Category Archives: Inspiration

Pilgrimage: From the Comfort of Your Cozy Armchair

https://pixabay.com/en/hammock-woman-female-relax-girl-1031363

 

Perhaps you find yourself in circumstances that don’t allow you to go anywhere for a pilgrimage.

No worries! You can enjoy one from the comfort of your cozy armchair!

Your library or favorite bookstore is loaded with memoirs with the theme of “A Year of…” These are a few that I’ve enjoyed:

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock,
365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker
Holy Rover by Lori Erickson

The Internet is filled with images of Holy Sites, Shrines, as well as photos and videos of the wonders of the natural world. Here are a few websites to check out:

American Religious Sites

Huffington Post’s suggestions 

BBC’s suggestions

National Park Foundation

National Parks in the USA 

 

Also, you can refresh yourself with an afternoon of surfing sites related to activities and hobbies you enjoy. Here is one I’ve enjoyed surfing:

YouTube.com

Let me know the interesting pilgrimages you’ve taken from the comfort of your favorite cozy armchair! Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Advertisements

Self Care: Pilgrimages

https://pixabay.com/en/communion-wine-bread-1997305/

 

 

Think of the act of self caring as making a pilgrimage to feed and nurture that part of you–those parts of you–that gets dismissed and trampled by every day Life.

The pilgrimage doesn’t have to be traveling to a Holy Site, a basilica in a far-off country complete with a centuries-dead saint’s relics; the pilgrimage only has to be holy to you. This is what elevates self-indulgence to an act of self-care.

A pilgrimage of self-care is a form of honoring, connecting with, and even consecrating the place within you that is deep, rich, and eternal.  

Sometimes I need to sit on my deck at night or in the early morning and gaze at the stars in astonished wonder at the exquisite magnificence of the heavens. Other times I need the camaraderie of my family or my very good friends. At another time, I may need the nurturing comfort of a bowl of soup that I’ve made from scratch or the sustenance of a freshly baked batch of cookies made from a recipe handed down from my mother.

Then there are times when all I need is to take a breather by gazing out my window and daydreaming, or pulling out my bottle of bubbles and filling the air with shimmering, iridescent bubbles.

My pilgrimage of self-care morphs and shifts to what I need in the moment. It’s all good!

For instance, my pilgrimage today is reading. I’m reading a book about an autistic person’s experience and fascination with language, and another book on a person’s spiritual journey.

Of course there are those who would say that nothing good will come of this reading: these aren’t books to choose if you’re looking for entertainment; they aren’t books that I can somehow use to further my career by making my skills and knowledge more marketable.

But they’re feeding me and nurturing that part of me that’s feeling pushed to the side and overlooked.

They make me see the world from another’s point of view. My mind considers ideas I wouldn’t have had on my own. As I go about my other tasks today, I ponder a sentence, a phrase, or a whole thought from each of the books. I know I’ll continue to do this in the weeks and months to come. I know this pondering and considering will lead to insights that will smooth some of the rough spots on my path or show me beauty and goodness I would have otherwise been blind to.

So, if eating gourmet chocolate while sipping a fine wine is an activity that restores calm, peace, and balance in your life; if it fills you with hope and reinforces your belief that beauty, love, and goodness in all forms out-weigh the negative in the world, then I say you’re on the right track.

What self-care pilgrimage are you currently on? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Spirituality: What I’ve Discovered

https://pixabay.com/en/person-hiker-peak-summit-top-983889/

 

I came across a the summary of the most recent Pew Research Survey on Religion and Spirituality in America. What the researchers discovered is something I’ve noticed in my own corner of the world: my friends, my family, and my own views. The report states that religiosity is declining in America but spirituality is increasing.

This is something I’ve found to be true in my own sphere. While my friends and family have developed–and are continuing to deepen–a reverence for life and they accept that there is a spark of the divine in all of us, they are not regularly attending Worship Services of any kind.

My friends’ interest in reading Holy Books, inspired writings, and of attending centering prayer circles and the like has increased. And, my friends are much more apt to talk about feelings of awe, wonder, and gratitude from a spiritual perspective–one that accepts there is some sort of Consciousness that supports and nurtures us all.

An interesting note to the research is that the people who claim affiliation with a religious belief system is stable. The reason there is a decrease in religiosity and increase is spirituality is not because of people leaving organized religion but rather that as the older generation, who make up the majority of people claiming affiliation, pass away, the younger generations, who generally are the unaffiliated, are not stepping into those now vacant positions.

Whether it’s because of the strong views of the affiliated or the growing spiritualism, I’ve observed in my corner of the world that, overall, people are becoming more respectful of others’ belief systems and more accepting of the idea that there’s more than one path to the Divine. And that’s a good thing!

What have you noticed regarding the spirituality and/or religiosity of your friends and family over the years? Whether you live in the United States or not, I’m interested to know if you’ve noticed the same trends in your country or region of the United States.

Thanks for sharing in the comments below!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Spirituality: Part of Crafting a Soul-Prospering Life

https://pixabay.com/en/background-lens-lens-flare-light-1594712/

 

Some of my friends have found that crafting their own soul prospering life deepens their faith in their own traditional organized religion that they follow. While I respect the organized religious faith traditions and practices–and I defend the right of everyone to worship their God in a way that is meaningful to them–I’ve found that crafting my own soul-prospering life is spiritually based, rather than religious.

