Back to Basics...

I PVR many movies and then they just sit on my PVR unwatched.  But today I decided to watch "Eat Pray Love" the story of a woman who realizes she no longer has an appetite for life or love.  She is empty inside, spent and lost.  What does one do when one realizes that and does not have the financial means to live in Italy to learn Italian and eat their way through their emotions, live in an ashram in India or move to Bali and ride a bike?

FIRE in the Belly..... when it goes out does eating hot peppers ignite it again or simply create a need for Pepto Bizmo?  Jalapenos?  Naw ... good food for thought, good friends, good relationships, good experiences.  All feed this fire and when those are missing the fire goes out.

"Gawd" for  me is fire in the belly and right now this fire is out because I cannot find Gawd in my heart, my belly or my soul.  So I am going to go searching... for bigger jeans Gawd in the flesh, food and presence of this human life.  As I grow fat on all the research I can do I will plump out on passion.  I will find it because I am going looking for it and not inside the walls of a church sanctuary with other homogeneous people hoping that somewhere in this space is the wholeness of life. Somewhere in the bad coffee and processed cookies is food for the soul as people talk superficially about the fundraising dinner that is necessary in order to keep the lights on.

I want to fling open the doors in order to invite people in to tell me what it is they are looking for. Tell me how I can offer a program that will make them laugh, feel a part of, and have fire ignited in them to come out and participate.  I want to open an oasis for all, a colourful rainbow of wonder with all people that want to engage with me.

Come and colour your world with me.  Let's meditate together, laugh together and find that fire in our belly and then we can call it whatever we want!!


Heavy Sigh .... what next?

Do you ever just sit back in a chair and look out the window and wonder "what next?"  I do.  More often than I like actually.  I find this road to be a difficult one and as I age it gets more difficult to put one foot in front of the other.  Today the cooler temps remind me that winter is not yet gone but the brilliant sunshine also reminds me that spring is on her way.  So I am caught in the middle of the two seasons with remnants of darkness and cold weather but with a promise of new life, growth and fertility in essence around me.

I visited friends this week and she is an avid quilter.  She told me the story of how during the detailed work, which has now culminated in hours and days, had met with a little moment of diversion but it had not changed the results.  A beautiful piece of art.  As I was looking at the quilt she asked me if I could see the 3D effect.  Upon laying out the quilt in the living room to get a full view of it I could see it.  But as I looked at it on the table in a pile I could not see it.

You can see here by the pictures the details of this work.  I was reminded how each stitch makes up the whole.  I am reminded that as I sit and look out the window and wonder what next I must remember that each stitch of my life will make up the whole.  And although I might have something spilled on me and need cleansing now and again, it cannot stop the stitches of my whole.  I must keep going, keep stitching and when the time is right my own quilt of life will be complete and as anyone lays it out to look at it they will see the depth and dimension of each stitch. 

So as life unfolds before you and you wonder "what next?"  remember to keep stitching it together so when the time is right your whole will be assessed as beautiful and complete, likely with a  missed stitch or two creating what A Song of Faith reminds us:

"Creating and seeking relationship,
   in awe and trust,
we witness to Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love."


Like prayer, do blog posts simple fall on deaf ears... LOL

I was looking at the stats for my blog and they sure are not stellar but really that is okay.  I do not write for the stats I write when I feel prompted to record my thoughts.  I have a journal and books that are filled with thoughts and words, ideas and brainstorming, hopes and dreams.  Some day my children or grandchildren may learn much about this old girl and how she ticked.

As I study Puchalski and find ways of integrating health and healing with spiritual things she asks in her book "A time for listening and caring", how do people present their spirituality in the context of health and wholeness?  Spiritual coping is much different than religious ritual or belief.  James Ellor (1997) defines spiritual well-being as "being healthy in the very core of the person" with no mention of religion or practice thereof.  If spirituality is a dimension in all relationships and all people and reflects a yearning for a larger connection or deeper meaning is it not just a natural part of our being?  I don't know actually.  That is what I quest to find out.

John A. Sanford, in his book Healing and Wholeness  from 1977 says on page 6, "wholeness implies something organic, that is, many separate parts working together in a unified way."  Ah, the beauty of that statement is beyond comprehension without some very deep pondering.

As I spend time today, Saturday, with my grandson letting him simply do nothing but watch some tv, cut up paper, eat brownies, lick up ice cream, tear apart a sandwich, and use my belt as an imaginary rope like Mike the Knight ... I find myself living in his spirituality.  It is simply the spirituality of the moment.  Not concerning himself with one minute before or after the moment he is experiencing.  When does that get knocked out of us?  When do we lose the ability to simply be?

