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Just to Share Live with Purpose! Movement Spirituality Uncategorized

Walk & Talk through Spring!

Greetings!

We are moving along through Spring and, for you astrology fans, Taurus season. The new births of plants and animals capture our attention. Babies of all types – ducklings, chicks, lambs, calves, cubs and kits – are popping up along with sprouts. The swallows have returned to their nests on our patio supports and over the doors. The land is awake and ready to receive new seeds. As I have been driving and observing, there are many realms, or layers, of life and living going on simultaneously. While we mow our grass and walk the trails, all manner of natural world beings are also emerging to continue their life journey.

It’s interesting and important to note that for the first time in more than thirty years, several of the major religions have recently observed holidays, and holy days and weeks, concurrently: Easter, Passover, and Ramadan just to name the more familiar ones. They call us to recognize our connectedness and our intimate relationships. The world is round and there is no “away.”

Indeed, we are part of this world: natural first and then human-made. The natural is our very essence, the substance within which we are created and continually creating. But to continually create, we have to find daily ways to keep ourselves in “right relationship” with the Earth and the fullness thereof to learn by observing and communing with all of God’s Creation. The reawakening of Spring’s gifts once again reminds me of the many opportunities God gives us to observe and commune with nature, to seek out the nature allies (or, for some people, the animal spirits) that are present and available to support us on life’s journey.

Each week SoulSpeak offers guided two-hour and three-hour Walking Sessions in our wonderful parks and trails system. Our Spring Walks provide chances to notice and see the reemergence of Spring’s sprouts; to discover, connect, and reconnect with our nature allies; and opportunities to share whatever is sprouting or emerging within you.

Come walk with me. You can reach me at Facebook:/SoulSpeak915 or through email at prcrite@gmail.com. I look forward to walking and talking with you.

Categories
Access Your Life! Orientation Retirement Spirituality Uncategorized

New ways of life are manifesting

It will come as no surprise to anybody for me to say that … a LOT has happened since I last posted on LOACA Life’s Blog site!! Life has changed for all of us in ways we never could have imagined.

I already thought my retirement had been anything but smooth. I was already wandering around in the wilderness looking for the path that would lead me to discover the retirement-life person I was supposed to be. What was my new purpose? Little did I know that rather than orienting, I was about to be thrown into a huge disorienting place (along with all of you!). In reality I had been in a place of disorientation since I made the decision to retire! I was moving further into a larger place of disorientation and disorder!

According to Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and contemporary theologian, we are now living out a time of Order, Disorder, and Reorder.* In these recurring times, we find ourselves in what is called liminal space. These are the spaces in between what was and what has not yet come. We go through smaller and larger times of liminal space all of our lives. That is where we find ourselves now in the midst of a huge global time of disorientation, change, crumbling understandings of how we live our lives, much divisiveness, and a very uncertain path. 

I am reminded here of my retirement mantra. Three years out from my retirement that mantra, “Not all who wander are lost” still gives me some hope! It has been a time of much sickness, death, upheaval, injustices, and much grief, sadness, and sorrow. However, wandering in the liminal space is not all bad and indeed opens the door to much possibility for fresh new perspectives and change that has needed to happen for a long time. If we are willing to listen and try new things there is possibility for something good to come out of the ashes of the grief and sorrow. 

We are in the midst of these difficult times as Ladies Of A Certain Age, whether or not we want to be – or even recognize that we are. The best way to orient ourselves is to be open to the new ways of life that are manifesting. LOACA women are already in a time of change, aging, and reorienting! We are uniquely positioned to move forward in the new ways of being that are before us!

What I found during my time of Sheltering in Place for over a year due to the Corona Virus, and in the midst of such global disorder, was a new sense of contentment. As an extrovert living almost like a hermit no one was more surprised than me! This contentment did not always keep the anxiety and fears at bay, but it helped me to come back to a realization that even in the midst of chaos, contentment is possible with a willingness to change our focus and perspective. This does not mean we are not sad, grieving, and even angry at what is happening. It means we can find a place of balance and resilience in the midst of the emotions we are feeling.

On my daily Seize the Day calendar, the quote was:

“A contented heart is an even sea in the midst of all storms.”

Anonymous

How is this possible?

In about 62 AD, a man named Paul, who was one of Jesus’ earliest followers, wrote a letter to the congregation in Philippi, Greece. In the four Chapter, he writes:

I am not saying [these things] because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him [Jesus] who gives me strength.

