Trailing Clouds Of Glory
Most of us are familiar with the inner criticism and gnawing self-doubt we hear when we want to take the next step in our work or life. Rather than staying stymied we can observe our thoughts, let them go and return to the truth of who we really are. William Wordsworth reminds us of our one true home:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life?s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:?
Returning home to our true self, in each moment, is our lifework. We get sidetracked thinking the promotion, job, or finishing that e-book/workshop/project is what?s important. Certainly, accomplishing some tasks is necessary however, the state of our being as we go about doing the task is more important than getting the task done.
Walk in the Graveyard
Returning to our breath - our thread to God - reconnects us to our true home. Likewise, taking a break from our daily world and going for a walk in a graveyard can reground our soul. Seriously ? try it! Like I did early last Sunday morning after I dropped my husband off at work.
I was feeling pressured to get work done as my husband was working and I wasn?t. Also, I was feeling resentful I ?had to? wash the car, do the shopping, figure out the best e-book compiler, buy it and begin learning the software and writing that e-book. Worse yet, I felt martyred doing this all on Sunday. Normally, although I?m not much of a church-goer, I like to keep the Sabbath sacred nourishing myself and my spirituality.
As the ?to-do? litany continued spoiling my morning I heard my small, still voice whisper, ?Walk in the graveyard.? Nearly driving by the graveyard, my decision was quick. My ?busy? energy responded with, ?Ok. Go to the graveyard and get your walk over with.? With reflective hindsight, the complete ?do/achieve? focus of that energy appalled me. My daily walks are intrinsic to my emotional and spiritual well-being ? not solely a body exercise to be done!
At first I felt empty on this sunlit morning as I marched the graveyard perimeter for ?maximum exercise.? Then, following another intuitive impulse I broke off from the ?exercise strategy? and strayed toward a gravestone that has always haunted me. There lay buried a young man, only twenty seven years of age, music notes adorning his tombstone and the words, ?Even so, - it is well with my soul.? Ah, in the face of such sorrow and loss, ?Even so, - it is well with my soul.? Ah? such comforting words.
The next tombstone read, ??here are those called to God for His purpose?? and in that moment I knew each of us were called to God. With my hand on my heart and tears on my cheeks I now walked slowly, my militant march now a sacrilege. Then, again, I stopped. Listen! Listen! Gay, busy birds chirping everywhere! Had they just begun? Or had I missed hearing them before? The vanilla fragrance from the looming Ponderosa pines filled my senses.
Keeping the Sabbath
With my hand still upon my heart, I was fully present, fully alive amidst the quiet dead. Suddenly there was nothing to do, no pressing tasks, no time pressures, no directing voice, only this moment of fullness, delight, softness of the soul. The Sabbath had come. I entered into the Sabbath. I was home.
Can we keep this Sabbath every day, every moment? How much richer might our communications, work, relationships, and actions be if we did our best to work from this God-centered energy rather than the harsh, pressing demands of fear?
In the following passage from ?Circle of Stones, Woman?s Journey to Herself? Judith Duerk gives a roadmap for returning to our God which I believe holds true for men as well as woman.
?Woman grounds herself in being as she claims her time, moment by moment, to be within it, as if she could touch it and hold it in her hand? as she claims her time to be, not forcing into an hour more than that hour can hold, but listening, with a sense of balance and restraint, that each task be quietly fulfilled with pause before and after? an interlude for her to reflect, to be present to herself.?
Being present to our Self, our God, moment by moment is our lifework.
About the Author: Teresa Proudlove is the publisher/editor of http://www.yourlifework.com: support and inspiration for your work and life. Teresa has been inspiring, supporting, and mentoring over 3000 people upon their lifework path for fourteen years, leading workshops and authoring many internationally published articles.