Monday, September 19, 2011

Loving ourselves and life from where we are 

Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life. I hope you will join me here! You can learn more about the program there. 

Building Contentment Muscles

A period of early morning quiet and solitude is a mainstay of my spiritual practice. What I love about it is that I can do it anywhere.

This morning, despite the rain and cooler temperatures, I bundled up, grabbed a blanket, a hot cup of coffee, and headed to my porch. As always, I knew Contentment would find me there.

It’s easy to stay “stuck” in a routine, even if it’s a good one. With a bit of imagination or daring, we can mix up our Contentment practices, enliven them a bit. So despite the fact that it was a bit chiller than I thought once I arrived on the porch, I persevered. I flexed my spiritual muscles a bit.

The birds were exceedingly active, even in the rain. I wrote a bit, paused, and watched their antics. Two fat baby cardinals, females, hopping about on the ground because they can barely fly. A doting dad corralling them, following them as they found their courage and tested their wings. He looked a bit frantic!

The rain, greening everything right before my eyes. We’ve had a very dry summer here.

The American Goldfinches, losing their bright color now. Most look mottled brown, their summer yellow uniforms put away for the winter.

A solitary pink rosebud, braving cooler temperatures, seeks the light.

Chipmunks rough housing on the lawn, reminiscent of the Chip and Dale cartoons of my childhood.

Combining these visual delights with the fragrance of rain and wet grass makes the picture complete. “My heart rises up in gratitude,” as Gibran wrote.

What would I have missed if I’d stayed inside, cozy and warm, in my meditation nest? All this. All this joy, playing, dancing around in the rain. I may have also missed the warm feelings of gratitude I felt coursing through my heart.

All I know in this moment is this. When I can stretch myself a bit, flex my Contentment muscles, I may discover even more about myself, and my world.

Any spiritual practice takes time, just as it takes time to build physical strength by using long dormant or injured muscles. We coax them to life ever so gently. With patience, perseverance and passion we move forward flex by flex.

This is one way to bring more enchantment into our lives: flex our Contentment muscles. Even baby cardinals know this as they learn to fly—flap and flex, flap and flex. Fly!

Dare to do something different today. Step outside your traditional routine and flex. You may be surprised at what greets you.

(Now, two bird babies, a cardinal and a finch, doing the tango on the telephone line. Interspecies playmates. Ah, delight!)

“Be joyful because it is humanly possible.”
~ Wendell Berry

Cardinal photo courtesy of:

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