Gratitude for silence

November 13, 2013

I love the sound of music, of children laughing, of cheers at a sporting event.  Hearing life is an amazing thing.  I also really appreciate the stillness of a quiet moment to reflect and hear my own thoughts.  To contemplate something greater – something spiritual around me and within me.  To hear the wisdom that brings clarity to a problem.  To look around at the beauty of creation, to see what surrounds me, to look at the details that I often overlook, to be aware of my feelings.  Being able to remain in the silence can be a way to let go and accept what is.

I am grateful for my walk yesterday, where I turned off the headphones, and took in the silence.  I felt refreshed, gained some new insights, and enjoyed the beautiful fall day.  May I remember to step away from life’s busyness periodically to take a moment to breathe in what is around me….


My understanding of a spiritual power

November 13, 2013

I have been reading and contemplating what my spiritual power means to me.  I find that I grow in my understand and relationship with a greater power when I ask the questions and watch for answers.  As I have been working through steps 2 and 3, I have written where I am today regarding this step, ways I rewrite the step to mean more to me, and questions/struggles I still have understanding the concept.

Step 2 from AA:  Come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

My wording of this step:  I am reception to spiritual guidance for restoration and am willing to work towards it.  I believe there is something spiritual beyond my understanding that has the capacity to create miracles.

I struggle with the idea that a spiritual power would care and chose to cure my addictions and my chronic pain, as I have been spiritual yet still struggle.  I see the spiritual everywhere, but don’t always believe it can be personal to healing my pain or cares about the details.

I wonder if my definition of insanity is different than HP.  May not mean I don’t struggle but have clarity and spiritual growth in the process.

Step 3 from AA:  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him.

My wording of this step:  I am willing to grow along spiritual lines and seek a HP.  I am willing to turn towards a spiritual source for guidance in my choices and understanding of my needs.  I seek to have this spiritual power guide me in releasing what I have no control over (pain, addictions, peole and outcomes) and guiding me on where I can make an impact and be open to a new way of doing things.

I struggle with giving up myself to another person or spiritual source and the idea of a caring God.

I wonder if it is more about being willing to follow principles for living such as love and grace verses perfection, contol and rules.  To bring unity and allow this Spirit to nourish us for what we really need.


Gratitude – Explore and discover something new

November 12, 2013

Had a fun day yesterday with my daughters.  It was a day off to recognize the Veteran’s who have served for our country.  Much of yesterday reminded me of the beauty of something new.

My oldest daughter, will be joining FC Portland to play some competitive soccer.  It was fun to watch her excitement picking up her new uniforms and the wonder of what the season will be like with a new team.  She has never played at this level, so much to learn as we navigate through the new channels.

When we came home, we decided to go for a walk along some nature trails in our neighborhood.  They had added some new trails that we haven’t been on before.  It was fun to explore the path (and the non-path), go over the bridge, and meet a friendly cat along the way.

My younger daughter, had this desire to learn to be goalie for her soccer team.  We went to the local high school and shot some goals on her.  She was a trooper trying to figure out how to slide, catch the air balls, and anticipate where the ball was going.  Love her spirit and desire to try something new, whether this is for the weekend, or the season.

May we take some time to look for new opportunities, new experience and new memories.


Gratitude – technology and the ability to text…

November 9, 2013

I have enjoyed using my phone as a quick way to check in with friends when life seems overwhelming or to encourage me in my day.  I find if I send a text to a friend before doing something stressful, than I have more strength for the journey.  If I have a rough day, or feel upset by something I can give a quick vent, and continue to address what I need to do.  I have a few friends that are also my texting friends, where we check in with each other periodically.  Texting is quick, can be done in a minute or two, and readily available.

As much as I love texting, it only works for me as a supplement for relationships that are already strong.  The reason it works, is because it supports conversations we have already had, and a relationship that has been built by regular visits and conversations.  It is meant for the positive, not for debates or conflicts – this is much better dealt with in person.   It feels like twitter – where you give a few sentences reminding you of what is most important.


