“Do not give away what God has given you.” ~ Susan A. Purnell, Ordination Day to the Priesthood
During these hot summer Southern California days, I am aware of the temptation to give into inertia. But is this not the traditional season for leisure, fun, play, and re-creation? Besides, isn’t today, like every day of every season, a time to be Soul Alive? Of course it is. If we choose to show up, be still, stay awake, listen, trust, and act, we will know ourselves today to be Soul Alive.
“I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.
~ John 10:10b
Summer nights in Southern California are grand, but for me the heat of the day is another matter. As I have gotten older, it has become clear that I would rather skip the stifling heat of this season’s days. With the all-consuming hot air everywhere, I feel oppressed as if I am trapped, baking in an oven. The energy drain and the accompanied sluggishness that I feel in my body, spirit, and mind is disconcerting. On the days when I feel forced to shut myself in an air-conditioned space, I miss the vitality I gain from being outdoors in creation. I would not mind a week or two of summer, playing in the pool all day, but twelve weeks of attempting to live life as usual under such conditions pushes against my natural gain. My head says, ‘there are deadlines to meet,’ but my body says, ‘play or else do nothing.’ With no resolution in sight, I feel powerless to move past my heart’s mounting frustration. Then, I remember, I always have a choice as to how I respond to any challenge. I ask myself, ‘what do I choose – to be stuck in the muck or to be Soul Alive?’
Are you bothered by the summer heat? Maybe this is not an issue for you. You might even thrive in the hot weather and thus seek it out. Just as our body chemistry is unique to each of us, so are our daily struggles. All of us are confronted daily with life challenges, be they as small as coping with summer heat or as large as major crises of life and death. None of us have the option to live a challenge-less life any more than we have the option to live an ageless or deathless life. And if this is not enough for us to contend with, we all are faced with the likely possibility that as we continue to age, our challenges will increase in the number and complexity. While these challenges are part and parcel to our human existence, so is our freedom to always actively respond to them in life-giving ways, no matter what our age. Unfortunately, there are many elderly people (and even some who are not so elderly) who seem to not know they have this freedom and are thus stuck living lives of inertia.
At this stage of life, we all carry daunting and hard-to-face fears (to one degree or another) as to how we will meet the unknown challenges of our years to come. We house a variety of fear-packed questions: ‘What condition will I be in as I grow older? Who will be left to support and love me in times of struggle?’ Central to most, if not all such fears is: ‘Will I be up to the challenge?’ Imagine how liberating it would be if you could say with confidence ‘YES!’
If you desire to be in the position to make this loving declaration for yourself, know that it is possible. You can take courage in knowing that we are designed with all that we need to live into the fullness of our unique God- given life. Through the practice of being Alive to your Soul, you can learn to access and utilize the needed resources and the guiding wisdom to develop/deepen innate capacities, including a deeper ability to meet challenges in transformative ways.
I offer you a Soul-Centered Contemplative Practice for your exploration. This Soul Listening Practice serves as a powerful pathway for healing, integration, and transformation. You can use it when facing challenges, in daily prayer and meditation, or any time you hunger for a deeper sense of Oneness within your Soul and with God/Source. As with any practice, it will only reveal its value and benefit to you as you use it. I sincerely hope that you will find Soul Listening to be a powerful practice that supports you in deepening your capacity to use your life challenges in ways that inspire and encourage you on your Soul Alive Women’s Journey.
May you hear the whispers of your Soul and know the profound peace of Oneness with God/Source.
Suggested Soul Practice:
Soul Listening Practice – A Pathway to Wholeness
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, by Mark Nepo
© 2013 Susan A. Purnell