Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Edging nearer

Milford Spiritual Center Labyrinth –1.1.13
Listen to this post:

Sunday, I held a second, intimate labyrinth workshop and began it with the following queries:
– How can I center myself as I leave one year and begin another?
– What unresolved issues in my life can I leave at the center of the labyrinth?

People murmured and elicited deep sighs as I read them out loud. I believe they struck a chord.

Today, January 1, I feel compelled to answer those myself as well as the three others that accompanied the first two:
– What is my prayer for the new year?
– What can I leave behind?
– How do I want to enter the new year?

After bumbling along for years trying so many on, I clearly require a regular, daily practice such as deep breathing, prayer, gratitude and deep connection. My own ... something to root and ground me every day and always be there ... first thing. When I recently asked my shaman how he tamed his ego, he replied "With a daily practice." I must uncover mine instead of toying with a variety at different times, in different venues. I need something simple, doable and rock solid for a mom, not a nun or monk. I'm open to suggestions. I also desire to enter 2013 by examining my blessings of the last year and expressing gratitude for them. I don't want to forge on mindlessly; that leaves ego in charge.

What must I lay before the Lord? Money, pure and simple, I want to put down my love/hate, but mostly hate, relationship with this tool. I am realizing it does not have to be evil, that, indeed, it can be used for good. Last year, I initiated a gratitude practice and began to see currency as more of a blessing, one that began flowing. I want to make my peace and lessen the tie between it and my self worth, one our culture promotes. I also choose to shed my woundedness, now that I better understand its source, in the center of the labyrinth as well as my self doubt ... trusting Spirit to transform these negatives.

Meeting along the way

Spirit, please help me to:
trust more fully,
give you what creates struggle within me,
remain in the wonderful flow I've experienced recently, 
be more fully present, 
clearly see all that I have, 
be joyful, 
express joy and 
serve ... with a full heart!

I commit to dumping doubt, old patterns and self loathing as my old armor, yet realize it will be challenging.

I pledge to embrace this time:
healthy in mind, body and spirit;
courageously; and
as if I'm on a grand adventure with God at my side,
not removed.

How does your heart respond:

• How can I center myself as I leave one year and begin another?
• What unresolved issues in my life can I leave at the center of the labyrinth?
• What is my prayer for the new year?
• What can I leave behind?
• How do I want to enter the new year?

out with the old
that no longer fits,
that binds me,
closes me,
tightens my heart,
tears me from God

in with the new,
the joyful and colorful
the loose and flowing
openings, flutterings,
leadings and paths
edging nearer Spirit


  1. Centering: I've made it a habit to start my day with prayer. When I wake, before I get out of bed or even open my eyes, I have a "conversation" with God. I try not to do much of the talking. I may simply think "I love you God and I know that you love me". Then I just quietly feel that love. Sometimes clear, original inspiration comes to me at that point and sometimes there is just stillness. I except whatever comes. My goal is to acknowledge and be aware of my connection with God. When I get up, I take time to do some Bible study. This takes effort. There is always something else that claims it is more important to do(check email, read the paper, eat breakfast, get going, etc, etc). More often then I should, I give in to these temptations, but I've never suffered when I ignore them and put God first.

    Transformation/Newness: Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian healer who's writings I study, wrote that the 3 stages of the way are self-knowledge, humility, and love. Yesterday, the thought came to me that perhaps the past dozen or so years have been my lesson in humility. I haven't finished the lesson, but it helps to have finally figured out what I'm suppose to be learning. Then someone told me about a bumper sticker they had seen "There is only one God, so why are you always applying for his job?". So for this new year (and for as long as it takes thereafter) I want to focus on practicing humility and putting aside personal sense.

    Prayer: My prayer is for daily opportunities to do good for someone, the discernment to recognize these opportunities, and the obedience (and humility!) to take them.

  2. Colin ... thank you! I've been trying to pray before I arise and it seems like a good practice for me, when it's not 5:45 a. and I am shocked awake by the alarm, when the kids get up. I love the idea of no expectation but to feel God's love; I often have that experience in centering prayer. The person who taught it to me called it no-strings-attached, just-show-up prayer.

    Your humility lesson also resonates with me. I've struggled with fibromyalgia for 14 years and that seems to be one it its biggest teachings. And, I LOVE your prayer.

    I am so grateful for your companionship here. Thanks for reading and responding from the heart.

    Happy New Year!
    -- Cathy

  3. Cathy, I am so sorry to hear about your struggle with fibromyalgia. I hesitate to intrude, but I feel compelled to ask if I may pray about that. I will not be offended if you tell me to mind my own business.

  4. Prayer is never an intrusion .. I would welcome it and am grateful ... thank you. I have to admit, this struggle has had a silver lining; deepening my spiritual life and relationship with God and Jesus. When we let go of pretense and feeling as if we're in charge, that's when it's easiest to let Spirit in ... at least in my experience!