Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spirit speaks...

I have Soul Collage Cards that I made a year ago.  When I moved into my apartment, I put them somewhere I could see them often.  I wanted to absorb their message and vibration and invitation.  One of the cards WILL NOT stay where I put it.  

This card jumps from its home at opportune moments.  Sometimes it wakes me in the middle of a dream, like “pay attention to what it happening there.”  Other times it jumps when specific thoughts are in my head.  “Pay attention!”  

The fun here is that the wording on the card says, “Get up and Go for it!”  The image is a hiker running down a trail.  For me, it is a powerful card.  It came together quickly and vibrantly.  When the card was created, it was LOUD.  

And now, it is jumping freely from wherever I place it!

Due to the number of times this has happened, I can no longer ignore that this is happenstance.  Spirit is speaking.  “Get up and Go for it!”

I am beginning to hear Her words.  I am beginning to allow those words to sink deep into my heart and spirit.  I am allowing them to percolate around in my being.  I do not know where they will take me yet….

I do know Spirit is giving me an invitation!

Spirit speaks in so many ways.  What I have been learning is that Spirit will continue to speak until I listen.  Now that I have listened, the card no longer jumps from its home.  Rather it emanates Light and Love and Wisdom, beckoning me on…   “Get up and Go for it!”

I wonder how Spirit speak to you? 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Perception is key...

I woke up the other morning with this energy flowing out of the bottom of my foot.  I have had this happen before.  It is a sign that my body wants to tell me something.  So, I sank into my heart to listen.

When I got to my heart, I opened all the drapes so I could see out into its landscape.  Much of the time the landscapes change as I change direction.  This time each drape I opened was the desert.  North.  South.  East.  West.  All desert.

Now, I know I am deep in grief — the grief that comes from major life transitions.  I have left my self-care healing support network, my community of friends, my creative community, my Sacred lands and moved away.  Grief is normal.

So when I saw the desert surrounding my heart, I wept.  I am in the desert, alone. Desolation entered my heart.

Then….  I stepped outside my heart chamber into that desert.  I reached down and scooped up some sand.  It felt Sacred in my hands.  I walked around the outside of my heart and watched the landscape change from Middle Eastern/ Northern Egyptian desert to SW New Mexico desert.  I saw the beauty around me.  The red rocks and mesas.  Flowers and trees.  Dunes.  Creatures. 

I was standing on Sacred ground — the ground of the Desert Abbas and Ammas; the ground of the Shaman.  This was no ordinary desert I am in.  This is an invitation to dive deep into desert spirituality; to learn the depth of what it can teach me, of how it can ground me and connect me to the Holy.

It is all about perspective.  One perspective leads me to desolation; the other to consolation — to communion with the Holy.

We have a choice in our experiences.  We can choose the lens through which we will perceive what we are experiencing.  That is our choice.

I choose desert spirituality.  I choose the invitation to sink deeper into the Holy.  

What would you choose?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Transforming My Perspective...

Recently I was shown through meditation that I have two different paces inside myself.  

One is a fast paced drive that allows me to accomplish pretty much everything on my to-list in hours.  When I tap into this pace, I do not get overwhelmed.  I put my head down and go.  The downside is that I miss Sacred moments because I am driving.

The other is my contemplative pace, an inner spiritual pace aligned with the heartbeat of Mother Earth.  It is a pace that invites me to notice and linger and savor the Sacred in everything I do.  Somehow, everything gets done in its own time.  Rarely do I miss Sacred moments.

At first, I thought I was being shown these two paces as a way of being informed that this fast pace is an unfreedom in my life.   As I have welcomed this faster pace into my being fully as part of me, I realize they are both gifts; both vital parts of me; both working together needing to be more fully integrated.

Without the fast paced drive I would not have been able to accomplish all that needed to be done in the last six weeks as I accepted a new position, packed my belongings, found an apartment, traveled for the holidays, moved 3 hours away, preached every Sunday and then began the new position on Jan 1.  Without that drive, I would have been stuck in overwhelmed-ness.  That drive is a gift that helps me move into what I am manifesting.

