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Archive for the ‘Metaphysical’ Category

Do you ever have days where everything hits you the wrong way, or nothing seems okay? Where no matter how much you tell yourself to put your big girl panties on and pull them up all the way, your life just seems to suck anyway?

 

I was feeling that way this morning, just as I had been for several days—weeks really—and I finally got tired of it; really, really tired of it. I had to figure out some way to get myself in motion and alleviate the pain, to get past the blues and back on the path to sunny skies. So here’s what I did. . .

 

First of all, I decided I would feel much better if I ate a proper meal. I had been skipping regular meals and subsisting on a less-than-nutritious diet (read junk food), and I figured my body, brain, and spirit could do with something more nourishing. So of course I went to Starbucks. (All natural and better than McDonald’s, right?) And the added benefit of this decision was that it got me out of the house and into the open air. Listening to the birds, watching fluffy, white clouds sailing through the sky, and feeling a soft breeze swirl around me were a good start to lifting a low spirit.

 

Then came the food. I love Starbucks’ Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, as well as their Bacon-Gouda-Egg Sandwich. (How I came to love this particular combination is a story for another day). By the time I got back home, I was ready to go on to the next step—get my mind occupied with something creative that would leave no room for backsliding into inertia or too much negative self-talk.

 

As I was finishing my meal, I received a timely text from a good friend and mentor. In her message she let me know that she treasured the friendship we share—meaning she also treasured me—and closed her text with this paraphrase: “Go forth and do good in the day the Lord has made.”

 

For some reason, that phrase struck me as surprisingly apropos to my day (ha-ha, what a joke, right? There are no coincidences in life, simply prompts from the Universe). It started me wondering just how I could do good from where I was: alone, housesitting a friend’s home in a city not my own. Just exactly where was I to go forth, and how was I to do good in a place where I knew no one and nothing about? Then I thought about what I like to do and (possibly) have a talent for—in my mind at least—and I decided writing was just the ticket. I had not paid attention to my blog in quite a while, so I thought this might be a good time to get back to it. Maybe I could help even one other person get through her day by something I would say. It did not take long to decide what to write about first!

 

My theory is that the Universe does not tolerate slackers. It will allow a short period for being blue, sad, and/or overwhelmed with emotions, but only a certain amount of leeway is granted. Not that a person has to be perky and upbeat all the time, but we do need to stay tuned in to what Spirit is trying to tell us. This is especially true when we are feeling down, because that is when we tend to turn away and ignore what the Universe is saying. BUT, there is no turning away for long. The Universe will stay on us until we start paying attention again, first with subtle hints and reminders, then with more obvious signs until finally, the Universe nudges us with some pretty strong slaps and flat-out knock-down punches to get our attention. And some of those punches, although necessary, are not pleasant.

 

I have taken a few of these slaps and punches lately, and I will say they have knocked me for a loop. Coming on top of a series of smaller emotional issues to deal with, it seems like I barely stop reeling from one upset when another comes along. It has been hard to see where the lessons are, what the underlying truth is in regard to this uncertain and unsettled time of my life. It has been a struggle to talk to Spirit, much less listen for “the message” I am supposedly receiving. Even now, the urge is to give in to the sadness and anger in a rage against the unfairness of the Universe; to reject and abandon Spirit with my fractured intellect, rather than going to my heart to contemplate quietly, examine the pain and, above all, rest in the gentleness of Spirit within my wholeness.

 

So, I guess I am still a little—or maybe a lot—angry and sad, a little unsettled about some of the ups and downs in my life. However, after putting aside the self-pity, I am now also more ready to sit still, examine the truth of what lies before me, and release the pain and doubt. I can be open to receive the comfort Spirit offers, and accept these new adventures the Universe has presented me.

 

I will close with this message I received a couple of days ago from “The Universe” (Mike Dooley, A Note From the Universe):

 

What do you mean, you can’t see it? You don’t know? You aren’t sure? You’re scared? This is an adventure, you’re an adventurer, uncertainty, fear, and even setbacks happen. Besides, “easy” has never been your style, and just because you can’t see the miracles doesn’t mean they aren’t happening, doesn’t mean you’re alone, and doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path. . . . Today, you’re exactly where you most need to be.

