Category Archives: Spirit Room

Moments that touched my heart… especially moments I shared with clients; talk about service I do that’s not computer-related, like the volunteering I do in the community; comments on things I experience; and, articles I’ve read and scenes I’ve observed that may be interesting to readers. In essence, it’s all about connecting with people and Spirit!

“Not Yet” from Daily Guideposts 2011

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that one way I get spiritually fed is by reading the stories in Daily Guideposts. I’m re-reading the 2011 edition – here’s one from July of that year, but the wisdom in it is timeless.

For with God nothing shall be impossible. – Luke 1:37

Going through yet another long-unopened box in the attic as my husband John and I prepared to leave our home of fifty years, I came upon an old photo album, leather binding cracked and discolored. In capital letters on the first page, in my own handwriting, were the words “CAR TRIP TO YELLOWSTONE.”

Daily GuidepostsThe next page held some faded photographs of various stops in Pennsylvania and Ohio. But there John came down with excruciating shingles, and we didn’t make it to Yellowstone. Now, doubtless, we never would.

But that’s not what I said to myself. Years ago while visiting my sister in Djakarta, I learned a wonderful word: belum (pronounced b’LUM) – “not yet.” There in Indonesia, the word no is avoided whenever possible – too abrupt, too final and unyielding. Belum leaves room for dreams. Asked in a job interview, “Do you have a college degree?” a fifty-year-old man who left school at nine will answer, “Belum.” And during a doctor’s exam, if an eighty-year-old woman is asked, “Do you have any children?” she’ll smile and reply, “Belum.”

I like to answer my own questions the same way. Have I learned to sew? Speak German? Play brilliant bridge? Belum to them all.

And so as I added the poor ruined album to the movers’ throwaway pile, I used the word that says life is open-ended and nothing is impossible. Have John and I visited Yellowstone?

Belum.

Let me look beyond limitations of time and space, Father, to the vastness of life in You.

– Elizabeth Sherrill
Daily Guideposts, July 6, 2011

Computers and Spirit – An Oxymoron?

The following is a story from an old Daily Guideposts, which goes to show you Spirit and technology ARE compatible and can work together for Good!

Computers and SpiritLog on.

Password.

“Dadshealth,” I typed. Dad had had a bad cold lately. Maybe the symptoms indicated something more serious. I’d been worried about him. That’s why I’d made “Dadshealth” my password – a reminder to pray for him.

“You have twelve days to change your password. Do you want to change it now?” my computer asked me.

“No,” I told the computer. Dad wasn’t out of the woods yet. He was doing better though. The doctor had run some tests. We’d find out if it was serious.

Twelve days. That must have meant I’d been praying for him for eighteen days, because my password has to be changed every thirty days. Another prayer today, then I punched the Enter key. Time for work.

Three-thirty in the afternoon. The work had been so involving I hadn’t really thought about Dad. E-mails, phone calls, snail mail, memos, manuscripts – they came at a rate that made me think I’d never catch up. One more call. I answered it.

“Hi!” It was Dad. “Just wanted you to know that the tests all came out fine. The doctor says in another week or two I’ll be well.” Two weeks. That’s almost twelve days.

“Good, Dad. I’ll keep you in my prayers.” I’d keep him in my password too.

Some years ago in Guideposts there was an article that claimed if you prayed for something for thirty days you’d get results. Thirty days. And you know what? In thirty days I’ve always found the urgency that led me to the prayer in the first place has diminished.

An answer in thirty days? Well, yes, there is an answer. Try it. Just for thirty days.

– Rick Hamlin, Daily Guideposts 2006, April 19

Are You Galloping into the New Year Too?

Well, of course, Happy New Year!

What a year it has already been for me personally. My interest in forecasts for the new year got piqued when earlier this month a client of mine, a Zennist, expressed – not once, but on multiple occasions – how excited she was about the upcoming Year of the Horse. Of course, she was referring to the Chinese zodiac, where the new year commences on January 31st.

Then I received an invitation to an open house to celebrate the Year of the Horse. Hmmm… okay. Finally, I received an e-newsletter that usually talks about changes in the global economy fairly conventionally – it included an article about 2014, the Year of the Horse (actually, the Wood Horse). So I read further, and was surprised to discover the characteristics of the past couple years and the upcoming year in  Chinese astrology seemed to correspond closely with the happenings in my own personal life. It was simply fascinating.

new year“Hold on to your hats, folks, and realize that you won’t be able to, nor will you want to, slow your horses in the New Year ahead!” reads a sentence from this article. Piqued your interest? Read it for yourself…

So, tell me, what’s your take about 2014? Leave a comment below (under “Leave a Reply”).

BTW, I was so very excited to realize that I own a wood horse! It was a gift from my dear aunt and uncle when they traveled to Norway and Sweden many years ago. Now it has even greater significance to me and I’ve moved it to a more prominent place in my home.

Christmas at the Gas Station

Christmas at the Gas Station

Here is a story about the true meaning of Christmas, to me – and something for each of us to aspire to every day in how we live and treat one another.

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George, as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said, decisively.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me…”

About Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

When I was a devout atheist, the Thanksgiving holiday was mostly about food. As far as I was concerned, I – moi – was the one to thank for whatever was in my life! This was my belief into my early 30’s. But soon upon entering the rooms of recovery and having a spiritual awakening, I came to believe in a power greater than myself, and from there on my entire philosophy about life, the world, and people changed.

