Still Sacred

Noticing Happiness

Noticing Happiness

Seems like a simple thing to notice what brings us happiness, but is it?  I was recently sitting with a dying friend who often gives me food for thought.  On this day, he was filled simultaneously with joy and sorrow by happy memories.  He tried to explain to me what he was feeling as he recalled a memory from his past.  “It’s all the little things that didn’t seem to matter at the time, but I realize now that they were so important.  I think most of us go through life never recognizing the happy moments,” he lamented.  This has really gotten me to thinking… and trying to notice those moments that fill me will happiness.

What is Happiness?

Is happiness a good mood, a state of well-being, a feeling of contentment, or a deep satisfaction?  I think probably all of those definitions would work to describe happiness.  What I have tried this week is to be physically conscience of when I smile?  I invite you to go through a day noticing all of times that you smile.  Then try to identify why you are smiling.

Little Moments of Happiness

Here are a few things that I noticed.

The sound of my friend’s car pulling up in front of my house.

The warmth of my coffee in my cool hands.

The laughter of a child.

The sun rising over the mountains.

The familiar smell of someone I love as they lean in for a hug.

Fresh baked goods wafting through the air.

A wave of hello from a neighbor.

The picture of my mom lighting up on my cell phone when she called.

What things could you put on your list of things that made you smile today?

Happiness Challenge

What bothered my friend the most was that he didn’t think that he had even really noticed or acknowledge the moments that brought him so much happiness in his life as they were happening… hence why they now make him sad.  I am forever grateful that he shared this great revelation with me.  It gives me the choice to be present to all those little moments, to feel the joy, and to respond to who or what is bringing me joy.

Enjoy the journey through the everyday moments of life!


New Winter Resources by Still SacredFree Spiritual Resources – click here to Join the Journey.

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Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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Sacred Moments

Sacred Moments

Maybe you are like me and you travel the same way to work each day … an ordinary trip.  But if I pause and allow myself to be mindful during my trip, it can become an extraordinary journey  I invite you to consider that each day is an opportunity to explore spirituality in the ordinary times in life and make them sacred moments.

A Trip to Work


Admittedly, some days my car is on autopilot. Have you ever realized you are at your destination without having much recollection of the journey that got you there?  Recently, I set the intention to be mindful on my trip to work. When I began it was dark, and I had only the limited light from my headlamps to guide me.  Soon the outlines of the mountains began to appear, smooth and dark against the early morning sky.  Then as the sky began to brighten, I noticed the mountains were not exactly smooth.  This time of year, the trees are bare and the mountain tops are feathered with the light that seeps through the barren tree branches.  I encountered a fog bank as a rounded a bend.  My line of sight was completely obscured and I found myself enveloped in complete whiteness. I had to slow my pace and adjust to the current circumstances.  By the time I arrived at work, the dawn had cast  a beautiful red and purple hue across the morning sky.  It was magnificent, filled me with the promise of an awesome day, and reminded me that sacred moments happen every day.

A Journey in Life

It occurs to me that many of the spiritual journeys in life mirror that of a simple drive to work.  The goal might be clear, or perhaps through prayer and meditation your path might begin to unfold.  Either way, there are certain to be times of darkness, obstacles and clarity along the way.  The opportunities are all around us to make each day a new and exciting adventure and uncover these sacred moments.


Journey thru darkness

There are times when it’s dark, and we don’t want to begin our journey.  The darkness could be external or internal.  This physical, mental or spiritual darkness could be caused by illness, loneliness or ambition that blinds us. This could present itself in the form of uncertainty, reluctance or the inability to see clearly the people and things around us. Whatever the case, you might feel lost even on familiar ground. The use of prayer and meditation can help to illuminate the first step.  Sometimes the first step is just as simple as that…taking the first step.  Setting out into the unknown towards something that you want to achieve in your life.  Not letting the darkness hinder your desire to go forward towards sacred moments is an important beginning to any journey.  I encourage you not to let fear or doubt stop you in your tracks.  Times of spiritual darkness can easily drain your energy and make you turn inward.  Remember that even an unsteady or tentative start is progress.


