The Way of the Three Steps:
A Native American Way to Begin the DayStand on Mother Earth. Face any direction you choose.
(Take one step forward, as you look about, up and down:)
O Great, Holy Spirit, I take this step into the day you have given.
I embrace all I see----the season, the wind, the fragrances, the weather.
Let me always accept the day given with a grateful heart.
(Take another step forward.)
O Spirit of Life, I put my arms around myself, all that I am, all that I can be.
I stand here in my own history, with all my mistakes and victories.
I hold all those I will meet today, in my journeying and in my work.
I try to walk gently on this earth.
Let me walk gently through the lives of my work companions and friends.
Though they make way for my passing, may they spring back, neither broken
(Take another step forward.)
O glorious Spirit of Mystery, I put my arms around you.
I do not know what will happen to me today, but I accept it.
Give me a heart of courage and believing, so I may put my trust in you,
and fear nothing.
From the Plains tribes; Native American Recorded by Jose Hobday. Found in the Book "Woman Prayers" by Mary Ford-Grabowsky
I found this beautiful and compelling. I plan to use it. Hope you enjoyed!
In our area the Episcopal Diocese has said that we will not go back to church until there has been two weeks with no new cases. I am hoping that they will rethink that as I don’t think we will see a week without at least one case until there is a vaccine.
At some point we will have to resume some regular activities even if for those of us “at risk” must remain more isolated and more careful than the rest of the population. The mental health aspect is going to require us to do some things or we risk some serious complications.
I know that I am reaching my limit of just being at home and that I will have to go out into the world carefully but I will have to go out. The state has opened many things and there are people out there resuming their normal schedules. Most of them are not wearing masks but they seem to be social distancing. I can see us doing that for quite some time.
It’s a new world and one we will learn to navigate one day at a time.
In one of my journals I found this note. I think it was a quote but I don’t know from who (or is it whom?). “When we see a star we are seeing time.” That star’s light is coming from long ago. What we are seeing is actually gone.
It is so amazing to think that what we are seeing is not happening in our time. The scientists of our day have talked about time. It truly is a mystery. There are days when time seems to fly and times where it drags. Time for us is flexible. It has to do with the mind. When I was at work I always wanted to be doing something. A bad day was when time dragged.
This covid crisis has been time out of time. I wonder what we have learned. I see many families experiencing things that they haven’t done in a long time …if ever. I hope that meaning is found in those experiences and that they remember joy found in this different time.
Yesterday was an interesting day. It was my husband’s 82nd birthday. I spent most of the day preparing his favorite meal. We were having our son and family and my best friend to sit in the yard and eat while social distancing. I worked all afternoon on the perfect meal and it was good.
It was a good idea. At least that’s what I thought. My husband is hard of hearing and it is getting worse. He will need to get hearing aids and soon. Sitting far away from people made it almost impossible for him to hear any conversation and really the whole thing was too tiring for him. It was nice but I won’t plan anything like that again soon.
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy! Robert Burns from To a Mouse
Things don’t always work out the way we thought but we have to make the best of it. It’s best not to dwell on it but to just move on to the next thing.
I feel awful about not posting yesterday. I lost the day. The night before I had what I think was food poisoning. I was fine by morning but exhausted. I was feeling sorry for myself. Here without my husband and feeling miserable. Later that day one of my friends called and her sister’s husband caught the virus while traveling and died at 44 years old. His wife, working as a nurse, had damage from a tornado that struck their neighborhood. Her sister cannot have her husband transported home or have a glimpse of him. He died with none of his family around. There are so many people who have more crisis than anyone should have to bear. It certainly put my life into perspective.
Each of us has our own problems. Even though we can see catastrophic things happen to others the feelings we have are still valid. Our own problems bring forth emotions that we have to learn to deal with. We may not have things wrong that seem more devastating than others but our own tragedies are ours. We have to absorb the emotions. We have to deal with the issues. They are important. They are ours.
As each of us move through the things that cause us grief and pain we will learn things that we can use to help others when this is all over. Our experiences will help us gain new insights, new skills, and new ways to cope. We will have much to teach others. Lots to share with those who come after us.
This crisis is hard but we can learn from it and share what we have learned with generations that come.
Today I have been watching “The Story of God” with Morgan Freeman. This is an excellent program that discusses world wide ideas of the origins of our ideas about God. Any form, any religion.
In the one I just watched he talked about various peoples belief of “the apocalypse.” He mentioned that the original root of the word actually was not connected to a kind of catastrophe. Originally the word was quite different and I love the initial meaning and the ideas that it brings forth.
“Apocalypse” (ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning “revelation”, “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling”. As a genre, apocalyptic literature details the authors’ visions of the end times as revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger.”
For me apocalypse has always been seen as a negative word. One that brought forth ideas of the earth on fire, wars everywhere and horrible destruction. How interesting that a word that we connect with end times started out with such a different meaning. I am caught by the thought that it is an unveiling. It is a deeper understanding of things. A revelations of things that we have not been able to see. This does not seem at all negative to me but a seeking for universal truths. Unveiling answers that we struggle to understand.
I am glad to learn this new meaning. I also recommend this series. Take a look at it on Netflix.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. Anon
We will never know what is coming next. At least I don’t want to know. Not knowing can be scary as in the quote above but knowing may be worse. Life moves ahead and what comes will change us one way or another. It is no good to stress over it.
Most of the things that I have learned from the experiences of my life have been used later for something unplanned. For me, life has taught me things that can be shared with someone or used in some way myself.
Just like the “Ugly Duckling” what comes may be a huge surprise and who knows ….it may be wonderful. Even if it isn’t it may be useful and help us to grow. I don’t know if life has made me better (since I can’t judge me) but it has certainly made me wiser.
As I was out walking today I thought about how many of our illnesses are caused by our lifestyle. Heart disease, some cancers, COPD, and many others are directly linked to how we live.
I was reminded of a friend of mine who smoked. Each year she stopped smoking for Lent and then started back up after Easter. What a crazy thing to do.
Some problems arise because of our mental health. Anger can be linked to stroke and high blood pressure. Anxiety and depression can lead to suicide. I don’t think we cause those problems ourselves but they may be, and frequently are, linked to our childhood. Our parents were responsible for how we were treated as children. In some cases this was good and in others not. It can be a major struggle to overcome childhood trauma and it does affect lifestyle which in turn affects health.
More and more we are learning about the link to our lifestyle and our health issues. I hope that we are able to make better decisions for ourselves as we learn and especially for our children. Maybe the more we learn the healthier we will be.
Focused on process, our creative life rains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren. We inherit the obsession with product ….from our consumer-oriented society. Julia Cameron in The Artists Way
I have always wanted to paint or draw and create something. Anything I did looked terrible and so I didn’t keep on trying. I never realized that art is also a skill to be learned
and though I will not be Picasso I can make some things I enjoy. Others may not find them good but they please me.
Don’t let our culture stop you from something you enjoy.
I have this quote hanging where I can see it when at my desk. It is so powerful. There is always so much that we don’t or can’t understand and we can chew on it over and over. Rilke says that we have to let it go and gradually we will be able to live into the answers.
If we persist chewing on them we can’t move forward. We have to LIVE today. We can’t be obsessing over things we don’t understand. Let it go.