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Strengthening Our Nervous Systems

Last week I talked about strengthening our nervous systems to be able to bear this individual and collective free fall we are in the midst of. To find the place inside that is strong and clear and refuses to get caught up in ego agendas alone. Ego agendas are really a conglomeration of defense mechanisms when we feel under threat which are attempting to recover a sense of safety and stability. It is not unhealthy to want to feel safe and stable, therefore ego agendas are normal and we do not want to demonize them. However, they tend to be reactive and operate from parts of ourselves outside of relationship from the whole. Rather than judge ourselves when we see this, further keeping the split off part isolated, we can allow self-compassion to bring them back, connecting them to the whole once again. There is an intelligence in these defense mechanisms and it is good to listen to what is at the root of them and then allow that energy to go where it is actually needed. Let your frustration and anxiety move you into some kind of action that is in integrity to your concerns about all that is happening in the world and to your commitment to become a source of stability, faith, hope, and love. Let your overwhelm and numbness move you into grief, prayer for our world, rest in God, and deep stillness. Let your compassion re-whole you and extend to others who may be caught up in ego agendas alone. May strength, clarity, and compassion abound, Heather


A Couple of Readings from this week's pauses: “…the work of ‘bringing the mind down into the heart’ is a combined meeting of human effort and divine grace. To put it more succinctly, the yearning to fall to center is itself the result of a force of gravity already drawing us to center, and this gravity is God. ‘The eye with which you seek God is the eye with which God seeks you,’ as Meister Elkhart put it. Or as it is beautifully expressed in that Merton quotation…: ‘This act of total surrender is not merely a fantastic intellectual and mystical gamble; it is something much more serious. It is an act of love for this unseen person, who, in the very gift of love by which we surrender ourselves to [God’s] reality also makes [God’s] presence known to us.’” — Cynthia Bourgeault, ‘Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening’ “When we live gratefully, all of our moments, choices, and interactions can be impacted. As a way of life, grateful living helps us to navigate everything that unfolds in our days. It is a trustworthy road map even in our most challenging times. Gratefully engaged with the moment at hand, we find an unexpected doorway into well-being and joy.” — Kristi Nelson, 'Wake Up Grateful' 'The God Who Only Knows Four Words' Every Child Has known God, Not the God of names, Not the God of don’ts, Not the God who ever does Anything weird, But the God who only knows four words And keeps repeating them, saying: “Come dance with Me.” Come Dance. — Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky 'The Root Of The Root Of Your Self' Don’t go away, come near. Don’t be faithless, be faithful. Find the antidote in the venom. Come to the root of the root of yourself. Molded of clay, yet kneaded from the substance of certainty, a guard at the Treasury of Holy Light — come, return to the root of the root of your Self. Once you get hold of selflessness, You’ll be dragged from your ego and freed from many traps. Come, return to the root of the root of your Self. You are born from the children of God’s creation, but you have fixed your sight too low. How can you be happy? Come, return to the root of the root of your Self. You were born from a ray of God’s majesty and have the blessings of a good star. Why suffer at the hands of things that don’t exist? Come, return to the root of the root of your Self. You are a ruby embedded in granite. How long will you pretend it’s not true? We can see it in your eyes. Come to the root of the root of your Self. You came here from the presence of that fine Friend, a little drunk, but gentle, stealing our hearts with that look so full of fire; so, come, return to the root of the root of your Self. [...] —Rumi, translated by Kabir Helminski “There are beautiful wild forces spiraling within us. Let them turn the mills and fill the sacks that will feed even the heavens.” — Saint Francis of Assisi


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