Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Journaling Brings Possibilities (from the Looking Back Series 1/10/17)

When I look back in my journals so many outcomes result.  It's one of the many blessings of spiritual journaling.

Sometimes I am reminded of a practice and I restart it.  Examples include setting intentions for the day of how I want to feel when I go to sleep at night or restarting the practice of writing gratitude lists.  Sometimes when I look back I am inspired to write a poem.  Right now I am writing a poem whenever I look back and come across an overnight dream I had written about.

Here's a new poem from this dream series called PUSHED.

PUSHED

I know the truth.
My baby fell in the deep end, but,
my arms paralyzed,
I did not reach for him.

I coddled and nourished them,
as was necessary, 
but did I tie their shoes for too long,
or, not long enough?

Their eyes grew big, and 
bigger still, 
as they came to rest
on the bottom.

It is the lifeguard 
who rescued them.

Turns out,
my child is fine.
They had learned to breathe
under water.

When I asked, "God*, what else do I need to know about this?" God wants me to know that I find answers in the stillness.  That's another blessing of spiritual journaling.
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  What ideas come to you when you look back in your journals?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, OC NJ 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Just Keep Trying (from the Looking Back Series 1/6/2017)

I make the same mistakes over and over and over again.  Thankfully, in many instances, I recognize them more quickly or they are far and fewer in between, but I still make them.  They are good reminders of the need to just keep trying.

Here's an example.  When my kids were little, it often happened at the start of my day, that I didn't like how my day began.  It might have been that, in my mind, my children weren't moving quickly enough and I kept pushing and rushing them, even yelling at them.  The circumstances were either that I needed to drop them off at daycare before work or I was behind in my work which was making me grumpy or agitated.  On days when I recognized that this was not how I wanted the day to begin for us, I would ask my kids for a do-over.  They always said "yes" which thankfully gave me the opportunity to begin again.

Now, even though my children are young adults, I sometimes lose myself to to-do items and I snap at them when I'm in the middle of something.  A recent example is that I was working at my computer at the kitchen table when one of my children came out for lunch and wanted to converse.  Instead I kept working.  After the third interruption, I said "what?", with that sarcastic tone that says "what now?"  I immediately regretted it.  It was enough to remind me of what's really important.  I took time to converse.

When I asked, "God*, what else do I need to know about this?" I was compelled to open the Bible to a psalm.  This day, it's Psalm 80, which is very repetitive with words beginning with "re" such as restore, revive, return.  This prefix means to do again.  Restoration, specifically, is about fixing or mending things to their original wholeness.  For me, this includes restoration of relationships, which is exactly what God is asking me to do.
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  Is there a segment of your day, yesterday or today even, or a specific segment of every day in which you'd like a do-over?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, Hanging Lake 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sensibility (from the Looking Back Series, 1/2/2017)

Are you attached to outcomes?  I know I am.  I'd like things to go a certain way and yet if I'm living a life in which I say, "God*'s will be done," how is it that I don't let go?

Here's one example.  I attended a book writer's club this past weekend and obtained a whole list of things I "should be doing" in order to get the most book sales.  I sent myself four emails of things I "should" do in order to be a successful writer.  After about an hour I decided to leave the meeting early because I didn't want to hear any more.  I had gotten some good nuggets, but more would have been too much, overwhelming even.

Today when I looked at the emails I had sent to myself, I felt that overwhelmed feeling again.  The list of to-do items did not seem relevant to me (learning WordPress, finding free writing events, writing to agent's desires, the #MSWL-manuscript wish lists, etc.).  It's not that the speaker should not have spoken about all these things.  It's that not everything needed to be for me and I did not need to take all of it on.  Sensibly, I needed to take the information that felt helpful to me (what to expect at a book signing, for example) and then get back to the stillness (journaling/meditation/prayer space) that leads me to a simpler, God-filled life.

