gestalt Pastoral Care and as a part of the training discusses how to look at our dreams as guidance to lead us toward wholeness. visit the website at http://www.gestaltpastoralcare.org/ . Try a retreat and move toward healing and wholeness.