An Inner Sea


Good Evening, God!

This photos of a mist covered lake in the Pyrenees was sent by dear friends as they hike in those mountains. I love this lake. It makes me think of my deep Inner Sea . . . a sea filled with all my unshed tears after our daughter Patty died — 35 years ago.

For several years I felt as if that sea was frozen. On my surface the ground was warm. The soil could support joyful flowers. But it could not support trees. Trees need deep roots into unfrozen ground.

I can see YOU in this image  — Your Holy Spirit — hovering over the waters. And Look, God! The water is flowing; the lake is no longer frozen!  We heal! And we can look back and see You there . . . hovering over me and sometimes holding me . . .Thank You.

And Thanks Be to the friends You sent me . . . to literally walk along side me. To break bread with me . . . and to help the flowers bloom.


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Posted in connecting, friends, daughters, healing, adjusting, Grief, Flowers, pain, Sorrows of the Deep

The Sacrament of Listening

dining out

Good Afternoon, God!

We used to laugh God, about how my Mother had a Listening Gene. Her friends called her “Shoulders” . . . and I got the Listening Gene too. That’s how I thought of it — as genetic — not as a skill. And I never feel more ME than when I am listening — truly listening to someone. This came back to me recently while listening to FLOURISH by Martin Seligman. The army had asked him to work on a program to help soldiers build “Well-Being”. One aspect was to teach 4 patterns of Listening to another person. 1) hm 2) that’s nice 3) Wow, Great and 4) Hey, tell me more.

Hearing so as to help a person Speak. Now, THAT, God, is Listening.

That kind of listening is a sacred act, God. Indeed, just this morning it came to me that Listening with our whole heart is a Sacrament. That is what my spiritual director does for me. That is what goes on in our Wednesday Morning Women’s Prayer Group. We don’t need priests or ministers or certified people. Anyone can do it. Although, training can certainly help us.

And for our family, God, dining out is a special opportunity to listen to each other. A lovely restaurant . . . can be as filled with Your Spirit as a church.

Now, God, as I am writing . . . it comes to me that I CRAVE more time listening to myself. Of course, DOING IT would mean understanding that I NEED it — that hearing myself is like feeding myself.



Posted in connecting

Fear, Anger and Perspective

IMG_2739 (1)

Good Day, God!

I keep puzzling about how You have put us in TIME.  I’m pretty sure You dwell in Non-Time — whatever that means!  But, one thing our about being creatures living within Time . . . we have to deal with CHANGE.  Lots of change.  It is all part of Time Passing.

This Sunday we took a visiting friend to the Bishop Museum and she wanted to see the Planet Shark exhibit.  So my wonderful husband Kit and I trooped along. We did learn how remote our chances are of being injured by a shark — so we OUGHT to be less afraid.  (I’m not.)

But this poster is what hit me.  Sharks have survived 5 Extinctions.  FIVE!  Gosh, if we are in the Sixth Extinction now, that means sharks have survived ALL the previous extinctions.  That was impressive.

But MORE impressive was the thin white line at the top which represented how long we humans have been here on Planet Earth.  Hmm.

This awareness was compounded by a long article in this month’s Discover magazinediscover-magazine-1

about how asteroids hitting the earth seem to be in a 32 million year cycle as we pass through a dense disc of dark matter in our galaxy.  Not good. I didn’t want to know when the last big hit was!

So, as a dear friend said the other day, “The World really must be coming to an end because my ‘do-it-yourself’ husband hired a plumber!”  It was a joke, of course.  But, with all the information flooding though our minds it is easy to feel the world as we know it is ending. It is hard to feel safe nowadays.

And I understand that when we humans do not feel safe — we look for someone to blame. Blaming another group . . . being angry . . . seems to make us feel like there is something we can do to protect ourselves.

I am telling You this, God, because I need Your Help.  I need to know that success and survival are not Your goals for me.  Your goals are both simpler and harder –that I would let You in to love me and expand me and flow through me.


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Posted in Anger, connecting, fears, God's Time

Anger, Energy and Health

Antahkarana-Spiral-of-Spiritual-Illumination-Energy-energyenhancement-orgGood Evening, God!

I was raised with the Newtonian map of Physics . . . very mechanical. I think of it as each object has a place and each object is in its place. Orderly. And that map still works. That is how my wonderful husband Kit and I were able to observe our third solar eclipse this March.

But for the last decade or so I’ve been trying to expand my mind into a much more complex Quantum Universe that seems much more a matter of Energy than of Objects.

And then I thought, HEY! It would be fun to try to recast some Bible verses into our Quantum Universe. So I’m starting with “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesian 4:26-27

All of us who have ever been angry know that anger both generates and consumes tons of energy. When anger is generating energy it makes us feel powerful. And sometimes we need that anger and that power. But, apparently, St. Paul realized that continuing in a State of Anger — going to bed angry — was a real drain on our energy.

Bursts of anger — like a burst of adrenalin —  can be useful. But prolonged use of anger or adrenalin keeps us in a state of energy outflow. We get STUCK. And that means we are stuck in Anger — the exact opposite of the state of relaxed peace. And the state of relaxed peace is absolutely required for Healing and Cleaning out Waste.

