Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Winter Drive

Don't worry,

I wasn't driving.

I was witnessing the world,

through the windows of the passenger seat.

So often we attempt to drive, to control the details of our lives, only to discover we have been in the passenger seat all along. That's not to say we have no power, no decisions to make or that our participation is not necessary in the creation of our lives day to day, but as time goes on I am beginning to understand that our role...well, let me speak for myself here, my role seems to be more that of an engaged passenger. I can request a left turn or perhaps a right. And sometimes that request is honored. Sometimes the Divine taxi driver, or fate, circumstances, genetics (what ever you wish to name this mysterious chauffeur) is not so obliging to my creature desires. And so, of course I can make a different choice. I can choose to tune in and pay attention to the view offered me. I can choose to accept this detour away from my plans and enjoy the ride. Then again, I could just as easily be grumpy all the way, close my eyes and heart in resentful disappointment, and miss the journey completely.

This is why I meditate. One reason anyway. When I sit in silence, I become aware of my resistance to being a passenger. And with daily practice, and more practice, and even more practice, my curiosity grows. My struggle to be "ok" with the scenery of my mind and heart, body and actually appreciate, or at least accept the view through my windows of direct experience relaxes...and I start to see things I didn't notice the sweeping curves, the red surprises, the subtle variances between grays, the reflections that through grace, mirror harmony of inner life and external reality.

Join me at Awake is Good on Friday where I have the honor of sharing a meditation practice based on a traditional Jewish gratitude prayer with you as part of Jan's still on-going 28 day meditation challenge. Actually, stop by every day this week, Jan has some wonderful guest bloggers lined up to teach a variety of meditation/mindfulness practices. Joanne from Breathe as Me is the guest Wednesday and Christine from BlissChick on Thursday. There are some special give-a-ways too...including 2 free one-hour creativity coaching sessions me.


  1. Beautiful blog, full of wise Yogic sentiments. I personally find that the process you describe leads not just to acceptance, but wonder and joy as well.

    On another topic, I know I'm going out on a limb with this, but see if you like this video. I found it funny, but to some it may be too flippant:

    Kabbalah Crash Course

    What do you think?

    Bob Weisenberg

  2. Hi Bob, Yes lots and lots of Joy and Wonder!

    I love this little video clip. I taught yoga and Jewish spirituality, meditation and Art from a Jewish spiritual perspective (all laced with Torah text, prayer, middot, Chassidic wisdom and a splash of Kabbalah) for 7 years to teens in the Greater Boston area...I think Illana Donna would have really dug my Hebrew High classes! It was definitely different when I went to Hebrew School-Much like what Illana describes. I had to be a grown-up to learn the really cool mystical stuff Judaism has to offer...I have been blessed with some amazing teachers at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. BTW, Chana Rothman (the singer at the end of the video) is really good friends with MY really good friend Naomi Less (a little Jewish Geography for ya!)

  3. Snowy roads are certainly prettier from the passenger seat...and even moreso in photos...

    But enough literalism...that's a beautiful description of meditation...and I guess it's also part of what makes meditation difficult...feeling like I need to get up and put my foot on the gas pedal to drive my life if it isn't gonna go forward anyway...(hmmm...I like that...may end up on my next post...).

  4. Greetings Laura,

    I am pleased to see you went out for a little road trip and had a change of scenery, despite the cold.

    Yes, we are passengers of life and yet there is a balance to being just a passenger or having the chance to adjust the route, that is what makes life interesting.

    Wishing you all the best,

  5. This post was so enlightening. Made me realize the vast void is apart of our meditation. Reconnecting to this peace. our thoughts and actions on earth in this body create energy in which we can get to much of and must go back to the source. As in space where everything seems quiet with no sound.
    Wow, you really opened my mind today!
    Thank you so much!



  6. Beautiful post! I have a strong need to *control* my days , thus I dislike being a passenger in the car driving through life. But, sometimes being in the jump seat takes our minds of the stressful road and enables us to enjoy the scenery. I have to remember that.;)
    Loved this post. And the images are lovely as well.

  7. Thanks Dr. Jay, I'm looking forward to reading your take on this driver vs passenger business :)

    Hi Egmont and it is a fascinating trip, this thing called life, isn't it?

    So happy my writing opened some inner space for you today!

    Zuzanna, sometimes the things we dislike strongly are pointing directly to what we need to learn most...enjoy the scenery...this world is oh so beautiful!

  8. The recognition that I can make a choice has made all the difference. Though I still resist on a regular basis, I am learning to let go sooner rather than later. Love the parallels you draw with nature, which is one of my best teachers when I pay attention.

  9. Hi Sharon,
    Ahhh, well, "resistance is futile" (spake the Borg)...and yet struggling is part and parcel of the learning process. So we resist...we let go...we resist...we let go...and on and on. Nature and our own nature all, wonderful teachers:)

  10. Thanks, Laura! Seems so true... ...enjoyed the pictures!

  11. Hi Brooks,
    thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the photos!

  12. great photos laura...isn't it fun to watch the snow? (from somewhere

    it took me awhile to figure out that I was driving myself nuts trying to drive when I was actually supposed to be a passenger. It's still a lesson I visit often (though I like to think with a little more grace-hopefully-each time around).

    wonderful post!

  13. Hey Laura,
    It actually did make it into the my latest post...check it out if ya like...

  14. Hi Brandi, Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, learning is like that. Sometimes it take a lifetime for things to really sink in.

    Hi Dr. Jay, on my way over right now!!!

  15. Laura I have been thinking of this so much myself.

    I think because I have been really sore lately. More than that actually. In a lot of pain.

    That we have no control. That it is out of our control. It is in God's hands.

    I wish you weren't sick. It is okay that I am and I know that it is a death sentence for me sweet friend, but I wish you weren't sick.

    Love Renee xoxo

  16. Dear Renee,
    I am ill, but my life is so, so good. I am not suffering. And if I could wish upon a star and know the wish would come true, I would wish that you were not suffering that so many, many people were not suffering in pain, in fear, in hunger, in grief; there are far too many ways to suffer in this world. I know you are dying and I have nothing to offer, no brilliant words of wisdom...all I can do is check in once in a while and witness your LIFE through your beautiful blog. So, back to witnessing and all being in the hands of God. We are but grand scheme of things (at least in my own life) it has so far been an exquisitely fascinating ride. I am so glad that I am here and that you are here and that we have somehow mysteriously met. Breathe into the pain with as much compassion as you can muster for yourself, knowing that many, many people are breathing along with you, doing all we can to soothe your painful body with loving breath and healing intentions.

    namaste, shining soul

  17. Laura,
    This idea of being a passenger is one that really has me thinking tonight. At times we're the driver, and other times we're the passenger. There's a time for both, and there's something very related to awareness for me - when I think of "passenger". Perhaps it's like those photos (which are lovely!), and just our chance to be more aware, fully aware of what is around us. And I think there's a lot of good in that...

  18. You raise an important point Lance. There is a time for driving too. And yes awareness of all that we are blessed to see, hear, feel, taste, is really a great gift to relax and be a passenger.


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