Journey thru Obstacles

Unfortunately, even a great plan or journey might be hindered by obstacles.  On my drive, sometimes I encounter fog, rain, snow, traffic jams or accidents.  Likewise, on journeys in life, you might encounter things that interfere with your progress or the speed at which you can progress.  It is often advisable to slow down and take stock.  Notice if the circumstances warrant a slower pace.  I invite you to notice your reaction to the obstacle.  Do you get frustrated?  Are you relieved to take a little break?  Do you try to ignore the problem and hope it will go away? Do you isolate yourself from others or seek spiritual council from a trusted source.  All of your reactions are important to notice.  Patience may be a desirable virtue, but sometimes it is difficult to trust that all things are happening on God’s time.  Practicing the Breath Prayer might help you to develop patience, take a closer look at your reactions and begin noticing sacred moments.



At some point, things come into focus.  The light begins to break and you no longer find yourself in the dark or pestered by life’s obstacles. You can see the trees in the forest, not just the forest. People talk about “ah ha” moments or spiritual awakenings.  It has been my experience that clarity isn’t always a dramatic event.  Perhaps the small details along your journey become sharper and more manageable.  You might see the path more clearly and gain a burst of enthusiasm for the journey.  You might look back on a problem and realize that the solution is right in front of you. I believe that journaling can be very helpful in noticing these moments.  By looking back over your journals you can recount those uncertain times and see how you have gained wisdom or insight into the situation. If you feel your path is fuzzy, you could start journaling, practice mindful meditation or begin working on a personal Rule of Life.  You might consider talking to a spiritual companion to gain some direction and help you notice the patterns in your life.

Sacred Moments

I believe that every day can be an exciting adventure.  It’s a matter of being mindful and noticing the extraordinary even in the mundane, routine things in life.  Maybe it’s your drive to work, washing the dishes, folding the laundry, reading to a child, having coffee with a friend or washing the car.  Every single thing you do in life can be a new adventure filled with joy if you make yourself present and open to the possibility of the ordinary being extraordinary.  Let’s make all the little things in life sacred moments!


New Winter Resources by Still SacredFree Spiritual Resources – click here to Join the Journey.

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Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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Rule of Life

Rule of Life

This time of year is full of resolutions and goal setting, which honestly isn’t my thing.  About 5 years ago, the Rule of Life was introduced to me.  I was skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try.  The concept is similar to goal setting, but it’s more about establishing a rhythm for life to help you grow spiritually, mentally and physically to become more fully alive and joyous. It is not an ideal that you are striving towards, but rather a standard for your life that you desire to uphold.

Rules are Not for Me

I am not attracted to the word “rule”.  Who really wants to create more rules to live by? The word  “rule” is related to the ancient Greek word for “trellis”.  A trellis is a structure to help a vine grow upward, thus becoming more fruitful and productive. Similarly, creating a personal Rule of Life is about creating a structure to help you abide in God in all areas of your life and become more fruitful. It is an intentional plan to identify what you hold sacred and keep God at the center of everything.

Rule of Life Example

I was asked to first assess my life by contemplating the following questions.  What was I already doing spiritually, mentally and physically that brought me joy?  Which areas needed improvement?  What were my unique talents and gifts that I could use to be of service? Could I identify challenges and struggles in my life?  How mas I inviting God into my struggles and joys? What activities would I like to incorporate into my life?  Who were the most important people in my life and how did I show them love?

Then I broke these things down into things I do, or would like to do, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.

My first attempt looked something like this:

Daily(5 out of 7 days): Pray with my spouse.  Meditate privately for 20 minutes in the evening. Walk briskly around the neighborhood.

Weekly: Attend Mass.  Attend a support meeting.  Eucharistic Adoration for 1 hour. Be of service at IOP group meetings. Sit down as a family for a meal together without any distractions. Nurture a friendship.

