Your New Consciousness

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The early morning clouds spread a dull gray hue

across the scene outside our picture windows.

There was a chill in the air as I completed outdoor chores.

I felt that old nagging boredom,

and wondered what I should do with my morning.

 

Then came the moment

when the full, bright sun emerged from behind the dreary clouds,

and vibrant spring colors came to life across our cypress swamp,

like the bright green leaves of the willow, maple, and cypress,

and the darker, rich greens of the magnolias,

and the small red fronds of the white oak.

The adobe stone path leading to our pier was illuminated by speckled sunlight,

and the deep blue sky was reflected in the water,

as surface ripples revealed the movements of fish.

A pair of brown whistling ducks called out with their orange beaks.

My consciousness shifted from a vague state of relative unawareness

to what the Buddhists call a “blue-sky mind,”

and Richard Rohr calls the “contemplative mind,”

in which the apparent lifelessness around us can dissolve

into a reanimated, re-enchanted landscape:

the vibrant kingdom of God’s natural world.

 

A woman felt trapped in a deadening marriage,

pummeled by wars of shaming accusations, belittling words,

and the perpetual need for defensive armor.

She was locked into a self-image of being small, unworthy, and powerless,

which brought out behaviors that appeared controlling, angry, and combative.

After too many years—long, painful years—

she came to the end,

and announced her plan to leave,

despite the increase of shaming and blaming by her husband.

A light slowly arose within her,

fragile as a flickering candle,

a felt sense that her wishes, needs, dreams, and life itself might still matter.

A tiny voice within coaxed her forward, out of her dark dungeon

and into the light of knowing–perhaps for the first time in her life–

that she is God’s beloved.

 

A clergyman and counselor worked for a private hospital for ten years,

even though one of the hospital’s owners spent the decade

trying to save money by closing his spirituality department.

“It’s not personal,” the owner would say. “We just need to cut expenses.”

So the clergyman went about his work,

keeping his head down, feeling insignificant,

and fearing he would lose his job someday,

leaving no way to provide for his family.

He couldn’t imagine being anything but an employee.

Self-employment was clearly for brave “business-types,”

and not even an option for him.

The day came when the hospital administrator announced

he could either resign or be terminated, “to cut expenses.”

To save face, he resigned and launched out into private practice,

fully expecting to fail, but not knowing what else to do.

A year later, a psychologist peer stopped by to ask,

“How’s it going?”

The man answered from an inner place he had never known before:

“I am poor, but free!”

For the first time in his life he had experienced the freedom of independence.

 

Your new consciousness will also come in a moment of surprise,

as old ways of seeing the world, and yourself, fall away.

Then, by the transformative work of the divine inside you,

new vistas will open,

opportunities never imagined will appear before you, and

unexpected paths will lead you through terrible, exciting adventures.

“I call you by name, for you are mine,” says the LORD.

“I guide you to horizons you never knew,

and help you drink in the Enough you need,

which is waiting inside you, even now.

Rivers of alive water

will source your new creativity

and bring you to your True Home,

an inner dwelling

where you will know me as a Friend,

and we will do amazing things together.

Let’s begin now.”

 

Amen.

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About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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