Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wild Angels

The readings and practices I have encountered and engaged in during this season of Lent have been rich and full of deep meaning for me. I have found myself moving through the desert and awakening into spring. The dark of night has whispered love stories to me and the light of day has proven expansive and wondrous. Integration has been a key theme as I look back on the days and weeks proceeding this day.

Yesterday, however, after writing my post about chakras and meditation, I found myself wondering if people are confused by my writing – by me – by my faith. The church of my youth and not-so-distant past frowned disparagingly on notions of yoga and opening your mind beyond the concrete pages of the Bible. So, I guess it’s no wonder there are vestiges of personal thought that linger in that camp. Yet, when I listen deeply to my heart and sink into the word of God that engages me at every turn, I know I’m truly on a Holy path.

Yesterday’s post referred to a small portion of a quote from Tao Te Ching, but I spent much of the day with another piece pricking at my mind:
"Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner."
--Tao Te Ching

Today’s scripture reading offered me affirmation it was time to let go of those lingering thoughts of worry:

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”
Isaiah 50:4

…and suddenly the battles of how to communicate my faith dissipated. There is a wholeness I feel that reaches beyond only the Bible’s pages. It comes from the brokenness I have experienced in my life as well as the joy I find in some pretty unexpected places. Learning to rouse myself and those around me is my calling.

Exploring the world – all corners of it – is my path to God. Studying yoga – chakras – centering prayer – praying with the elements – soul collage – drumming – water dance – laughter – tears – hours in silence – creating art – writing poetry – doing nothing – going on pilgrimage, et cetera, et cetera – are just a few of the pathways where I have met God.

If I worry about what others think – if I let them pick my path – then they own me. So, I ask myself, “What is my heart?”

My heart is connected to the world – intertwined with God – grounded in the earth – reaching toward the heavens. Knowing what is love and what is fear. We fear what we do not know. Thus, I continue seeking and hoping for a developed mind that learns to speak with a “well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary.”

In closing, I must share the final little impetus that led me to write these words. It comes from today’s post at Abbey of the Arts where she asks us to name which angel is calling to us as we enter this final week of Lent. My angel greeted me boldly. She is one who has come before and I pray will come on a regular basis. She is the one I believe overcomes fear and pushes us toward freedom. Beware before you read any further, because I wholeheartedly offer this blessing to you (and me) from this Wild Angel ☺.

May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
Where your life is domesticated and safe,
Take you to the territories of true otherness.
-John O'Donohue

The angel of wildness picked me up, pulled me out of complacency and introduced me to “true otherness”. For that (& more) I am eternally grateful.. May you feel whole, connected and free during the coming days. May your week truly be Holy.

Namaste ☺

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Step Back

Recent words of resonance, reminded me: The areas of life that are most crucial for you to deal with can't be fully understood using the concepts your rational mind favors. Then this morning I read these words at Sacred Graffiti:
"Do your work then step back." -- Tao Te Ching (more ringing resonance.)
Yesterday, I attended an invigorating class on Yoga and Art Therapy. Throughout the day, I found myself fluidly participating in training exercises with little desire or need to left-brain examine anything. My heart rate slowed down. The tightness in my upper back decreased and I could feel the blood flowing from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

When debriefing this simplistic mandala no words flowed... Until early this morning (like 3:00 a.m. early) when the following surfaced and I groggily recorded them before gratefully going back to sleep.

Encased by golden light.
My broken legs stand firmly planted in fertile soil.
Questions float in the clear blue sky, drifting on
the wind and saying, Blessed be.

The spiral is my crown - time without end.
My floating soul lives lightly tethered
between heaven and earth.
Blessed be.

"I will say to the darkness, be my light." --Psalm 139:11

P.S. For those who are familiar with the energy centers of the body, commonly known as chakras, you won't be surprised to know this mandala resulted following a meditation on the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The music is everywhere...

Recently I proclaimed the movie, August Rush, as one of my top favorites. In reality, I could watch only the first five minutes and be sated especially after the opening scene when young orphan, Evan/August reminds us,

"The music is everywhere. All you have to do is listen."

