Learning to Sit in God’s Love

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Good Evening, God!

My Spiritual Director suggested I sit focusing on Your Love . . . focusing on being surrounded and embraced by Your Love. You would think that would be easy . . . I thought so . . .

But then I remembered my mother telling me that I never wanted to sit in her lap. I would wiggle down and be off . . . doing . . . busy . . . active.  Not like my brother who loved snuggling.

But, nevertheless, I am sitting. I am Centering. And when my mind wanders off I gently return to Your Love. The act of tugging my wandering mind back into Your Presence is in itself a good thing. My prefrontal cortex is using “getting off track” to get some exercise!

Centering away from home is easier. I’m carried by those around me. And I’m OUT of the house and AWAY from the  temptations to write a To Do or go get something, and so forth. So when I center at home I am training myself to make a List of things To Do BEFORE I center.

I am working on Centering more than once a day. And to do that I will need to work on “Structuring” my day. Structuring involves planning ahead and being intentional . . . not a drifting from one thing to the next.

One thing helping me as I begin my Centering Time is to focus on BLESSING You, God. Psalm 103 is so helpful. It seems as if my body — unlike my mind — understands the full meaning of the word Blessing. And so my body softens . . . becomes more OPEN to Your Indwelling Spirit.  In fact, I’m going to stop and go down and Center right now.

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Posted in Centering Prayer, Choosing Meaning, connecting, intentional and invited sacred space

An Unexpected Perspective

Here is a Project😊
Learning to live
As a Unique Being

Seeing myself as Unique
I don’t fret about my ranking
In ANY CATEGORY
No Ranking

No Evaluation? No!
No Not One!

I realized while at
The Symphony last night
That my Mistake
In cutting off My little brother’s
Golden curls

Was not so much Jealousy
But a FAILURE TO LOVE MYSELF

My lovely little brown-haired
— straight brown hair — Self

Ah, I bought into the lie
That what folks admired Out loud!!!!!!
Was supposed to be Superior

Hmm 😐
We do need a better word For brown
Damp sand? Sparrow feathers?

Well Gold is hard to top
In our capitalistic world 🌎
But I’m smiling — I do get the point

 

Posted in connecting

Still More Perspectives

IMG_6633Good Morning, God!

How large the rocks . . . how small the people. And how utterly serene this scene. Being outside — out in Nature — does have a therapeutic effect on us humans.  And BOY do we need it.

Space and Time. Both seem to want to act as stretchers . . . stretching us . . . enlarging us.

But, alas, God, it seems to me that we often use our sense of Time — as in History — to shrink us; to make us aware of past wounds. Key moments in our history stand out like these huge rocks. A bit of a smile, God. It hit me just then that we very seldom use history to dwell on how we have wounded others.

Actually, history might well be stories of how we have wounded each other — for “noble causes.”  Specifically, I thought about the battle of Culloden. In my mind it was linked to how heavily the English repressed the Scots afterward. The Scots that left Scotland mostly left for economic reasons . . . I’m thinking of the way the Clan Lords evicted their people via mass burnings of the crofters’ homes. That brings up thoughts of genocide. Sheep meant money . . . so evict or burn out the tenants … who used to be fellow clansmen.  Sigh.

So, God, it comes to me that the decedents of those folk might well distrust the central government . . . might well think it wise and prudent to own guns . . . might have a totally different view of politics and economics.

We think folks do not remember? I heard an anthropologist talking of interviewing folks in the Middle East.  She said, “They talked about Abraham as if he was their grandfather.”

So we remember . . . we tell stories . . . we pass on attitudes and feelings and distrust. If we do not understand THAT then we do not understand each other.

 

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Posted in connecting, Perspective, perspectives, time, Understanding

Self Pity or Self Compassion?

IMG_0392 (1)Good Evening, God

I just finished reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. In it she raises the specter of “self pity”. As I read it I thought about what a common theme this is in our society. My mother — who was a kind and gracious soul — was horrified at The Self Pity in a book by a breast cancer survivor. Odd, I thought, as my mother was herself a survivor.

But, more and more I am feeling that this Cultural Fear of Self Pity is injurious!  When I suggested to my daughter, the Challenger, that I would appreciate an occasional “Poor Baby” from her — she waxed indignant! That would be to see you as weak and powerless!

Well, no. It would just be to see me in an occasional pool of fears and self doubts. We all fall into them from time to time. And a loving There There . . . There There . . . would be appreciated.

Actually, self compassion seems to be an incredible cultural No No! Which is tragic as there are any number of benefits from learning to extend compassion to ourselves as listed in the The Net and The Butterfly. Among them are:
• decreased anxiety, depression and self-criticism;
• improved relationships and satisfaction with life;
• increased ability to handle negative events;
• and improved immune system functioning.

Jesus clearly says that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. But, loving ourselves seems to be limited to retail therapy or gastronomical delights. Really, God, this problem needs to be addressed!

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Posted in connecting, creativity in loving service, developing helpful definitions of love, LOVE, self care as self compassion and humility, self pity, self-compassion, The daily details of love

The Power of Information

tumblr_ol45hvXjMD1tcmyzfo2_1280Good Evening, God!

I came across a  interesting article in the August 14, 2017 Bloomberg Businessweek on mapping the ground UNDER New York City.  Subterranean cartographers are at work, God, combining a variety of maps to get a FULL information map of the city.

