Spiritually Speaking Blog

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Going In Circles?

Do you ever feel like you are going around in circles, going nowhere? You can see the end point marching to the goals set out before you and still fail to see the progress. When these feelings set in we need to remember the lessons of the labyrinth. Life is like walking the labyrinth. The ancients use meditative walking to forge a connection with the divine. They followed prescribed routes in mazes to avoid the mental activity of deciding on where to direct steps. In doing so, they freed their minds to be open to another voice. Suspend all thoughts, while walking, to concentrate on feelings and whims within. While the age-old custom of walking a labyrinth supports a direct connection with the Divine soul within, it’s also a walk in faith. Just like life itself. How is life like a labyrinth? Seems like you are not making any progress going nowhere in a circle. Even though you are literally winding your way through the prescribed maze in a circular fashion, you are still, ever so slowing, making progress inward to the goal. Have faith! The narrow walking road often sees the walker losing balance falling off the to the edges. The trail ahead of you is well designed to move with forward motion, but oftentimes distractions will pull you off the path, experiencing defeat. Keep moving. Life is a game of recovery! The wind is swirling. As you progress you will face every direction with the wind swirling. You will delight when all goes well with the wind at your back and at other times battle the gales... read more

Do Your Prayers Need Words?

Every afternoon an elderly gentleman made his way into the parish church, taking a seat in the last pew. Sitting all alone in the back of the silent empty basilica the expressionless man stared straight ahead. After a half hour the attendee would quietly leave, saying not a word. The pastor could not help but notice this daily sight wondering what was going on. Curiosity got the best of the priest as he asked the stranger if he had a special intention that he was praying for during his daily visits. The gentlemen responded, “No, I just sit there.” The puzzled face of the priest urged the man to explain further. “You see I just look at the Lord and the Lord looks at me.” Pretty simple. Like two good friends who don’t need words, the Lord and the gentlemen enjoyed each other’s company! What did the Lord see? Did the Creator see a piece of his handiwork? Did he see his own image and likeness as he created the man? Did the Lord see his own reflection? What did the gentleman see? Did he see his Divine heritage? In the quietness did he feel his Divine connection? Did he feel the power, beauty and love that had been handed down? We can take a lesson from this silent visitor. We can look for this Divinity in ourselves and in others. Yes, we were created in God’s own image and likeness. Indeed we are treasured children of God. And the beauty of it all is that knowing that God is everywhere, we don’t even need a church. Look for... read more

Has God Ever Nixed Your Plans?

While we are still in the throngs of setting goals and making resolutions, let’s not get forget Plan B. Remember what Robert Burns wrote: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Even with the best intention, organization, and design things often don’t go according to plan. We may even invoke God, praying for our intentions with our pleas seemingly falling on the Divine deaf ear. I think we all can attest that life happens when we are busy making plans. But how much control do we really have in our lives? When things go according to program we pat ourselves on the back thinking that we are in control of our time on earth. Life is good! Other times when our world is turned upside down with the best ideas and heart’s desires in crumbles we are left wondering WHY? We had good intentions…this is a worthy cause….. I’ve worked hard to have this…..This works for everyone else…..Why not, God? Why me, God? Why now, God? Why not now, God? Remember: We are here on our individual journeys, to learn and experience different things in order to perfect our souls to their highest calling. God gives each of us enough joy for happiness and sufficient challenges for growth, depending on our determined destiny. We may not have the exact control over each and every situation and outcome, but we DO have control over our attitude toward these conditions. We can and do control our own happiness if we can release the driver’s wheel of control and put it into God’s hands. Joseph Campbell shares, “We... read more

What Turns You On?

Heading into this New Year, it’s traditionally a time set aside for reflection. We take a brief look at our lives and assess our goals for this lifetime. People are pondering and planning what their goals are and what do they want. The thinking and “resolutions” that they come away with are usually around ways to improve centered mainly on three areas – physically (I am going to make time for my physical work out), financially (I am going to save more in my retirement fund, and personally (I am going to be more patient with other drivers on the road). These planned improvements will serve well, but I would challenge you to look more closely at the “feed and caring” of your soul. How do you inspire you? What excites you? What makes your soul sing? Answering these soul searching questions will not only improve your happiness, but will also more clearly help define who you are and why you are here. Which in the end is the only real resolution that we need to make. Pause and take an honest look at your life and see what really turns you on. Where and how do you want to spend your precious time and energy? Let’s start! List 10 things that inspire you. Maybe travel, certain books, music, 5-star dinners, walks on the beach, laughing, doing crossword puzzles, volunteering, movies…. Similar to using a kaleidoscope bringing shapes into focus, making a list can bring alignment into your life. Making a list forces you, not only for one right answer, but to take a little deeper look pulling answers... read more

Christmas Is Over, Now What?

We’ve all expended a lot of time, money and energy over the past weeks preparing, enjoying and recuperating from our Christmas celebrations. For what? All the hubbub of the past few weeks only impacts our lives if we carry the meaning and spirit into the future. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could carry on the Spirit of the Season all year long, offering warm wishes and glad tidings to all we encounter But how? In the Christian tradition, the Christmas message is based on 3 tenets similar to the 3 legs on a stool. The Spirit rests on the support of Advent (the waiting), Christmas (the Divine Indwelling), and the Epiphany (the coming of the Wise Men). As we are busy packing up the Christmas decorations, we cannot lose sight of the message of the Wise Men. The Wise Men sought out the birth following the light of the star. Like the Wise Men we must continue to search and seek out the Divine in our daily lives in this upcoming New Year? But where in this crazy world do we find God living amongst us? I’ll liken my big “Christmas learning” as “Finding Waldo”. Reading that children’s book, “Where’s Waldo”, we are invited to search for Waldo in a field of distractions. Waldo is disguised, blending into the background of ordinary pictures. After picking our way through the maze of distractions, we joyfully declare, “there he is”, when we finally identify our man, Waldo. Like looking for Waldo in an array of color, lines and images, we seek God amongst our everyday lives. We have to keep... read more

“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Really?