My morning readings today were filled with themes of listening. Today is the Feast of the Annunciation celebrating the day Mary listened to God's messenger and announced her sacred "Yes" (or "May it be") to becoming the mother of Jesus. In The Book of Awakening, these words spoke to me,
"Listening arises from a deeper place, and it seems we can only hear the living to the extent we have truly lived, only understand pain and joy to the extent that we have allowed ourselves to be touched by life." -- Mark Nepo
And in my more academic readings, neuroscience confirms the need for deeper listening to hear what's below the words. Individuals not only hold explicit memory (which can be retrieved and reflected upon), but also implicit memory that is somatic, nonverbal and not as easily accessible for conscious reflection. (Art, music, imagination and movement are some of the ways we tap into implicit memory.)

This is a long road of background to say, I believe in the power of listening - first, to the story that resides within me; which leads to the important second - the ability to listen deeply to others. I don't believe I can do one without the other. Jesus said this more simply and eloquently:
"Love God and love your neighbor as yourself."
This post's inspiration began with an e-mail from a friend who lovingly demonstrated she had been listening to me. Said friend sent me the following horoscope, and did not know, however, I had recently created this SoulCollage® collage card - "Storm's Gift."

The storm is your friend right now, Virgo. So are the deep, dark night and the last place you'd ever think of visiting and the most important thing you've forgotten about. So be more willing than usual to marinate in the mysteries -- not with logical ferocity but with cagey curiosity. The areas of life that are most crucial for you to deal with can't be fully understood using the concepts your rational mind favors. The feelings that will be most useful for you to explore are unlike those you're familiar with. from Free Will Astrology

The music is everywhere... This Lenten season has brought new and old ways of being present to God, myself and others. Some ways feel explicit (known) and others more implicit (instinctual and at times unfamiliar). Thus the journey continues - my song - the world's song ...all we have to do is listen.

Where is the song in your life? Is there a specific tune beckoning to be heard? Will you take the time to listen and perhaps like Mary amidst her fear say, "May it be"? Do you see music in the storm or dark of night? Can you hear the music?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blessed are you...

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.

-Daniel 3:52-56

This is the passage that greeted me this morning in preparation for my morning Lenten worship. Below are the words that spilled out as I closed my eyes and considered what is moving in me this season in regard to this God of blessed be.

Blessed are you who meets me where I am,
in the quiet moments and hectic days.
Blessed are you who comes like a whisper in my breath
and spreads images of majesty before me.
Blessed are you who comes incarnate through the smile
of another, the touch of a hand or a kind word.
Blessed are you who shines in the light of the candle
and sings through the song of the sparrow.
Blessed are you who meets me where I am -
wretched, unholy, empty & longing to be filled.
Blessed are you who greets me with a belly full
of laughter under a starlit sky.
Blessed are you who remains faithful through
my questions and storms.
Blessed are you who stands as sentinel in the night
throughout my slumbering dreams or restless tossing.
Blessed are you I could name for an eternity
and never be complete.
Blessed are you who simply says, I AM,
and this is enough.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

Maui road ©
- used with permission

Monday, March 22, 2010


Throughout this Lenten week of praying with the hours and focusing on the four cycles of breath, I have discovered my own ambivalence with the time of dark (emptiness) that follows the exhale. This pondering continues to permeate my days and many words and metaphors have popped into my mind. For today, however, I share with you the initial thoughts in the breath cycle following dawn, day and dusk.

Darkness. Empty. Despair. I am frightened here.

The stillness in the depth of the ocean, waiting to be stirred. Waiting and knowing the hand of God will reach down deeply and meet me in this darkness.

The dark in the night of my five year old self, afraid to look under the bed.

Oh, the dark of night when stars shine and the Big Dipper speaks to me of fullness and joy. To be emptied out in order to be filled again.

God meets me in the dark.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Moving through the cycle of breath, dusk comes at the time of release and outbreath. Let go. Let down. Surrender. Feel the embrace of the beloved. Be held in those loving arms. Release into the autumn of my life. I do not have to let go of beauty. Simply - release, surrender, breathe.

"How far have I to go to find you in whom I have already arrived." -- Thomas Merton

Last evening I created the above collage to honor the hour of dusk, and this morning I stumbled upon Merton's quote witnessing to the same hour of the day. Here are the words that tumbled out when combining the three movements of breath, collage & response:

Already arrived. Already home to myself. One with God, Christ, Spirit. I don't have to go anywhere. I already have everything I need. The hour of dusk allows me to settle into those words. The words of God and the words of the day. All that has gone before me surrounds me - like laundry blowing in the wind. Perhaps it will touch me. Perchance I will be enveloped in the embrace. Perhaps I will exhale deeply into emptiness - allowing myself to be filled by God once again.

