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.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Connections, Community, Belonging

Edge of Light 1.

I arose early this morning as I seem to do regularly now, ever since Feb 2009 after a bout of shingles woke up MS in my body (of course we didn't know that was what was happening at that time). After meditating in bed for awhile in the darkness today, I opened my MacBook and started catching up on favorite blogs I've not read for a while. And there was Cathy's blog, Healing Through Multiple Sclerosis . I love her writing, her artwork, her honesty, her courage, her brilliant shining spirit that never fails to touch my heart. She is a wise, beautiful soul, who writes about her own healing journey. Tell me, who of us isn't on a healing journey? You don't have to have MS to relate to Cathy's experiences, so do take a moment to peruse her blog and say hello, you will be so pleased you did. Her last two posts, Good Night and Home, sparked these thoughts in me 1) waking up in the darkness is a gift depending upon how we orient ourselves to the situation and 2) blogging is a magical bridge, connecting beautiful people around the world.

1)Waking up in the darkness is a gift...
There is an unusual feeling of welcome that the dark hours before dawn offer when I relinquish the annoyance brought on by the desire to “be normal’ and sleep longer like everyone else. Now that I’ve learned to surrender to this early waking (most of the time, some days I still struggle), it feels like a secret invitation to simply be present to breath, to sensation, to my wandering thoughts that seem always to direct my heart to prayer and gratitude. Waking up between 3:30 and 5am gives me a chance to practice meditation before the household arises. I feel safe, comforted, a little sleepy, but mostly like I am dwelling in "belonging". I belong to the early hours, they belong to me. It is a time to immerse myself in silence and feel the sacredness around me and within me.

2) Blogging is a magical bridge...
Depending on the amount of disability an individual experiences with MS, the isolation of being home bound much of the time is a BIG part of learning to live with the disease. For many of us with MS and folks with many other debilitating diseases, the internet in general, Facebook, chatrooms and blogs in particular, are sometimes the only way we can meet with other people. I hope that my blog is a welcoming bridge, an inviting space to visit for all who happen by and will be just one stop of many on your blogging travels. (You might want to visit a few of my friends listed on the right hand column under inspiring blogs.) Reading your stories, poetry, prose, viewing your art, learning about your lives through photos, sharing comments and emails all sustain me and convince me daily that the world is full of kindness, thoughtfulness and truly good people. Yes there are always terrible things happening somewhere in the world every single day, but on the whole, we are whole. Humanity is full of love and light.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My girls will return to school in the middle of next week. Thank God, for now, I am independent around the house (except for the steps sometimes) so Gordon will be going into the office more (working from home less), all as it should be. But because my energy is limited and my symptoms are wildly unpredictable again, going out by myself is difficult at best. So it will be back to hanging out in the gnome mound for me, but I am in far better health than I was when I originally wrote about the mound, so I know I will be able to get out more on short jaunts from time to time and with some assistance to go out for longer periods or further from home. And well, frankly, that still would be overwhelmingly lonely and isolating if it were not for the beautiful e-bridges (and phone calls, thank you Alexander Grahm Bell!) After Sept. 1st, I will be back online more regularly again, posting my thoughts (and photos) and visiting with you dear ones. I feel tremendous joy, gratitude and, belonging when I think of the warm, generous, supportive community I am blessed to connect with through technology.

In closing today I want to mention some special visitors to my blog. I have had a few visitors from China lately who are able to leave comments on my blog in Chinese, but are unable to write their stories or receive responses from me on their own blogs. Because of this, I want to thank you here for your kind words of support. I wish I could learn more about you and your lives, but understand that it isn't possible at this time...just know that I appreciate your visits to my blog.
谢谢您的仁慈,我祝愿您许多祝福。

gentle steps,
Laura

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Laura. I loved reading your take on the dark hours. It is a time of connection and reflection and a definite gift.

    The synergy in blogging never fails to amaze me. It's wonderful.

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  2. I, too, loved your take on the early morning hours. I've struggled with them in the past as my mind leaps into overdrive and it is difficult to lay there (with the T-Do list blaring!) when my beloved is still asleep—as we do like to awake and rise together. And I honor that, so I stay still. It is good for me to practice metta or simply lay in the silence, connecting with the be-ing part of me. I will take your process to heart, Laura, and thank you for this gentle sharing.

