One of the things that brings me deep joy is walking by the ocean. There is a marked difference between walking on dry sand, which can shift this way and that, making it hard to find your footing, and walking on wet sand. Wet sand has a bit of give to it, but that place where the ocean has met the land, it is truly a magical place for me.
I love to walk barefoot, watching my foot prints both settle and be swept away. It grounds me, not just in body, but in spirit.
Havre you had that experience? Being grounded in your spirit. Letting peace settle over you, even when you don't understand it. Where do you experience that place where the holy meets the ordinary in your life?
I have been having a series of odd dreams recently. Or maybe a better word is intense. Intense dreams that are very clear in their meaning.
A few days ago, I dreamt that I was at a public event, where a friend was sharing with those gathered the story of the heartbreak she had experienced. Only no one was paying attention. People were having their own conversations over her. And as she got to the most important part of her story, music began to play to cut her off.
In my dream, I stood in front of her just weeping as if saying - keep going. I'm listening to you.
Listening is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to another person. True, deep listening where we don't seek to short-change them or cut them off. But we are also in need of that gift ourselves.
How do you feel when people do not listen to you wholly?
Hospitality is a tricky word in American culture. Often when we hear the word, the first thing that we think of is inviting people over to eat. A beautifully set table with a large spread. But that isn't actually hospitality at its truest core.
Hospitality means to befriend.
To walk with.
To be there for.
Which takes a lot more time than inviting someone over to dinner once in a while.
This week I was thinking about how lonely we can be in the current configuration of our world and I found myself wondering if that is linked to our disconnect from the art of hospitality. True hospitality. Befriend.
What does befriending look like in your life and how do you offer such deep hospitality to others?
This past week was filled with family traditions. Our family reunion - which is actually a giant croquet tournament. Celebrating little ones' birthdays. And gathering for the county fair.
But all of these beautiful traditions are also bitter-sweet because it sharpens our remembrance of those who are no longer here with us.
It brought to mind a quote from David Kessler that essentially said that in order to live fully, we need to grieve fully. I think a lot of folks would agree with the idea of living fully - making the most of each day and crafting meaning in our moments. But to grieve fully? We aren't always as sure about that.
Maybe that is another reason we need traditions - to remember to grieve. To grieve fully. And to draw strength from one another in order to live fully again.
What do you make o the idea that in order to live fully we need to grieve fully? What does this look like in your life today?
Have you ever been using your phone and suddenly the dreaded "low battery" reminder comes on? If you are like me, you only need to have this reminder lead to a total power loss for the phone once before you start stashing power cords everywhere you can think of.
If only we would get a "low battery" reminder about our daily lives. Or maybe we do get those signals, but we have become accustomed to ignoring them.
I shared with someone recently that I know my energy is starting to wain when I spend the majority of my day off sleeping. It's a flashing sign to me that I am not taking enough care of myself the other six days of the week.
What are the signs of "low battery" in your life and who helps to keep you accountable for attending to them?
Michelle is a Spiritual Director and End of Life Doula. She is the founder of Abide in the Spirit.
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