Palm

When my husband, Kurt, and I lived in Puerto Rico, we lived under palms. On our day off, we drove to a north western beach, and baked bread in sand holes under the palms, received coconuts directly from the palms, built little fires out of dried palms, and marveled at the instantaneous sense of relaxation that just the site of palms can bring.

Two thousand years ago (more or less), Jesus was ushered into Jerusalem with palms. Palms waiving, Palms carpeting, Palms as flags of praise and honor. It is Palm Sunday, today, for the church. The start of Holy Week. The entrance into Christ’s Passion. A week of bitter betrayal, loss, death, and resurrection.

I love Holy Week. It encapsulates the whole of the human experience. We are not often allowed to connect with Christ’s passion as a way to say our own story. We are to connect with Christ’s passion in order to be grateful for salvific event which could only happen with this godman come to earth to die for our sins.

I’m not going to argue or semaniticize this theological point today. I want to get back to you.

Each one of us has walked our own via dolorosa. Our own way of pain. We each have felt the sting of betrayal, the heart wrench of being alone when we thought someone was with us.

We all, at one time or another, have:

~not been known

~not been heard

~not been understood

and we’ve risked losing our whole selves as we choose aquiescence or self proclamation of WHO WE ARE.

When did you experience having someone else tell you who you are….who you will be…..what is best for you? Sit with that a moment. Remember the conversation, the feeling in your gut, the feel of your face, the steel in your spine or the bend of your body as you faced down misinformation.

William Stafford, poet, reminds us that “Awake people must be awake”. We must be awake to ourselves so that the only source determining our next steps, our own triumphal entries, is Love. Jesus said it best: “Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Be awake to yourself so that you will be awake to the movement of the Sacred within you. Thats when things happen. That is the point of departure from being waived in with palms by a fickle crowd who only want you this way and when you become that way they leave you to turn you over.

Wave your own palm branch…the one God has given you and only to you…..and proclaim your SELF to the world, that you may do the work that wsa given to you to do on behalf of the world.

Please pray with me:

O Jesus, so brave and courageous and all knowing. There was not one

leaf raised to your coming, upon which you did not read the coming end.

Set within us, a holy path, a lighted walk, a love-founded rhythm

for our steps in this world.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Love!

 

Peace on this glorious day,

Amy

Locked Out

For two weeks I’ve been trying to get into this blog to write, update, be in contact with you.

No go.

Somehow, I was locked out. I tried every password that is on my usual list. No go. Locked out.

Until today (Mercury just “returned” today, so why am I surprised?). Today I tried 3 of my usuals and suddenly I am in. I don’t know what happened, but I’m in. Immediately, I changed the password to something easily remembered. All is well. I’m ready to move forward.

We can get locked out of our patterns of living. We go along for decades operating with certain predictable patterns of behavior and then one day – WHAM –  we are left with nothing working. What worked in many situations now feels dull and flat, or ineffective.

This happened to me recently. (no, not more about being locked out of my blog) I had a moment’s rush of adrenaline as I suddenly recalled a commitment, thinking I had missed it….this at the same time my husband walked in and asked a joking question that just increased my quick flare of anxiety 100 fold.

Oh, how quickly I flipped into an old pattern, a beloved mantra, a piece of long held identity that I’ve found comfort in when I’m on the defensive. And it just wasn’t working anymore. I was locked out. Now, I was saved by two things:

1. the commitment I remembered still needed to be addressed (and I had plenty of time to do so) but this required my full attention just now
2. a later conversation….a long one….with my husband as to why why why I revert to this pattern and expectation.

We talked for quite some time about how this no longer serves me. It did at one time, but I am vastly different now than in the days when that protective mantra, that defensive pattern, that feisty tigress energy was set in the stone of my being.

Two days later, I had spiritual direction with my director.

Friends, this is why we do spiritual direction. We are evolving, growing, amazing beings….ever on the move. If we are not, then we are stuck. We need companions on the way who will hold the mirror for us, who will speak frankly to us, who will listen deeply and long to us in order to get us to hear what we’ve just said.

I told my spiritual director that I was done with this pattern of being. I didn’t want 6 months of therapy to get over it, I wanted to get over it now, today, right in that moment.

And that is what we did. Not because its that easy. Its not. But because I had been doing the work, the hard work, to get me to this point. And I was able to recognize my arrival. It was time. I was ready.

This is my prayer for you, dear reader. Engage in a long term commitment of personal evolution. Not for the mere novelty of self reinvention, but rather, for the deep shedding of past selves, old patterns, fresh ways to live and be in this world.

The shamanic process of the Peruvians is like this (oversimplified here):

*we shed our skin like the serpent, wriggling out of the old covering, allowing a new covering which lets us grow longer and fuller

*we allow that old covering, those old patterns, those ineffective ways to be mulched down into the jungle floor, like mulched leaves and humus, clearing out way for the new

*we soar above, readying for an epic journey of soul and being, like the hummingbird who flits wicked fast and travels thousands of miles even though it is among the smallest birds

*we catch the air currents of our vision, as we see the length and breadth of our personal and spiritual landscapes…at the same time we can zero in on the tiniest of details for this day, like the eagle, the red tail hawk, the peregrine falcon.

A process of release and vision, release and vision, happening on an upward spiral of growth and amazement. When we hit a moment of being locked out of our usual ways, it is likely because our usual ways are no longer relevant.

May it be so for you.

Peace,

Amy

Haven’t seen the sparkling snow

Winter, at the edge of its moment

filters down with gentle reminders that

I haven’t been paying attention.

 

I close my eyes waiting for spring

and I miss

the sparkle.

One friend said the snow looked like rhinestones.

? Really? When?

When I was on my way to work…..

When I was dodging bleak piles of dirty snow…..

When I was dreaming of Spring….

When I lost my mitten……

Winter is a divine goddess

beckoning to us with her glistening eyes

to sit by the fire

drink the tea, the cocoa

to take turns telling tall tales long into the night.

 

There is no sun today,

but there are flakes,

which have slowed their fall

so I can see each one.

What on earth, will I do with that, this day?

 

 

Peace,

Amy