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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual journey’

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Dear Spiritual Thursday Friends,

We are gathering again for the first Thursday of each month. This is an open invitation to any blogger who would like to join us. We post on the first Thursday of the month. Each month is hosted by a different blogger. We do not adhere to any specific religious affiliation. We are here to express our thoughts about how our spiritual lives are going. Let me know in the comments or by email if you’d like to be on the list of participants.

Blessings,
Margaret

I’ve been choosing a One Little Word to guide my year for many years now. I have a collection of MudLove bracelets that express my different words. I’ve even begun a practice of gifting little words to some of my friends. It’s probably against the OLW policy to assign someone a word, but the friends who receive one seem to like the idea. At an NCTE conference sometime around 2014, I was given a MudLove bracelet. I love wearing my word.

Enough, 2022

My word came to me while I was reading Jess Keating’s Epic Email.

Everything you need is inside you. The tough stuff alchemizes to create the good stuff. Your story is enough. What you value is enough. Your desire is enough.

Jess Keating, Epic Email
I am Enough!

Today I listened to Glennon Doyle’s podcast We Can Do Hard Things. She said that January branding has got it all wrong with New year, New you. “It suggests we hate ourselves. It’s insulting.”

At our core, in our soul, we are who we are. And to quote Popeye, “I yam what I yam.” Who I am is enough. I do not need to change myself. Of course, I could exercise more or cook more often or get more involved in social activism. But who I am at 60 is the same me as I was at 50, 40, 30, 20, 10… Embracing my inner self gives me safety to open up for new experiences that enrich me. And if a challenge comes along, I am ready. I am enough.

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Round up of Spiritual Journey posts
can be found at Christine Margocs’ site,
Horizon 51

For our Advent time-of-waiting spiritual journey posts this month, Chris chose the topic of “waiting…with a side of hope.”

Waiting is not easy. It means patience, looking inward… finding peace.

My calendar suggests quite the opposite.

It says go here, do this, buy that.

Hurry up!

So I look to the stars and wonder

What are they waiting for?

The light we see is how old? days? months? years?

Yet it comes anyway.

Christmas will come anyway.

Why worry?

When his mother asked what he wanted Santa to bring him,

he pointed to the Christmas tree

and said, “That funny clown up there!”

Ah, to see waiting through the eyes of a toddler

dancing through each day in wonder.

Let’s change our mantra from “I can’t wait”

to “I Can Wait!”

Waiting brings light and hope and love

wrapped in a timeless gift.

Christmas present by Leo, age 2 yrs 11 months

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Ramona is gathering Spiritual Thursday posts at Pleasures from the Page

For today’s Spiritual Thursday post, Ramona suggested we listen to a podcast by Emily Freeman entitled The Next Right Thing. It’s a new-to-me podcast that I am now following. I listened this morning while walking and wrote my response by speaking into the Notes app on my phone.

Henri Nouwen writes in his book Here and Now, “We are inclined to think that when we are sad, we
cannot be glad. But in the life of a God-centered person, sorrow and joy can exist together. That isn’t easy to understand. But when we think about some of our deepest life experiences, such as being present at the birth of a child or the death of a friend, great sorrow and great joy are often seen to be parts of the same experience.”

Emily Freeman, The Next Right Thing Podcast

I am Here

My daughter gave me an Apple Watch.

It watches my every move and occasionally will vibrate my arm

and tell me something like you need to be moving

or you’ve reached your movement goal

or stand up now.

We have found devices in this modern world that help us to be present.

Present with our steps, each one counted and charted on an app on our phones

which we carry with us everywhere,

everywhere to be present with a friend on Instagram or Facebook.

Daily when I walk, I use an app called Voxer to chat with a friend across the globe in another place.

She calls this her daily podcast with me. Funny and true.

And I’m grateful for the technology that allows me to be present with a friend far away.

But sometimes all I need is to just be here–

Here stepping on fall leaves, listening to them crinkling,

listening to the sounds of birds

in the trees losing the leaves.

I’m just here with myself

And God.

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Spiritual Journey First Thursday posts are being gathered by Karen.