However, it can hinder my life.  It can become a distraction if I do not fully integrate it into my contemplative life; fully accept it as part of me.  I can become wrapped up in the to-do list of my world so much that I miss the Sacred when she brushes up against me.

I was shown these two different paces in my life so that I could begin to integrate what I considered unfreedom into the fullness of my being — a both/and reality.  It is a paradox that I am opening myself to.

What I am learning is that if I live in the paradox of both/and, my contemplative self will jar me out of my fast paced self to notice something beautiful.  It will stop me right where I am until I notice how the Sacred is brushing up against me.  My contemplative self wants me to experience Spirit in the here and now, every day, and she will make herself known. And my fast paced self will step in to help me accomplish all that I need to accomplish on long full days/weeks, keeping my energy flowing and vibrant.

Just the other day, I noticed this happening.  I had gone to the beach to feed my Soul.  I had been at a wandering pace all day, enjoying the Ocean, noticing the sand, the shells, the waves, the birds, the beauty.  Lingering.  Savoring.  Listening.  Singing.  Answering.

There came a moment when I was so cold and exhausted all I wanted was to get back to the warmth of my car.  My drive kicked in.  I put my head down and walked briskly toward my car.  Then something jarred me; stopped me dead in the middle of a patch of reeds.  I stood listening to what sounded like a pattering of rain.  I stood and listened to the Sacred sing through the wind and reeds.  It was beautiful, soft; a whisper.  I almost missed it.  

I am coming to trust my inner contemplative, knowing she will alert me to the presence of the Sacred.  When she does, I take heed and notice, linger, savor each moment, each brushing, each tangible experience.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Welcoming my Unfreedoms

I have been sitting with my unfreedoms this week asking myself, “How do I find / how have I found freedom where there has been unfreedom?”

What struck me is that I have found freedom by accepting my unfreedoms as part of myself.  At first I fought that idea, kicking and screaming; swearing at God and those suggesting I accept it as part of me.

One day, I accepted the invitation to stop fighting my unfreedom.  I did that through paint and paper.  It was hard and yet, at the end of the painting session the painting was beautiful.  My unfreedom (my anger, my frustration, my fear, whatever) had not stopped the beauty from coming forth.

This seems to go against the goal of finding freedom.  However, when confronting unfreedoms the goal, for me, is to stay completely present in myself and not allow that unfreedom to chase me away.  So by welcoming and creating an atmosphere of inner hospitality,  I am actually disarming it, removing its power to hurt me or chase me back into my smaller self.

I welcome my unfreedoms. I loosely follow Mary Mrozowski’s  (a contemplative Catholic) Welcoming Prayer.

First, I sink into the feeling; into the unfreedom allowing myself to feel my unfreedom; to be immersed in it.  I stay present to the feeling paying attention to how it feels in my body, where it resides, how it is affecting my being.

When I am ready, I welcome the unfreedom/feeling by simply saying, “Welcome Intimidation.”  I stay in the space of welcome, imagining myself offering hospitality to this unfreedom, until I no longer have the urge to run/hide/ignore/suppress this unfreedom.  I find that my heart opens with grace and compassion for myself, I receive back my power, and my Light shines forth stronger and brighter.

Then, I let go.  I do this in many ways. Through paint and paper allowing the unfreedom to flow out of me.  Meditation.  Prayer.  Imagination: imagining the unfreedom being released.  Shamanic Journeying to the unfreedom.  Journaling.  Drumming.  Ceremony.

I let go through whatever medium I feel Spirit inviting me to.

In the words of the Welcoming Prayer:

“I let go of my desire for security.
I let go of my desire for approval.
I let go of my desire for control.
I let go of my desire to change any situation.
I let go of my unfreedom.

I open to the love and presence of Spirit and the healing action and grace within.”

And I find freedom; grace-filled vibrant freedom thanks to the transformational power of Spirit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lessons from my Sacred Land

Every month I go on retreat for my Spiritual Direction Certification program with Kairos School for Spiritual Formation ( retreat is hosted on the some very Sacred Land (Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA).  The first time I drove onto the Land, I fell in love.  Such beauty.  Such tranquility.  Such Sacred power to transform all who walk there.

