Writing a blog is intimidating. Writing about spirituality is even more so.
When I notice areas where I’ve grown or had profound insights, a part of me wants to share that with others – sometimes shout it from the rooftop. I’ve struggled with boundaries most of my life and I tend to err on the side of being overly cautious, protective and guarded. What if what I share is TMI – too much information and I overexpose myself? The last thing I want to do is to expose proverbial behind on the internet FOREVER.
I journal which is more for I suppose. And even with my journaling, I’ve left explicit instructions for my journals to be burned upon my death. My personal musings, doubts, rants, questions, struggles and redundancies should not be a burden for my spouse or family to deal with.
I do want them to honor my SoulCollage® cards. I hope they will. I hope they see “me” in the various images because the images on those cards are windows into my soul. They don’t need words or explanations. When taken in their entirety, they reflect my inner wisdom and spirit.
I sometimes wish I could share some of those creations with you. First of all, the cards I’ve created are very personal. And another reason I don’t share them is I choose to honor the intellectual property rights of photographers and artists whose images I’ve used in creating my cards. Most of the images in magazines are copyrighted images. We respect copyright in the world of SoulCollage®. (The one card you see on this page is made of images from photographs I took.)
I wish I could show you the cards which have emerged in the past month. In the past month or so, I’ve felt a nudge or a call to work with the spiritual exercises designed by St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola are a usually done in a month-long program of meditations, prayers, considerations, and contemplative practices that help Christian faith become more fully alive in the everyday life of contemporary people. Very few people are able to dedicate an entire month for a retreat using these exercises. There are a variety of ways to use the Spiritual Exercises outside of a taking a month off for a retreat. I highly recommend obtaining the help and guidance of a spiritual director or companion should you desire to undertake these exercises.
I reviewed several adaptations by different authors and chose Louis M. Savary’s The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. When I read in the introduction that St. Ignatius adapted the exercises several times throughout his life, the proverbial lightbulb went on. What if, while using the Spiritual Exercises as prompts to dive deeper into my spirituality, I “mash them” with another spiritual practice namely, SoulCollage®? What if, I allow the prompts and reflections to tickle my imagination – which is one of the ways St. Ignatius invites us to deepen our relationship with God? What if my imagination leads me to create SoulCollage® cards?
I wish I could share with you the cards that emerged after reflecting on the mystery of the Incarnation. The images that came forth symbolizing the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation and Jesus teaching in the Temple surprised and delighted me in ways I could not imagine. I felt an abundance of Grace and insight into the mystery of God daring to become one of us. It has been a joyful journey in the past few weeks. Creating SoulCollage® cards has been extended prayer and meditation on the great mystery of God becoming like us and showing us “this is how it is done.”
By combining these two spiritual practices, I’ve been renewed and refreshed. All of which comes on the heels of companioning others on their spiritual journeys while directing week-long silent retreats in June and July. I feel so incredibly blessed and enriched by the lives of beautiful souls. I am grateful for their trusting me to hold tender and gentle space for them.
Perhaps the message is I don’t need to produce anything or bare all the details of my journey. Perhaps the gift to you is in the sharing of the process. Perhaps you sense an invitation to be creative, to respond to the nudges you feel from Spirit – however you name that and allow it to take you wherever YOU are meant to go.
Wherever you wander or whatever path you find yourself on, don’t be afraid to share that with a companion. I’m incredibly blessed with a wonderful spiritual director, a companion who holds the space for my exploration and creating. I am forever grateful for spiritual friends along the journey, too. Men and women who are not afraid to be real, genuine, and soul-deep.
Yes. It is intimidating to write about matters of the heart and matters of the soul. I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep doing the best I can with what I have at the given moment. It’s really all I can do.
I hope you will keep reading.
Be well and blessings – always ~ Christy
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction however, if you would like to explore one-on-one spiritual companioning, grief work, SoulCollage©, labyrinth, Reiki, or mindfulness meditation please contact me. If you, your faith community, book club, or other gathering of spirits would like to know more about spiritual companioning, hold a workshop, learn about SoulCollage® or labyrinth, please contact me to schedule a workshop. May these musings, photos, social media postings 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.)