Challenges and Possibilities
A friend Suzanne sends me morning messages to inspire and sometimes just to make me laugh. Yesterday she sent me one by Thomas Merton. I am vaguely familiar with Merton, and had superficially read through some of his autobiography years ago, but this quote resonated with me, and led me on a search for more. I truly had no idea of the wealth of insights and guidance in his teachings. A quick search brought me to dozens of meditations and recordings. I brief dive into the material had my soul stirring!
The quote she sent me is what started it all. Mainly because it spoke to my present state and reminded me of the way in which I can go through all moments in life, choosing the highest expression of myself, when I look for those opportunities to do so. Even those moments that are extremely challenging are to be savored as opportunities. These moments that I want to avoid because of the pain they bring, are actually the tipping point, the falling away of the old. If I can see the opportunities and possibilities in these challenges, then I will most definitely grow into my greatest potential.
Here is the quote:
"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope."
As we enter 2022, let's be intentional about year. Let's set a plan in front of us. The power of a heart centered intention cannot be overstated. It doesn't mean that I know how the plan will be enacted or can decide the specific outcome. What it means is that I am connected to my heart's desire, and I am navigating my world in connection to that highest value-state. Setting intentions is a powerful way to live our destiny rather than to be kicked about by fate.
Our intention setting ceremony, to be held at 11AM CST on New Year's Day, will focus on bringing into awareness this vast and expansive array of possibilities and challenges that are set before us as we embark on a new year.
Please Join Us Via Zoom!
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Below is one of the many meditations on Thomas Merton's work.
It creates a beautiful preliminary to our work in the course Strengthening Your Core.
From this you will realize our goal, reconnecting to the true-self, the authentic-self, the spiritual core of our being that radiates love, and joy, and creativity, and spontaneity.
Please listen to his word here, or read them below, and then join us after the intentions setting ceremony for our introduction to our second run of the course "Strengthening Your Spiritual Core"
Only silence can reach that dimension of reality that is too deep for words.
Silence has many dimensions, it can be a regression or an escape, a loss of self, or it can be presence, awareness, unification, self-discovery.
Negative silence, blurs reality, and we lapse into daydreams or diffuse anxieties.
Positive silence pulls us together and makes us realize who we are, who we might be, and the distance between the two.
Positive silence implies a discipline choice.
Creative silence requires a certain amount of faith, for when we come face to face with ourselves in the lonely ground of our own being we confront many questions about the value of our existence, the reality of our commitments and the authenticity of our everyday lives.
When we are constantly in movement, always busy, meeting the demands of our social roles, passively carried along on the stream of talk in which people mill around morning to night. We are perhaps able to escape from our deeper self and from the questions it poses. We can be more or less content with the external identity, the social-self, which is produced by our interactions with others in the wheeling and dealing in everyday life.
In the silence we are challenged to be with ourselves. To drop the social self entirely now who am I?
If you are sharing an awkward silence with yourself, perhaps it is not working yet. For there is no such thing as awkward silence, only being awkward in the silence.
Let go of the awkward, put down the mask, just Be silent with yourself.
What you hear in that silence may be the noisy screams of the social-self not to be let go of.
But you can let it fade for now.
And in real silence, in the positive silence, open to the experience of the real self that arises.
If we are afraid of being alone, afraid of silence, t is perhaps because of our secret despair of inner reconciliation. If we have no hope of being at peace with ourselves in our own personal loneliness and silence, we will never be able to face ourselves at all we will keep running and never stop.
In silence we do not simply confront ourselves we become ourselves.
In silence we face and admit, the gap between the depths of our being which we consistently ignore and the surface which is untrue to our own reality.
We recognize the need to be at home with ourselves, in order that we may go out and meet others, not just with the mask of affability, but with real commitment and authentic love.
When we live superficially, when we are always outside ourselves, never quite with ourselves. Always divided and pulled in many directions by conflicting plans and projects, we find ourselves doing many things that we do not really want to do, saying things that we do not really mean, needing things that we do not really need, exhausting ourselves for what we secretly realize to be worthless and without meaning in our lives.
Every man needs enough silence and solitude in their lives to allow the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally.
When that inner voice is not heard, when man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being one with his own true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting.
He cannot go on happily for long, unless he is contact with the springs of his own spiritual life, which are hidden in the depths of his own soul.
If man is always exiled from his own home, locked out of his spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person. He becomes a kind of automaton, living without joy because he has lost his spontaneity. He no longer lives from within, but only from outside himself.
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