The Invitation

The Invitation  

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.It doesn’t interest me how old you are

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool

for love

for your dreams

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

*******************

This is my desire – more and more I allow myself into the door of that invitation.  Scary, at times.  Yet feeling a deep sense of joy for opening the door.

Gaining Back My Spiritual Feet

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Here we are, just days away from Easter, and I’ve been continually reminded that I haven’t written in days.  I’ve been tired – physically, emotionally, spiritually – since returning from our spring break vacation.  I’d become sluggish in my body and mind, not feeling like doing much of anything and no thoughtful words coming to my mind to write about.  On one hand, I acknowledged that feeling and allowed myself the freedom from my Lenten intention to write something everyday, yet I have to admit that it came with a slight bit of judgement.   However, when the well is dry…what is one to do except rest and allow yourself to be filled?

Then, in a dream last night I saw myself as being without legs.  Analyzing this in the morning, I likened it to a feeling of not progressing forward, without the feet and strong musculature to carry me in continued growth.  A friend suggested rather, that it might be about losing my “groundedness”.  Hmmm.

Being reminded recently in an Oprah’s Next Chapter show about the strong benefits of Transcendental Meditation (or any, really) – just 20 minutes twice a day, I decided, yes, it was time to gain my legs back.  Let’s start in meditation.  I set my alarm for 20 minutes, settled myself facing the rising sun, consciously breathing in peace.  The birds chirped in sweet song, singing back and forth to one another, as the cars raced by on the street in front of me.  I was interrupted once by the recycling truck, and alarmed I’d miss him yet another week, I had to dart out with our overflowing bin.  But I easily settled myself back down into simple, refreshing breath listening to birdsong and the throng of cars.  Isn’t this just like life, I thought?  The constant barrage of life, the rabbit wheel that we can’t ignore (nor, in cases like family and friends would we want to) but then we can consciously settle back down into peace.

I followed this by a brisk walk in the park with a friend of mine, a shower (which embarrassingly is something that doesn’t always occur on a daily basis because of “time”!), thirty minutes to attend to another long forgotten spiritual practice, drawing a daily mandala, then out the door to lunch and help an older gentleman in picking out outdoor furniture.  The sun was just beginning to set as I arrived home, so I settled myself into a comfortable lounge chair facing west and our woods, this time the birdsong uninterrupted.  My mantra, “I am filled with love, peace and acceptance.”

What a beautiful day.  Attending to everything – with *enough time*-  that was important to me.  Is it because I woke up and alerted myself back to this discipline of listening in and attending to my spiritual needs?  Maybe.  Possibly.  I’m willing to put it back into action to find out!  Some of the documented benefits of meditation include: a significantly lower stess level, improved sleep, lowered blood pressure, clearer thinking, improved immune system functioning, improved skin condition, relief from pain, and improved creativity.  What an incredible list – why wouldn’t we all get on the band wagon, right?  It’s reported that most people that regularly meditate, though, do so not for it’s health benefits, but for the deep inner peace it bestows.

Isn’t that an ahhhh feeling?  This feeling that has me on my best “high”, full of gratitude with that inner laid-back feeling is enough reason to push me back into this same practice in the morning.

Regrow those spiritual legs!