Dory, from Pixar’s Finding Nemo , reminds us to just keep swimming. The birds in my woods remind me to just keep singing.
Do you find it difficult to be hopeful in these times as I do? I sometimes find myself choosing minute by minute to hang on to a tiny thread of hope. It’s not always easy. In fact, I’m at a point again, unfortunately, where I don’t know who or what to believe or where to turn for accurate information. Nationally, voices of doom and gloom filled with fear are again front and center.
Yet, there are other reputable expert voices trying to be heard with a different view which are being silenced. Statisticians review the raw data and draw different conclusions. Other reputable medical professionals tell us of the dangers of vaccines which have yet to be completely authorized by the FDA and they are disregarded. There are severe adverse reactions to some of these vaccines and many grow concerned these vaccines have not been properly vetted and studied. Well known colleges and universities continue to research prophylactic measures imposed last year and have drawn mixed conclusions. Treatments, which proved successful in some cases, are downplayed and even banned from being mentioned. Truly frightening times.
And if that isn’t enough, I’m experiencing some physical and medical challenges. Not to worry. I don’t believe it is serious but it is not without it’s frustrations. I tell myself – and my nutritionist often reminds me – I didn’t get this way overnight. And times as we know them did not get that way overnight.
Again and again, I return to the line in the Serenity prayer to accept the things I cannot change and change what I can. Changing what I can usually involves changing something in myself. Physician heal thyself, right?
I’m very blessed I have friends, family, a great spiritual director and other supportive contacts who DO listen. Spiritual practices like SoulCollage® and walking the labyrinth in my backyard support my navigation through these trying times. My teachers and “gurus” support me through their spiritual writings. I enjoy them all in the sanctuary and refuge of the Double C, named using our first initials. This is my respite and place of peace from the stress and uncertainty of these times. Nature listens and invites me to listen to it.
Here on the Double C, I understand the impulse of the hermit, the Buddhist monk or nun, or the member of the ashram to sit in silence. The introvert within me screams with delight when I’m alone especially walking in the woods. There is life in the most unusual places in the woods and it is peaceful, non-political, polyspiritual.
A walk in the woods is freeing and time for play. My Curious Child emerges and discovers the natural world of interesting fungi, a snail shell, a turkey feather or the orange flower of jewel weed. Sunlight through the trees warms my hurting heart. Cricket, cicada, and birdsong are the instruments of nature’s symphony.
And it is the birdsong in particular that brings me back to center. Birdsong reminds me to keep on singing. I remember the old hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing” by Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry and I particularly recall the version arranged by Christian singer, Ed Gutfruend, from his album “From and Indirect Love.” It’s one of those songs from my guitar group days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. I haven’t heard it in years.
My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation, I hear the sweet, tho’ far off hymn That hails a new creation; Ref: No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging. Since Love is lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?
Who or what is your rock? What song do you sing? What practices, writers and people help you navigate these difficult times? Who and what is a source of hope? How do you feel when others do not share your feelings and beliefs about the current state in which we find ourselves?
I encourage you to contact me if you want to be heard, need to mull over and explore your spirituality in these trying times or you are searching for ideas for spiritual practices to support you. I offer a sacred, confidential, non-judgmental and safe space for you in-person at the Double C or online via Zoom. I encourage you to read my page containing information on spiritual companioning https://listening-heart.com/spiritual-companioning/ then message me to set up a free 30 minute Q&A session.
Ram Dass said, “we are all just walking each other home.” I would be honored to walk with you on your journey.
Blessings ~ Christy
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning are typically done face to face in a confidential setting or via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)