My sweet cousin, Lisa was telling me about a workshop she loved recently. Well, I love my cousin and I've learned over the years that when she tells me about things, they are gifts in the making. At this workshop they were learning about journaling and were introduced to the idea of the three “S’s:” Seeing. Savoring. Speaking. Alone and then together, they can become places of focus to perhaps be differently in the world.
Don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes it takes just a small seed, just a phrase in a conversation and my muse is "all in." Just a glimpse and (somehow) something opens a door inside me and makes a home. These three “S’s" are gifting and helping me pay attention in these tender December days. They offer just a possibility of a nudge and I am invited in a new direction and sometimes with grace, a shift from what has been, moves to what may be. Sometimes it is the act of letting something in that invites my heart to open up – if even just a bit.
Spiritual practices are faithfully experienced ways of welcoming in the Holy. Spiritual practices are ways of moving away from being in the audience and reclaiming a space as an active participant in life. Spiritual practices are actions taken to shift-things-around just a bit. They are regular [insert some your verb here: journaling, listening for, praying for, meditating, walking] which can move us from here to there.
Advent’s clarion call is to Stay Awake! From Sunday’s gospel reading we are told that especially in our waiting, we are called to pay attention. It would be easy in our grief to drift off and drift away. It would be easy to disconnect from this season and everything it holds. OR we can choose to see it, to witness it, to pay close attention to it. We can choose to be awake in the midst of it all. Even in times when our grief feels all-consuming, it isn’t all of who we are. Advent’s call is to stay awake to the places and spaces within us that are still here, still alive.
This day my spiritual practice is to be awake to what I see. Be awake to who I see. Be awake to what is familiar and to what is brand new. When I feel consumed by my grief, it’s not unusual to go for a walk as though I was blindfolded. I could walk for 5 minutes or an hour and have no memory of having seen anything. In these times of grief, I can look at what's around me and no see anything. Today's spiritual practice is to be just a bit more mindful and to open my heart to what may be healing by seeing.
Seeing. Visioning. Spotting. Picturing. Witnessing. Appreciating. Noticing. Honoring. There have been some remarkable sunrises in the past four days. Pictures of them are included below. Stopping. Seeing. Watching. Sunrises can be symbolic moments in our lives, "Mourning is for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5 ). It matters that everyday holds the possibility of something new, something possible, something not yet. It matters almost as much that I witness this. Seeing the colors, and seeing into and through the spaces. Trying to see what is alive all around me and coming to believe that I am alive to all that I see.