One thing that never stops, whether I am in a writing hiatus or not, is the continuous collection of words of wisdom spoken and written by others. I seem to have a mountain of them on my desk or collected in my computer. I have noticed that there is one modern day spiritual writer who seems to speak much to my heart. His name is Paul Ferrini and he has been involved in spiritual work for more than 35 years. He is a prolific writer with many books to his name and one day I hope to attend one of his retreats. You can learn more about Paul at his web site www.paulferrini.com. In the meantime here are just a few of his spiritual insights.
“When you don’t want to do something, say "no" clearly.
A simple "no" said clearly from the heart can prevent the drama of self-abuse.
When we no longer betray ourselves by saying "yes" when we want to say "no", we will no longer attract people into our life who will disrespect our boundaries.”
“Some people complain about the boat.
Others try to escape it. Neither choice is helpful.
Until you accept the boat for what it is, it cannot take you to the other side.”
“You are the judge and the savior
No one else can condemn you for your mistake or release you from your guilt.
You must come to terms with what you have done.
You must acknowledge your error and atone for it.
The forgiveness of others is nice to have, but it means nothing if you cannot forgive yourself.”
Your compassion arises
when your ability to love
no longer depends
on how others treat you.”
God doesn’t ask you to pretend to be someone or something you are not.
God wants you to be who you are with all your contradictions and dichotomies.
If you have to deny any aspect of who you are to be spiritual, then you are creating an inauthentic spirituality.
True spirituality should be an instrument of revelation, not a tool for denial.”
I hope I have peaked your interest enough that you will go running to Paul’s website. I find him to be a magnetic yet gentle spirit even before I have met him in person. Blessings on your journey.
I have been silent for a long time. Several months at least, and it has been hard. Hard to not write; hard to attempt to write. It’s hard not to write because the words are still in there, in my heart, my mind, and my soul and it’s like they are being stifled, suffocated. But at the same time, when I’m going through this non-writing phase, it’s also very difficult for me to try and “force” the writing. I also get very lethargic and don’t feel the energy moving in me to actually sit down and allow the creative juices to flow.
I’m not sure why this happens to me from time to time. Sometimes it follows a major disruption in my normal routine, or a major difficulty or issue that hits me. I find it very difficult to get back on track with anything once my usual schedule is out of whack for whatever reason. You know the kind of thing: I get going into a good exercise routine, something comes along to break that routine and six months later I’m wondering where my exercise routine went. Or perhaps I’ve managed to get started on a “cleaner” nutrition kick and, again, something comes up to interrupt that and six months later I’m feeling physically very sluggish and know that it has to do with the fact that I’m not eating right – again.
A possible reason may be tied to the fact that I am not a multi-tasker. What does that have to do with writing or not writing you may ask. Well it’s just that once I get out of routine it takes an enormous effort on my part to return to routine, and somewhere in there I get caught up in that devious game of “catch-up”. Because I was gone for a month, I had to catch up with a lot of stuff and a lot of people, and in the meantime new stuff was coming up and I just kept sliding backwards in my time management. So then I try to do more than one thing at once and I end up in a mental, emotional and spiritual mess and there’s no way I can write with all that frustration and confusion going on!
So here I am again, in the moment, a little scared. Are the words going to come? Are the words going to flow? Will I suddenly get stuck in the middle of a paragraph or a sentence and go back to being stifled? Just the fact that I am here writing this posting is a hopeful sign for me. I have so much I want to share. A lot has taken place in my life since I last wrote, since my wonderful month-long vacation in Italy. I believe I wrote one posting about Italy and I want to share some more of that experience. I am back at school after the summer break and trying to feel my way into that new routine again – studying and homework.
In September, right before returning to school, I experienced a three day guided silent retreat which was extraordinary. And in November Richard and I returned to our modest time share in Orlando for our traditional “week of respite” before the madness of “the Holidays” begins. During this period of silence I have also lost two very dear friends and need to share about that.
I have started to take Tai Chi and QiGong classes. Actually this is a return to both of those two activities for me and I want to share how that “God-incidence” came about. Suffice to say that I am feeling really good about it and my body is very grateful too. And along with the Tai Chi and QiGong I somehow finally tried acupuncture. There’s a whole story behind all this which is quite miraculous really. I have made it through the “Holiday period” without gaining any weight for the first time in I don’t know how many years – at least twenty!! And that’s a miracle I need to share with you all.
For those of you who have waited patiently for my return – thank you. For anyone new finding me as I share my journey and this adventure in writing – welcome. I hope I will not disappoint any of you.
It seems as though there is an endless supply of words in this world, and so many people can use them creatively. They capture my attention and my heart. Sometimes I feel a little envious when I experience the way some writers put their words together. At times they seem to roll around in my mouth, at others they slip or trip off the tongue. Sometimes they are clear and sharp, and at other times they are sweet and soft. And then there are times when they seem to bounce off the page, dance in front of my eyes, shout to the skies, or create a quiet place like a chapel hush. I just like words and what can be done with them. Here are a few such groupings of words.
“Remember, you can’t reach for what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” Author unknown
“I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence – we need to listen to God
because it’s not what we say, but what God says to us and through us that matters.” Mother Teresa
“It is when God appears to have abandoned us that we must abandon ourselves most wholly to God.” Francois Fenelon
“Rhythm is our universal mother tongue. It’s the language of the soul.” Gabrielle Roth
“There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither hope nor love without faith.” St. Augustine
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” Billy Graham
“Be patient enough to live one day at a time as Jesus taught us, letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow till it arrives.” John Newton
“Faith is like radar that sees through fog.” Corrie ten Boom
“We can make art, letting the voice of the goddess – the oracle – speak through us in words and images.” Dorothy Maclean
“The drum is sacred. Its round form represents the whole universe, and its steady beat is the pulse,
the heart, throbbing at the center of the universe.” Nick Black Elk
“Life is sacred. Life is art. Life is sacred art.” Gabrielle Roth
“Learning is movement from moment to moment.” Krishnamurti
“It doesn’t have to be a big fire, a small blaze, candlelight perhaps ……….” Ray Bradbury
“Since it is very rare in our society to be personally sung to, this experience usually awakens
the soul and speaks to the heart, helping that person to hear and sing their own song.” Caitlin Matthews
Perhaps you would like to go back to the beginning and allow these words to slip and trip and roll around in your mouth. Perhaps you can try reading them out loud, and as you do so, listen for the loud and the soft, the sharp and the sweet, and the possible chapel hush. Enjoy and receive blessings.