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!
Sometimes one small gesture can give us the strength to do enormous things. From “Call the Midwife” Season 7 Episode 4
Recently I have gone through discovering my thyroid needed to be removed…setting up Dr. visits and having surgery. Not exactly what any of us want to do at any time….especially in the weeks before Christmas when there is so much that we want to do.
I wasn’t looking forward to it but knew it was important. I have also learned through the years that getting things done quickly is actually easier than dragging my feet. So I scheduled visits and surgery and began the process. I dreaded it…but what happened was unexpected.
The surgeon was cheerful and personable. (If you know anything about surgeons this is not the norm. They are nice but mostly see their patients asleep.) He put his hand on my shoulder (also unusual) and helped me to feel his caring about my case. He agreed that the surgery needed to be done.
I was sent to the scheduler who was friendly, pleasant and wanting to help me schedule so it fit my life. She knew I wanted to have it done quickly so as to get it behind me. A date was scheduled after Thanksgiving. The following Monday she called to say the surgeon had decided to work on Friday and she called me first to see if I would like to move to that day. That was perfect for me and I was touched that she remembered.
When getting the prep labs etc the nurse and I had an amazing discussion about our views of faith and God. She had been to Tibet to visit religious sites. She was another along my journey whose caring made my day better.
This all was more than one small gesture but each of them helped me to move forward with confidence and an expectation of success.
Remember what your attitude and demeanor can mean to the people you connect with each day. We can make someone’s day better!
There is something about music that moves my soul. Music can take me to another place quickly. Many times music will touch a place inside and bring me to tears. There are so many kinds of music that I like. There are very few that don’t touch me in some way.
Music can lift us when we are down. It does have to be the right thing. Listening to something depressing when you are already sad is a mistake. There are some songs that just force you to feel better especially if you sing along.
I will never forget the Muppets singing about being mad. I made sure that my children learned that song and could sing it when angry. I seemed to bring perspective to those feelings.
We also don’t teach as much with music as we could. I have a song taught by a college biology professor that I have never forgotten. My children can still sing the preamble to the constitution learned in Schoolhouse Rock. I recently learned that one of my favorite people here in Savannah was key to creating that series. His talent was amazing. He is now gone by never forgotten. His name was Ben Tucker, a bass player who player with almost all the old jazz groups, and knew everyone in the music world.
Music helps us to learn and I still wonder why learning this way isn’t used more. If you didn’t grow up hearing those teaching moments here is an example.
I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.
It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.
It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.
I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.
Isn’t this the perfect way to be! His life was his message. So was the life of Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Mother Theresa and many others. We don’t have to end up being famous but wouldn’t you love someone to put that on your tombstone. I would!!
f and why I struggle to spend more time in silence
I have always been a fan of the mystics. They have such a deep connection with the “unknowable.” This piece by Richard Rohr has helped me to see that my thinking is totally non-linear and more in sync with the mystics. I have never seen things as totally right or wrong, left or right. I have always had an issue with totally scientific thinking. I don’t think it is wrong I just think that there is more. There is the intangible piece that I see (much more dimly than the true mystics). I think most of us have had a moment when the “unknowable” has broken through and we see “beyond.” It is what I seek to see more of and why I struggle to spend more time in silence and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.
and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.
“When I use the word “mystical” I am referring to experiential knowing instead of just intellectual, textbook, or dogmatic knowing. A mystic sees things in their wholeness, connection, and union, not only their particularity. Mystics get a whole gestalt in one picture, beyond the sequential and separated way of seeing that most of us encounter in everyday life. In this, mystics tend to be closer to poets and artists than to linear thinkers. Obviously, there is a place for both, but since the European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there has been less and less appreciation of such seeing in wholes. The mystic was indeed considered an “eccentric” (off center), but maybe mystics are the most centered of all, which leads them to emphasizing love as the center, the goal, and the motivating energy of everything.
The word mystic is not a title of superiority. It’s rather that mystics see things differently. Mystics are nondual seers. They don’t think one side is totally right and the other side is totally wrong. They can see that each side has a part of the truth. When people on either side of any contentious issue cannot love one another, it means they don’t have the big message yet.” Richard Rohr
I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. I have been blessed with people in my life who have held me up from my parents and family, to my husband and friends and my God. They have all been so patient through my struggles with anxiety and IBSD. The song always brings tears to my eyes remembering how their love has held me in the midst of trials. My life would not be the same without their presence. Some are gone now but their love is never gone. Others have filled in the spaces especially my children, grandchildren and wonderful friends.