Creativity as a Spiritual Response – Spiritual Coaching

bright burn burnt candle

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July = Story

One consideration in blogging about story is that the topic is complex.  Story is one way in which we connect as human beings, build memories, pass down traditions and other needful things.  However, story can also be used to destroy, oppress, and control people and communities.  Stories can be told with a keening wail, shouted in celebration or in anger, sung or whispered.  This is not something new.  I imagine it has always been this way.

As we gather together, what stories do we hear?  How do they make us feel?  Do they draw us further away, or closer to, others? Do we listen to the stories told by others?  How, and to whom, do we share our stories?

As a spiritual coach, what I listen to is story.  I cannot magically fix wounds, deep or superficial.  I can, often imperfectly, create a space in which the Holy One, my client, and myself are present to what the client expresses in his or her own way, his or her own story.  Most often the light between us is one of a candle rather than a campfire or hearth, as a symbol of the Holy One who is with us.  It is a graced privilege to listen to story.

Creativity as a Spiritual Response – Fire Pits

night fire flame fire pit

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July = Story

We began the month with the image of ancient story-telling around a campfire or hearth.

I have recently observed that sales of out-door fire pits installed in United States is a trend that has been steadily increasing.  Have you noticed this?  If this trend is is true, then perhaps there is a need for something that spiritually reminds us of campfires, or hearth fires.

I wonder if these current trends regarding the installation of fire pits reflect something spiritually deeper than a desire to upgrade to one’s property.  Perhaps a greater need is to create a circle, to gather together in the dark, as people have done through the centuries.

Gathered around fire, we can both speak and listen while watching the meditative motion of the flames.  What will we say in this circle?    What will we hear?  What stories will we tell?



Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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July = Story

In a digital age, it seems that more people are sharing stories than ever previously.  However, our times around the hearth or the campfire are limited, and also limited are  those stories told around the kitchen table.  Our ability to attend to story may be limited as well, not because our attention span is necessarily shorter, but because there are more and more stories attempting simultaneously to capture our attention.  To whom do we choose to listen?  What are they saying?  To whom do we tell our stories?   How do we value story?  What differences do these stories or the lack of them have on our understanding of community and culture?

Creativity As A Spiritual Response

romantic fire burning fireplace

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July = Story

I imagine people gathering around a campfire or hearth, at the end of the day, hopefully with bellies filled, to talk among themselves, and perhaps listen to a designated story-teller.  What did the story-teller say?  What information was convey through story of who these people were, what was happening in their world, and what was needed in their community gathered together in the dark?  This may be purely romantic imagination, and not at all factual. 

And yet, we too gather around hearths and campfires.  What happens when we do?  What stories do we tell?  Do we hear one story, or many?