Contentment in Holiness

Resting under your wings.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, so we cannot carry anything out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.…

Buddhist thought

Our Perversion of Freedom

With freedom comes responsibility
to self and neighbor.
Our pleasure must not come before
another’s suffering and despair.
Our selfish desires do bear down upon
our sisters and brothers when we turn
our cheek to hide our eyes.

My Experience vs. Your Experience

How long and hard would you try and explain to your neighbors, about that wild experience that literally changed your life? What if they were to condemn you to death because you wouldn’t renounce that experience? Would you deny the spirit world to save your life? Or hold on to your faith until the bitter end?

Faith: before you give up trying to put words to the mystery, let groaning prayer become your thoughts. Mountains move eventually.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV, John 16:33)

Tend the Spark

11 Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. 12 When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes. Romans 12:11-13

My youthful faith has waxed and waned for many years and far into my adult years. My first step in believing Christ as a redemptive God, harkens to my 3rd grade innocence and a longing for warmth and a purpose. I was lonely and alone, misunderstood and a misfit. And I poured every ounce of my passion into both true hope, intermingled with lots of magical thinking.

A few years ago, I found myself in a mirror, yet I didn’t recognize myself. My carefully constructed image had shattered due to circumstances beyond my control. I could no longer go through life pretending about anything. So I set forth on a course to solve all the puzzles in my life.

Fast forward to today, and the once flickering flame, that almost was extinguished, has slowly grown in intensity. I was once truly lost and despondent, on the brink of suicide over the course of 40 some years, and yet have come through it all on solid ground. The Christian studies coupled with Buddhist meditation brings joy and happiness back into existence.

Pinterest

Happy Thanksgiving 🍁 to America. And blessings to all. You are truly wonderful and lovable. Let nothing keep you from knowing true joy and peace.

Writing and how it helps.

One Place.

I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money, or what will make fame. -Alice Walker The Color Purple 1944-

This blog is not therapy. It may be therapeutic. And cathartic. I know writing for 14 plus years (2008-) has magnificently helped me arrive to this one place. And the writing I did as a child through my high school years helped me carve out a fantastical world only I was privileged to know. The moment you pick up your pen, or type away at a keyboard, everything vanishes, except the images in your mind.


“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” —Buddha

This is not a poetry blog. I previously had published poetry on WordPress and much of what I wrote was angry, despondent, and careless. Currently and painstakingly, I am extracting all my work to edit and publish a chapbook. With the intention of exposing the hurt and highlighting the healing.

Although I may sneak a few poems in here and there, what I ultimately hope to accomplish is openly share my journey from pain to freedom. And perhaps help someone else move along. I offer a Friday writing group here https://calendly.com/periwinklesstudio/the-notebook

Consider sharing your writing journey. How has writing helped you? Where do you want to land? Do you want to land? If you flew, where would you venture to?


When a writer takes on the task of exploring the world of the spirit, she has invited a process that will change her permanently. If she has done her work well, it will change her readers too.

Vinita Hampton Wright, The Art of Spiritual Writing: How to Craft Prose That Engages and Inspires Your Readers

Black and White Thinking

All my thoughts are yours.

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

We all wear layers out of necessity. From our earliest experiences to the present day, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, we face battles of self-preservation continually. And preservation of all we hold dear to our heart. Whether it be family, faith, neighbors or knowledge, an invisible battle exists.

The key I found to win this war is to gather my inner peace. I am a hoarder indeed. Of everything that sustains me through hard times. A daily reflection and confession of both beneficial and ill-natured behaviors sets my new day. The horizon not too far into the distance, I smile. And the weighted blanket of grief, sadness, and despair lifts. My steps feel lighter and I float off to start the sunrise-to-sunset!

We can learn to see ourselves
both in light and darkness.

Jeanne

We are not one dimension. We are a bouquet of both living and dead flowers of every conceivable color. We must learn how to tend to that bouquet. Our mind and heart work together for the good of ourselves and our neighbors.

With a little help from our friends.

Vulnerability

“What happens when people open their hearts?”

“They get better.”

—Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Spruce Grouse (or Fools Hen)

The Spruce Grouse is a silly bird. Unlike other birds that fly away in caution, this bird will pretend not to be seen. While hiking in the Maine woods this past summer, I came upon this beautiful creature. He didn’t scurry off until I was within 3 feet. And even then was rather nonchalant about departing. Taking a few steps further into the woods, he stopped and hung out awhile longer. Luckily I was not a predator.

Unlike the Spruce Grouse, when we meet strangers, we often are in an anxious state. There is no known security in a foreign land. So in fear, we run and hide. But what if we stayed and conversed? More often than not, we will be met with compassion. Besides, the only way we can begin to heal, is to be vulnerable. But certainly cautious too.

In expressive arts, we like to say “trust the process”. Our unconsciousness is a vulnerable avenue to explore. From the first blank page, we feel apprehension. But with time, we feel rather amazed and in awe of what has been long buried. Our spirit can be freed through deep digging and letting go of long-held beliefs that no longer ring true. Likewise, truths we abandoned, may flourish and grow.

To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing, within you.
-Theophan the Recluse 1815-1894
Your work is to discover your world (and self) and then with all your heart give (into) to it.
-Buddha

If you are curious how expressive arts can help you process internal thoughts, I am happy to come along side you. The first step is often the most difficult. Jeanne

So let’s begin.

Hearts Rock

If we wait to follow our dreams, until we are perfectly ready, we would never begin.

I have finished my expressive arts certificate and am beginning my spiritual formation classes in January 2023. But I am not waiting any longer to reach out and touch the sky.

All we desire is within reach. The sun on our face and the whispered winds on our ears, bless us. Today is the day to start.

So what is your 2023 vision? What words spark joy in you? What images bring peace of mind and body? Where will you find yourself in September next year? Let’s start this conversation! Share in the comments section or email me.

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” Buddha
The only way to get rid of your past is to make a future out of it. God will waste nothing. Phillips Brooks