As we hurry to finish our last minute preparations for this holiday season, our ears are filled with traditional Christmas carols and holiday music reminding us that it REALLY is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? I believe that during this special time of the year taking the opportunity of this sacred season, we experience our true reason. It’s a particular time each year to recall just exactly who we are and why we on this earth. There are 3 forces offering seasonal joy, or maybe not. It’s up to us to put the positivity into this holiday bazaar or it could swing in the opposite direction, being the worst time of the year. It depends on our attitude and response to the G-vite. (God’s Invitation to you). 1) Giving Christmas is a time when we truly think of the needs, happiness, and wants of others instead of ourselves. We’ve all heard that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Yes, giving to others pulls us mentally, emotionally, and financially out of our small, egocentric and selfish world. When we do truly give from the heart, we experience joy. 2) Connecting Our hearts reach out to others connecting us at the very core. We see, acknowledge and recognize the Divine part of each other. WE resonate to who we really are. We are truly ONE …each person representing an individual shard of the one Eternal Light. We recognize this profound truth in a simple way during Christmas. 3) Loving Giving plus connection equals LOVE. Yes, this is the season of love. What else would prompt you... read more

Why Were YOU Born?

As we continue with our holiday preparations, we are reminded of a special event, one so significant it split time in two – B.C.- A.D. In recalling the birth of Jesus, we might examine our own reason for being here on earth. I believed that we arrived on this planet to grow, learn and fulfill the outline that God dreamed for us the day that we were born. I often think of Oscar Wilde’s words about the two most important days of your life, which are the day you were born and the day you discover why! Measuring up to God’s plan for us sounds like a monumental task, sometimes appearing overwhelming. The ideals of perfection drilled into our heads growing up in strict families, coupled with high expectations from cultural norms, weigh heavily when compared to the end point. But on my spiritual journey I learned that certain expectations put forth by religion skewed my approach to life. God does not expect us to get it right every time. In this life we only have our “learners’ permit” and learners learn slowly by trial and error. So on this journey, if not perfection, what does God really expect of us? First we must keep our big vision of what God has in store for us. We cannot have our faith and hope be eroded or worn down by the difficulties that are part of life. Remember the best is yet to come. FAITH. Secondly, we must listen within to where God is telling us to go. Our GPS is God’s Pulley System showing us the way. Trust your... read more

Do You Feel the Holiday Rush?

Let the games begin! We are now officially in the “Christmas Season” bringing with it the joys, stresses, anxieties, anticipations and disappointments that can come with any overinflated, long awaited “buildup”. Commercially, we only have a few short weeks to prepare for this upcoming holiday. Plans have to be made, cookies baked, gifts purchased, trees decorated and parties planned. Religiously the world is also in “ready mode”. Jewish people are prepping for Hanukkah with the treasured traditions of the lighting of the Menorah candles. Christian churches singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel“ celebrate this preparation time as “Advent”, commemorating the 4 weeks representing the 4,000 years longing for the birth of Jesus. Spiritual leaders everywhere attempt to refocus the attention of the faithful to what really matters in this life, kind of like a wakeup call. Especially during these busy days we need to remember the admonition that life is not about the destination, but “The Journey”. With so many family, cultural and religious traditions, it’s so easy for us overlook the reason for the season. We all get in little ruts and maintain certain habits of mind that numb our thinking and feelings and propel us through this life just going through the motions, failing to notice the important things that we have been missing. Like the rude guest at a cocktail party, who talks with us while all the time being distracted while watching for someone more interesting to move on to meet, we often look right over the present moment right in front of us! We squander our attention on trivia losing out on the special... read more

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because it affords us the basis for the upcoming holiday season. It’s like the festive kickoff for the Super Bowl of Life, providing the initial start of the “rest of the game”. It’s the REASON FOR THE SEASON! Gratitude is the strongest of energies. Gratitude changes everything. Gratitude is a powerful tool, turning any ordinary Thursday into Thanksgiving. Some people live under the misconception that they will be filled with gratitude when they find happiness in their job, marriage, and family. Others delay being grateful until they are deemed successful by their peers, or the standards that they have set for themselves. Often we wait a lifetime to live with a grateful heart until “all is well”. While all the time we have the key to happiness in our hands. Gratitude is the key unlocking the door to happiness. The early Pilgrims knew this and we’re reminded of this vital lesson every Thanksgiving. Be grateful for your blessings, no matter what they are. Instead of feeling a sense of loss and need, concentrate on what you DO have and there will be no room in your mind or your heart for what you THINK you are missing. Instead of waking up complaining about the aches and pains brought about during the night, be thankful for the body parts that DO work. Instead of living in state of constant yearning for something bigger or better, relish your present circumstances. Bloom where you are planted with a grateful heart. From gratitude blooms happiness. Challenge for the week: Be mindful of your thoughts and words, monitoring... read more