Being stuck in Anger is not good for our health!

As for giving a foothold to the devil . . . I am picturing little Nano Creatures that are feeding on the Energy Outflow of Anger. They need us to be angry in order to eat. Although, they don’t mind feeding on our Fears too.

Fanciful images, God. But I find them helpful.

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Posted in Anger, connecting, Energy, healing, health, Peace, relaxation

Our Inner Hearts

inner hibiscus2

Good Morning, God

Last week on a walk/jog up my valley I looked into the heart of a hibiscus. I thought about how You look into our hearts.  This flower lasts for only a day. And I suppose, God, that our human life span is almost as brief as that when set against geologic time. But we are and we are here. And You have put us in Time for reasons unclear.

REJOICE You tell us! AND AGAIN REJOICE! Rejoicing involves great trust in You. Trust that life is MORE than this brief life span here. Trust that there is MORE. Trust that You Love Your Creations.

My wonderful husband Kit and I lost a daughter to cancer before she turned 19 . . . and we DID trust You. We trusted that she was/is WITH YOU! And You tugged me around so that I could look FOR and then AT Your Light in that darkness that engulfed us.

So I understand that Trusting You involves extending my Mental Map of Time and Space BEYOND what school teaches — beyond our human sense of time and space. And in trusting You, God, I believe that You mean it when You say BLESS, BLESS and DO NOT CURSE! When You say, IF YOUR ENEMY IS THIRSTY GIVE HIM TO DRINK.

You, of course, know that is not my first or even second response. BUT, it is sometimes my  third or fourth response. So, now I am blessing a man who seems to believe that only he can BULLY America and the World into being “saved” by him. Not saved by YOU. Saved by him. I am, I admit, uneasy.

I consider Bullies to be weak . . . insecure and easily frightened. And frightened people are all too open to evil. And so, I sit here. And I ask for blessings and healings — for him and for all people who want to lead and who do lead — all over this world.



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Posted in awareness, connecting, Humility or Needing Help!, Prayer, Praying for our enemies, respect

Let’s Have A Jubilee Year!

51XAhxT+43L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Good Day, God!

A friend handed me this book and said, “I think you should read this!” She was right. It is written by Dr. Charlotte A. Tomaino, a neuropsychologist. She is also former nun which she referred to as “an earlier career choice”. Apparently three years in a convent provides a very good basic course in quieting the “monkey mind.” That is something I am working on as I do Centering Prayer.

When we quiet our busy minds we find a “perspective” that helps us to do more choosing and less reacting in our lives. Indeed, Dr. Tomaino has a variety of links to videos that SHOW how our brains can change and grow according to our thoughts — thoughts based on our beliefs. I’m enjoying it.

But what delighted me today was her blog which invited folks to join in  The JUBILEE Year of Mercy. I had understood about the Year of Mercy. What I hadn’t understood is that it is to be a Extraordinary Jubilee Year. The Book of Leviticus says that in a Jubilee Year (mostly every 50 years)  slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

But, God, it isn’t just debts that need to be forgiven. We ALL have piles of things awaiting our forgiveness. WOW! Wouldn’t it be revolutionary if we all took it upon ourselves to work on forgiving — forgiving others, ourselves and maybe even You, God.

Forgiving tends to be hard to visualize. So Pope Francis is having ACTUALLY DOORS opened! He says, “the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope”.

Gosh, God, if any any church near me opens a Holy Door I sure will want to walk through it!


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Posted in Books, Caring, caring for the stranger in our midst, Centering Prayer, choices, connecting, Forgiving, mercy

My Starter Part and Darth Vader


Good Evening, God,

For the last week or so I have been thinking about what Parts or Aspects of me are not working as well as I would like. Right at the TOP of the list was my “Starter” Part. I “blamed” her for my not getting started on DOING a lot of small things I WANT to do.

This morningI asked my spiritual director, June, about it. She suggested that I try to see what she looked like. For a second or two there was only a dim dark shape — THEN DARTH VADER appeared.

Really, God. I was NOT prepared to visualize my Starter Part as Darth Vader!

But, June reminded me that when Darth was young he was a “Good Guy” — a Jedi Knight. Am I AFRAID of the Starter Part of myself? Afraid I might launch something that might do more harm than good? Afraid that I — like all the other humans on this planet –am capable of doing evil in the name of good?

Duh, of course, I am! We humans are easily misled. Still, should that concern keep me from STARTING on small helpful projects? I can almost hear You say — There IS the gift of DISCERNMENT! Yes! That’s right!

And, now that I THINK about it, I realize my Starter Part is not likely to run amok. She WANTS to do GOOD and good work. She will be so much happier if I USE her. . . judiciously.

Hmm.. Judicious. I’ve been traveling for the first half of this year . . . then recovering from a bad cold. Then traveling again and then recovering from a UTI (bladder infection). Starting projects when I need to REST and RECHARGE is foolish. So maybe my “Starter” problem is part Darth Vader and part Common Sense.

Once again, God, LIFE is all about BALANCE!

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Posted in Balancing and adjustments, connecting, recharging my battery, rest, Starter

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Victoria Paulsen

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