God wants me to know that I should keep grounded and centered, do the work and follow up when I feel an urge to do so.  (Note:  I picked the "badger" meditation card from Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Illustrations by Angela Werneke and James Finnell).
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  Do you feel a call to change something in your life but can't let go of it because of some previous notion that holds you to it?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Off Balance But Correctable (from the looking back series - 12/31/16)

Several days ago, when I asked God*, "God, what else should I know?" the meditation cards I picked (from The Sacred Journey Cards by Cheryl Thiele) included the words integrity and courage. The phrases included "even in chaos (find) balance" and "stay steady through uncertainty."  I had no idea what this was about because I felt grounded on this day. The next day I felt confused and uncertain. On this day, when I opened my journal to find the next available open page, I first came upon the previous journal entry and found the messages of integrity and courage. It's exactly what I needed to hear!

God* wants me to know that prayer and gratitude help immensely during times of chaos and uncertainty.
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  Do you feel balanced today?  Why or why not?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Finding Hidden Talents (from the looking back series - 12/26/16)

"You're an angel," is a saying often heard after an act of kindness.  If the defining quality of an angel is an act of kindness, then I have more angels in my life than I can count!  For me, recent angels include those who invite me to showcase my writing or art, people who improve their own craft or skills in order to help others, including helping others find their hidden talents.  This last type really helped me to find a new career in 2009.

At that time, I had left the corporate world to pursue life.  I could not see talents outside those I used in the business world, and I didn't want to use those talents anymore anyway.  One of the angels in my life, a woman retiring from the place I was leaving, had had so many varied careers that she knew I must have talents that were not evident to me.  That's when I began a skills list for myself and I included the gift of touch (my sisters and I scratched each other's backs when we were little).  In 2010 I graduated from massage school.

Now, new hidden talents have been popping out. One is writing poetry.One of the angels I mentioned above wrote "I LOVE your poems!  Very simple and unpretentious."
 
God* wants me to know that I have a strong sense of self that comes from doing the work of spiritual journaling.  To that, I say, "Thank you, God!"
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  Do you recognize "angels" when you see them??

2.  What are your hidden talents?

3. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Friday, July 21, 2017

Why Pray or Meditate (You Know Because It Makes Your Heart Sing)


What I'm feeling right now is gratitude because my headache is gone.  My heart is singing because I know how to get rid of a headache fast.  I didn't always know how to do this, but thanks to a variety of teachers, I can do this myself through a combination of hydrating, utilizing essential oils, massaging my neck and scalp, stretching and being still (praying and meditating).

What's also on my heart is that my sister-in-law texted me over several days to tell me that her sons had been talking about me all week while they were at the beach.  They said things like, "Aunt Marie would know what bird this is," and "We have to get the watermelon beach umbrella because that's what Aunt Marie uses."

God* wants me to know that sitting still, meditating and praying, leads me to setting intentions to be the best I can be, including being present when I interact with others. God also wants me to know that I often receive gifts from others, that I need to recognize these gifts more often, and that I need to make good on my promises, such as to my nephews and friends.
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  What's on your heart right now?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, Hanging Lake 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Monday, July 17, 2017

What's Makes Your Heart Sing?

In the summer, my work environment (my home) changes dramatically because, instead of just me there during the daytime, my husband and two young adult children are back to greatly utilizing the space alongside me.

I treasure this time because they, and their friends, come and go, and it is in the in-between spaces where we have some great conversations.

What I have learned is to let go of some things over the summer, such as art and big writing projects, as well as piano lessons and all the practice time that goes with it.  Letting go allows me to really sink into and take a healthy bite out of summer.

Going with the flow doesn't mean that I ignore the call of these other pieces that make my heart sing. It's just that I might do these other things on a smaller basis such as write a poem or sit down to play the piano when I feel called to do so.

When I ask God* what else I should know what I hear is that this is a balanced approach to living.
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Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
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Reflective questions:
1.  What makes your heart sing?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, Hanging Lake 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).