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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

autumn prep

For this last week of summer, Abbey of the Arts' Christine posted about the forthcoming season of fall, and I'm springing for her challenge:
flowers sky sunMaybe this is the season you choose to make more space to listen to the longings of your soul or experiment with writing down your dreams and seeing what happens when you begin to take them seriously. Or maybe its just a time to commit to being really good to yourself, a time of self-care and nurture you perhaps haven’t had in a while. Or maybe you want to reflect more deeply on what autumn is inviting you to let go of — what things or relationships are draining for you? What belief systems no longer serve you? Which images of God have become too small? How are you preparing for the season of autumn? What resources would you recommend?
I love her questions, sufficient for at least a few chapters in a book, but I want at least to say something about those topics it's easy to avoid but essential to encounter and consider.

Dreams: In his song "Rollin' Home," Eric Andersen insists "It's not the time but just the dreams that die." I thought maybe my dreams had died, but probably not--the time's simply been very long and in some ways I've been exceedingly patient, but in other ways I've let life happen too often, mainly by making excessive excuses for people's behaviors. So despite yet another unfun summer, for the new seasons I'm seizing my dreams and expecting to fly.

Self-care and nurture: I almost never get physically tired, but need to be more aware of when my brain gets tired. Over the past years I've decided if I haven't been able to find another community or group of friends who know Where I Live and Who I Am, at least I need to produce something to show for my hours, days, weeks and...seasons. Despite really wanting and needing to lose some ellbees, I've tried to not skip meals except when I'm intentionally fasting. Sleep? Don't even think about that word. This was too short, but explains the general idea.

Letting go--relationships, beliief systems, things: Some of the RevGals have blogged about letting go of the toxic side of their relationship with themselves, and I'm continuing with that daily struggle. Of course behaviors and attitude that tell us we're unworthy and less-good belong in a horrifically flawed belief system, so in the process of letting go, again I'm picking up the Way of Jesus Christ that commands me love God, neighor and self.

Too-small images of God: some still persist, but experiencing Mercy and Grace helps obliterate and unimagine the most serious ones.

Physical preparation for the new season: winters here in Paradise usually are benign, but still I take out sweaters I haven't been wearing and put away the lighter weight ones along with my shirts, skirts, shorts and tops that distinctively shout summer. I have quite a few quilts and comforters, some of which look and feel better for the less sunny times of the year, so they get swapped out, too.

Recomended resources: frequent prayer; a constant attitude of prayer; good nutrition; supportive friends and community. Reading books and blogs...

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