Spiritual journeys, like life, have their ups and downs. I think I’ve been in a low for a while now, without realizing it. Nothing like a major disaster to come along as a wake up call. God whizzed by and said, “Hey, look what the force of nature can do. Blow off roofs. Shut down power systems. Upend trees. Disrupt our lives. But I’m still here if you need me.”

Karen Eastlund asked us to write about virtue. She sent us a long list of virtues. I have been thinking a lot about Grace. Grace kept us safe from the storm. Grace allows us to be a safe haven for our family. Grace is the virtue that gives freely without asking for anything in return.

My family is filling up my house. It’s usually just me and my husband, dog Charlie, and cats Fancy, Mimi, and Buzz. Today my home includes 4 more adults, 1 toddler, 3 dogs and a cat. My school secretary commented, “Simon Family Zoo.” But I prefer another friend’s comment. He said, “Like Christmas!”

In Grace and with Gratitude, I open my heart and my home to the ones I love. We will get through this and likely become better people.

God, grant me the grace to be the calm in the storm, love in times of trouble, and faith when things look bleak.

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Spiritual Journey First Thursday is being gathered today by Linda Mitchell.

Linda Mitchell is gathering Spiritual Journey First Thursday posts. Her topic suggestion is Respect. I wasn’t going to write. In fact, I emailed Linda and apologized, “I’ve got nothing.” However, in the spirit of respect for this community of writers and because I’m awake on the last day of my summer break, I am writing.

Respect is born out of Love. The two are intertwined like the threads on the knitting needles. God calls us to Love.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:16

This morning I read a beautiful poem by David Whyte, The True Love.

so that when

we finally step out of the boat

toward them, we find

everything holds

us, and everything confirms

our courage, and if you wanted

to drown you could,

but you don’t

because finally

after all this struggle

and all these years

you simply don’t want to

any more

you’ve simply had enough

of drowning

and you want to live and you

want to love and you will

walk across any territory

and any darkness

however fluid and however

dangerous to take the

one hand you know

belongs in yours.

David Whyte, Brain Pickings

Step out of the boat and give your hand to God. Find true love with God. Trust the safety you feel. Hold your hand out to others in respectful response.

Miramar Beach, Florida (photo by Margaret Simon)

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graphic by Carol Varsalona
who is hosting the gathering of Spiritual Journey posts today.

This morning I turned the calendar to July and wondered where my summer is going. Carol invited us to write about Nurturing our Summer Souls for Spiritual Journey first Thursday. I thought I would wake up early and write, but the thing about summer is expectations fall into the sun. I woke up tired. The only thing I can figure is the water aerobics class last night has affected me in more ways than I thought possible. I have welcomed these classes, the time with friends, the cool of the water, and the invigorating feeling of exercise. But this old body is finding muscles that have been dormant. It’s a good thing, right? Remind me.

My summer soul is being nurtured by the National Writing Project’s #WriteAcrossAmerica virtual writing marathon. I’ve participated in three different stops. Each Tuesday a different project site takes on the marathon. This week I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a place foreign to me. The story map is full of places to explore and writing prompts to contemplate. I stopped at the Indian Village Site and followed a link to Margaret Noodin’s Ted Talk.

I’ve been fascinated by Margaret Noodin’s work since listening to Poetry Unbound from On Being. Margaret not only shares my name, but she also sings. She sings her poems in Anishinaabemowin and English. Being Episcopalian, I love a good chant and that is what Margaret Noodin delivers.

As I listened I wrote. This poem follows her words and weaves in my own words as if we became a confluence of thoughts, two rivers meeting and flowing together for a time.

Minowakiing: The Good Land

Languages
teach us of place. In this Good Land,
we can keep ourselves alive,
hearts beating wild, transforming
the world
in a net, networking, working in
interconnection.

I see lessons in light
see a word East
move into melting
transitioning time to place
word to word.

Listen to sounds singing of fish
bobbing in the water.
Let’s listen to each other.
Remember we are in a good place.

Remember the bird knows,
the grass knows,
the old oak knows

We inherit the language of our ancestors,
reminded how to find the road, the map
to our own lives.
Here. Together.

Margaret Simon, with Margaret Noodin

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Ruth is gathering Spiritual Journey posts at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. We are checking in on our One Little Word.

