Thursday, March 29, 2012

Whispering words of love

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"The price of recognizing Jesus is always the same: our idea of him, of the church, of the spiritual journey, of God himself has to be shattered.*"

There seems to be no escaping this quote from yesterday's Thomas Keating reading. In sitting with it 24 hours, the scales are slowly falling away as some tangible comprehension becomes visible. On a non-thinking level, I knew it was truth the instant I read the passage. Keating means recognizing Jesus in the deepest, truest sense: personally knowing his presence. Not from Sunday-School lessons, drilled-in Scripture, an Easter sermon or someone else's conception. We are called by personal invitation into this mystery in the way we each can individually respond.

Shortly after beginning to attend Quaker meeting, I felt bold and safe enough to mention to our pastor that I wasn't sure who Jesus was to me. I was certain I'd get a firm answer; instead, he replied: "Well neither do I." I am still asking that question and, patiently, Jesus answers:
• As a three-year-old: Your heart is pure.
• As a teen: That was my reflection you saw in your ring. I am here.
• On the treadmill: My feet our yours.
• In a dream: Chosen One.
• In another dream: You had better choose.
• In the mirror: You see me in yourself.
• In prayer: Give all of yourself to God, even the messy and broken parts. They are not yours to fix, but God's. Surrender them.
 • In centering prayer: Just let yourself die; trust me.
• At the labyrinth: I am here always and will give you what you need to fulfill God's will.
• On the massage table: You can put down the burden you are carrying on your heart and in your body because I have already been sacrificed for that.
• In self reflection: God is not outside of you, but within. You have goodness within.
• Through studying Luke: You can't possibly know how much you are loved. Surrender into it and love yourself.

The price has been to let go of my ego that has fashioned me in a negative light, trapped by its controlling illusion that I am damaged goods. Bit by bit, as that perception has been shattered, I am able to see the Divine within myself. As a result, I am attempting to live into the measure of light given me.

Though it may sound unrelated, I can draw a correlation with the recent purchase of a new car. It was hard for me, more so for the girls, to give up our beloved 1996 Jeep with almost 200,000 miles. I'd bought that car new when I had a corporate marketing job before kids. It was a splurge, but also necessary for an interstate commute. After driving small, economical cars, I was reveling in the luxury, showing it off to a friend, who remarked with honesty, "No, Cathy, this car isn't loaded." By my standards, it was.

We've had that car though thick and thin. I was riding in it, tending to an infant, when we were hit. I froze in a twisted position, which triggered a longtime battle with fibromyalgia. In struggling with the concept of a new, replacement, I have begun to understand it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with feeling I don't deserve good things. I have been living in a deprived, poverty mode on many levels, which was quite compatible with my ego's warped message that I am not worth much.

But that's not God's or Jesus' vision of me. Nor is it much of mine anymore.

By surrendering to their love, listening to where I am meant to live, I actually see my divine spark. That light is growing and pushing me outside of my ego's dark limitations, burning my old, illegible map and replacing it with a brighter, clearer one. The experiences teach me that the way I know God/Jesus best is directly

I've always liked myself, now I am learning to love myself, every wart and wobbly bit.**

• How has Jesus shattered your conceptions?
• What have been the replacements?
• What messages has Jesus provided over the years?
• Where are they leading?
• How have you surrendered into God's love?
*The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, March 27 entry by Thomas Keating
**From Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, when her new beloved asks why she's covering herself up, Bridget responds, "Because I don't want you to see any of my wobbly bits."

toddling around curious
and still connected

I had no idea
I was anything but

until an uninformed
adult pointed to
black paper and said that
was the color of my heart

I am sure something
rebelled, but I wasn't
developed enough to

so I took that message
deep and buried it

like a shadow,
it has always haunted me

colored my self image

fed into any other negative
comment, experience or feeling

slowly and consistently
over the years,
Jesus waged a battle
against that egoic message

it stood underneath that rusty
locked identity

whispering its words of

until the chains disintegrated,
replaced by a flame that
continues to grow
and bolder

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unpeeling our hearts

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What's this Easter thing all about? I've been asking myself that question for awhile, but particularly as I complete a Bible study on the Gospel of Luke. I guess I'm frustrated at how easily everyone else seems to accept how God sacrifices Jesus for us. No discussion though I am full of questions, but not comfortable enough to voice them. In some ways, it makes absolutely no sense to me. If God is all-powerful and loving then why was this pre-ordained?

