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Posts tagged ‘religion’

Savor Lent, Savor Life, 2013 daily life retreat

For the next forty days I promise to do my best to post a daily meditation for the purpose of pause and ponder, meaning and significance, and becoming brave, more authentic, compassionate, and wildly human.

Fat Tuesday, 2013
I believe Lent, which means spring, is a time to deepen our inner aliveness—even in the midst of busy, demanding, productive lives. When I think back over the past twenty-five years, I remember a variety of years, times and places, what nourished me, how I needed challenge, or comfort.

I’d tossed this idea of an online retreat around in my thoughts, intended to offer something very structured, modeled after a book, Savor Lent, Savor Life, that I’ve not yet finished writing. Instead, it is Fat Tuesday, I’m home late from work, and received a Facebook private message from a special lady, a former student, asking where she could find my 2013 Lenten meditations I hinted at, online. And so, in spite of my resistance, more aptly described as asking myself with no small amount of incredulity, “are you nuts?” I say yes., I will. Do this. Small. Thing: A. Daily. Reflective. Post. For. Lent.

I dedicate these forthcoming reflections, however meaningful or meaningless, to her, and to everyone else that finds their way to this field of care and laughter. I’ll meet you here. Let’s journey together.

–Pegge, February 12, 2013, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Tip: Each daily post is located at my blog, eNewFields site. Please connect with the daily posts there.

Links
Savor Lent, Savor Life daily reflections
Ash Wednesday
Pray, Fast, Serve
Week One: “Take”
Desire for God ~ Day 6
Stillness ~ Day 7
Listen ~ Day 8
Being Present ~ Day 9
Free Will ~ Day 10
Savor ~ Day 11

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Listen: Become Available

Become Available

My smartphone chimed, indicating a new text message. I read four words, “How was your day?” Pausing, the simple sentence evoked a multitude of emotions, sensations, and thoughts. I stood still, surprised. Primary was the realization that it has been a very long time since I’d been the recipient of this gentle question, a genuine invitation to reflect and share, four simple words conveying interest and care.

Our conversations and communication with each other are often functional, relaying data and details: I’ll meet you at …., When is …?, I need …., How about …?, Where is …?, and so forth. The text, How was your day? queried me, posed a reflective question, evoked my response, and began a mutual conversation and exchange that held potential to grow intimacy and friendship. When we communicate and interact with each other, a flow of energy and presence brings forth expansion or contraction.

I had a choice in my response to that text message—I could share about the productivity or pleasures of the day, or my concerns and fatigue, or a dozen other details. My desire was to be utterly available to my best self, and to the person asking the question. To become available means to be able to avail ourselves on behalf of someone, or something. It is a choice that involves intention, willpower, and decision. Sometimes to be available involves risk and takes courage. Being available generates connection and ultimately involves both giving and receiving.

In the beginning of Aleph, a provocative new novel by author Paulo Coelho, the main character prepares to make a journey, and visits a chapel. Coelho writes, “There I asked Our Lady to guide me with her love and help me identify the signs that will lead me back to myself. I know that I am in all the people surrounding me, and that they are in me. Together we write the Book of Life, our every encounter determined by fate and our hands joined in the belief that we can make a difference in this world. Everyone contributes a word, a sentence, an image, but in the end it all makes sense: the happiness of one becomes the joy of all” (21).

When we pause, on behalf of our own soul stirrings, on behalf of another person, or when stirred by empathy, compassion, or injustice, we evoke the inner spaciousness to become available. To be available allows healing, wholeness, connection, and joy to birth in the cosmos. I imagine a world where every day we make the time to pause and ask, How was your day? or How are you? to someone dear to us, or to a complete stranger. And then show up, and listen.

A spiritual companion might ask these kinds of questions during spiritual direction, opening a pathway of conversation, and allowing a listening presence to flow within and between both the listener and the speaker. When asked with sincerity, these genuine, evocative questions heal, and lead each of us to our authentic self, mystery, and ultimately write the book of our life.

— Pegge Erkeneff

Reprinted from Listen: A Seeker’s Resource for Spiritual Direction, 6.4 page 1 (Spiritual Directors International © 2012). Reprinted with permission of Spiritual Directors International. To order copies or a subscription of Listen, call 1-425-455-1565 or go to http://www.sdiworld.org.

Christmas—Giving Birth to Love

Christians begin celebrating the feast of Christmas today. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays rings throughout homes, in cars, on radios, in shopping malls, through halls and walls of buildings and businesses, on computer and cell phone screens. Merry Christmas reigns in streets where kids die, and where poverty, abandonment and abuse deepens. For practicing Christians, Christmas is a time to engage the significance of the incarnation, the birth of Jesus Christ in everyday life.

The invitation for us to ponder at Christmas could begin as simple as this,

How might love want to birth within me?

The cosmic Christmas tree star cluster

The Gift

God did not come into the world wrapped with a shiny red bow, pretty and perfect, labeled precisely. No, God came as a vulnerable, helpless infant who needs us as much as we need God. Emmanuel, “God-With-Us” is birthed, unwrapped, and encountered within us and through our own ordinary and mysterious life experience. In the article “The Eternal Christ in the Cosmic Story” Richard Rohr, OFM, explains, “… Christianity is not just that we believe in God. The mystery we are about is much more than that: It’s that the material and the spiritual coexist. It’s the mystery of the Incarnation. Once we restore the idea that the Incarnation means God truly loves creation then we restore the sacred dimension to nature.”

Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas!

Christmas is not over on December 26. The Feast of Christmas begins on December 25, and culminates January 6, on the Feast of Epiphany. Every day is an opportunity to say yes to love, and wake up to the present moment. For the Twelve Days of Christmas we can practice genuine delight and forgiveness. We can gaze at people and our world with wonder and reverence. We can play with our family and friends. We can be willing to reach out with compassion to a stranger or someone in need. We can offer understanding and courage in difficult situations. We can receive, celebrate, feast, and rejoice in the reality that the material and the spiritual coexist, and that “the word became flesh.” We can become grateful for the gift of the incarnation of God!

Please join the many spiritual seekers who want to unwrap the ever-deepening meaning of “Yes, I will give birth to love. There is room and desire within me.”

Merry Christmas, Joy to the World!

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