Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January journey

Another sub-zero temperature, another school cancellation, another day without routine. I have loved having my teenagers underfoot and the permission to sleep in and recover from the holidays and stress of my mother's heart surgery.

I had already agreed to allow myself some freedom in January to relax and take the wider view of life, settle into the new year and reflect on the lessons of 2013. In fact, I was looking forward to a local retreat Saturday to do just that, but a short-lived and nasty flu-bug prevented me. In bed, I did look over my 2013 posts, categorizing them and what I learned. And the generous retreat leader has offered to walk me through the day and share materials later this week.

I tend to forget some of my acquired wisdom, so pouring over journals and blogs is really an intimate and important task for me. So, here's is what I uncovered:

Shaping my life
• Beginning EVERY day with prayer.
• Creating my own structure, the one that works for me, in doing God’s work and using my gifts.
• Trading the busyness and super structure for dreaming, closeness to God and deep relationship with others.
• Owning my power and creativity.
• Creativity brings prosperity.
• Living my dreams, not my doubts.
• Abandoning my high standards, which are not God's.
• Trusting, but also using my talents.

Naming and claiming my gifts
• Tapping my understanding of the relationship between the physical body, mind,
emotions and soul nerves.
• Claiming my beauty and gifts and sharing them with a needy world.
• Playfulness is a portal for the soul.
• Acknowledging that I have a gift of healing energy.

My life’s work
When feeling depressed to go even deeper to locate that creative spark because
I hold everything necessary to complete the transformation from darkness to light.
• Fulfillment comes from penetrating the depths of my hidden psyche and mastering
the shadow.
• Giving up my props.
• Recognizing my badges of survival as wisdom.

Understanding the Mystery
• Knowing the seed of God really is within me.
• Doing as God requires: Love and enjoy the freedom of who you are in all of your glory. Break free, I release you.
• Bearing the cross to freedom.
• It is through our brokenness that we may approach Jesus, for the Christ energy
truly understands and has the ability to absorb our brokenness, freeing us to more wholly give ourselves to God. Jesus is, indeed, the wounded healer through whom we may find our way to God.
• Remembering the little ways move us toward Spirit.
• The less formed we are, the more pure we become as we approach the Nothingness of Love. This is our origin, void of emotion and thinking. This Nothingness of Love is pure being.

 To lay down:
     – fear and anger,
     – resistance and reluctance,
     – woundedness and disease,
     – struggle and hardship,
     – control and envy,
     – ego and attachment,
     – disconnection and isolation,
     – doubt and murkiness,
     – shoulds and regret.

• Healing requires getting to the root.
• Releasing woundedness by surrendering the idea that our wound can be healed.

• Viewing life as a great adventure, not something painful to get through.
• Acknowledging that I am living the full experience of life. 
• Unfettering life from my ego and living authentically.
• Stop holding myself up, so I can be held. 
• Remembering moderation.

• Casting off to the dark what is not from God.
• Fear is an illusion.
• Appreciating anger as assertiveness.
• Not REpressing or EXpressing, but CONfessing anger.

In essence, Spirit IS the center of me. I will honor us with regular prayer, tending the still, small voice within and aligning myself, thoughts and actions around our relationship. This surrender will fuel my inner reserves, creativity, gifts and work. I will not be bound by the world's ways, but follow Jesus beyond the cross and lose my brokenness in him. I release my wounds and anything not of God, remembering the little ways as crumbs marking my path.

Remind me, will you, if I forget?

• What lessons am I carrying forward from 2013?
• How have I spent time reflecting on them?
• How have the coldness and clean slate inspired or fed me?
• What am I leaving behind?
• How will I nurture myself and Spirit this year?

Listen to this post:



  1. Quakerism has always been a cult of self.

  2. That's an unusual response. I suppose anything can become a cult of self. In my experience, Quakerism has led me into a deeper relationship with Spirit, which fuels my outer life and service to others. Does this happen to be the Matt Engel I know personally?

  3. I believe, however, that Elias Hicks would disagree with your interpretation. My research of the farm ended up digging deep in Quakerism, what I found was rather disconcerting. Can you really know me impersonally?


  4. You have not lost your sense of humor, I see. No way would Elias Hicks dispute another's personal, direct experience of God. So call me, I'd love to catch up and hear about your farm's links to Quakers, which doesn't surprise me. Hope you are well and grateful you're still alive, kicking and ornery!

  5. Sorry for the late reply. Been busy.

    Relationship with spirit and direct experience with God are two different animals. Hicks was kinda cool insofar as he was one of the first social relativists in the new world. Oh well.

    As far as the farm's link to Quakers, its all orthodox. Pre-schism stuff.
    Not even sure they were for the civil war. They werent Quakers that thought their vision was worth other's blood.

    Ornery you say. Merriam sez that is ill tempered or difficult to control. Like a bad dog. That may be true. History is littered with them. Cant think of one off the top of my head though.

    Sorry I missed you guys the half dozen times I called. Michael did want to see you though.

    Give my love to the kids and Tad.