The only way I can piece it together is that God gave up what he loved most, his child, to show us how much he does, indeed, love us. And, yes, it wasn't God who killed Jesus, but we humans. Honestly, I'm not even sure how much it matters to me whether this is fact or metaphor. I still burn to understand its personal meaning and relevance.

After centering prayer with the accompanying Thomas Keating passage*, I may be making some progress.
"The heart of the Easter Mystery is our personal discovery of intimacy with God."
Here's something that moves me deeply and closer to an answer. Perhaps because God is Divine and we are human, we needed a bonding agent, Jesus, who was human and Divine, to seal that connection. It also triggers a memory and I pull out a handmade book I once gave to Autumn:

Waking Up
For Autumn, Easter 2004
Just like autumn, spring is a season with its own identity and beauty.
Instead of falling leaves of every imaginable color, brisk chills in the air and a steamy cup of hot chocolate, spring is flowers pushing their way through the dirt, the smell of gentle rains awakening the earth and the returning sweet sounds of birds.
It's also the story of Jesus, the man, who, much like the fall, dies away. But, also like the spring, is reborn.
Easter is a significant part of spring for Christians, people who believe Jesus is the best example of how to live and love.
The simple version of Jesus' life is that God (God isn't human, but we'll call God a "she" in this story) wanted to show the world how much she loved every creature and thing that was a part of it. She chose to send down a special baby to Mary and Joseph because it is hard for us to know just how much God loves us. She thought her son, in a human form, could best let us know and share that love.
Jesus was that baby, who grew to be a young man and taught people about God's love – always there – and that we should love ourselves and each other in the same way. Jesus was an unusual teacher; he didn't just talk about love, he showed it. By healing the sick, loving the poor and spending time with those most people would not. He didn't judge them, just loved them. And as he loved them, they became better people, more able to love themselves and others.
Jesus taught people the golden rule: treat others as you would want them to treat you. It was also one of God's 10 Commandments [she gave them to Moses long before Jesus was born; they were rules for living peacefully]: Love your neighbor as yourself.
That was not an easy rule for people to understand in Jesus' time [speaking of time, did you know that the Romans began the calendar we have by counting time the year after Jesus died? People felt his life and teaching were that important] and many people resented Jesus for showing them a different, more-loving way to live. But, that's exactly why God sent Jesus, to show us how to live with love and peace. People that didn't understand that decided the world would be better without Jesus. So they arrested Jesus, gave him a trial and decided he would die.
God, because God is God and knows everything, was aware this would happen and sent baby Jesus to earth anyway. God made Jesus strong and loving so Jesus would accept his death, knowing that he was only dying from his human body and that his life and lessons would live on in the hearts of many.
Jesus told those who loved him not to be sad because, although it would be not be easy for him to suffer the pain of his death [not all death is painful, bus Jesus' was] or those he loved to watch, he would return in three days and live forever in another form.
When loved ones went to the place where Jesus' body was buried, it was empty and an angel told them Jesus had been resurrected. Resurrected means to come back to life. 
That's a big word with a big meaning. While you can't see Jesus like your mother or father, you can still know his love and the love of God in many different ways. How do you feel when you hold a baby kitten? Or when you have special time with Mimi? How about when something bad happens and you know it will be all right?
Do you remember that awful night when you were burned by hot coffee? Do you remember how brave you were and how, all the way to the hospital in the ambulance, we held hands and said we loved each other? That happened because we share the love of Jesus and God and that love was with us then, just as it always is – even when we don't know or feel it.
There are ways to feel it. One of those is by praying or talking to God or Jesus. I find I talk best to them when I am very quiet and thinking about nothing else but listening for God. I pretend to unpeel my heart, like an onion, and hand it to God in the palms of my hands. Whenever I do, I feel my body tingle all over and I know God is listening, even touching me. Sometimes I start rocking back and forth, back and forth without thinking about it. That's when God is giving me a big hug. A hug so tight and deep I feel it in every bone, muscle and cell of my body. I also feel like hugging someone else in the same way.
I used to think there was only one way to pray and that was to say it out loud in front of people. I now know that is one way to pray, but not the only way. I pray when I am making art, writing in my journal [I am praying now as I write this story because God is speaking to me by giving me the words], doing yoga ... anytime I am listening or talking to God.
Resurrection means being born again from a painful experience and being a better person because of it. It happens to us over and over. Kind of like how you healed after being burned and how you saw other children with much worse burns at Shriners', so now you know the fear and hurt they felt and you want to comfort them.
Spring is also a time of rebirth. When the daffodils and tulips break through the earth and unfold their color. When the robins and Canada geese arrive, singing that spring is here. When the leaves bud, then gradually bloom on the trees, shading us from the warming sun. When the yard smells of honeysuckle and the butterflies come back to the garden. When the seeds we plant poke up and the green sprouts push off that seed.
It's a good reminder to think about love again; how Jesus loves and how we should love others.
Hummmmm ... maybe I wasn't so far off in that children's story for Autumn eight years ago.