    I will hope that the school kick-off goes well for you (my youngest is heading back to college very soon) and will welcome you back in blogland. Your wise loving presence is always so welcome...xo

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  3. blogging is a magical bridge, one that links us with our soultribe

    as our winter slides into spring, and we start heading out doors, those of you in the north are sliding back into your homes after summer vacations

    despite these opposites, the bridge allows us to meet somewhere in the middle :)

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  4. So grateful that the bridge brought us to each other. There are days when the light of my computer screen guides me right to your blog and you write something that I need to hear in that particular moment.

    The world would be a far lonelier place without wonderful blogging friends like you to keep me grounded and connected. Thank you, as always, for sharing your wisdom and your heartfelt perspective.

    Love and peace,
    Deb

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  5. You embrace your world, the darkness and home as if they have special gifts you would not receive elsewhere. I will remember these words when I get up early (as I often do) and feel disoriented. I, too am learning to accept and truly listen to what the darkness has to say.

    Thank you for being here, Laura.

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  6. You're so right, Laura; we are all trying to heal. I just want you to know you are helping me to heal, and I'm grateful to have met you in the middle of the bridge. Enjoy your quiet alone time; those dark hours can be magical.

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  7. Though I am not dealing with illness, I have found the same connection with others through blogging. At this time in my life I feel the most isolated I've ever felt and am grateful for the support from friends I have made online.

    I don't appreciate the dark morning hours as you do, Laura, but maybe I can begin to see them differently the next time I find myself up at that hour. Your stories and insights continually inspire me to look beyond what I think I see.

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  8. What a beautiful post Laura. You are a source of inspiration.

    Take care and be well.

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  9. Ahhh, finally. All day yesterday, blogger was not allowing me to enter my own comments into MY blog. Well, I did manage to respond to several of you individually...none the less. I thank you ALL dear members of my "soultribe" for meeting me here in the middle of the bridge. May we all be lamps for one another, especially at times when the darkness seems to spill into daylight hours.
    shine on dear ones!

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  10. Thank you for this post on early morning awakening and blogs. Blogs have been my Godsend, both in writing my own and reading others. I identify with the limitations of a disease(I have fibro, chronic fatigue, depression, panic disorder, thyroid cancer just to name a few) and I have to decide each day just how to spend the spoons I have been given each day(see my blog right column on The Spoon Theory). Hope today is a good one for you. Continue to BELIEVE.

    Hugs,

    Ness

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  11. Hello beautiful girl, how are you? Hope all is well with you. I, too, am beginning to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and what a joy - as it always is - to find your words filled with sageness and warmth.

    I agree on that early morning time we have to ourselves. I usually rise around 5 a.m. and have a couple of hours to myself before the day that is filled with so much noise begins. It is on those days when I wake up early and have that silent time to myself to read or write, that I am centered most. It grounds me for the remainder of the day.

    As far as blogs...it has been a most serendipitous blessing for me. Never did I imagine that I would meet so many wonderful and beautiful people along the way. The connection to kindred spirits is such a gift.

    Thank you for your words, dear heart and sending you much blessings and love,

    Rebecca

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  12. Laura, you and your blog "sustain me and convince me daily that the world is full of kindness, thoughtfulness and truly good people." I learn about gentle steps from you. Thank you so much.
    Judy

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  13. LAURA, my son returned to school this week...and I am running to exhibit my phjotos, dear

    Iam so happy..Thanks God

    Oh..I will leave from to Africa on september 28

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  14. Laura, I am an early morning person. Always wake up while it is still dark. Meditate and pray and love seeing dawn. Guess I am unusual. But then I am in bed at dusk. Of course - my stage of life - allows this joy,
    So pleased I found you!!

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  15. I really like this article and all other articles of the blog . your writings are great.

    Please visit my blog on spirituality and follow it.

    http://hrudayam-theinnerjourney.blogspot.com/

    Thanks
    vijay
    India

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  16. Laura,
    Your blog is always a quiet, soulful place upon which to rest my mind for a moment. It's wonderful how we are all able to provide essential elements of life for each other. Thank you!!
    Lisa

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