This blog is about the spiritual journey

Reflections

Faith on the Spiritual Climb

When you have outgrown certain ways but can’t readily overcome, it is like being stuck on an incline, too wearied to step away, the next step out of reach.   

All through life patterns that served earlier simply no longer serve. At times God puts unforeseen events in our paths to encourage a change of direction. Other times we simply ask for help. Or we decide to learn a skill or discipline, such as a craft, sport, or meditation—which calms the mind, bringing refreshment and clarity.

We are each handpicked for a mission that will allow the soul to grow.  God waits patiently, nudging us forward, to take the steps that will free us from bondage.  When I know what I want but lack resources or confidence, faint words come: Keep the faith.        

The spiritual climb means returning time and again to the path towards fulfillment. Having a vision is an achievement, but the work remains. There is no worthier task, especially where the road is steep, uneven, uncertain—the places where we falter. With faith as an anchor, we become willing to take the risks that render new perspective and help turn life around.

Each day I return to the drawing board.  There is always something to discern, some inkling of how to proceed, fostered by the settling down that comes with practice. Usually it means allowing life to unfold as it will so that I can remain true to the mission.

There comes a point when evolution has nowhere to go but up. God reclaims each of us—one at a time. The truth is the closer we come to God the closer God comes—as a door opening to let in light. Sooner or later there is no choice. The old way has become too frayed or painful. We learn to keep the faith and climb.

To learn about my book, Freedom To Fall, the story of my son’s spiritual journey through rock climbing and my struggle to survive his death, click on “Morning Song Books” above.

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Home

With the New Year and the heart of winter upon us, thoughts turn towards home.

A couple years ago, I set out from my Denver home with the goal of learning to be at home, wherever my journey may take me. With the spirit of a vagabond, I traveled to towns in Colorado and other states, interspersed with short stays with friends and relatives, finally landing for a long interim at my mom’s in Louisiana. During those months with Mom, we renewed our relationship and took it to a new level.

This fall, when the trees were turning gold and birds gathering, I returned to Colorado. Gingerly, I stepped through the threshold into the old dwelling place and set up camp. Little by little I made it my home again, culminating in the festive, magically lit, hushed days before Christmas.

There is no more special place on Earth than home, where joy, love, and the spirit of creativity reign. And though we may create surroundings that reflect who we are, truly, home is within. Each morning I ask God to help me set all concern aside to tap that inner space, for the comfort that it brings.

Home provides a context for the winnowing of experience. It allows us to release what is lost or no longer serves, to be with life as we find it, and to move on. It encourages us to surrender through the sense of being grounded. It is a place of communion where faith is born.

The cultivation of this sanctum comes through self-love, in the way that God loves—unconditionally, with recognition and attendance. Ways of attending are as varied as there are people, but the object remains the same—the nurturance of that which belongs to us and cannot be taken away—a cozy refuge when we need it and an encourager of change. It is an essential aspect of survival for a lifetime of experience. When all is said and done, it alone remains—our home, a treasure—for the journey to Heaven.

May your home be a source of joy and renewal in the New Year and beyond.


Giving Thanks

This Christmas morn, in the hour before dawn when all is hushed and candles burn brightly, I pause to give thanks.

I am grateful for having a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I am thankful for those who wrote the gospels so that we have a remembrance, if not quite historical, at least essential. I marvel that Jesus could have lived among us and that his Presence glows as brightly today as it did then. Like millions, I wish I could have known him personally.

In Mark’s gospel, when Jesus begins his ministry, he calls to the fisherman who would become the first disciples, “Come after me,” and they come, leaving their prior lives behind.

Today I am thankful for my children, one in Heaven and one asleep in her cozy home. I am grateful for Jesus—the calling to a higher purpose—reminding us of our origins and of the gift of life.


Christmas Draws Near

Today I feel the stirring of Christmas—a time of rebirth, when I ponder the meaning behind being a loyal follower.

According to the gospel of Luke, Jesus once denied a rich man discipleship because he clung to wealth, even though he freely followed in every other way. Truly, following means the willingness to begin anew, to go wherever and however you are called. The miracle of Jesus’s life is that he was sent not only as the messenger of good news, but as the Way into God’s ever abiding presence and love.