• What does Easter mean to me?
• How has that interpretation evolved as I have grown?
• What has opened me to Easter's meaning?
• Who's is Jesus to me?
• What lessons of Jesus speak most deeply to me?

*The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living by Father Thomas Keating

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beautifully transformed

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Have you ever begun to feel awakened? Really awakened as if you've kind of been asleep in life. I am currently experiencing that sensation. I attribute it to sleeping better, feeling better, gaining more energy, being out in the world more, coming back into myself as my children gain some independence, planning for a new nurture studio, moving from winter to spring ...

In January, a wise nun whose counsel I sought after a powerful labyrinth experience suggested that, when we hit a stone in the dirt, our roots feel their way around, heading toward the source of water. Such a beautiful and apt metaphor. Dig those roots deep, she cautioned.

Sunday, while reading some last-minute passages for my "Comfort of Friends" group, which meets monthly to discuss death and being with the dying, I was again drawn down into the earth when Buddhist author Joan Halifax described the "transparent communion" of two souls in terms of a lotus. "The roots of the pure white lotus are buried deep in the pond's dark mud. But it's the very mud that nurtures and feeds the lotus, making it possible for the flower to open in splendor to the sun. The lotus flower is really our awakened mind, nourished by suffering."

She writes that though we may hide in "our cast-off and rotting selves," we are called to use the decay of suffering as food and energy to emerge back into the world. I believe she speaks, exactly, to my condition.

For 13-and-a-half-years my lotus has been latently laying in wonderfully rich muck, rising to the occasion at times, but never fully blooming. This spring, however, is different. Things are happening and not just internally. The dream of a space of my own, away from the house, is dancing toward reality, even supported by a grant. My faith community as a whole, not just my loyal base of close Friends, are with me, chomping at the bit to help me move, fix up the space, host an open house and get that open studio for under-served kids going. All while I am patiently still negotiating for the space.

The possibilities and potential are endlessly exciting. Like spotting the true light at the end of the tunnel and not the deflection of something unreal.

I want to roar forth and push this negotiating, but know from my time in the muck that I can wait; there's plenty to prepare. Besides, I have been assured that my path is paved with divine support. Back at the labyrinth weeks ago, I received this promise:

Let me in; I am always here
I will not give you more than
I am willing to assist. 
Go home, my child
and BE with this. 
Come to me often and
this will transpire. 
You will be transformed. 
Trust, Love, give
that's all.

I am transforming into the lotus.

• When Have I felt awakened?
• What was the necessity of my sleep?
• How have I strengthened by roots?
• How do I know when it's time to leave the safe muck and rise to the surface?
• What is God's promise to me?

at first, you just lay down
because there's nothing else to do

the trauma or circumstance has
killed you either severely at once
or, slowly, over time

either way,
you sink deep

and deeper and the rot
and darkness become
a new home

one much too easy to linger in

until the time comes and
there is no more hiding

you've been stripped bear,
then rebuilt and
ready to emerge
beautifully transformed

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The wholeness of existence

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A few short weeks ago, my hands were wet in plaster, casting the beautifully full belly of a pregnant friend. Thank goodness; she had her healthy baby three weeks early. This week took a different turn: I drove one county over to attend a memorial, prepared food for two visitations at my Quaker meetinghouse, spent last weekend on the phone ironing out burial maps and location and sloshed through a water-logged cemetery.