For 2021, I chose Inspire as my guiding One Little Word. How’s it going? Truth be told, I’m tired. This is our last day of school. This has been a weird year. Long in so many ways. Yet here we are again. Summer sun hangs high in the sky. Temperatures rise, and I crave the scent of chlorine and sunscreen.

Last week on a day when I was cleaning up and wondering how it is that I keep so much stuff from year to year, my colleague Erica came into my room. She teaches 4th grade next door to me, and I teach her daughter in gifted. She said, “I was channeling my best Margaret Simon. Look what we did! Black-out poetry!” She was so excited to show me the results.

As I think about inspire, I count the ways in which others inspire me; Artists, poets, musicians, all fill me with the desire to create. I hadn’t thought about how I inspire others. The 4th grade black-out poems made my heart swell. Erica knew it would.

Inspire is a communication of the heart,
a creative connection,
a gift to the world.

beautiful spring day
no idea
what was in store for me
too perfect
hug
love
share
each other
as one
Believe me.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
2021 Grab this image for your blog post.

Today is day 4 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge and Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday.

A group of bloggers commit to writing a post on the first Thursday of the month around a topic. I am rounding up the posts today. (Place your link in the InLinkz at the end of this page.) The topic I chose was March Spirit Wind. The lioness of March winds roared through here on Monday bringing a new cold front. March weather is fickle. One day may be sunny and 70’s and the next rainy and 40’s. In this topsy turvy weather, I long to find quiet time.

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself
and know that everything in this life has a purpose.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Lately I have been using magazine collage to explore creativity. I am finding that it leads to inspiration for writing. The process of design, finding images I love, cutting, placing, gluing bring my mind to a place of rest where creativity can flow.

Silence Collage in Notebook 3/3/21

Linda Mitchell sent me some poem seeds that I carry with me in a ziplock bag along with pens, scissors, glue. I tossed out some seeds and this poem fell out.

Craft of Life, seed poem, notebook page 3/3/21

Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence.

Rachel Naomi Remen, gratefulness.org

I hope you can take some time to be quiet and let the Spirit Wind wash over you. Sacred moments can be found when we take time to rest and be open.

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Spiritual Thursday posts are being gathered today by Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.

It is my practice each year to select a word to guide my year. This week my students and I have been talking about and selecting a One Little Word. Last year I selected Embrace. The word Inspire has been tugging at me for a few years. I finally stopped resisting it.

If you follow my blog, you know that I am posting a photo each week as a writing prompt. Last week I posted a photo from Ann Sutton, a Methodist minister. Fran Haley took this prompt and wrote an amazing spiritual poem on her blog. I drew Ann’s attention to Fran’s poem on Facebook Messenger. Ann shared the post and asked Fran’s permission to read the poem in her sermon. Wow! Inspiring writing that inspires a beautiful connection beyond my reach.

I’ve started an accountability group for The Artist’s Way. Perhaps you remember the book. Julia Cameron leads you on a journey back to your essence of creativity through writing exercises and artist dates. Morning pages is a component that I am trying. Trying is the operative word here. My hope is that by releasing the tied up knots of stuff through regurgitation on the blank page, I will inspire more creativity in myself. I do believe that creativity is a spiritual practice. It’s not reserved for a select few; however, like the Holy Spirit, creativity is available to all of us, even me.

This first week of 2021 has been filled with shocking events. Along with everyone else, I am mournful. But I am also hopeful. Our country witnessed rock bottom yesterday. Let’s make today the beginning of our collective climb up and out. We can inspire hope and love. Join me in a resolution to Inspire, breathe new life into the world.

Image created in Canva

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Ruth is gathering Spiritual Thursday posts at her blog.

“If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough!” ~Meister Eckhart

What is it about November that brings out the gratitude in us? Is it the holiday of Thanksgiving? Is it the cool fall air? Is it getting close to Christmas? Or is it the number 11? Today Ruth is gathering Spiritual Journey posts about gratitude.

Thank you
releases air,
a breath.
In American sign language,
a hand to mouth and out again.
From inside of me
to the spirit of you,
I thank you.

TeachWrite is encouraging #gratiku poetry on social media. Read more about it at Leigh Anne’s blog.

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