Unapologetically Present – 7.2 @ Bellingham… in bed.

I wanted to be a meteorologist for quite a portion of my childhood life until I learned that they did not get to pick the weather.

Though I expected there had to be some ratio of rainy days to sunny days, that I was going to have to pick “freezing” one day just because, I was particularly inspired by the idea of picking out the perfect weather for perfect moods… celebrations… events.

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As I wake up here on grey day #3, I feel a tinge of relief that people have not traveled all the way up here to have a several days without the Washington sunshine.

I could imagine myself apologizing and feeling responsible for the weather. I could hear my friends who lived up here at some point in their life reassure me with their, “girl – we knew what the likelihood was – it’s fine! It’s gorgeous.”

Golden hour would be no guarantee for our beer garden concert. Our morning coffee ceremony really would have required folks be as comfortable as I hoped they would come. Blankets of mix a matched colors. Hats if you need them. Your favorite jacket over a festive shirt. The irony of having over thought your outfit to be covered in a $8 Walgreens poncho. You know, that sort of thing.

***

Personally, I am not unhappy about the grey. I find the bright grey sky makes the ferns beyond vivid, I feel them breathing. The fog over evergreen silhouettes gets me every time and I love a good grey day walk in the woods.

Brown, green and grey are power colors. Sacred.

As I continue to process the theme of control that I started sharing on this blog last night, I feel the need for growth especially now. Whatever kind of experience I am in, I feel my growth calling me to allow the story to unfold exactly as the weather reveals: to be prepared for but not bound by things like overcast, timing or moods.

You know, things of the greater connected world of experience completely beyond my control.

Sometimes the trait of a maximizer can create a mindset of management instead of a mindset of navigation. Prediction takes precedence over opportunism. Maybe even causing grief where and when you could be experiencing something new.

I think realizing what you are trying to control and make perfect is a phenomenon in and of itself: it combines your senses (wow, I feel anxiety) + requires your observation (here are the things at play) + your reflection (why?).

For ever and for always, this brings yoga forward: balancing the effort and the ease. When that edge of control is sharp, I feel it – and I back off. I relax. I think of what is reasonable. I trust the fact I feel anxious means I value something. I find the balanced – open – flexible way to value that same thing but without controlling.

I more easily come to middle ground.

And ….

I feel a lot less pressure than when I thought I was God.

Praying Through Loss and Longing

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It is my hope that if you read this, you will find a way into a new rest, into new peace – in whatever you are going through.

About two years ago, I was introduced “Ardas Bhayee” a prayer in sanskrit comprised of these words:

Ardas Bahee, Amar Das Guru, Amar Das Guru, Ardas Bahee.

Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Sachee Sahee

If you click on the link above and listen to it, you’ll see it is really beautiful.

When I was taught this prayer, I was taught it is the perfect prayer. The meaning behind the words are the collection of mind, body and soul – when you pray these words, your voice threads together the needs of each of aspect of your life and you lift up your exact everything to God.

I think that a lot of times, what holds us up in prayer is the “figuring out” of what to pray for. We end up blocking our own faithfulness with over analyzing if God gives us “this” than that means “that” is likely and we are not sure how we feel about “that”. Or – because we know that what is best will take place – we don’t boldly approach the throne with what is we really long for. And then we may even question what it is we long for and feel like maybe we don’t deserve it, maybe we messed up too much to still qualify for it, or you long for a past chance.

These thoughts compound, the tea kettle sounds, the day starts and the prayer never happened. Because you could never figure out what to pray for.

So, there is a lot of freedom in this mantra and just the opportunity to hear the sounds of the beautiful sanskrit and fumble through singing along until all the sudden your heart has figured it out: you hum some words while sounding the ones you are confident in.

I cherish the freedom in knowing that this silence of mind and this sound of the heart and voice are doing all the work I didn’t have to do in the first place. The work I felt I had to do in master planning my life in order to know what to order from the divine is relieved. Instead, I can just lift it up through these words while I clean my house, brush my teeth, sit still.

This whole thought originally came about two days ago when I was in a moment that involved the remembrance of two very important people in my life: Kristi, who passed maybe 6 years ago now and Spindley, who passed about 3 years ago. Kristi taught me trustworthiness and loyalty. Spindley taught me good humor and friendly motivation.

To say that losing these two people was hard would be an understatement. Even now, my heart twists at the fact that they died. And I think that a lot of times, when we lose people in our physical life that had significance to us emotionally or spiritually, we try to will them back.

We look for signs of them. We want them by our side in moments. We feel their presence and breathe it in and are so thankful for the visit. And we want them to come back again for a visit through a cardinal or a butterfly or ladybug.

And this is awesome.

Equally – what is awesome – is when we take the opportunity to shift this perspective just a little bit. What happens when we feel the inclination to will their spirit and character to our moment and resolve, instead, to dedicate the moment to them.

In their honor, to their spirit – a nod to their legacy – we perform the work, we move forward. Not because they showed up and gave us the chills and gave us what we needed. But because they were here on this planet and taught us, loved us, at one point in time and now we can honor them with strength, courage and action.

In doing this, I believe, we balance our consumption of the supernatural with a generosity of spirit and a commitment to being the person they loved so much, a commitment to the attributes we have that made their eyes twinkle and their smile go wide.

I think that, if you try this in the new year, while we are all so set on a new world – a new culture – a new sense of community, that we can free ourselves from the dependency we have created on our capacities to understand God’s subtleties. As surely, we know not all the ways we are loved. Rather than ask, sit and wait for a sign. What if we, instead, identify the spirit and the underlying prayer in our hearts not (only) as something to know and speak and share but something to feel and fumble through and breathe into? It is my thinking that this will make us bolder and light up our spirit from the inside. We will become stronger people of light.

In Romans 8 there is a verse I love love love love love – (vs. 26) where scripture teaches to breathe. Just groan. Just sigh. Don’t think. Just heave it out. In that connection of your physical body and your breath, the spirit intercedes – the spirit prays – on your behalf.

We don’t need to figure it out, friends. We just don’t. If we get knowledge and gain understanding from that knowledge, what a blessing! But it is not our job to seek “knowing” out in a way that distracts us from the true fluidity of the spiritual nature of our souls. That inner pool where God wants you to just sit.

Rest.

–Let your waters be still.

Know the Lord is with you.

There is a lot of peace in this.

XO, erin

 

Church Women

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This is my now fifth attempt to start and write  this blog post and I seriously know I just need to sleep.

But it’s there… it is right there on the tips of my fingers. And I have got to spit. it. out.

Church women.

I wasn’t even going to write tonight but as I sat with my “church woman” to do list, I naturally found myself in texts and emails with other church women. About the bags for the school, about the post for the blog, about the woman dying, about the new baby… All these messages flickering on my phone and coming in my inbox and I got the chills. Serious chills.

Church women are amazing. 

Being a church woman is amazing.

These breezy check-ins about who is caring for what and whom brought a Psalm to a new level of understanding.. I read it two weeks ago and have been playing with it since: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13)

How true. And how much more “land of the living” can you get than an army of women nurturing nearly ever facet of the human experience through meals, prayers, and touch??

Even though I believe that intention can bring our spirit forth in our daily “run of the mill” (through minivans and limousines), I truly treasure the kingdom and goodness of God as you see it through the loving kindness and compassion exercised by women in a church community.

You can be a believer anywhere you want but what gave me the chills tonight was being connected into a touching and spiritually intimate aspect of the land of the living.

The passage ends with “Wait for the Lord; be strong – and let your heart take courage..”

And how much sense does that make! So much sense. Because when we are new to community or when a community is new or when people are growing and changing; it can be so easy to try and do something. You can try to talk and convince people of what is needed. You may even start doing things outside of your normal gifting. But – surely, we will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living – just *wait*. Sit still. Check in with the universe, so that the little magnets associated with your purpose can call out to it’s opposing forces and connection can commence. So your relationships will start to surface.. your community.. your purpose.

Building, encouraging, praying, loving – it’s such a good thing. I pray for all to find their plug in so they can serve and witness the way the spirit works in this manner!! Everybody has such unique gifts…

People need your gifts.

And now my eyes are seriously half way shut. Off to bed.. to the land of the sleeping. I’m sure I will see the goodness of the Lord there too.. lol :) xo