The exhale empties me. I can allow myself to feel alone - to feel the need to go somewhere - to find someone to hold me or something to ground me. Or... I can sink into the truth that I am already surrounded by everything I need. The wholeness comes by feeling all the hours of the day - every cycle of breath and every season of life. My wholeness is coming. My wholeness has already arrived.

Where are you feeling wholeness today? Is it illusive or can you rest in knowing you have already arrived?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


"And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to bloom." --Anais Nin

Continuing through the cycle of the hours and the breath started here, I pause after the inhale of dawn and survey what greets me in the fullness of the day. Multiple images surface in this season: standing at the edge of a high dive - clinging to the open door of an airplane - arms spread wide at the peak of a mountain top. In each case, I hold my breath. I am ready to jump and anything is possible. Will I dare to risk what lies before me? Will I accept the risk to bloom and reach further?

The pause at the top of the inhale speaks to me of fullness and risk. I'd love to know... what does it say to you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The blessings of Lent continue to be deep and full. This week's focus from Abbey of the Arts is the spiritual practice of praying with the hours. Yesterday morning I sank deeply into the practice of following the breath throughout the hours of the day. Vivid images came to my mind as I focused on inhale (dawn); pause (day); exhale (sunset/evening); and pause (night/darkness).

This morning I chose to spend my meditation time listening to gentle, dawn-like music and collaging some of the images that entered my mind yesterday. Above is the result of today's musings. Dawn and the breath of inhale reminds me of rising possibilities; a sense of filling; and always golden light.

I invite you to take some time with your breath today (particularly the inhale) and see if there are certain images evoked when you consider the new day (dawn) and/or the inhale of breath.

Golden blessings to you this day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pondering water, life, spring, lent

"Nothing is wasted in the sea; every particle of material is used over and over again, first by one creature, then by another. And when in spring the waters are deeply stirred, the warm bottom water brings to the surface a rich supply of minerals, ready for use by new forms of life." -- Rachel Carson

I'd love to know what these words stir in you...

Friday, March 12, 2010

a few new beatitudes...

blessed is the broken self,
for she shall find rest.

blessed is the one who rests,
for she will find self-love.

blessed are the ones who seek God,
for they will be held & upheld.

art & words inspired
during 3/11/10
soul care supervision group

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dancing Molecules

Oh man, I feel like my whole personhood is being reorganized on a molecular level – spiritually, emotionally and physically. Scientifically, this makes a lot of sense, due to my recent experience with Lifespan Integration (LI). LI is a form of therapy said to operate on a cellular level by using principles of neuroscience whereby the body and mind work together maximizing neural plasticity to effect change. Have I lost you? My simple version is that by incorporating body, mind and spirit simultaneously, a new internal map is created in how we experience our lives and the world.

So, … I’ve been feeling slightly spacey the last couple of days, while also experiencing a heightened attunement to my intuitive skills. My right brain has been operating in high gear which has left my language skills lagging a bit behind. Even as I try to write this, I realize all I really want to do is look at pictures and listen to music. I had an irresistible urge to stop and buy daffodils on my way home from the Novena this afternoon. While it may sound as though I've lost my left-brain marbles, Spirit seems to be present at every turn and astounding moments of grace continue showing up.

Last year’s internal battle with exclusion from communion was replaced today by a clearly felt, unhindered invitation to the table. Worshiping in the beautiful chapel, images rolled like a movie through my mind and body. When the time came for a sampling of prayers to be read from the baskets containing hundreds of requests, I was touched by each reading: the nephew in Iraq, a friend with cancer, prayers for healed relationship, and so on. I don’t know about you, but in those moments I always have a little anticipatory wish that my own prayer will be chosen, and today my wish was granted. My heart overflowed as I heard aloud the prayer for my children, and I solidly felt the presence of One greater than I. Another shift in the molecular puzzle clicked into place.

It’s been quite a Lenten season and we’re only midway through. My heart is shifting. My soul is healing. My brain is re-patterning. My molecules are dancing. Who knows where I’m going… but it’s an amazing journey so far.

I’ve missed you and would love to know where you are these days. Stuck? Dancing? Floating? Wandering? Feel any molecular shifts lately?

photos from Old Ballard '10

Thursday, March 04, 2010

when words fail, i turn to nature...

"All of nature is invested with the loving care of an infinitely creative God."

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free, t
he whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.
-- excerpted 3/3 Aidan's Readings; Celtic Daily Prayer

photo from paris 3/2008