The Pause Between Times

Do you ever take time to pause and reflect on the past year?

Our global pandemic has sent each of us into a different year than we had anticipated. Let’s learn from it and set our course for next season.

I find the days between Christmas and New Years the perfect time to look back over the last year. Sometimes I let memories surface. Often, I re-read my journal recalling the highs and lows of the year. After the bustle of Christmas gift giving, this reflection time is a gift to myself, to my soul, to my spiritual growth. You can take an hour, a morning, a day, or several times over the week. Whatever time you take, will be a gift to yourself….and need I say it …you deserve it. We are meant to live fully and that requires us to continue to grow spiritually which calls for some effort. So sure, I sometimes set intentions for the new year, but more frequently and more successfully I reflect on what has been, what I’ve experienced, what I’ve learnt – all things that will change my soul’s shape as I move into the new year. And I know as I change and become healthier, I help the world as well, for I relate differently to those around me.

Be in your quiet place, breath deeply, releasing your tensions and busyness, be present to yourself and One who created you……

  1. What word or phrase best describes the past year?
  2. What were some of your moments of insight?
  3. Recall a time of joy, contentment or peace, a time when you felt connected to the bigger whole, connected even to God.
  4. Recall a wise person you met during the year. What did you learn from them? How have they shaped you?
  5. Recall a time of constraint, of sorrow, of disappointment. What have you learned from that time?
  6. Take time re-read your journal asking the Spirit to show you what you need to harvest from this past year.
  7. Again ….in a word or phrase, what is your deepest learning from the past year?
  8. And looking forward….What is your longing for the coming year? Your greatest fear? Your supports? How is your relationship with the One who created you?

To live well and experience spiritual growth, it’s necessary to examine our lives, engaging in purposeful introspection, not wallowing, but observing and loving ourselves, knowing that we are beloved children of our loving God.

May you receive the gifts that are waiting for you this week.

Love and prayers

Anne

Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Contemplative Fire Canada, Founder

Society Member of Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living

Companion on The Rivendell Way

I Have a Friend

Around the same time I encountered ‘loneliness’, I also was thinking about ‘friendship’. Remember the old hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’? We’ve talked about having Jesus as a friend, but what if he really was a friend to you? Think about friends and friendship. Maybe allow a good friend to come to your mind and your heart. How do you feel when you’re with them? What do you talk about? What part of your life do you share? What do ask them?

Back in the early days of Christianity there were people who knew Jesus as a friend. They ate with him, talked, laughed, worked, and walked with him. They listened to him, and worried about him. They knew him and trusted him. He was a friend.

After reading ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ a year ago, I began listening to Yoganada’s followers talk about him. He died in 1952 so there are still disciples that knew him or have been trained by those closest to him. They call him ‘Master’ because he is one who has mastered his senses, wasn’t controlled by them but was open to God’s Spirit and they call him ‘Friend’ for they knew him as a friend and feel his presence still with them. They trust him as you would trust your best friend. They know he will help them and that he has their good in his heart. They will say things like, ‘I know Master will help me. I just need to ask him.’ Listening to their devoted trust in their teacher has given new life to me to trust my friend Jesus. I know he is still alive and is attentive to me for I am one of his followers. The old words are taking on a new life, new experience for me.

During my friendship wanderings I once again re-wrote a favourite psalm.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

You’ve led me to solid mountains, flowing creeks, still trees and singing birds.

You have restored my soul.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

You’ve shown me some of the many paths that teach me how to live so your goodness can flow through me.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

Even if I walk through the valley of anger or sadness, or fear, or illness or even death, I know you are with me to guide me and comfort me.  

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

When people around me are hurtful, betray me, misunderstand me, ignore me, I know you are always there. You notice me, nurture and nourish me. I know you place your hand on me for I feel full and overflowing.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

I am sure that your goodness and mercy follow me every day of my life. No matter where I go, you’ll always be with me. Every where. All the time.  

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

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How about you? Who is your Spiritual Friend? What does that friendship feel like?

Love and prayers

Anne

Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Contemplative Fire Canada, Founder

Society Member, Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living.