"Wholeness is something organic..." right now my grandson is perfectly whole, wrapped in the secure place of a warm, safety, tummy-filled  existence with no concerns for yesterday or tomorrow.  That is where I yearn to be ... back in that place of unconcern, not because I am irresponsible but because I am happy where I am knowing the past is just that, the past, and should I be brave enough the future will unfold as it should without too much influence from my human thought.

I remember sometime in my past listening to Garth Brooks as he sings "Mr. Midnight" and the story about the NY dj who feared no one was listening and in asking his audience to all flush their toilet at the same moment backed up the NY sewer system, or the boy who called "wolf" for the umpteenth time, it is here and now I wonder if my words bring anyone to question, heal or seek to find wholeness. 

Maybe, maybe not ... but they help me as I write simply because the more words I share the more room there is in my own heart and soul for the re-filling of my cup. Spirituality is relevant in each person's life.  It is whether they choose to explore this part of themselves that may go unheeded. 



Spirit Care 101

As I google "spirit care 101" this blog comes up first.  This tells  me there is not much google payment for the words "spirit care 101" what does that say overall? hmmmm

Yesterday I spent the afternoon back in the academic halls of Emmanuel College.  I love that school. It is seminary for the United Church of Canada and where I took the masters degree that I now hold. I was there because I am feeling a desire to further my studies since finding the work of Dr. Christina Puchalski . I have been engaged with the personal support worker program since January 2015 only to be one of the unfortunate people cast out on the sidewalk with the closing of Everest College and now wait to see what is next for me with this program.  While I wait I work as a casual employee of a nursing company going in and doing light housekeeping for infirm and shut-in adults.  I am learning so much about our Canadian system of caring for people.

Most recently there was an article in the UC Observer focusing on Spiritual but Secular talking about the need of people to find meaning in their lives.  This article partners, for me, with the need to bridge gaps in our human development. I am seeking desire and find little burning desire in my gut these days because, at times, I feel defeated as to where I should be in life. Traditionally, at my age many are thinking of retiring or at least looking to cash in their investments and traveling.  But in this new environment of more people reaching 100 and 50 becoming the new 40 I find myself hungry to further discover what work needs to be done. It is when I focus on this study, grief, loss, finding meaning that the inferno in my belly fires up once again.

As I work more and more with the grief groups I find people trying to find meaning in their life. Grief does not simply follow the death of a loved one, it follows everyday life and challenges with daily living. Aging adults, children going to school, teens seeking post-secondary education, young adults looking for work, empty-nesters and any walking/talking human being faces grief and loss in life. What is "normal" anymore and how can a person find meaning in life?

Finding meaning is not a destination it is a journey.  Meaning is experienced and developed over time.  Dr. Puchalski's book A Time for Listening and Caring she points out right in the forward how "real care doesn't begin with costly procedures but with simple gifts of affection.  As living beings, we all wish for happiness and seek to avoid suffering."  By looking at this statement the work I do begins with the activities of daily living, simply trying to put one foot in front of the other.

Working with the oldest-olds I hear such wonderful stories.  Most recently I was providing respite care in home.  I was working around the kitchen and she asked me to water the shamrock! I was commenting how it is a beautiful plant and she told me it belonged to her grandmother! Further she told me her grandmother died at 103 in 1974!  I said to her, "if this plant could tell its story".  She further went on to tell me about a table that is in the house that was the local tavern table where the men would gather to play cards or checkers and have a pint and again I think about the tales it could tell.

The butterfly on the wire speaks to me about the way life cycles.  This beautiful plant adorned with a butterfly is witness that life never ends, but simply continues to ebb and flow.  Through life and death the spirit of all things moves in and out of the energy fields around us.  Finding meaning is finding a way to interact with this energy and faithfully wonder if all those we have loved in our past and future are very real in the spirit world.  Is that the new normal? Is that spiritual in a secular environment?  I don't know.  I know what I believe and how I get through my own days and it gives me hope and meaning to feel my mom and my dad and my brother and others who have died and are no longer present in this human existence.  I like to believe that there is a world of spiritual existence beyond what my consciousness can comprehend and a place where I will better connect when I shed the human vessel.  I have faith in the spirit and live in the secular.  A place of limbo wondering what is next.  Will the shamrock continue to bloom? Can I help others find their own spiritual home?  Is the path to meaning paved with human partnerships as I find simple affection?  Wholeness is holy and is more significant when realizing it is not the cure of physical illness but the understanding of the human spirit.