Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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December = Expectation

For many of my blog posts, I have chosen to keep my Christian faith in the background and to write in a way that might be shared by a wide range of readers, including those who are other than Christian.

With this particular topic, during the Christian season of Advent, I am unable to write without stating a point of view.

We all have expectations, some positive, some less so.  And, to be in American culture, during the month of December, our commercial and sometimes familial experience of the Christmas Season is one of expectations both high and low,  and quite often broken expectations.  It can be a painful season for many.

As a Christian, the Advent Season provides a voice to personal and collective longing in the darkness of Winter that draws us toward a manger, and to an infant, who was named Jesus.  His light, shining in the darkness draws us to him in wonder, hope and love.  During this season, I join with others both in both praying and preparing.  I desire that my heart may be ready to receive him more deeply.  That is my both my expectation, and my hope, in this present time.

“Come, thou long expected Jesus,

born to set thy people free;

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in thee.”

Words: Charles Wesley (1707 – 1788)

 

 

55 of The Most Inspiring Gratitude Quotes You Will Ever Need — *Positive Provocations*

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~Johannes A. Gaertner~ For me, my Gratitude practice is my most transformative positive habit yet. It picks me up when I am down. It makes me focus on the beautiful blessings in my life, […]

via 55 of The Most Inspiring Gratitude Quotes You Will Ever Need — *Positive Provocations*

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

December Drum Roll Please

 

Today is the last day of November.  It is time to announce the topic for the month of December.  It is: expectation.

What are you expecting during this season?

How does your spirit respond to the word, expectation?

How does this challenge relate to our November topic: gratitude?

I invite your comments throughout this coming month.  I DO read each comment.  If you have commented on previous posts, thank you again!

I also invite you to use your own journals to reflect and deepen into the meaning of the word, expectation.

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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November = Gratitude

 

We have come to the end of the month and our focus on gratitude.  As with the themes of previous months, this  current month’s focus will continue to work deeply and quietly away in me.  I hope that it will in you as well.

If I previously assumed that gratitude would be a trite topic for this month which in the United States has focused on a mid-term election, Veterans Day, the 100th Anniversary of the World War 1 Armistice, and Thanksgiving Day, I was mistaken. A few of the profound images that have emerged for me are of fire, the Hindu God Shiva dancing, breath, and planting bulbs.  Certainly not what I expected.  And for that, and so much more, I am deeply grateful.

If you have joined me in this month’s reflection, I wonder what awareness has emerged for you?  What images?  What surprises?  Please share your experience in the comment section below.

 

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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November = Gratitude

Today, I had the pleasure of planting bulbs which will most likely flower in about six or eight weeks.  Some of these bulbs were already beginning to grow green shoots.  These were placed in the ground with the green shoot appearing out from the earth.  I am expecting to add to this Winter garden in early January with another round of bulb planting.  I hope to have two or three rounds of blossoms adding lively color to a small garden plot.

I found myself feeling tender toward the brown bulbs which hold such promise.  These particular bulbs had been “wintering” in the refrigerator for the past six weeks.  Today, it was time to plant them.  Individually, in bulb form, they were not all that attractive.  However, it is my hope that they will produce beautiful blooms.  Time will tell as to whether they do, or do not.  I am grateful for the possibility that they contain.

I wonder how often we reflect upon the promise that may be wintering in each of us.  I offer these questions for your creative reflection.

  • What is being planted?
  • When might it be planted?
  • What is beginning to emerge that can no longer be contained?
  • What does winter look like?
  • For what possibilities are we grateful?
  • What do we imagine flowering in us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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November = Gratitude

In the United States, as we prepare for Thanksgiving Day, gratitude or thankfulness is a word that is often heard.

Today, I am thinking of those who are in the midst of chaos, those who have lost homes, employment, neighbors and loved ones.  I am thinking of those whose daily routine has been altered significantly for the moment, and perhaps forever.   I am thinking of those for whom a meal on Thanksgiving Day will be unlike any other they have previously known.

If you are one of these people, you may not be feeling grateful or thankful in this moment, or you are filled inexplicably with gratitude.  (Both extremes, or feelings between these extremes, might be experienced simultaneously as feelings are complex.). Please acknowledge your feelings, whatever they may be.

A few suggestions for this time:

  • Please be gentle with yourself, and with those whom you love.
  • Please seek and receive appropriate assistance when appropriate assistance is offered.
  • Please seek-out resources for physical, psychological and spiritual healing that may be available to you.
  • Please join with others who are living through similar experiences.  This is not a time for isolation.

I stand with you in your grief, your fear, your rage and confusion.  I stand with you who are in shelters, or staying with friends, wondering what is next, filling out forms, and getting through the day.  I stand with you looking on in admiration as you take one step, and then another, and another.  I stand with you as you relive traumatic events and seek healing.  I stand with you, as you remember.  I stand with you.  I believe in you.

 

 

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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October = Harvest

We are at the final day of October.  Thank you so much to those who have read my writing/reflection prompts and have liked them or commented.

(In addition to writing, I am attempting to paint a small canvas that focuses on each monthly topic.  At this time, the current canvas is a work in progress, but well on its way to completion.  My desire to to create both with words and images.  Is anyone else deliberately engaged in a similar process?)

My thoughts regarding the topic of harvest are to note that we are simultaneously planting and harvesting in our lives, but are also sometimes sitting in the wintry space between.  There is much to be said for both planting and harvesting as active responses.  However for most of us, the wintry fallow time between is much more problematic, and yet it is also necessary. This fallow time may become a monthly topic sometime in the near future.  I wonder what will appear on the canvas for the particular month that I explore this topic?

This particular musing leads me to a memory.  As a child, I sometimes lived in farm country.  When I would visit a home, the farmer’s wife would happily show me her pantry which was filled with home canned vegetables, tomato sauce and pickles among other things.  Often, I would often be shown the freezer in which contained individually wrapped meat from an animal that had been raised and slaughtered to provide meat for the family.  The farmer’s wife was proud that her family would most likely get through the wintry months, having enough.  Her hours of planting, tending and canning during the hot summer months were fully evident in what was now on her shelves and in the freezer.  She had received and rejoiced in the bounty that had come from her effort.

This step of actually receiving a harvest is so important.  And, we may not describe all of of what we harvest as being good.   What we choose to plant, and the results of that planting, require discernment.  Then the harvest may be received with attentiveness, wonder, a sense of appropriate pride and quite possibly thanksgiving.  It seems these are steps that I can gloss over – how about you?  In our busy lives, always looking ahead to the next thing the process of simply receiving with open hands is both a spiritual art and a practice.

On this last day of October, I wish you an abundant harvest, a healthy harvest, a time of open hands and open hearts, to receive what is now ready for you.

Creativity As A Spiritual Practice

November Drum Roll Please

 

Today is the last day of October.  It is time to announce the topic for the month of November.  It is: Gratitude.

For what are you grateful?

How does your spirit respond to the word, gratitude?

In the United States, with the Thanksgiving Holiday approaching, the topic of gratitude may seem trite and overdone.  What makes you aware of gratitude in a way that is fresh and alive for you?

How does this topic relate to our October topic: harvest?

I invite your comments throughout this coming month.  I DO read each comment.  If you have commented on previous posts, thank you again!

I also invite you to use your own journals to reflect and deepen into the meaning of the word, gratitude.