Verses 11-13 of Chapter 4 in The Bible’s New Testament Book Philippians

The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM (Franciscan Media, 2020)

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Access Your Life! Spirituality

Summer Nature Walk/Walking Retreat

HAVE YOU SCHEDULED YOURS YET?

As Summer rolls out, many of us are ready to enjoy the fruits of Spring’s labors. Despite the heat, we’re looking for opportunities to venture outside where we can stop to smell some roses and watch butterflies and dragonflies and, if we’re lucky, some fireflies fluttering with the wind.

Nature’s changes – whether they’re associated with a season, equinox, solstice, or moon phase – inform us both consciously and unconsciously. When we take the time to anticipate or pay attention to them, Nature’s changes can support the changes in our own lives: whether those are changes we’re contemplating or changes we’re in the midst of experiencing. Unfortunately, though, our personal changes too often capture our attention, stop us in our tracks, and hold us hostage; and we’re unable to find the support they offer us.

This is when we need someone to walk and talk with us, but not just any someone. We need someone who can draw us outside of ourselves – someone who can help us recognize, see, and use the support that’s waiting inside. This is when we need someone who can help us become aware of the winds of our changes, recognize our budding possibilities, and fasten our gaze on our future opportunities, the blooms, that are waiting to appear.

This is when we need a Nature Walk/Walking Retreat.

Nature Walk/Walking Retreat is different than merely taking a walk with someone. Soul Speak Nature Walk/Walking Retreats take place in local parks and are personalized for each Retreatant’s needs. Some Retreatants come with a theme in mind or an interest they want to explore. Others come to consider concerns they’re having or a decision they have to make. Still others come because they need someone to talk to or a safe place to vent.

A Soul Speak Retreat begins a couple of days before your scheduled Walk, when you answer a few questions about the perceived purpose of your Retreat and whether or not you have any requests, needs, or physical limitations. With your responses in mind, your Retreat Facilitator designs a short series of activities that you will do together during your Walk, activities that have been intentionally chosen and personalized just for you.

The in-person segment of our Nature Walk/Walking Retreats last approximately three hours (no, we don’t walk for three hours!) We spend the first thirty minutes or so greeting one another, reviewing the path of your Nature Walk, and becoming acclimated to our surroundings. When we finish Walking, when we have about an hour left, we’ll spend time reflecting while we enjoy light refreshments.

Your Retreat doesn’t end there, though. Two days after our Walk, we’ll provide you with a brief Follow-up Session to talk about any additional support or direction you may need.


Nature Walk/Walking Retreats can be created around any theme and have proven helpful for individuals, couples, and small groups of up to five people. To get more information or to ask questions – or to schedule your Summer Retreat! – you can reach Philana at PhilanaCrite@Yahoo.com or 937.346.7384.

Categories
Access Your Life! Spirituality

Turtles and blue herons

My Sunday morning walks of late have included box turtle rescues and Great Blue Heron sightings. I often look to see what the spiritual meanings of these encounters might be. Turtle, as you can guess, means to slow down, change your pace and enjoy the scenery. It asks that I connect with my creative inner self and get or stay grounded. I have also encountered the Great Blue Heron, flying overhead or standing at a pond as I drove by. I have a long fascination with this big water bird. As I searched the spiritual meanings, I felt deeper messages surface. Heron brings the message of stillness, determination and independence. Patience is essential whether hunting in a marsh or discerning an emerging opportunity. More importantly, Heron lives in three elemental worlds; air, water and earth.

Paying attention to the natural world and all its signs and wonders, I ask myself many things. I reflect, like the heron, on the past while hunting in the present. I focus on what supports my growth and well-being. Turtle reminds me I have all I need within and without. The ability to create the life I want to live is as close and integral a part of me as the turtles shell.

Like each of these creatures I move between worlds; earth, water and air. This holds true for you as well. As we face ourselves in this time of sheltering in and opening up, it’s no surprise at the protests that are surfacing. I/we have seen and learned things about ourselves; some of which is distasteful, unattractive, disturbing yet undeniable. And even more we know to continue to deny our revelations will result in fates potentially worse than death.

As we move into more new phases of life and living the deeper message seems to be remember to secure stillness and tranquility of spirit for yourself. The natural world is right outside your window, in your gardens and on an evening walk through your neighborhood or local park. Pay attention to your self, the people you encounter and the creatures large and small you share this planet with (plants included). Receive them and use this time with all its elemental surprises as part of a daily retreat. Remember to share and give thanks; there’s more to come.