“Where do you experience the spirit of fluency in your life and where are you willing to live, ‘Like a river flows/Carried by the surprise/Of its own unfolding’?” Angeles Arrien
My first thoughts that arise to this question identify when I DO NOT experience fluency. I recognize that psychic stop in myself when I hold fast. When I resist. When I draw that figurative line in the sand and refuse to budge. Identifying it helps me realize how destructive this is for me.
And I suppose there are less obvious times – when I veer away from thoughts and situations instead of letting them wash over me or through me. What is so important about resistance? Because for me, this “flowing like a river” is the opposite of that. And since resistance in some form or another is my besetting sin*, I am going to concentrate on this flow in hindsight and foresight.
I am easy with so many things now. Most days I can trip lightly over the shenanigans of my family on Facebook and not snap back with instructive (or destructive) comments. I can usually smile and understand that all of us speak from our own age and experience. I know that not everyone would even look at my thoughts and theories – let alone espouse them. That’s okay.
I can usually hear the trials and tribulations of my children and grandchildren without spouting solutions. Of course, I am thinking solutions, but I am getting much better and swallowing them.
My husband and I have very different ideas on many things – from food to politics to family. I am no longer so tweaked by these differences. I understand that our joint thoughts and attitudes combine to make up a team that has worked pretty well through the years.
Probably most of all, I am easy about my own spirituality. Although I will always be a seeker after learning and higher thoughts, I am comfortable with my beliefs. It is well with my soul.
*I use this term loosely because I don’t really believe in the hard core concept of sin (but that is for another conversation).
I was discussing women’s groups with an acquaintance. I have never thought of myself as having a women’s group. But gathering monthly with my friends on a regular schedule must fall into the category.
So when asked, I told her that I belong to two. I described one group as just friends who had begun meeting when we were all practicing our professions. (Each different areas, btw.) We enjoy each other’s company.
I described the second as a spiritual group.
I have thought about my response. What is spiritual in this context?
At any get-together someone might talk about her own faith in a given situation, but we are not faith-centered. God in all of his/her guises may come up in passing but we certainly don’t discuss theology of any sort. So why do I think of these women as spiritual?
Because these women are spirit-filled in a totally “non-apostolic faith” manner.
At different times any one of us may have difficulty getting to the core of who we are and how we deal with our lives. But each of us is heartfelt in our desire to be honest in our responses. In our conversations, we do not voluntarily hide behind walls. We constantly expose ourselves by expressing our true feelings. We tell stories that show our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
This is truth to me. It is spiritual. Brené Brown calls it living “wholeheartedly”.
I am rejuvenated after being with this group of women. It feels restful to have spent an hour without any posturing or posing. Knowing that I don’t live this way all day, every day, gives me pause.
If I am to follow a spiritual path, I believe I must increase my time in this repose. It is being myself.
I have heard this concepts couched in many different ways. These principles are a part of my practice.
And yet, when I happened upon this blog post of my friend, Ramana, at Ramana’s Musings, I recognized it as a succinctly written lesson that bears repeating. Click here to read this important post in full.
The Four Principles of Spirituality
The First Principle states:
“Whomsoever you encounter is the right one”
The Second Principle states:
“Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened”
The Third Principle states:
“Each moment in which something begins is the right moment”
This is the Fourth Principle, the final one:
“What is over, is over”