Week of February 2
I am still tending the home fires and glad to be here. The temps have dropped well below freezing but I am feeling warmed by friendship, divine reminders, and tea.
My friend and spiritual sojourner, Betty, nudged me in a good direction. She thought I might like to hear YOUR thoughts about my weekly entries. Well, of course. Brilliant! And, I could hear about how YOUR week is going too. Joy! On the spiritual path, it is so vital that we stay connected. Therefore, "What's New" will be published here at my old blog. Subscribers can still receive it in their Inbox. And you can leave me comments if you like.
Whew! I am so glad it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind. ;-)
Here's what's happening in my world this week:
At My Desk
First of all, my desk is not really a desk. It's my living room couch with a great coffee table in front of it. This is where I "work" most of the time. This scenario serves me well because, 1.) I have some pesky neck issues that act up when I sit at a desk, 2.) The coffee table is also my puja space so I flow easily from prayer/meditation to work. This feels natural and right to me so my work can become an expression of the Sacred.
This week I am working on marketing My Deepest Me. I'm enjoying receiving early news from people who have just begun to dive into their 30-day journey. I'm eager to know how this format works for you because my hope was that a dedicated one-month journey could serve as a focal point to bring about true transformation. We are so easily distracted these days, sidetracked toward other "more important" things. If you have thoughts to share about your first few days exploring your deepest you, I'd love to hear them.
I take such joy from reading! Stalking the Divine by Kristin Ohlson has been pure pleasure this week. For as long as I can remember, I've been intrigued by "women religious", and Kristin's account of her fascination with The Poor Clares of Cleveland, Ohio, feels so similar to mine, though I knew nothing of this particular Catholic order. The book offers a peek into the lives of a dwindling group of cloistered women who serve by praying 24 hours a day. They live behind the grate of the monastery and do not mix with the world. Stalking the Divine is more about Kristin's story of faith though—losing it, healing through it, and hoping to find it again. She's a superb writer. Her wit is similar to Anne Lamott's. Her heart is sensitive and deep, and it longs for the love of the Divine—as does my own. I saw much of myself in her and her journey. (See my Ponderings below.)
To Pandora Radio. I signed up for some new stations lately to freshen up my morning practice. I also write with music in the background so good ambient music helps me along. My favorite new station is a Pandora standard, "Yoga Music." I like the variety and I learn about new artists. Today, this one kissed my soul with the promise of spring. (There just happened to be a You Tube video on it.) I loved hearing the birds sing again.
How it is we lose our faith. And how we find it again. Faith is a funny word. Webster's defines it this way: "strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof." My Buddhist training over the years has offered me a different perspective. The Buddha was all about proof—what really works and brings results.
Faith for me is not so much about doctrine, but about practice. Faith tells me that if I am awake and aware, I can rely on my basic goodness to guide me, as well as the practices that help me align with my deepest self. I can also have faith in me and trust my unique sacred connection. I can have faith in a "Divine One" to guide me, and I do. These elements do not have to be mutually exclusive. So for me losing faith may be more about losing touch with your own sacred center, or being confused with how to connect at all. That's THE journey for me: how to plug in and stay plugged in to the Sacred as YOU uniquely understand it.
Each morning I pray to the Divine Mother to safeguard my dear ones. I pray for those I love who are struggling and in need. Often my prayer turns from an individual to any of us who might have similar challenges. Before I know it, I am in "May we ..." mode again. So this morning my prayer included these spontaneous phrases:
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be fed and sheltered.
May no one be hungry.
May all beings know Your Love and feel safe and protected in that Love.
I like to allow the phrases of my prayers to bubble up like water from an underground stream. This feels quite nourishing to me. I hope it is nourishing for others too.
How is your week unfolding?
Thanks for joining me. Blessings upon your precious heart.
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.