In the midst of these circle-of-life experiences, I am also studying Luke, reading a book on death by a Buddhist and beginning to understand archetypal astrology all in small groups. I've also begun working with a new chiropractor, whose hands and coaching have made a huge difference in my body, visited my consistently loving and wise shamanic counselor and been nurtured by my spiritual friend with a book about taming our negative thoughts by turning them into blessings. Plus, it's Lent.

Oh yeah – I almost forgot – I received word last week that I have been awarded a grant from the endowment of a wonderful Quaker couple, Clarence and Lily Pickett, for grounding my nurture work, book and art in one place: a studio in the neighborhood school, which as been re-purposed.

So many thoughts, ideas and concepts are rattling around inside of me and I know there is a message, simple and profound, working in me. What comes to mind, momentarily is:

• I am surely in the midst of so much life, creation and chaos, joy and sorrow.
• The universe sings in cycles of death and [re]birth.
• Often, we learn more about others after they have died.
• Grief can bind a community.
• Death is also a celebration of life and its gifts.
• Death is peaceful even when life is not.
• The birth of a child renews the world.
• The birth of a child and the death of grown men hold promise.
• Finding the good in everything makes all of the difference.
• We each need someone with whom we can share our deepest, darkest secrets.
• Also our deepest, sweetest joys.
• We are not designed to be islands; we need each other and we need God.
• In choosing life, we choose to trust, most especially, when it seems uncertain.
• "For nothing will be impossible with God." [Luke 1:37, one of the verses our study recommended we memorize]
• Even at 3 a.m. on an anxious awakening, treating it as a blessing can shift the troubling mind, bringing a message of love and a drifting back into sleep.
• When there seems nothing else, there is always prayer.
• Our double nature means, as human, we are imperfect. As a spark of divinity, we always have God's love and grace.
• Because I have been self reliant for so long, I don't realize I also fear trusting myself. In trusting myself, I am also trusting God.
• Tough times and situations are what make us grow and, also, what can connect us more deeply and directly to God.

So what is the central theme or message here? Trust in God because all things are possible ... especially in trying times?

• What makes me feel the swirl of life?
• What lessons do the hard circumstances hold?
• What [re]births have I experienced?
• What deaths?
• What message has been swirling in me?

the fullness of life,
the initial hollowness of death

one draws us out,
the other drives us in

it's easy to share joy,
harder to publicly wear our grief

yet, if we connect the two
by drawing a circle, we
begin to see their place
in our lives

what they have to give us,
what they have to teach

how we can respond this time
and next

and eventually recognize
the wholeness of existence

includes life and death


Monday, March 12, 2012

A place for all

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When was the last time ...

That phrase has been echoing in my head awhile, first about my daughters:
– When was the last time I gave them a bath?
– When was the last time I rocked them to sleep?
– The last time we held hands crossing the street?
– Dressed them, helped them write a report or fed them?

Those things slip away almost unnoticed, without announcement and, sometimes, with relief in the moments of heavy parenting.

Today, however, I am asking myself when was the last time I saw or spoke to Fred or Virgil, two wonderful men from my Quaker congregation who died on the same night, last Friday. Virgil has struggled for awhile, was older and, his death was not as unexpected. For those of us not immediate family, Fred's passing was shocking. It seemed to us to have happened quickly. He was absent from monthly meeting for business in January and never returned. Before this, Fred was never sick.

Virgil's mobility was limited and, for most of my 13 years at Cincinnati Friends Meeting, he needed assistance walking. His diligent wife, Ruby, made sure he got to meeting as often as they could from Wilmington. Virgil was always dressed in a suit and tie -- no matter what. I smile when I think about the walking tour of Spring Grove Cemetery [particularly the Quaker portion we own] I helped arrange a couple of years ago and how Ruby told Virgil she was taking him out for lunch, then drove the hour south, accompanied by Virgil's sister. Ruby was determined to make arrangements for inclusion in the lot by her in-laws. When that meeting was happening, I had a flash of the time they would need the space and felt some sense of peace in helping to facilitate that. Saturday I had some follow-up calls to make to Spring Grove, but, again, I felt peaceful; that I could do something that honored Virgil's life.

The joke in my meeting had been that it took my desire to be on the burial committee to finally seek membership. The three years I worked at Batesville Casket company in product and corporate marketing taught me the value of even the smallest acts in a time of grief. I grew to respect the work funeral directors perform, knowing I was not cut out for that level of involvement.