Speaking of full information the map above is of the combined sewage overflows in New York. Yikes! Now that is powerful information for change!

The Bloomberg article is about creating a combined map of everything underground in NYC: sewers, subways, electrical lines, gas lines, etc. One purpose showed up after 9/11 when they discovered on a map a huge tank of freon gas under the Trade Center. If one of the fires still burning underground reached the tank it would have exploded — releasing poison gas!  Knowing its existence and its location mattered!

In 2010 one of the cartographers overlaid a map of the flood zones for the city and saw that the electrical substation at East 13th Street was right in the middle of a flood zone.  He warned various government and corporate agencies. But, nothing had been done about it by the time Hurricane Sandy arrived in 2012 — flooding the substation and plunging a big part of Manhattan into darkness.

Ah yes. Information has to be used to be useful.

But that brings up a key difficulty. The knowledge of so many critical nodes could be ever so useful to terrorists. The Belgian government has ordered the creation of an underground infrastructure map of Flanders. But, when people need information from it they must apply and then only get information on a specific area.

Sigh.  Sad that information has to be so protected.

Hm. It just came to me that in the 1500s people didn’t want the Bible translated into languages that ordinary people spoke. They thought the knowledge was TOO important and too powerful to have it fall into the hands of people other than the Trained Experts.

I’m thinking now, God, of how powerful READING is . . . and how it was a crime to teach a slave to read . . . and how women still aren’t sent to school in some parts of the world.

Who knew an article on underground cartography could stir so many thoughts?

 

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Posted in connecting, images, interactions, layer upon layer, learning, mental maps, processing on deeper levels, supportive organizational structures

Another Perspective or two

Good Day, God!

We went to island of Kauai last week for my wonderful husband Kit to run a half marathon. While we getting our rental car I saw an ad for the Allerton Gardens. WOW! The ad featured a couple standing in the midst of tree roots. BIG ROOTS. I love trees! I love BIG trees and so Sequoia is one of my favorite national parks. But while I’ve seen big trees — I hadn’t seen BIG ROOTS like these on the Moreton Bay fig tree. I was curious.

So, after Kit had finished the half marathon on Kauai — (first of one!) in his 80-84 age group with a good time of 2:44 — he was more than happy to take me to see the gardens.  Gardens are alway a delight! That someone has cared so much for a variety of plants — for their beauty or for their curiousness — is somehow a good thing. And, with plants — unlike with wild animals — one doesn’t feel the sadness of an imprisoned life. Although, these trees — like wild animals — would create problems if they escaped due to the arrival of the Right Pollinator. Apparently, they crowd out all other competing trees or plants. Hmm.

Looking at this photo of myself, dwarfed by the roots of the tree, I saw myself reframed. This was initially because of the size difference. But, after looking again I saw the juxtaposition of Plant with Animal. A long lived but immobile plant and a shorter lived but mobile animal. I shall not get into sentient or not because . . . who knows?

My last thought on the varieties of perspective was how just yesterday I was reminded of Madeliene L’Engle’s book A Wind in the Door.

In this book, L’Engle says size doesn’t matter. I wonder if we will ever understand the power of that statement?

She has peopled the book with Gigantic Cherubim and tiny mitochondria. The young hero is ill because of problems in his mitochondria. Her book was written in the 1960s and You must have helped her, God. Now the medical world is tracing many of our illnesses to unhealthy mitochondria. I’m thinking Dr. Wahl’s book on how she overcame MS and others.

The mitochondria are so small that in our key organs (brain, eyes, etc.) there may be 10,000 mitochondria in each cell.

But, enough. This is way too many words and thoughts for one blog. But, then everything is connected to everything else . . . so on and on my mind goes.

 

 

 

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Posted in awareness, Awe, connecting, Perspective, perspectives, web of life

Degrees of Delight

Good Evening, God!

A TOTAL solar eclipse! WOW! My wonderful husband Kit and I have seen 3 total solar eclipses. And they are magnificent.  Awe inspiring! Just the idea that the sun is 400 times larger than the moon but 400 times further away delights me. I like to think You did that on purpose . . . just to amaze us.

Kit and I experienced our eclipses with a small group of close friends. That made it even better that seeing it by ourselves. But those eclipses were in isolated places.  We were just a small group. Precious experience are EVEN better when shared. But, it wasn’t until our delightful daughter Suzanne shared her eclipse experience that I really understood HOW MUCH better “sharing” can get.

Suzanne lives in Los Angeles where the eclipse was going to get to 62% of totality. She hadn’t thought to buy glasses but she did think that she might as well be outside during the eclipse just to see the light change. She passed a worker and the two of them shared regret at not having glasses to look at the eclipse. Then as she approached Robertson she saw a group out watching the eclipse — sharing what seemed to be one pair of glasses. As she got closer one of the group held out the glasses to her and said — Take a look!

Suz said she expected the view to be fuzzy but it was crystal clear — and she burst into tears! It was that moving!

Then it turned out the woman handing her the glasses had gone to school with Suz. It truly was a great “communal” moment! And on her walk back home she discovered that someone had shared glasses with the workman so they could share their joy.

A Great Communal Moment, indeed!  We are social creatures aren’t we? Designed to be together! And our delight overflows . . . things don’t have to be 100%. 62% is more than enough.

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Posted in daughters, delight, JOY, Sharing, small meaningful moments

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chatting and sometimes, listening

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chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

How to Step In -- Substitute Teaching