Picture your Future

Picture your Future

“In a quiet place with eyes closed, picture yourself getting on a magic carpet that takes you into the blue sky riding the currents like a bird, as far away or as close by as they take you. While on the magic carpet, know that you have all the knowledge, wisdom, skills and experience you need to be and do whatever you want. Nothing can stop you. No obstacles stand in your way. You have everything you need. You have permission and the freedom to be and do whatever you want. Continue to breathe and feel it inside you.

With that inner knowing, picture the magic carpet landing somewhere, a place where you can be truly yourself and do what you want. You get off the carpet and look around.

What do you see? Are you outside or inside? Pause to picture it.

What do you hear? Pause to hear it.

What do you smell? Pause to smell it.

What do you taste? Pause to taste it.

Are you alone or with someone? Pause. If with someone, is it one person, a group of people, or the public? Pause to be alone or with others.

What kind of clothes are you wearing to be who you are? Pause to be in those clothes.

What are you doing? Pause. What part of your body do you see yourself using? Is it your brain, your eyes, your ears, nose, voice, hands, legs, feet, your heart, your soul? Pause to do it.

How do you feel? Pause to feel it.

Now the magic carpet returns you to the present and the chair you are seated in. Gently open your eyes, move your toes and fingers, shake your hands and roll your feet, give your arms and legs a shake.

While the picture is still fresh in your mind, draw a picture or write a paragraph describing it in as much detail as you can.”

(Source: Retire to the Life you Love: Practical Tools for Designing Your Meaningful Future by Nell Smith.)

Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila: Mansion Seven Beauty

“The spiritual journey inward to the Beloved is the journey home. To who I truly am. A circular, spiral, womb-like experience. Non-linear. Journey of remembering and forgetting.

Contemplative prayer is about aligning myself with the highest intention; to be with my beloved.  Learning that we cannot figure out holy mystery with our minds.

When the sluggish worm completely dissolves into a sort of cellular soup, becoming nothing in a cocoon. And later transforms into a beautiful butterfly flitting about.

Coming to know God with God’s own mind. Coming to love God with God’s own heart. Looking through the eyes of love and seeing only love.

When lover dissolves completely into the Beloved. The subject/object distinction is obliterated. There is no longer union with the Beloved. There is only love. Consummated marriage of the soul.

Then we return to the world of seeming separation, knowing that there is no separation; that I am in Him and He is in me.

And now the only task is to give ourselves in service to the world. That is all that is left to do.  Seeing every face as the face of the Beloved.

To be of service may look very different from what we think it will look like. Do only what is yours to do. Let not others tell you otherwise.”

(Mirabai Starr speaking on The Interior Castle webinar series available through Center for Action and Contemplation. Learn more at https://cac.org/online-ed/interior-castle-course-description/)

The Calling

The Calling by Mirabai Starr (excerpts)

Inspired by Teresa of Avila Interior Castle

This magnificent refuge is inside you.

Enter.

Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.

Listen.

The One you love is calling.

Listen.

His call is flute music.

Far away.

Be brave, and walk through the country of your own wild heart.

Be gentle, and know that you know nothing.

Be still.

Listen.

Keep walking.

This is your rightful place.

That is your Beloved reclining in the inner-most chamber, waiting for you. Offering wine from a bottle with your crest on the label.

The path home to your true love unobstructed after all.

Know that the Beloved has chosen as His dwelling place, the core of your own being.

For that is the single, most beautiful place in all creation.

Waste no time.

Enter the center of your soul.

Listen to Mirabai Starr read the full version of The Calling at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zii_c3jHl9c&t=8s

Envision your Future

Envision your Future

“Every day, your creative work calls you to the edge of the unknown, to the frontier of what you imagine is possible. It can feel like standing at a cliff’s edge in a gusting wind. Dangerous. Compelling. Hurtling you forward into the adventure even as your primal brain, whose job it is to keep you from being eaten by dinosaurs, screams in frantic alarm.

Run away! says Primal Brain.

No! Let the wind take you! There’s magic to be made here! says Creative Heart.

Primal Brain: Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you? Turn around! Run away! Run, before the wind blows you over the cliff-edge and smashes you on the rocks below!

(Here Primal Brain serves up several graphic images of you, flattened and bleeding at the base of the cliff, very, very dead, while gulls circle your body, waiting to swoop down and devour you for dinner.)

Creative Heart: I can’t hear you! I’m wa-a-y out here, sailing across the sky! You should come — it’s the most fun you’ll ever have! You can see the curvature of the earth from here!

Sound familiar? No wonder you’re exhausted, as your Creative Heart pulls you to your deep desire, while your Primal Brain feels left behind, terrified, shivering and bereft, doing its best to drag you back to safety.

Civil war is a bloody business.

You may not always be so acutely aware of the conflict raging within you. You may experience the effects of it as feelings of being overwhelmed, stuck, physically ill or simply uninspired, spinning your wheels, your big dreams held hostage by habitual cycles of short-lived enthusiasm followed by collapse, stagnation and procrastination…

Because you’re often traversing unmapped territory, you may feel under enormous stress, uncertain, small, bewildered…

Because you’re opening your heart to the stars, your boundaries may be fuzzy, and you may find you need more and more time alone just to recover from being with people…

You may feel spun around, ping-ponging between exhilaration and despair at the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the way your life is right now, and the way you long for it to be.”

Hear the invitation of the Beloved to rest into a time of Silence and Solitude. To discern the way He would have you to go. When it is time to go.

From Hiro Boga at https://hiroboga.com/

Reflections on The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

“God always loves me right where I am right now. I seek to slow down so that I may gain self-knowledge of the subtle love acts from God.”

“To sit still (in solitude) is to bear witness to the world that there is no other place to be right now. A death to everything less than the infinite love of God which is sustain me and drawing me to Himself.”

“God loving me through my sadness and pain, so that little, by little, by little I can experience the unsustain-ability of all but love.”

 “Reflect upon this: What are the deepest longings of my heart?”

(James Finley reflections on The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.)

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