These days I know it is not simply myself who has made my life what it is. I have many people, events, and things to be thankful for – all stemming from Spirit. I am most grateful to have a conscious relationship with God – as I understand The Divine – so these 20+ years since my awakening each Thanksgiving has held great spiritual significance and meaning for me. In addition, I find doing service on this day feels like an extra sacred expression to Spirit of my gratitude.

This year I’m excited to finally get to be of service at an annual Thanksgiving Day dinner that one of the local Sedona civic organizations offers to the entire community gratis. I’ve been assigned to clear tables and serve beverages, and will do so most joyfully and gratefully. Then it’s off to celebrate with friends for whom I am most grateful and who contribute to making my life rich, and who also hold Spirit and gratitude in their heart on a daily basis. This would sure be a great day to be cloned so that I could be with the myriad of people for whom I am grateful!

Yep, these days I KNOW Thanksgiving Day is not just about me… and to have reached that knowledge traveling on this spiritual journey, I am most grateful.

Comfort Around Transitions

Comfort Around Transitions - Threshold Singers of SedonaThere IS comfort around transitions. Earlier this year, I co-founded the Threshold Singers of Sedona, a chapter of the Threshold Choir. Threshold Choir is a network of a cappella choirs of primarily women’s voices, and a community whose mission is to sing for and with those at the thresholds of life (death, birth, serious illness).

When we get together to learn and practice the music, it is so much more than a rehearsal – healing occurs in our very own circle, connections are made and strengthened, and we learn more than just music! Knowledge and experience are shared about life, death, hospice, family, and peace.

When we gather at bedside (usually in groups of 2-4 singers), we sing melodies (many in round or three-part harmony) that are non-denominational and non-religious, yet people find them to be spiritual and deeply soothing to the soul. The person, as well as loved ones, often feels a sense of calm and comfort. It is an honor and a blessing for me to serve in such a capacity. I am grateful.

Threshold Choir has more than 100 chapters nationwide, and welcomes requests from family members, caregivers, and friends of those who would benefit from our soothing and loving singing; our services are provided for free. And, if you are interested in singing with us, you’ll see that we sing quietly together, blend well, and focus on love and healing. If you’re not in the Sedona area, I invite you to explore the national website of Threshold Choir.

Meditation in the Digital Age

Here’s a funny and as a friend remarked, “So, that’s what I’ve been doing all along.  Who knew?”

But, I really do see the parallels. What about you? Leave a reply…

Meditation in the Digital Age

Meditation in the Digital Age

Sorry, I’d like to attribute this to the artist but I do not know who the talented, thoughtful person is. If you do, please let me know. Thanks.

Wag My Tail Like Crazy

One day, while browsing through the Paw Prints Thrift Shop, I came across a 2006 edition of Daily Guideposts, one of my favorite publications for uplifting stories of faith, hope, love, and gratitude. Reprinted here is the May 23rd devotional written by Edward Grinnan, now the Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Guideposts Publications – don’t miss the closing!

daily guideposts edward grinnan“Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee…”– Job 12:7

I’ve had dogs all my life: my obstreperous boyhood beagle Sparky, Pete the high-strung poodle, my laid-back spaniel, Rudy, the high-energy athletic Lab Marty and my current cocker Sally, a true princess. Yet despite their markedly different personalities, they all had one common trait: the exuberant display of happiness. (Marty used to wag his tail so hard that he’d occasionally fall over.)

Maybe you have just come through the front door after being gone for all of, say, thirty-seven minutes. Or you pick up your canine companion’s favorite toy and wonder aloud if it’s a nice day to go outside. The mere mention of food will sometimes do it. Or perhaps you’ve been away for a long time, and when you get home you’re treated like the prodigal son. You know the dog has done nothing but fret about you, and now that you’re back all those worries are unleashed in a fit of delirium. And when his exertions are finally concluded, he’ll just sit there and stare at you in utter relief.

Don’t assume a dog is embarrassed by these outbursts, that he might be thinking, Look at what a fool I’m making of myself! or Aren’t I too old to act like this? It doesn’t cross his mind. A friend once remarked that she wished she could train her dog to stay put when she came through the door. Why would anyone want to train a dog to do that? It would be like training a flower not to bloom.

God, let me never forget to praise You, to raise my voice in joy, to give thanks for all Your blessings and to wag my tail like crazy when the Spirit moves me!

Dear Human

The other night at the Magdalene Circle Sedona, the presenter shared the following. When I heard it I chuckled, nodded in agreement, cringed, smiled, felt relief… Comments welcomed below 🙂

Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.

– Courtney A. Walsh

Heart

Always Warmed in Heart and Spirit…

Heron House Productions - Clouds

Clouds by Susan Barrington, Heron House Productions

ALWAYS, always warmed in heart and spirit when i receive your e-newsletters – thoughtful words full of appreciation and attention. your continuing journey is indeed rippling out into the world (you know this of course but its always encouraging to be reminded, i hope) – your words change my trajectory that tiny bit that may, at the end of the day, make all the difference.

i’m especially appreciative of the video links in your December 2012 e-news, as i am about to start a TED: Creativity series and i’m seeing some links between these projects and our study of inspired living.

also, the Muslim prayer is deeply on target. am always on an interfaith quest to collect words and thinking that somehow perfectly reflect what my own heart knows, and this prayer is exactly that. had never crossed paths with it before. another hearty thank you!

happy new year to the Verde Valley!

– Susan Barrington,
Creative Director of Heron House Productions.