As the sun sets on this very dark 2020, let us pause to acknowledge how incredibly hard it has been for so many around the world with the fallout wrought by the pandemic: to grieve the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been needlessly lost; to mourn the loss of jobs, small businesses, devastating forest fires and 100+ degree heat that seemed endless this summer; to acknowledge the necessary crumbling/dismantling of our broken and oppressive systems; and to honor the healthcare, frontline and essential workers that have kept our country and the world functioning. In the northern hemisphere as we enter winter, many wisdom traditions are celebrating the return of the light. May we also re-commit to embodying empathy, compassion, dignity and honesty, to BE the light and to spread it as we are able.
Swimming in Paradox
The forced shutdown has felt at times like I’m in a deep trough between waves where I can retreat for personal introspection, while new work has swept me up to ride the wave’s crest envisioning the future. Winter solstice marked my first year anniversary as director of operations with a remarkable startup organization and team of young co-workers at The School of Consciousness Medicine (SCM). Like most schools we shifted our experiential curriculum entirely to online learning, hoping it would only be for a few weeks, then a few months, then… Through it all, we are blessed to be growing and expanding. The opportunity to step into a new career at retirement age, was beyond luck. It was a leap of faith, trusting in Divine guidance. I am deeply humbled and grateful, as this work affords me the luxury of paying my bills, saving a little, and giving a little back, relaxing (for the moment), any worry of being without a home or income. And… I am ever mindful that good-fortune is a hairs breadth away from mis-fortune.
Walking Keeps Me Sane
In April I started walking and I kept walking, every morning at sun up, day after day. I found myself frequently crossing paths with another, and we eventually became walking buddies, exploring our neighborhood, witnessing the changing seasons, learning the names of flowers and trees, watching the local flock of turkeys grow, and tracking it all with over 1500 photos, and a walking app on my phone. I’ve walked over 900 miles (more than I’ve driven this year) and I’ve only lost 5 pounds. C’est la vie! My hair has gone from blondish to sable gray, the same color as my cats Richie & Margot’s fur. This is what happens to the body at my age. Walking IS great for one’s mental and spiritual health. It has literally kept me sane, and it has brought me great joy, sharing photos each day on social media, lifting other’s spirits. That’s been my ministry this year.
My Evolving Ministry
After ten years as “keeper of the temple,” holding sacred space for the community prayer circle of my beloved Nine Gates Mystery School, I’m passing the torch. I am humbled and honored by the trust placed in me to hold so many during their most vulnerable and tender moments. It has been an incredible heart-opening decade. I’m not leaving the community, merely opening space for a different way to serve in the world. The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI), the seminary I ordained with in 2016 and worked for last year, I am now a guest teacher, academic advisor and group facilitator accompanying students through their seminary experience. I also completed my spiritual direction practicum for certification, and am trusting that my practice will grow organically as needed. I invite you to peruse my redesigned website here, focused on my spiritual care offerings. Drop me a note, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to pass the link on. https://ljwdivinesight.com
Above all else, thank you to my spiritual teachers, guides, friends, colleagues and family for your support and encouragement along this labyrinthine journey, especially this year. As Baba Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
May the “2020” clear vision we hoped for this year, be truly eye-opening in hindsight, and may 2021 bring new revelations and opportunities for waking up and creating a kinder, gentler, more just and loving world.