Monthly: Go out with friends.  Try or learn something new.  Participate in women’s group at church.  Have a date night with my spouse.

Yearly: Go on a personal retreat by myself.  Visit my mother. Take a family vacation.

I simply wrote this down in my journal, but there are many to structure this. I invite you to look at other creative examples of Rules of Life compiled by Leadership Transformations Inc.

The Results

My Rule of Life not only kept me accountable, but also gave me permission to consistently schedule these things into my life.  In a world filled with distractions, this intentional plan gave my life the framework it needed to establish a rhythm. My Rule became a concrete reminder of the things that were sacred to me. It kept the focus on what was really important and necessary on the path to a more joyous life.  I hope it will do the same for you.  I invite you to give it a try.

Download Your Free Guideline Now

It was simple, but also a very helpful support structure for organizing the things that were important in my life that I wanted to prioritize.  I have put together a more detailed description and guideline for creating your own personal Rule of Life.

New Winter Resources by Still SacredFree Spiritual Resources – click here to Join the Journey.

Still Sacred Facebook Group, where you can communicate with others that have also decided to explore spirituality in the everyday moments of life with gratitude and humor.  Come join us!

Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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Oceans Rise

Oceans Rise

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope that the gratitude practices this month have helped to fill your life with more thankfulness.  If you haven’t had a chance to put any of these into practice, then I invite you to carve out a few minutes over the long holiday weekend to explore your spirituality.  The Lectio Divina can be done in about 10 minutes.

I was missing the ocean, and on my drive home I was graced with this beautiful song… Oceans Rise.  I thought I would share this video – enjoy!


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Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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Sacred Space

Sacred Space

Several people have asked me about creating a sacred space. This is such a wonderful topic as we explore nurturing and growing gratitude.  A sacred space is simply a place to explore spirituality and grow closer to the Divine. There is no right or wrong way to create a place of your own that you can call sacred. I will offer you three broad categories for creating a sacred space: dedicated, mobile and interior.

Dedicated Sacred Space

A dedicated space could be a whole room, an altar, a prayer or meditation garden.  This would be a place where you can go and be totally relaxed and undisturbed.  A place you yearn to go time and time again.

If you are fortunate enough to have a whole room, then consider decorating it with your favorite things and in your favorite colors.  Some items that you might find helpful to have are candles, sacred texts, comfortable seating and a clock.  If you enjoy listening to guided meditation or prayers, be sure to include a way to listen to that within your room.  There are no right or wrong things to have in the room, but consider things that bring you joy or fill you with gratitude.  If you live with other people, you might find it helpful to have a “Do Not Disturb” sign that you can hang on the door.

An altar often conjures up visions of candles , crucifixes or statues, but by definition it is a table used as a focal point for spiritual rituals. A friend has created a lovely altar on a side board in her living room.  She initially started in with a beautiful linen that she acquired on a trip to Turkey.  As she traveled, she continued to add items that caught her eye.  She sits in front of her altar, recalling the memories that these items gift her with.  This ritual brings her great joy and relaxation and helps her to prepare for her spiritual practices.

If you have a special place outside, like a meditation garden, you may not need anything at all but time.  You could consider the possibility of incorporating a mobile sacred space into your outdoor haven.

Mobile Sacred Space

I have a mobile sacred space that is contained on a small box tray.  On my tray are a votive candle, lighter, devotional book, rosary, pen, journal, lip balm, tissues and a picture of a chair.  The picture reminds me to save a place for God.  This tray gives me so many options.  I can bring it to whatever  place in the house that I feel like sitting in, because sometimes I want to be by a sunny window and sometimes I want a darker more somber location.  Of course, this tray lends itself very easily to going outdoors.  And when I travel, it’s easy to slip all the items into an overnight bag and take them with me.

