Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

Beginning has been the theme that has traveled with us through this first month of 2018. I have reflected on receiving beginnings, contemplative be-ginning, the beginning place of growth and being attentive to where we are beginning to be called to give.

I know that I will revisit some of these sub-themes again. However, they will no longer be held in the context of the first hours, days and weeks of a new year as this particular year is now moving into February. Another beginning.

The focus of the reflections for the new month will be on paying attention as a Spiritual Practice.

Paying Attention.

It is fitting that we are finishing the month of January with a lunar display of a Super Blue Blood Moon. The prospect of seeing this certainly has my attention. If visible in your location, the Super Blue Blood Moon has promise to be a lunar event far different than the fireworks that greeted the beginning of the year. I am curious, which is a great beginning. How about you?



Question #5

We are coming close to the end of January. What is one thing you have begun for the very first time this month that you are proud to announce to other creatives and entrepreneurs?

Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

We are finishing this week, the last full week of this month, by continuing to reflect upon what it means to give.

(I have had many thoughtful comments to my posts this month. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. 💐)

In my first post of this new year, I reflected a little on the anxiety that most adults experience in being beginners at almost anything. There is a fragility in the feeling of being a beginner. Further, to reflect upon becoming aware of where we are called in this moment to give, is challenging. I get that, it is for me as well.

So, how do we practice listening to where we are being called and what gives us the possibility of giving even when we are afraid? I am choosing to not answer the question with my point of view, rather inviting you to reflect upon the questions yourself. However, should you wish to explore this topic more fully, I am going to suggest one Practice.

  1. The practice requires a timer, a piece of paper, a pen or pencil and a candle. Choose a time and place where you are unlikely to be disturbed, light a candle, set the timer for twenty minutes.
  2. Then pick up your pen and respond to the following question. If, in this moment, I had all the resources I could possibly need, what would I give? Try not to think, rather respond by writing down whatever comes to mind. At the end of the twenty minutes, stop writing. When you are ready, blow out the candle.

Are there any of your responses that surprised you? Are there any responses that challenged you? Give thanks for the items in your list. Perhaps at this time, or later, you may wish to reflect upon your list by writing in your journal

In the days and weeks ahead, You may begin to see that what you are desiring to give, becomes an opportunity to give, in ways that you might not now imagine.



Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

As we have moved through this first month of the year we have exploring the meaning of receiving, be-ing, growing. This week we are reflecting on what it means to give, to be giving.

Giving, not as a well practiced gesture, but rather as a new invitation, new response and an experience of not knowing.

• To what are we called to give?

• To whom are we called to give?

• Is there a feeling of surprise in this invitation?

Should you choose, please comment. ❤️



Beginning as A Spiritual Practice

We have been reflecting on beginning, seeds and growth this week. Should you wish to ponder this a little more deeply I offer the following questions:

How do we invite growth in ourselves? Do we really wish to grow? Do we feel freedom to grow? How do we know that we in fact are in the process of growing? How do we gently witness the growth of another? How does it feel?

Practice Suggestions:

1. If you journal, you may wish to write down your responses to the questions given above. As you are writing, please include any other questions that may come up.

2. Draw or paint a picture of a seed.

If you wish, please comment. I will read them.



Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

This past Sunday evening I posted a question about seed packets and what kind of seeds would one choose. I got a variety of responses on my Facebook page ranging from arugula, lettuce, fresh herbs and many flowers. All of the seeds, or bulbs have one thing in common, a potential capacity and seeming desire to grow if the right environmental conditions are available.

For many places in the Northern Hemisphere, seed packets may be looked at wistfully as snow is deep and the weather is cold. Seed catalogs often magically appear in mail boxes enticing one to think of flowery beauty and abundance in the future.

I imagine, but have not experienced, the Summer of the Southern Hemisphere. It is a difference, perhaps a time to gather the seeds for the next year? I don’t know. However, this blog is not about seeds, rather growth.

To grow.

Beginning as a Spiritual Practice implies a potential capacity to grow even though the resulting growth may seem hidden for a time as in a seed casing.

My assumptions are that the growing is not due to our efforts, rather something called grace. And, that growth happens throughout our lifetime, and perhaps beyond. And, that the growth may be uneven and unpredictable. Whew!

It is easier to remember ourselves as children when growing up literally meant visibly growing taller. We measured ourselves against our peers, were we shorter or taller?

(As someone who is shorter, and still more short due to aging, children often measure themselves against me with questioning eyes. She is obviously an adult but… I find these encounters interesting and revealing.)

Similar to the seeds, we have a potential capacity and often a desire to grow given the right environment.

We often judge ourselves, and others, anxiously measuring ourselves against another. Perhaps rather than judging we might inquire of ourselves what is the right environment? What Spiritual growth is being sought. For what is there longing? What is hidden now that will bloom someday, or is blooming now?

Today, I invite you to reflect upon seed packets, seeds and spiritual growth.



Beginning As A Spiritual Path

Beginning. Be-ing. Exercise 2

This week we have been reflecting on be-ginning. I suspect that even when we use the same word, our understandings and experiences may be different. I believe that is exactly the way be-ing is, unique and individual.

When did you first become aware of be-ing? What is it like for you?

For me, I am an introvert and bookish, so being quiet comes fairly naturally. In fact, I have a preference for it.

My experience of be-ing happened on a church retreat in Northern Arizona. The schedule for the last morning included time outdoors alone and being quiet. I chose a spot on a rock above a fast moving creek. It was late Winter and the rock was warm, but not hot. As I sat there quietly, I saw that in the foliage below me there were honeybees collecting nectar from the flowers. I could not hear the honeybees because of the sound of the water. However, the longer I sat on that rock, the more I saw, and the more there was to see.

So, this experience of be-ing was visual for me and filled with the richness of the immediate and ordinary and an awareness that most often I don’t see. At least I don’t see with this kind of attentiveness. I have never forgotten that experience of simply looking and eventually beginning to see. For me, be-ing includes some of that kind of experience.

Your experience may be similar or vastly different. During this second week of the new year, how are you be-ing?