I seek support once a month from a spiritual director, someone trained to deeply listen as I explore my joys and concerns. Spiritual direction is the practice of being with people as they deepen their relationship with themselves, with the divine. We have been meeting for over four years. It is a joy to be heard, to be respected.
I learned early on in my training as a spiritual director, the art of spiritual direction has existed for thousands of years. Now more and more people are seeking to become spiritual directors, deepen their connection to the divine to follow their deep desire to help in the coming tumultuous times. The tumultuous times are here.
Our meditation community has been meeting now for over nine months. Each of us brings our authentic self to the zoom screen in honor of silence and reflection. This is a powerful community based on truth, respect and love. We are on a journey of sorts. A mini incubator of life.
Each of us seeks support because we have been broken open by loss, pain, struggle and uneasiness. There has to be more in life than despair. We discover it beyond expectations. We discover it by getting to know ourselves.
It’s an old paradigm to seek pleasure and avoid pain. I learned to search for my happiness from the outside in instead of from the inside out. The beauty of daily silence is listening. We give ourselves the gift of being present to listen.
Meditation is contemplation.
Meditation is chanting.
Meditation is movement.
Meditation is emptying the mind which is very difficult to do.
Meditation is what we choose to do to ease our hearts into a space of respect, honesty and love.
Meditation invokes tears.
Meditation moves energy.
Meditation supports peace deep within.
Meditation changes as we grow.
Meditation is self-love.
Meditation is an anchor to hold onto as the world births itself out of the toxic predicament it is in. Humans living in the old paradigm demand expectations and when they can’t be found, turn to fear resulting in chaos and upheaval.
Mother Earth has wisdom beyond our understanding. In the practice of meditation, we hang on breathing with her as she labors through this profound change.
I believe we are nearing the critical point in labor where there’s more intensity and pain demanding focus and commitment to stay steady with our breath and true to our purpose. It feels almost like the last trimester – more cumbersome and more intense. The holidays are approaching which always hold tumultuous emotions and expectations on family and friends. The holidays trigger the inner child in every adult seeking what we once had or always wanted.
Our community is an anchor. I choose to hold on to this anchor by practicing self-care and deeply listening to what I feel and need and then provide it as best I can.
In the words of Matt Kahn, I offer up this prayer for true alignment to my highest and best good:
“May I hurt without hurting another
May I feel without projection
May I share my feelings without any form of gossip
May I act from my soul’s highest conduct and not use the behavior of others to justify anything less
May I abide in kindness and compassion, respect and gratitude for myself, my loved ones and for the world.
May I become the change I wish to see no matter how tiny of a step or how bold of a leap I am willing to take
May I be faithful in the light that is always faithful in me
May I be the love I’m waiting for
May I be the truth I’m hoping to find
May I be the solutions I’m waiting to see for all sentient beings and
May it begin with me.”
Thank you. What struck me is how we need more conscious people and that people are awakening. We need that to happen now. I am reading The Search for the Beloved by Jean Houston. She says the same thing. We need the consciousness; we need to get ready. It’s been a long time in the making. The Shift Network is having a medium course. This is what you said, that more and more people are trying to find ways to become that instrument themselves versus looking for someone else to do it for them. It’s about living the connection and then modeling that connection. Thank you for this morning’s meditation.
Thank you. That was so powerful to hear all those reflections about meditation. I was struck by the words of Matt Kahn, 'may I hurt without hurting others.’ If that became the mantra of every person on this planet, there would be no wars, no fights, no violence. So much of violence comes from the fact that I’m hurting so I want you to hurt. It’s such a human reaction. Lifting myself up out of that—I’ve had to lift myself from that hurt so that I don’t hurt others—it is a powerful centered way to live. Thank you for the reminder.
What I focused on during the meditation was ‘be the change you want to see.’ I may be paraphrasing. It’s so critical. Don’t just think about what changes you want to see in the world—be that change. Thank you.
During the meditation, I was thinking about light. I had a thought of may I catch the light, may I see it in me, may I see it in others, and support it in others. I was also thinking about the phrase ‘the hard work of hope.’
Thank you. From whatever reason for me today, I thought about the process of the week. You allowing yourself to share a truth, reveal a wound. In my case, the next day I always feel so incredibly vulnerable and hole up in my shell. When I do not do that, that’s when I have the breakthrough. I got to witness you do that this week: to share that vulnerability rather than hole up, get the support, find the will within. It is so evident that when I or we are afraid and get to the point of sharing, then we hole up. When we can allow that entire process to happen, that’s when we get to that transformational stage. It’s so beautiful. It also reinforced the wisdom in the 12 steps for me. Ten comes before eleven. We have to clear before we can really receive.
You identified the very pattern that has happened in my life for years. The stepping out, being vulnerable, and the pulling back. And the pulling back would go on for months, and slowly I’d come out again. Now, when I pull back, I’m still out, but only for about a day before I turn around. It’s been a process. There is a dawning of a light eventually.
It’s through communities like this that we learn we are still safe. We can keep ourselves protected while letting ourselves be visible.
I did therapy with my sisters for months. My therapist said someone’s transformation was from a state of being a crustacean. If you think of a crab, inside it is all soft and mushy, but outside there is a brittle exterior which is easy to break. Transforming from a crustacean to an endoskeleton, we have a backbone that supports us, but outside we can be soft and we can be touched. I love that analogy.
I was reminded of a news piece that Dolly Parton’s foundation aided the creation of the Covid vaccination. Years ago Dolly was in a car accident and she connected with the doctor who aided her. They both came from poor backgrounds and now she ends up being a contributor to exploring the vaccine development. This one unfortunate meeting led to so much. Dolly also started Imagination Library, a program where she sends books to children from birth to age 5. Free, on a regular basis.
I shared a difficult situation yesterday, and synchronicity found me. I met someone at work who I now have an appointment with next week.
The power of synchronicity is humbling. It gives me inspiration and helps boost me when I feel I’m needing it. It’s also a reminder to do the work and feel the feelings. The power of prayer comes from feeling the feelings, not just saying them in my head.
During the meditation, I pictured in my mind my hands up against a metal wall pressing down on me. I don’t have the strength to push it up because of my circumstances. I don’t like that image. The wall is right there, close to me, pressing on me.
It’s a powerful image. It’s one that gives you a clue of what you are feeling. What happens if you turn around and look towards the light or ask for help? There are ways to work with this. It’s a metaphor. Focusing on it, it becomes overwhelming. With art, someone can draw something that looks like metal but is porous. Use your imagination. Look closely; see the holes in it that lets the light in.
Thank you everyone for joining us in this daily anchor. It is a practice that gives as we give. It truly is a life raft as we are weathering this time. I wish you have a gentle day. I hope that if you feel hurt, take responsibility for the hurt and help yourself, comfort yourself, because it is going to happen again. Hurt happens, love happens.