Pause with me.
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then take another.
Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Notice where your body feels tense and send your next breath there . . . to your shoulders, neck, legs–whatever feels clenched.
Notice your breath going in through your nose, down into your lungs and out again.
Allow your awareness to drift down, down, down, like a falling leaf, from your head to your heart. Settle into your heart, the very core of your being, where all of who you are is held in all of who God is.
Is there an image that comes to mind of what it’s like to relax into being completely loved, accepted and cared for? Perhaps something from Psalm 23 or Psalm 131.
I imagine myself in a coracle. At first, I’m sitting up, hands gripping the sides, fearful of what I might bump into next. But gently I lean back, feeling the ribs of the coracle support my spine, shoulders and head. I let go of trying to control what I can’t and look up at the sky. I notice what it’s like to be unconcerned about where life’s current is taking me.
Now let this question float up from your soul into the air: What is giving you life these days?
Return to your breath. Notice any tension in your body and relax. Just as the question floated out of your soul, let an answer return.
For me, it’s taking time for silent prayer, yoga, getting outside, doing some good work, engaging with others and playing Sequence with Fred (even though I’m on a losing streak).
Hold those experiences with God and allow gratitude to rise.
After a spacious amount of time, allow another question to bubble up from your soul. What has been challenging for you?
Again, relax your mind and let your shy soul speak.
For me, it’s having too many things to do in too little time. It’s the rocking of my coracle when people do things differently than I do. It’s the bumping against the rocks when the way I thought I would go is not the way I’m going. It’s when I look at myself in this tiny boat and feel like I’m not enough.
Notice how you feel now that you’ve named what challenges you.
I feel a little panicky, disoriented, disappointed and afraid.
Imagine God coming close to your ear and whispering something to encourage you–not anything you need to do or change. What does Love want to say?
I hear: “This is hard. I am here. We’ll do this together.”
Savour those words for a few cycles of breath.
Now, look at your hands. Open them up. Is there anything you are holding onto that isn’t serving you? What is Love inviting you to let go of?
For me, it’s that feeling of urgency. I imagine experiencing it again and, instead of reacting, taking a breath and resting back against the rounded surface of the coracle. Once again I look up at the sky and recall God’s voice: “This is hard. I am here. We will do this together.”
Breathe that sense of love and wellbeing into your body and breathe it out into the world. Remember that we are all connected sharing the same air with all living creatures. We are all one in Christ.
Allow those who are hurting or struggling to come to mind and send out love and comfort to them with each breath. Breathe in all the darkness, all of Covid-19, all the misery and panic into God’s heart, in the core of your being. God’s heart expands bigger and bigger and bigger until all the darkness, all the sickness, all the misery and panic are absorbed and transformed and returned as love into the world with every breath you take.
After a spacious amount of time return to following your breath.
Put your hands over your heart and thank God for being in your body, in your life and in the world and never ceasing to love.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
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A number of my friends are in choirs and missing singing together. I’m sending this love mischief out to them. Thanks, Boelle for sharing it with me.
Today’s post was inspired by the voices of Christine Valters Paintner, Parker Palmer, Adriene Mishler and Pema Chödrön.
What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.
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