In January, as many of us do, I began a new exercise regime. I made a plan to meet my middle daughter at a 7:30am yoga class. Unaware of the time it would take to travel across the city on the first day of school after the holiday break, I was surprised I arrived to find the class door still open and time to spare.
One of my daughters invited me on a European trip before she began a study program abroad. We started our adventure in Germany, moving into Austria, then the Northern lakes of Italy, on to Switzerland, ending our trip in London where she will study for the fall semester.
Our first sightseeing point of interest was Dachau, one of the concentration camps established by the Nazis during World War II. My daughter did not want to go and was kind enough to appease her mother for an afternoon in anticipation of the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, the one thing she was most excited for on the vacation.
I don’t like summer.
I know, I know! Most of you do like it! My husband loves it. He loves to be hot, to feel the sun, and the extended light of the long days.
I love rain, clouds and dark days. On those days I feel free and exempt from all duties. My soul feels free! Maybe it was because my Baptist Grandmother always gave herself permission not to go to church on the Sundays it rained. She believed being in the rain made one sick! So I have permission to make my own choices on dark rainy days.
On Sunday, September 27 the world experienced a total lunar eclipse and super moon, a natural phenomenon that will not occur again until 2033. When my children were young, I would keep them up past their bedtimes or wake them from a solemn sleep to witness various celestial events similar to the current lunar eclipse. I was thrilled that one of my four children remember these adventures from their childhood with affection. It was special to look up into the vast universe and witness these beautiful and mysterious occurrences with my children as we created educational and unique memories.
As I was driving home I noticed two signs posted on church announcement boards. They both got me thinking and feeling about the difference in comfort levels of their messages. Seemingly the same, they had a very different feel to each of them.
Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
- Mathew 11:28
The other read:
If you are in trouble, I will rescue you.
Carrying a basket of striped sock monkeys and assorted stuffed animals, I grab my tea and enter the casual lounge space. The three people wait as I then settle into my seat. We gather here because one woman dared to ask for help when experiencing personal despair. Specifically, she asked us to facilitate an intensive daylong inward journey.
The following is my seventh entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.
Step 7: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
Step 7 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 76, second paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. “When ready, we say something like this: My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding, Amen. We have now completed Step 7.”
The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
- Robert M. Pirsig
I have been a seeker since early childhood. I grew up in a strict Catholic home and was ecstatic when introduced as a young teenager to Eastern philosophy and other non-Christian ideas – what an eye opener!