How many times have I lain in snow looking up at stars, wondering? Could I give up things and aspects of life most precious to me?  Could I listen to the one true voice, day in and day out, and reverse course whenever God asks? How can I even know when God is speaking? Through devotion, I learn to discern. 

Being a follower suggests taking active steps. Through action, something new may be ascertained, something more—as a seed awakening. You step outside the usual bounds, sensing that you are being led.      

Christmas is near, stirring into wakefulness deep gratitude and celebration. Dusk descends early, casting a surreal hue over the landscape. Sacredness pervades the still winter air, as Jesus comes among us.                      

           


Presence

I dedicate this piece to the memory of Dawn, my teacher of many years, who opened my eyes to the living reality of Presence.

Today I sense God, not as someone who demands and judges, but as a loving Presence allowing free choice.

How can we best fulfill ourselves as purposeful human beings? When I look in the mirror, what do I see—a product of habituated patterns of thought and action or a life present for the unfolding?

When it comes to the daily task of living, I realize that it really is up to me. God gave us this gift, without strings. But when I act in ways that free me from bondage, God does take notice because I access a door into His light.

At our core lies a sacred space which houses the soul—a vital presence that witnesses life from beginning to end—the eternal flame which returns to God, hopefully more illumined for the journey. For the love of God, it behooves one to live in the best way possible. The true path is without compromise.

When old, unbending patterns cling, the soul remains an unspoken potential. But it is possible to walk straight through those stories—as though your life is about something else and you’ve decided to go there—which alas, encourages new growth and perspective, allowing this inner-presence to find a way towards light to become a true voice and guide—in partnership with God.

The soul is not some lone quality but exists by God’s grace—is God—God’s seed and love—patiently waiting its day in the sun, while we live.

To read about my book, Freedom To Fall, click on “Morning Song Books” above.


Detachment

I begin each day speaking with God about whatever is uppermost in my mind. What ensues is daily communion, within this sacred space.

Today I am interested in the notion of detachment. To nurture a sense of the eternal, by way of Earthly detachment, is not aloofness. Rather it is a zeal for living, accepting with grace the happenings along the way, with the awareness that there is more.

Living with detachment is an experience of peace and stillness within a whirlwind of activity. It is the nurturance of the preciousness within, the work of a lifetime—the pursuit of freedom, a process of “letting go.”

I feel as though I’m trying to know something, and I’m very close, as if freedom is mine for the taking. There is a sense that this day can be a clearing up of a dilemma; I know not what. I feel the stirring of antiquity—as fresh as a winter breeze—as though the answer lies there.

This morning I hear: To dwell in the land of freedom, you don’t have to go anywhere or plan anything. All that is needed is this place of intimacy, with God’s abiding Presence. When God is present, you yourself gain presence; life is imbued with light. It simply doesn’t matter what you are up to or the problems that prevail. You can live with detachment. Your life can be an expression of gratitude—for the gift of time.

When God is with you, you can go about the tasks of the day with a sense of fun and simplicity. You can toss life away as you live it. What remains is the spark of creative Grace, engendering a sense of the eternal.

Click on “Morning Song Books” above to learn about my book, Freedom To Fall.


Silence

Today I want to celebrate Silence—an interior place of love and guidance, beneath the vicissitudes of existence. It is a place where one can cultivate ascendance over the mundane, while moving towards the sublime.

Silence encourages “receiving,” all receptors alive. This morning I am listening to a whisper: Life is the creative act of God, so be humble and quiet. In that way, you can keep going; you are taken.

Silence is the antidote to a temperamental mind, with a clarifying effect.  It takes devotion to rise above the tenuous plane of emotion, where lives often play out. Through the practice of silence, it becomes possible to keep love flourishing, allowing all else to fall away. Through silence there comes a rectifying of the raw data of experience in harmony with the movement of the soul.

There is no need to search for meaning or to scramble for advantage.  Dreams may be dashed, but a burgeoning inner silence fosters true spirit—a dream come true—the saving grace and wellspring of faith.

Click on “Morning Song Books” to read about my book, Freedom to Fall—an  inspirational story about my son, who died rock climbing, and my journey towards healing.