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Saturday, December 30 2017

New Year Orienting

 

         For many of us, the year’s beginning is a time for reflection – a time to review where we’ve been and orient ourselves toward where we’d like to go.  It’s a time to look into the mirror with clear, compassionate eyes, to listen deeply to how we feel and what we value, and to pay attention to how our choices and behaviors line up with our deepest feelings and values.  It’s a time for clarity and gentle firmness with ourselves, a time to set realistic goals – baby steps, perhaps – moving us in the direction of our heart’s desire and our soul’s purpose.

 

         The standard joke about New Year’s resolutions is that we keep them for a week or two before reverting to old patterns.  Under the chuckle, there may be a sense that we don’t really take seriously the promises we make to ourselves.   For many of us, our word is more impeccable when we give it to others, than it is when we give it to ourselves.  We know that breaking our word with friends can damage our relationships with them.  I suspect we underestimate the harm that breaking our word does to the integrity of our connection within.  We may not see the message of disregard we give ourselves and the mistrust of self this disregard engenders.

 

         I tend to have lofty goals that inspire me and elevate my spirit.  The ideal of softening to love, for example, orients me toward opening my heart to the flow of love.  It orients me toward deeper connection with myself, with others and with the universe.  It’s been a “north star” in my life, toward which my inner compass points.  However, I rarely translate that loftiness into specific, concrete actions I commit to taking every day.  I go with the flow and do a number of things that move me in the direction I’m choosing.  I wing it - and that works out ok.

 

         I’m coming to see that the ideal I cherish deserves better than ok.  It deserves better than the nebulousness of winging it.  It deserves a clearer commitment, and more accountability, from me.

 

         Last May, a prayer/poem came to me during a powerful, vision-like experience I had while on a boundary waters wilderness retreat - an experience that mirrored for me, and connected me to, my Larger Self.  This prayer has become both an affirmation and an instruction for me:

 

Big Self,

Mirror Jesus.

Love in.

Love out.

Soften to Love.

Dissolve into God.

 

         So, one concrete, specific New Year’s resolution I intend to keep in 2018 is to make eye-to-eye contact with myself in the mirror each morning and say this prayer – meaningfully. 

 

         Perhaps, there’s a small, meaningful step you can take on a regular basis this year - one that moves you closer to your heart’s desire and your soul’s purpose – a promise you can keep.

 

         May your new year be healthy, happy, joyful and growthful!

 

 

 

Posted by: AT 02:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, December 23 2017

         Hello again.  It’s been two years since my last post.  I do apologize for the abrupt absence.

 

         In recent months, life has opened new doors and offered new energy, including a growing readiness to return to writing. That readiness now feels ripe.  My intention is to post again on a regular basis – and to give a “heads up” when gaps are likely to occur.

 

         I am happy to be back with this practice – and back with you.

 

 

 

Our Story Too

 

         In the classic Christmas story, God took human form with the birth of Jesus.  In this story, the Incarnation was a one-time, one-person event.  Never happened before with anyone. Never will happen again with anyone else.

 

         I’ve come to enjoy a different version of the Incarnation story.  In this narrative, Jesus came to the realization – perhaps gradually, perhaps suddenly - that he was one with God.  In its final form, this realization was not an abstract idea for Jesus, but a fully-integrated knowing that permeated his spirit, his mind and every cell in his body.  

 

         The Incarnation was not an event.  It was a deep, embodied knowing.  Jesus literally realized (made real) and revealed a truth that the Divine is fully present in each human.  Each of us shares a divine nature.  Each of us is one with God.

 

 

         So … what if the Christmas story is not just about Jesus?  What if the Incarnation is our story, too?

 

 

         Have a merry and meaningful Christmas!

 

        

Posted by: AT 12:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

 "James has a very welcoming presence and an easy going demeanor in addition to an excellent sense of humor . We are all free to be our own goofy selves."
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