Gratitude for Friends who understand

November 7, 2013

I had a great conversation with my friend, Lavelle, yesterday.  It was one of those conversations where you are completely in tuned with one another, and understand where the other person comes from.  There were many times I couldn’t believe she was expressing exactly what I felt or had been thinking about.  She is insightful, smart, always wanting to learn and grow, and makes me laugh.  I am so grateful to have Lavelle in my life.  We have gone through many challenges over the years, and somehow we seem to keep coming back to a common place.  Thanks Lavelle.  

In my life of chronic pain, I have found that friends and support are extremely valuable.  Though not everyone understands my pain and the physical problems I go through, I have many friends that keep me going through the day to day stuff.  I have other friends that are involved in my soccer world, friends that center around my children, and friends I have met in groups I am part of.  Many of my family members also feel like friends, sharing a common bond.  

I may not always understand why some friends last for a season and others for the long haul.  Often it seems to be a willingness to work through what comes our way, common values, and to be open minded in forgiving.  Most of my relationships have gone through conflict, some pretty difficult ones.  When there is communication we can move forward, learn about ourselves and others, and move towards healing.  Willing to look into how we contribute to the problem and what issues may be related to something else seems to help.  Also being willing to give some grace and compassion, realizing many things in life aren’t always understood and don’t always need to be talked through.  Some areas of life we may not agree upon, and it doesn’t help to keep hashing it out or trying to change a person’s point of view.   Keeping focused on the strengths of the other person and how they enrich my life is helpful, humor is also of great benefit.  


Gratitude – moments of solitude to rejuvenate

November 6, 2013

Yesterday was a busy day with lots of activity.  It is hard for me to mentally and physically keep up on these types of days.  My body feels worn out and my mind can barely process.  Fortunately in the middle of it, I was able to find some time to refresh myself.

One of my favorite parts of the day is the morning.  I drink a Raw Meal Powder shake with some yogurt and fruit and have a great cup of Starbucks coffee.  I hang at the computer and write, catch up on Facebook, play computer games, read and listen to inspirational music.  It gives me a chance to wake up (something that takes awhile with Fibromyalgia) and also prepare myself for the day.

I am grateful for these moments to rejuvenate and refresh my heart and mind.  I generally do best if I have some solitude in the morning, early afternoon and evening before bed.  If I have a busy day of activity, I tend to go in overload, and will need longer periods that day or the following day.  Though I wish to be less tired, I am grateful that my fatigue can lead me to more moments of reflection and solitude that enriches my soul.


Seeking something spiritual I can hold on to

November 5, 2013

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what spirituality looks like and how to move beyond my own distortions of what a God/The Spirit looks like.  Often when I think about God, I think of someone who is allusive, uncaring, judgmental and unfair.  Though my religious upbringing was filled with many wonderful spiritual connections and memories, when the road gets tough it is easy for me to focus more on those who have hurt and failed me, and the teachings that seem to leave me stuck.

How do I surrender my life to something that doesn’t feel solid?  Where do I find this rock that feels real and brings me peace?  For me it begins with finding a little bit of openness, to watching for the spiritual, for sensing what works.  What truths brings me to grace and love?  If I can clear the slate, something new may be able to enter.

What I want to believe, what feels spiritual to me:  There is something powerful and spiritual when I look at the mountains and the ocean, when the leaves change in the fall, when thunder strikes in the sky, when plants grow, and when a baby is born.  I also feel a spiritual power when I truly connect with people, when I take in love and grace, when a coincidence seems beyond my understanding, when I meet a soul mate, when wisdom and clarity come in a time of need.  I can feel something different when I hear or read a truth, when people’s lives are an inspiration, when someone forgives me for my wrongdoings, when I give grace from somewhere beyond me.  I feel something powerful when in a meeting of people sharing their hardships and people give compassion and kindness, when I am meditating, when I am listening to inspirational music, when I move forward in recovery and healing.  I feel a sense of humanity and spirit when I am humble, serving others, in need, and vulnerable.   There is something amazing that happens in yoga and when running, being intuned to my body and what has been given to me.  I feel a release when I am grateful.

I can trust that the Spirit is not people, things or places.  It can be in all of these things, but it is not these things.  People bring both the spirit and the human, religious people do the same.  None of us can claim to truly know all about the spirit or about his/her truths – this is why it is called faith.

May the truth continue to reveal itself to me, may the Spirit guide me today.


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