Your mobile space can be anything that is portable.  I have heard of people using a makeup bag, backpack or basket, so be creative!  The types of things that you can include are totally up to you.  Some questions to consider when filling your mobile space are: What helps me to relax before I begin meditation?  What helps me to focus during prayer?  Is there something that I might need that should be included so that I won’t be distracted?  Have fun and remember that you can remove or add items at any time.

Interior Sacred Space

None of the items or spaces listed above is really necessary for exploring spirituality, but as humans sometimes we need physical things to help us prepare our mind and body to connect with the sacred.  The most important sacred space is the one that you create in your heart; an interior space.  It needs to have enough room for you to invite whatever you hold sacred into your life and deeply into your heart.  A place that is safe and sacred and has room to grow.

Wishing you all abundant blessings on your spiritual journey.


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Nurturing Gratitude

Nurturing Gratitude

I invite you to join me in exploring ways to nurture gratitude.  The process of caring for and encouraging the development of gratitude could take many forms. Previously, we discussed how to find gratitude, especially in noticing things we are thankful for and making a list of these things. Reviewing those lists could be one way of nurturing the gratitude that you have already noticed in your life. A way to go a bit deeper is to utilize prayer and meditation to nurture gratitude.

Prayer & Meditation

It might be helpful to actually define what I mean when I use the terms prayer and meditation.  In this instance, it is defined as setting aside time, when you will be uninterrupted and can fully focus on your intention in the presence of the Divine.  In this case, your intention is to notice and nurture gratitude in your life.  Giving some special care and attention to the moments in your life that you are thankful for so that they may become more abundant.

Sacred Text

One thing that I enjoy bringing into my prayer or meditation sessions is sacred texts.  Examples of these could be your gratitude list, a favorite poem or scripture. I have compiled several scripture passages that involve gratitude or thanks giving.  Sometimes it is helpful to read how others express their gratitude in order to expand our own definitions. I invite you to look them over and see if one of them stands out to you.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a Latin term that means divine reading. It is a way of reading scriptures, poems or any sacred text, where you gradually let go of your own agenda and open yourself to what God has to say to you.

The basic format is to read your sacred text 3 times:
1. Read (Lectio): The first time listen to the passage in a general way, simply enjoying the presence of God’s Word. Try not to analyze the scripture, instead allow it to wash over you.
2. Meditate/Reflect (Meditatio): During the second reading, listen for the word or phrase that stands out to you. Perhaps jot it down in your journal.
3. Pray (Oratio & Contemplatio): The final time, listen for what the Spirit might be wanting to say to you through the word or phrase in step 2. What personal message does God have for you today in this sacred text? Focus on only the word or phrase that stood out to you.

My guideline for Lectio Divina explains the practice in more detail and walks you through a sample session.  I recommend setting aside at least 10 minutes for this type of devotion.

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Gratitude: Find, Nurture, GrowIf you would like to receive my newsletter and be the first to know about new spiritual resources, then click here to Join the Journey.  Also, I have set up a Still Sacred Facebook Group, where you can communicate with others that have also decided to explore spirituality in the everyday moments of life with gratitude and humor.  Come join us!

Thanks for joining me on the journey…


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Heart of Gratitude

Heart of Gratitude

Do you struggle with gratitude?  I like to think of myself as a grateful person, but sometimes it is challenging.  I’ve come to realize that recognizing the things I am grateful for is more than just a nice thing to do – it can be a life saver!  During November, the Still Sacred blog will offer various resources, such as creating a gratitude list, to support you in making this a month for finding, nurturing and growing in gratitude.

A few years ago, I was given the assignment to write down 3 things that I was grateful for every day.  I was not too enthusiastic about this challenge.  I didn’t see the point… wasn’t it enough to simply call to mind those things that I was thankful for and meditate on them?  Wasn’t it a bit of overkill to write down these three things each and every day for a month?  What follows is my journey with making a gratitude list and the profound impact it had on my life.

My Gratitude List Adventure

In the beginning, I agonized over what to put on the  list.  Was being grateful that I had woken up really good enough to make the list?  Was it too vain to put down that my hair looked great that morning?  What about not getting stopped at a red light all the way to work?  I decided that whatever 3 things came into my mind at the end of the day, well, those were the things that I would right down.  Nothing was too small or insignificant or silly.  I was surprised that some days  it was excruciating to find those three things. Other days the pen seemed to scroll line after line of things that filled me with gratitude – I wrote 10 things one day! At the end of the month, I had filled several pages in my journal and was relieved to have finished the assignment.  I turned the page and went on to other activities, almost forgetting about the list.

It wasn’t until I found myself in the midst of a very difficult situation that I would returned to those pages in my journal.  My daughter was in the midst of some serious health concerns.  I was struggling to keep a positive attitude and present the optimistic, parental influence that she needed during that time.  That’s when I remembered my gratitude list.  I pulled it out – sometimes several times a day – and read over the list that I had begrudgingly made months early.  It was immensely helpful.  Although some of the things on the list didn’t apply to my current situation, reading the list made me smile.  Simply reading the list filled me with joy and was extremely comforting.  It allowed me to find gratitude in a time in my life when I wasn’t able to see the things that I should be thankful for.  It alleviated some of the pain in a difficult situation and gave me hope that things were not as bleak as they seemed.  That list gave me strength to persevere. In short, it was a life saver.

Finding Gratitude

I hope that my experience shows the power of finding and documenting gratitude. I invite you to write down a few things you are grateful for each day for a month.  The list is only for you, so don’t worry about what you put on it. Then tuck it away in a safe place, you never know when you might need a little pick me up.

More Gratitude Resources

In researching this topic, I stumbled upon another excellent article at “Why You Need Gratitude in Your Life Right Now” by Laura Dee ( The Mindful Mom Blographer).  Laura offers some great resources on the benefits of gratitude along with a challenge. Starting in November, she will be hosting a 30-day gratitude challenge which will include a free, printable gratitude worksheet that follows along with an online community of people who are also taking the challenge. If you are looking for some guidance, support, community and accountability, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Sign up here.   I invite you to join me in finding more gratitude with Laura’s challenge.

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Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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Grab Some Gratitude

Grab Some Gratitude

With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, November’s focus is all about gratitude.   This month’s theme is designed to help you find, nurture and grow the virtue of gratitude.

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More Coming soon…

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Anticipation: Another Life Transition

Anticipation: Another Life Transition

This week I continue with the theme of navigating through life’s transitions.  I invite you to consider a situation of anticipation, something you are eager to have happen in your life.  Perhaps it’s the birth of a child, marriage or a career change.  I do not want to give you the impression that it is bad to set goals or envision big dreams for your life.  I want you to consider what you are missing by rushing ahead in your mind to the thing you are anticipating.  There are experiences along the way, unexpected events through the transition, that you might be tempted to gloss over or opportunities that you might miss because of the intense focus placed on future events or the outcome you are expecting.

I will explore being in the state of anticipation and journeying with patience through these transitions.  It is great to be hopeful, but it can be limiting and possibly disappointing to expect a specific outcome at a designated time.  We all know that life is unpredictable, and yet we often try to control it.

Last week we considered 3 questions which you could also apply to this situation: What troubles me the most about this time in my life ? What am I supposed to learn from this?  Where is God in this situation?  However, I will pose three new questions for you to also ponder as you travel the road of anticipation: What emotions am I feeling that fuel my desire to jump ahead to the future? What can I learn from being patient?  What is God offering me in the present moment?

My Story of Anticipation

I clearly remember the day my first child due to arrive.  I had prepped and prepared for 9 long month – well 40 weeks to be exact which is clearly longer than 9 months as any expectant mother can tell you.  I got out my video recorder and walked around the house, filming the empty nursery, the shiny new toys and adorable clothes.  As I replayed the tape for myself, I was clearly NOT joyful.  I was disappointed.  My due date would come and go and still there was no baby in my arms.  I would wait another 4 days for that awesome privileged.  I can look back on it now and see that I needed that time to prepare, but my state of anticipation nearly robbed me of the joy and peace that those last few days would bring to me.

What emotions was I feeling?

Anxious and disappointed that things were out of my control.  I wanted that baby in my life and in my arms right that very moment.  I had pinned all my hopes on the date that she had been “promised” to me.  I was obviously being unrealistic and selfish.  My daughter was not the first baby to be a few days late.  I felt somehow cheated, even though I was obviously not going to have to wait forever…a few more days seemed like an eternity and I was impatient.  Also, there were underlying fears… fear of child birth… fear of parenting … fear of all the changes a baby would bring.  My mind had convinced me that somehow having the baby would alleviate all of these fears.  I was ready to be rid of the overwhelming fears, and my mind had already set the course for that solution to be having the baby at the appointed time.

What can I learn from being patient?

Patience gives me a little breathing room.  If I can wait, relax and try to enjoy the state of just being in the moment – then I am living.  I am not in the past obsessed with what has already happened, nor am I in the future mentally creating expectations that might not occur. If I can sit patiently in the state of anticipation, then I can fully feel it and cherish the blessing that I have something great ahead of me.  What this state taught me was that I had an enormous capacity to love someone that I had not even met.  To embrace the joy that a little baby was growing inside me and that was a very special privilege that not everyone gets.

What was God offering me in that moment?

Some precious time to rest.  I had all the physical things ready for my new baby, but I was given the gift of time to rest and prepare myself physically.  A few extra days for the baby to be fully ready to enter the world healthy and strong.    I remember sleeping a lot and surely I would need that extra energy in the days that followed the birth. But it is only in hindsight that I can view that as a gift.  I also had time to overcome the fears I had of the actual childbirth.  The waiting made me more prepared and determined not to be afraid.  In this time of rest, my excitement was allowed to percolate and to grow larger than my fears.  When I finally went into labor, I was calm ..well as calm as a first time mom can be… and filled with courage.

For another example of how my expectations could have limited my experiences, read my blog on exploring autumn.

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Journey through the Transitions

Journey through the Transitions

Navigating the journey through the transitions in life can be challenging. Sometimes in life we have to wait, and if you are like me, this can be hard because it means practicing patience.  Perhaps you are eager to get out of a current state of grief, loss or boredom; perhaps you are anticipating a life change…a marriage, new career or home.  Wherever you find yourself, knowing and accepting that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and not rushing through the transition can be difficult.  So take a breath and pray for clarity on exactly what this season of your life is bringing to you.

Journey through the Transitions: Walking in the Moment

Transitions come in many forms, some hopeful and others despondent. If you find yourself in a painful situation or anxious with anticipation, it is understandable that you might want this time in your life to be over.  While pain often has us looking back at what was lost, and anticipation speeds us into a future that has not happened yet, both are similar because we are not present to what is happening in our lives in the moment.  Each of these transitional periods can give us opportunities to reflect and grow in wisdom and strength.  I invite you to consider the following questions in light of your current situation:  What troubles me the most about this time in my life ? What am I supposed to learn from this?  Where is God in this situation?

My Transition through Grief

This week I invite you to journey with me through the transitions of a great loss in my life. When my grandmother died, I was devastated and lost.  I couldn’t catch my breath, it felt like a freight train had driven through my heart. I got caught in a cycle of desperately missing her and crying every day over my loss and the moments we would never share again.  Being sad and grieving the loss of someone is, of course, natural and part of the grieving process, but I can look back and see how stuck I became by focusing on what I had lost and not working through my emotions.  I just wanted to hear her voice one more time; to have her scratch my back and reassure me that everything would be alright.  In life there are things that are beyond our control; things that we cannot understand or change.  The only thing that I could change was my reaction to the situation, and I was not willing to do that at the time.  I was sad, felt abandoned and everyone was going to know it.  Then one night I had a dream.  In my dream my grandmother was walking away from me, and I was desperately trying to catch up to her.  She was walking hand in hand with someone.  Suddenly, they both stopped and looked back at me.  They were smiling as they turned my way.  I realized the person holding my grandmother’s hand was my grandfather that had died 15 years earlier.  The look on their faces was serene and joyous.  The abundance of happiness that radiated from them was contagious, and I felt wrapped in their love.

At first I awoke sad that I never caught up to my grandmother, but then I realized two things.  First, my grandmother did not want me to be sad for her, she was happy.  She was free from the pain that had engulfed the last few years of her life, and I needed to find some consolation in that fact.  It reminded me of the many talks she and I had about how dearly she missed her late husband.  I had been so caught up in what I had lost, that I failed to remember the emotional and physical pain that she had endured in her final years.  I had forgotten her truly happy and joyous smile that had faded so many years years before her death.  I was allowed to look at the situation through different lenses and refocus on the importance of seeing all angles of a situation… not just mine.

Secondly,  I was reminded that I had survived the loss of my grandfather, and it gave me the hope that I would be able to survive the loss of my grandmother too.  So many years had passed since my grandfather had died, and now I was given the perspective of time.  I could remember how devastating that loss had been, but how time had allowed me to heal and remember him with fondness and without the heart stabbing pain of grief. This perspective wasn’t instantaneously comforting, but it started me down the path with reassurance that I had survived going through the transitions of grief and loss before.

I still miss my grandmother; still wish I could hear her voice; still crave the coconut cream pie that tastes like home.  Every once in a while, I get a glimpse of someone who reminds me of her or a whiff of something that smells like her.  For an instant, my heart jumps and I look for her.  Then I realize that it is the precious gift of remembering.  Sometimes I shed a tear, but usually with a smile of my face at the lovely flood of memories that accompany the experience.  Today, I am able to remember her with gratitude.

My insights may not be the same as yours, but I invite you to ponder the questions that I offered to you earlier.  Below, I offer my own responses which are unique to my lived experiences.  None of our journeys are exactly the same, but I encourage you to look for the similarities.

What troubled me most?

As I walked through the transitions that grief brought into my life, what most troubled me was that I wasn’t in control.  Death happened regardless of what I wanted and it was permanent. I didn’t get to say my final goodbyes.  I couldn’t stop the never ending flood of memories.  I would never be able to call her up and ask her advice on the tough situations in my life.  I wouldn’t ever be able to share my joys and triumphs with her.  But through prayer, I have found that I can share these things with her.  I can open my heart and offer them to the universe, and I believe that my grandmother is there to receive my news – joyous and sorrowful – with open arms.

What have I learned?

Life is unpredictable, and I do not have the ability to control many things, but I can develop composure over my reactions.  The power of memories can pull me into despair if I allow them, or they can lift me up in gratitude with all the joy and wisdom that someone brought into my life. Time is precious, and being present to the people you cherish is paramount.  I have learned that I would not be lost in grief if I had not loved a person intensely.  I think this is VERY important to consider. In order to avoid grief, that means that I would have to stop loving and caring for people deeply.  That is not the way I want to live.

Where was God in this?

Everywhere!  He was in the darkness with me as I cried, but I was too stubborn and self-absorbed to reach out for comfort.  I thought I was abandoned and alone, but that was not true.  The Spirit brings me the the familiar faces and smells that remind me of my loved ones, but I have to be open to receive them as gifts. I have to let go of the idea that things are being done TO me, and allow for the possibility that things – good and bad – happen in life that are unexpected.  I need to devote time to prayer and meditation to continually grow on my spiritual journey towards the sacred… and remember that I do not walk alone.

Journey through Expectations

Next week, I will explore being in the state of anticipation and journeying with patience through the transitions. If you would like to receive my quarterly newsletter and be the first to know about new spiritual resources, then click here to Join the Journey.

Thanks for joining me on the journey…

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