I have no intention that this blog promote any kind of religious or spiritual belief or practice–I want everyone to feel comfortable, no matter their religious affiliation, spiritual practices, or even if they have no belief. However, from time-to-time my own thoughts and ruminations on spirituality will color, and have colored, this blog.

You are free to respectfully disagree with what I say and we can engage in an informative conversation that helps each other understand Life on a deeper level. This conversation is NOT to convert one another but rather to receive the information as another aspect of truth, and thinking it through to understand how each of us can use it to deepen our personal connection with our truth.

This week we’ll be talking about the part that spirituality plays in crafting a soul prospering life.   Also, I’ll share with you what my friends and acquaintances think about this. Too, I’ll share with you the books I’m currently reading as well as other resources I’ve come across that I’ve found helpful.

In the meantime, take time today to contemplate what crafting a soul prospering life means to you and how spirituality or religion or other personal practice fits into this.   If you’re comfortable, please share your thoughts and practices. I’m always interested in hearing what others are thinking and doing because it helps me with my own practices.

Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Endings and Beginnings

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Every ending has within it the seeds of a new beginning. ~Unknown

As you know from previous posts, for a number of years, I’ve been a member of a local CSA farm–a Community Supported Agriculture farm. It’s been a wonderful experience, not only supporting a small, family-owned farm and getting fresh, local, organic produce, but also watching the different cycles.

In each weekly newsletter, the farmer would tell us which vegetables were just beginning to be harvested, and which ones were ending their harvest. When the crops were finished, the plants were plowed back into the soil, enriching it, and another crop was planted.

Now, as the growing season is finishing, and as the farmer and farm crew finish harvesting each crop, instead of plowing the field and leaving it to just hang out, a cover crop is planted for the winter–even as the snows and wind blow, the cover crops are growing.

The lesson we can take from this is to not angst over things ending in our lives because it’s signaling a beginning of a different phase. Also, even when it seems like there’s nothing going on–that metaphorically we’re in a wintertime phase–we can have faith that our cover crops are still growing, still doing their thing, so that when our springtime comes, our lives will burst forth in beautiful blossoms.

Remember: Nothing ever completely ends; there’s always something new coming up!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Home Stretch 2017: Four Inspiring Poems

https://pixabay.com/en/flowers-white-fields-gardens-trees-22244/

 

Today, as we end September and leave the third quarter of 2017, let’s enjoy four poems that remind us about what’s truly important in life.

 

KEEP TO THE RIGHT

Keep to the right, within and without,

With stranger and pilgrim and friend;

Keep to the right and you need have no doubt

That all will be well in the end.

Keep to the right in whatever you do,

Nor claim but your own on the way;

Keep to the right, and hold on to the true,

From the morn to the close of life’s day!

~Unkown

 

I RESOLVE

To keep my health;

To do my work;

To live;

To see to it that I grow and gain and give;

Never to look behind me for an hour;

To wait in meekness, and to walk in power;

But always fronting onward, to the light,

Always and always facing toward the right.

Robbed, starved, defeated, fallen, wide-astray—

On, with what strength I have—

Back to the way.

—Charlotte Perkins Stetson.

 

IN MYSELF

I do not ask for any crown

But that which all may win;

Nor try to conquer any world

Except the one within.

Be thou my guide until I find

Led by a tender hand,

The happy kingdom in myself

And dare to take command.

—Louisa May Alcott.

 

WAS IT YOU?

Somebody did a golden deed;

Somebody proved a friend in need;

Somebody sang a beautiful song;

Somebody smiled the whole daylong;

Somebody thought, “‘Tis sweet to live.”

Somebody said, “I’m glad to give”;

Somebody fought a valiant fight;

Somebody lived to shield the right;

Was it you?

~Unknown

 

Enjoy the day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Motivation: Idea Generation!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=38599&picture=thinking-gorilla&large=1

 

Yesterday we took the time to ask ourselves what we’ve gotten used to in our lives. Today, let’s do some brainstorming regarding what we can do about this.

A reminder: we’re brainstorming so that means all ideas are worthy of being jotted down and considered.

This means:

~NO judging

~NO dismissing

~NO blowing off

~NO pooh-pooh-ing

~NO disparagement of any kind

 

of ANY idea, no matter how crazy or outlandish it is.

 

Also, do NOT:

~worry about the practicality

~fret about the money involved

~angst over how much time an idea might take to work out

~lament over the very few ideas you’ve come up with

~freak out over how may ideas you’ve come up with

~despair over the illogical ideas your brain produces for you

~feel like an idiot because of any idea that your creativity has gifted to you

 

We may find that a piece of one nutty idea combined with a piece of an outrageous forms a blockbuster action that move us forward faster and better than any rational or logical idea we’ve come up with so far!

Take the time today to write down as many ideas as you can. Don’t worry about the number of them, just write down all that come to you in the time you’ve allotted–I recommend 15-20 minutes of quiet uninterrupted time, perfect to do during your lunch hour (just sayin’!). Keep a notepad and pen, or other device handy, so you can jot down ideas that come to you during the day–trust me, they will!

Tomorrow we’ll talk about these. Be sure to make time in your schedule for 15 – 20 minutes of quiet uninterrupted time.

WooHoo! This is GREAT stuff!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren