When you think of inner work or the journey inward, what does that mean to you? How do you develop yourself, your thinking, your actions? What was your first memory of going within and listening to your soul? What are the emotions and experiences that have influenced you to bring you to doing the inner work that’s required for going deep to connect with the Divine. What are your beliefs about being a spiritual person? How does that affect how and what you do, think, say and how you take action?
Lately I’ve been thinking about this deeply. There are so many things calling for our attention: personally, professionally, spiritually as well as the community, world and social media events that vie for our attention. A good friend of mine calls this “craziness”, it’s the overwhelm and intensity of all that is happening in daily life. This includes the tragedies, climate change, environmental devastation, over population, the nightly news, personal sorrows, health issues, and all the social media….oh my Goddess, it takes a toll!
So how do we bear the the enormity of our current world situation? How do we create the peace we seek even when it includes challenging situations, conflicts and the nitty gritty of daily living?
Personally I think that silence, breathing and nature give us answers and nourishment that the world doesn’t always honor. Taking the time, honoring the questions and allowing the conflict, the grief, the overwhelm to just be, without trying to change it.
Step 1 Silence
In a world that is so noisy, silence offers profound space for inner space. I call this my womb or cocoon time. For me, it’s a chance to go with in and be held by the Great Mother, in her dark, safe, nourishing womb. I also call this my cocoon time, where I am separated from the outside world, and my imaginal cells are creating a new, stronger, more beautiful me (butterfly), capable of flying and seeing the world with a different perspective.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. — Mother Teresa
Step 2 Nature
We are part of nature, human organisms who function with polarities, needing light and dark, awake time and dream time, breathing in and breathing out, always seeking balance. I also know that spending time in nature: a walk along the river, hiking the mountain, listening to a birdsong or watching the snow fall are all ways to step out of the intensity of our daily life. I love finding the Divine in the daily, and most often that is in nature. Nature, the great healer!
Step 3 Breathing Deep
There is something so profound about paying attention to your breath. Of course all meditation starts with paying attention to your breath. What if your life were a continual meditation? What if you could come back to your breath and remember the power of deep breathing. You can live with out water for a days, with out food for even longer, but you can only live a few minutes with out breathing. Honor that space, open up to exploring the gifts of deep breathing. This is from Wikipedia:
Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for “breath“, and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul“. It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche (ψυχή), which originally meant “breath of life”, but is regularly translated as “spirit” or most often “soul“.
See, breath is life, spirit and soul!!
I fear our modern world does not honor our need for stillness in the midst of non stop busyness. Can we learn to be still enough to embrace the inner self and all it contains? The inner self is calling for balance. Can we practice a wholeness that allows for silence, nature and breath? My hope is yes.
Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing. She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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