“I tell people you need to pray as long as it takes to get to YES, a foundational yes–yes to reality, to the moment, to God present in the grass, to God present in you and in me,” Richard Rohr told Oprah in an interview.
Sometimes I wake up with a NO to life. I don’t want to do what needs to be done or what’s good for me. NO turns me inward and away from others.
When I’m in a NO headspace, I feel stuck in it. But Rohr reminds me that I always have a YES in me. I just need to sink into it. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m simply out of the flow of love.
My breath returns me to that flow. As I follow each breath, I can let go of my NO and open to God present in me right now, freeing me to receive and give love.
I came across a talk about HeartMath, the science that shows that opening to our YES and breathing it out into the world helps others open to love, peace and gratitude.
We’re all connected and always have been ever since God breathed life into Adam. “From our very first breath,” Richard Wagamese wrote, “we are in relationship. With that indrawn draft of air, we become joined to everything that ever was, is or will be… Our breath comingles with all breath, and we are a part of everything. That’s the simple fact of things.”
As I was practising centering prayer one morning, I opened myself to God’s love and realized that my ability to receive that love was in part because others were opening to the YES in them and breathing it out into the world. By receiving their love and breathing it out, I too was contributing to the flow of love.
Pastor Ruth reminded us on Sunday that we contribute to the flow of love when we look into each other’s eyes and pass the peace at church. We pass it on to others in our communities with heartfelt “Good mornings” and “Thank yous.”
Remember this song?
Peace is flowing like a river,
flowing out of you and me,
Flowing out into the desert,
Setting all the captives free.
Yes. Indeed, it is.
Sometimes Creator blinks. Sometimes She is not looking at me. Those instances can feel really, really long some days . . . that’s when I should blink too. Close my eyes and breathe, feel the unceasing current underneath everything, surrender to it, then open my eyes again to possibility and walk on. That’s how I learn to be graceful. Full of grace. In the blink of an eye.
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Today I begin another 8-day silent retreat with colleagues who direct the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Vancouver. For eight days, we will be sinking into God’s Yes. I’m looking forward to the love mischief God has planned for us and am grateful that more love will flow into the world because of it.