The Comfort-of-Friends group that has been meeting monthly has also offered an interesting look at how we view death. We had to name our worst- and best-case scenarios for dying and I said I knew it would be between me and God in the end and I was fine with that. Another friend suggested my perspective was probably not widely shared. I am certain my funeral-industry background has shaped it; well, that and my growing relationship with Spirit.

Worship was hard yesterday and, funny thing, we sang better than we ever have. Guess we wanted to be loud enough for Virgil's and Fred's ears. My heavy heart gave way to gratitude during the silence as I understood both of these men were responsible for the sacred space we were sharing. Virgil had been a trustee when the meetinghouse was constructed in the 1960s and Fred's long tenure as treasurer and a trustee, combined with his attention to detail, kept the building and grounds comfortable, tidy and beautiful.

Without them, we would not be the same congregation. Their legacy is loving and permanent and calls the rest of us deeper.

• What things have slipped away from my life that I did not notice at the time?
• How can I excess gratitude for having experienced them?
• Who am I missing from my life whether they are no longer living, living away or estranged?
• What prayer is on my heart for that loss?
• What legacy have I been creating?

such a chore to
gather all of the little hands,
link arms and safely cross the street

now, I can't remember the time
we just, well, stopped

of course, I still look out
for their safety, but it's
they have grown

what about friends my heart remembers?
loved ones waiting for me elsewhere?
new losses or old ones?

there is a place for all in my heart,
which teaches me how
very big God's must be

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God's gaze of pure love

My paper version of a Venetian mask
Two things this week have captured my attention and, while they may seem unrelated, they have a similar lesson. The first is how we carry ourselves and use our bodies simply to walk. I am taking a walking class, which may sound silly, but the chiropractor has a lot to teach. And I, for one, have a lot of unhealthy, old patterns to break.

So, I've been practicing this full-body stride, arms and hips swinging, gliding side to side in what, at first, felt very exaggerated, but now seems more natural. Last week when one daughter, my husband and I were out on a walk – I was warned they would not slow for me – I hit a wonderful stride, not even noticing when I eclipsed them. My husband experienced a minor injury, but I wanted to keep my new-found pace. When I reached home, my older daughter said her friend had texted that I was power walking past. I laughed at the notion, but now see the truth. This more natural way of walking is empowering, forcing me to thrust my shoulders back and my heart forward. Gradually, my confidence is shifting as it feels good and I feel better in this new form.

Because of a shoulder injury, I have backed off yoga, trading it for walking and still swimming. I do errands on foot more and notice how others walk. Yesterday, I was aghast at an older man who never looked up, hunched his shoulders and constantly eyed the ground. I silently said a prayer because his posture said he had either been very hurt, suffered or has no self esteem, It really tugged at my heart. I suspect the man may have been younger than he appeared, his stance adding years.

My new walking teacher/chiropractor suggests that, in our culture, we are always moving forward, forcing our bodies, heads, necks and shoulders out of alignment. With some attention, I see that he is right. I understand, though, that an inward adjustment must happen first. I have been trying to live more in the moment. When I don't, I do notice my body shoves itself forward. Now that I am aware, it seems ridiculous. Pushing, pushing, pushing to get ahead somehow and neglecting to savor the now.

My creative project this week has been to design paper masks based on the Venetian long-nosed one I brought back from Venice to Lily. My nurture group's theme this week was "Stripped Naked," and I was playing with how best to facilitate opening to that. Here's the introduction that I offered:

We all dream that being somewhere naked is catastrophic. Nudity often is uncomfortable, unfamiliar and forces us to disrobe, hiding nothing and removing our [turtle] shell. It’s truth.
Shedding my masks, pretentions, ego and willfulness allows me to make my being my message. Lets my life speak. Lets us wear our truth nakedly for ALL to see. 
Like all else worthwhile, paring down and casting away the unnecessary occurs slowly, through many little steps and not one major cleanout. It’s progressions of nakedness.
It may be acquiring new skin after sloughing off, layer by layer, the old armor that makes us tough, numb and non-feeling. We outgrow the thick skin that has scabbed over buried wounds. Ultimately, we want nothing between ourselves and God. When my girls were infants and I’d bathe and hold them skin-to-skin, I thought of it as “naked to naked.” That’s how I feel best with God, when I truly experience her gaze of pure love and see myself as beloved. Those rare and fleeting glimpses are enough to hold me.
Pain is a stripping agent, forcing us to come to terms with our humanness. That discomfort stirs up what’s hidden and brings it to our attention.
Real nakedness is seeing ourselves truthfully and without judgment … through God’s untainted eyes. We must remove the glasses/perceptions/judgment of others that cloud our view.
So the idea of creating masks seemed a good way to chip away at our false selves. First, however, we focused on two queries, which assisted deep and powerful sharing:
• To what do I cling?
• What masks can I shatter or put down?
We discussed how hard it often is to put down those masks and traveled to the conclusion that becoming aware is the first, big step and casting them aside is the journey toward wholeness.
Then there was a wonderfully intense period of creativity when we made our masks, put them on and looked at each other. Our passion drove us past the usual stopping point, so I  asked each person to try in the coming week to look in the mirror (real or metaphorical) and see themselves with God's pure gaze of love.
If we could do that often enough, there would be  no need for walking classes, I do believe!

• How do I project myself in public?
• How can I pay attention to how I walk and what it may reveal about me?
• When have my physical and spiritual selves been in alignment?
• What does that look and feel like?
• What mask am I attempting to remove?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Re-finding the divine within

Finding my divine [in]side

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This has been the week of REs ... as in recover and repent, even rebirth, resurrection and re-find. That second word, repent, has always hung me up until today's selection from Thomas Keating's "The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living" that I use for centering prayer.

I've spent most of the week healing from a shoulder injury, trading yoga for walking, laps and water therapy. It's helping, but slowly, and takes a lot of energy. Have to remind myself that healing does. Even so, I've been intensely working on a new class, submitting a comprehensive grant and helping my eighth-grader plan her whole high-school career (or so it seems). It wasn't until today, Thursday, that I even got around to centering prayer and I cheated. I read the March 1 entry before prayer. It spoke of repent meaning "to change the direction in which you are looking for happiness." Did not seem as sinister as I'd thought. No less easy either.

So I took that word, repent, as my entrance into prayer. It seemed to coincide with an experience I had in my class when I facilitated an experiment-in-light-exercise. Developed in the mid 1990s by a British Quaker, Rex Ambler, the purpose is to emulate the worship experience of early Quakers. While reading the six-step meditation (there are several variations) and keeping time, I was able to experience it to some extent. The point is to let the light reveal Truth through discomfort. It's not intended as a la-la-la blissful meditation, but as transformation. What it revealed to me was stuck anger; no surprise really, except that I was able to visualize where it is in my body and that it is slowly surfacing. I understand it as something I must face instead of letting it seep out onto unsuspecting others.

Somehow, I also think this idea of changing the direction in which I look for happiness has much to do with this stuck anger. Parts of the anger revolve around not living the kind of life I expected; you know not having the American dream of health, wealth and an easy life. Though the older I get, the more I see it as a misguided, perhaps dangerous, myth. I expected to be working full-time in a career right now savoring some success. But that's because I equated happiness with materialism, wealth and success; basically, on external circumstance.

A lesson earlier this week in the pool awakened me to the fact I often look outside for help, when it resides within. My wise spiritual friend and mentor noticed last week that I seem to think of God as outside myself. She pointed that out once before. I can see that of God within others, but forget it's also within me, probably without as well, but I forget that I am part divine. That's where I can look for happiness and to dislodge the emerging anger.

So, today when I was tempted to search for an online job, I opted for prayer instead and am holding fast to my plans to open a studio for spiritual nurture with the glimmer of grant backing. I do know that if I follow my heart into more nurture work that will be my life as opposed to taking some outside job that will split me apart again. I seek wholeness.

• What does the idea of repent mean to me?
• How does that shift if I use Thomas Keating's definition?
• Where do I seek happiness?
• Where do I view Spirit as residing?
• Can I see my divinity within?

on the massage table,
my aching shoulders
were loosened,

and Jesus had a message:
"You mustn't carry the burden
of worry. I've already done that."
He undid the work of a heavy cross
on my body.

internally, I am
living the resurrection,
rebirthing myself

and re-finding
the divine within