I’ve just returned from a lovely workshop tour to Austria and Germany. These trips are special for so many reasons, one of which is that the group traveling together becomes a very close traveling family. And many go on to become lifelong friends. Another blessing-benefit is the gift of time – the time to get to know people, to have long conversations, to hang out after dinner. Time is a precious commodity and I am so very mindful that in choosing to come along on one of these workshop tours, a person is committing two weeks of his or her life. That is more of an investment than money, as money can be replaced, but time cannot. So, I am mindful of the gift of time that people invest – that which is not replaceable and therefore it must be filled with something sacred, something worthy, something healing including truths that light up the soul.
No matter where I travel these days, however, people now speak about the turmoil in the world. It is everywhere. Conversations arise about whether going here or there is safe, for example. And what will tomorrow bring? And what if this happens or that? It’s not difficult to sense the psychic stress lines that have formed around people – perhaps around all of us. And I was asked several times, “What do I think is going on now?” and “What do I think will happen?”
Something rather remarkable occurred to me amid these types of questions and the conversations that they generated. People noted that while their life changes were brought about through a physical, social, or emotional trauma, that unforeseen event was the catalyst to their discovering the life path they were now on. They would not be doing a sacred journey or any inner healing work had those events not happened. And without the healing work, they would not have become environmentalists or health practitioners or retired so early just to experience life. Such stories are more common than I can tell you. As I listened to several people share their version of that archetypal “death and rebirth” journey, I realized that this is our time to contribute to the story of humanity. And we can either fear this time or become participants in the power and creative vibrancy of this moment in history. When I look at people in my workshops, I think, “You need to realize – to believe – that you were born for this moment. You are built for the emotional, psychological, spiritual and psychic obstacle courses that we are facing now. Every inner challenge you have confronted has been in preparation for facing, enduring, and outwitting the outrageous challenges of your life. You need to trust not just your creative genius but your creative madness. You need to be creatively bold, not quiet; spiritually fierce, not shy. And you need to learn to pray like you are crazy, as if Divine intervention was as ordinary as birdsong in the morning.”
So, take a moment and wrap yourself up in a prayer full of grace. Breathe it in. And just let grace work its wonders:
Lord, sometimes I forget who created this world. Sometimes I forget that what is happening in the world is temporary – a momentary drama, an explosion of human madness. I need to withdraw from that drama, from the madness that can so easily find its way into my mind and heart, into my emotions and my thinking, and remind myself that I must remain loving, kind, honest, and hopeful. The more noise in the world, the more I need that silent, still place within me. Lord, grant me the stamina to confront fear, to recognize when it is taking charge of my mind and heart. And fill me with the grace of courage that I can stop a fear from taking hold of me. Hover over me, Lord. Send your angels to watch over me during the night and let me wake in calming grace come morning.”