Every month, I walk the Land.  I arrive and am greeted by the Land and I, in return, greet Her offering Her my gifts/blessings.  I wander the Land in conversation with Her.  I sing and talk to Her.  I listen to Her speak to me.  Sometimes she whispers.  Sometimes she speaks loudly and clearly.  

This past month, I walked the Land on my birthday.  I asked for blessing for the year ahead.  I asked for vision for where my work would take me.  I walked.  I wandered.  I noticed. I listened.  I heard one thing clearly, “I will give you vision through paint.”

I have an artist friend, Damini Celebre, (  whose work is just that.  She walks the Land and allows the Land to paint through her.  Her work is powerful.  I went to speak with her and ask her to visit this Land.  As we talked she asked me why I am not doing it myself.

One word came forth, “Intimidation.”  I am intimidated by that idea.  Sure, I can open myself to intuitive painting in the studio.  But allowing the Land to paint through me.  What if I do not do it right?  What if it does not look good?  What if I can not open myself fully to this Land that I love? 

And there it is:  my unfreedom!  

The unfreedoms of our lives want to keep us small, contained, safe. They want to prevent us from growing, transforming, becoming who we are called to be in this world.

I am being asked by a Land I love to open myself fully to Her Spirit and allow for this immensely deep blessing to be given to me.  Yet, I feel intimidated by that prospect.  I have allowed for my unfreedom to keep me small.

The question I am now asking myself is:  Will I allow my unfreedom to keep me small, to dim the brightness of my Light?  or Will I let go of this unfreedom, find the courage to risk my heart and step more solidly onto my life path?

I ask you:

What are your unfreedoms?  How will you respond to them?  Will you allow them to keep you small?  or Will you let go and risk your heart?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Meeting my Mystical Self

I have not written in a long time.  Yesterday’s painting ignited my blog energy again!

Here is what I noticed that excited me so much:  Intuitive painting is a healing art!!  It really is.  I knew it.  Now I KNOW it.  I EXPERIENCED it yesterday.

I have been painting for about three years now.  When I look back at where I was, at my paintings three years ago, I see my healing journey through paint and paper. I see the old patterns being let go and transformed into new ways of being.  I see old wounds being healed and released.

Yesterday I had this grace-filled moment when I my mind went “I do not know who that is painting.  I do not know this style and color choice.”  

My heart answered  “You!  That is the new You, Your True Self.”


The beauty of the session was that, for the most part, I was out of my mind and in my heart.  The running internal commentary went something like this:

“Gold, bright pink, bright orange, bright blue, bright green, black, bright pink, gold, no the other gold..” and so on.

It was color.  My heart spoke color.  My body chose the shape and placement of the color.   

Every so often my mind would jump in to contain what was happening.  Use that dark purple.  Put a gold outline around that heart.  Oooo look a brain/mind.  Contain.  Old practices.  It would stop me for a moment.  Then I would reassure my mind and fall back into my heart and paint…

My heart wanted freedom; joy; laughter; brightness.  My heart wanted to show me what my energy looks like, feels like after all this intense healing work I have been doing.

That is what happened.  I came to this place when there was one movement, a curving in my hand, and one color, white.  I covered the painting with white, curving and twisting the paint around.  I struggled with letting go of that heart I outlined and the blue flower at the bottom of the painting.  I struggled.  I kept working around both until I heard “Just do it.”

I took a breathe and let go.  I let go of that unfreedom and found freedom and beauty in the process.  The release brought energy and lightness to my Spirit.

When I was done my mind looked at the painting and said “You blurred the vision.”  And my heart broke.  I found myself walking away from the painting back to the place I would sit to hide from what was happening. (the old ways)  I sat.  I looked up and GRACE happened.

I had not blurred the painting.  It was iridescent!  It glowed!!!  It is so beautiful!!

I smiled.  My heart was full of joy, laughter, lightness of Spirit, peace.

There I am!!!  The new me glowing, shining forth!!!

The lines of demarkation are gone.  I have found Union with the Sacred.

That is my journey.  That is my deepest desire.  For a moment I saw that reality; I felt that reality; I experienced myself as one with the Universe.

I witnessed my mystical self born anew!!

Blessed be.