Many good thoughts and blessings,

This Old Crone

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I recently began a new adventure that I am very excited about. I have enrolled in a two-year Interfaith Seminary Program offered by One Spirit Learning Alliance.  One Spirit Interfaith Seminary (OSIS) offers everyone an opportunity to learn about the world’s great spiritual traditions and deepen one’s own spiritual life while becoming ordained as an Interfaith Minister. OSIS draws from the resources of the great wisdom teachings, both ancient and modern, to increase appreciation for the diversity of life and to nurture a direct experience of the unity that underlies it (taken from the OSIS website).

As part of the assignments for the first year, we are reading a book by Leonard Felder, Ph.D. called The Ten Challenges: Spiritual Lessons from the Ten Commandments for Creating Meaning, Growth, and Richness Every Day of Your Life. Quite a title! Today’s posting is a paper I wrote reflecting on the first chapter.

 

Reflections on The Ten Challenges, Chapter 1  “Discovering the Still Small Voice Within”

So far, I really am enjoying Felder’s book The Ten Challenges. Right on page one he caught my attention by mentioning that many people are asking the same question I am: how do I create a life that is worthwhile for myself while making a difference for others? He went on to add that our souls are yearning for a clearer perspective on what really matters in life. I have never felt like I fit in anywhere, so I understood immediately Felder’s example of Jenny and Bill and their desire for a meaningful source of identity and satisfaction. Finding a sense of meaning and purpose is exactly why I enrolled in the One Spirit Seminary Program.

Felder asks if, on most days, I find myself feeling distant and skeptical about God. YES. Do I feel a desire to learn more, become closer to my sense of God? YES. Become more active in my practice of spirituality? YES. I have been trying for forty plus years to understand God, religion, and spirituality. Is there a God? Who is He, She, It? What is the Universe? How are God and the Universe related? How do I connect with a father God who let his own son suffer? As a parent, that is something I could never even contemplate, much less condone. There must be a significant, earth-shattering, yet inconceivable reason for such an act, but really, your own Son, tortured and crucified?

As I read more and learned less, I just wound up confused, often angry and always overwhelmed with my own lack of understanding. This made me doubt myself; were my questions an indication of a healthy inquisitiveness, or a serious breach of faith? Did figuring it all out really matter anyway? It did not seem like I knew the right prayers or some magic formula to get my life on track. Maybe it would not even make a difference; maybe we are just born, then we live, and finally we die. If some beneficent, loving Supreme Being created us, why is life so crappy and harsh? Why does it take so much pain, heartbreak, and plain hard work just to get through one day?  It seems like if I do not do every little thing the universe requires, and do it just right, the universe punishes me by not only not giving me what I desire, but also by either providing the opposite bad thing or more of what I am already receiving. It is difficult to ask a god I am not sure I believe in for help.

But enough of this whining and these childish questions. Now is the time to sort it all out and acquire an adult sense of both the Divine and my own spirituality. Taking the positive step of joining the One Spirit program has given me a strong sense of relief, like maybe I am finally going to be able to resolve my doubts and confusion.

I will always have questions, but Felder’s challenges are helpful in clarifying what I need to do to find my own answers. I believe the first step is to stop talking and start listening. I am positive I have a calling to be a channel of communication for the Divine. But I will not become that if I am too busy complaining and refuse to attend to the Divine Presence within. The times I do allow this to happen, when I let my mind rest in my heart, I hear the Shekhinah and know her Presence.

Even though I am not sure about the how’s, what’s, and why’s of some issues, I am confident that  I am a Divine Being of Light, connected to a giving and sustaining Power that is at once a part of, yet greater than, the self. I believe spirituality is discovering and maintaining a relationship with that Power, and the depth of the relationship is directly proportional to both the level of my awareness of the sacredness of the universe, and the degree of my interconnectedness with it. When I remind myself of these beliefs, life is not so bewildering. The questions then become those that Felder asks: what is really holding me back, and what is my next step? Because I do want to be partners with the Divine; the One, who lives deep inside me and can be found within every iota of creation. It is more exciting that I can express, and so encouraging, to be reminded that I am carrying a spark of divine light that can actually help heal the world when I simply learn how to ignite it.

Many good thoughts and blessings,

This Old Crone

To learn more about the Interfaith Minister program or other programs offered at One Spirit Learning Alliance, click here: http://www.onespiritinterfaith.org/.

Leonard Felder, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who has written 12 books on Jewish spirituality and personal growth that have sold over 1 million copies and have been translated into 14 languages.  To learn more about Leonard Felder, Ph.D. click here: http://www.hereiamremedies.com/about-the-author.html

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