An Invitation

“In our daily routine, we can let go and set aside time for silence, meditation, and prayer. Even while engaged in work, we can breathe one conscious breath, letting go into God’s creative light and Name.” Neil Douglas–Klotz, taken from Prayers of the Cosmos

So much of life is simply inviting you in. Into your body, your passions, your purpose. However this invitation is often missed in a busy life. Visitors from Europe often comment on how crazy-busy Americans are. Some one recently said to me, “You have all this abundance and take no time to truly enjoy it.” We were at a meal in town and indeed everyone seemed to be rushing their meals, talking fast to their meal partner or (dear me) to someone on their cell phone. Typically, people multitask during their meals.

How often do we really taste our food? Or fully hear the point the other is making in a conversation? When we have a “full” day what is it we choose to leave out? In our busy week, what keeps us busy?

If this process of slowing down is a challenge for you, chances are you have to make room for a slower life. Much like making room for that beautiful new couch. You have to get rid of the old one taking up space in your living room.

Consider how every choice and action take-up space in your life.

You said “Yes” to this journey of mindful eating, of a more conscious relationship to food, but have you really made room for such a commitment? What needs to move out of your life so a slower, more mindful, healthy life can come in? What are some agreements you have at work, for example, that won’t allow you to sit and enjoy a meal? Is your kitchen cluttered with outdated spices, junk food or dishes you were gifted but don’t really like? Do you have what you need in your kitchen to prepare healthy slower food? This is where many people trip up. In their mind they have the desire to create a healthier life and body. They want to eat less and better foods. They want to exercise. They understand that food is central to one’s spiritual practice. So we sign up for various programs. But when we haven’t made room for these commitments we become overwhelmed and discouraged.

If you feel overwhelmed, something needs to be released. How can you make room for a slower, more mindful meal each day? What needs to be let go of in order to invite this possibility in?

And what of the busy mind, the internal clutter of the mind? For us to experience a more peaceful, happy state we need to be able to let go of certain thoughts, of worries, and of the mental clutter that prevents mindfulness and enjoyment. We can slow down our minds; even de-clutter it of negative patterns. This happens through the process of meditation and becoming present in the moment. Slowing down for everything – for conversations, for meals, for pleasure, for walks, and for decision making will result in a happier more fulfilling life. But you know your life better than anyone. You know where you are tripping up and where the clutter is. You know what you need. You know what needs releasing.

We cannot expect a new paradigm to work if the old one is still being maintained.

So this is a good time to ask, what needs letting go of in my life? Where is the clutter in my life – both internally and externally? Who or what do I need to forgive?

Start with a drawer. Start with one meal. Start with making space for your meditation practice. Start with a conversation. Start with a willingness to let go and forgive someone. Start here, now.

Consider journaling the following:

Consider de-cluttering a drawer in your house. Take out the contents and write about something you discover in the drawer. Years ago, I found my baptismal certificate hidden in a junk drawer (I was thirteen when I was baptized). I wrote about this discovery in my book, Spiritual Journaling.

Write about what wants into your life.

Imagine creating more space in your life. Choose something to “remove” (or release) and write about how this would change your life. (For example if you were to quit your job, or give away the dishes you bought after your divorce, or forgive someone, or let go of the habit of eating right before bed).

“Compost our inner, stolen fruit
as we forgive others the spoils of
their trespassing.”
– Neil Douglas–Klotz, taken from Prayers of the Cosmos, Letting Go, Heartbeat by Heartbeat

Taking the practice beyond the page:

Have a meal where you are only eating. During this meal don’t read or talk, just enjoy the food.

Ask yourself, “What does this moment need?” Then simply let the response come to you. Then ask yourself, “Do I have room for what this moment needs?” You can take time to journal any awareness and shifts in consciousness.

Check out your spice drawer. Spices over six months old are not that flavorful. You are likely replacing salt in some or all of you meals and could use some fresh spices to bring forth the flavor of your meals. Give your self some time to clean out your spice drawer and read up on spices that you will use in your recipes.

Consider drinking warm lemon water every morning after your flax and cranberry drink.

“The inner shrine by which God’s name is hallowed can be developed only through letting go, releasing some of the clutter inside that keeps us too busy to be silent and receptive to the ‘still small voice.’ ” – Neil Douglas–Klotz, taken from Prayers of the Cosmos

One thought on “An Invitation

  1. Good Morning,
    I didn’t want to tell my story 1) because I am embarassed 2) because I don’t feel that I am a capable writer. But then I got to thinking about how this might help someone and I wanted to let Julie know that her blog is being read and appreciated.
    I had an awakening. One evening after an especially emotional meeting I drove home with a very heavy feeling, sort of depressed. All the way home I had to talk myself out of stopping somewhere and getting food. First, the gas station for chips and cola and then McD’s for ice cream. The car seemed to want to drive itself. I took control and made it home. But then, after walking the dog, I found I couldn’t rest my mind. I gave into eating a PB sandwich, then two. I finally felt “full”. It was then that I had this AH HA!! I could never separate the emotion from the urge to eat. That night I got it!!!! I truly understood how food became my drug to deaden feelings.
    The next morning I awoke, still carrying that heavy feeling. But I was able to recognize what the feeling was about and instead of numbing it with food I decided to let myself feel it knowing that it would pass. I spent the day AWARE of my choices. I walked, meditated and kept busy all the while letting the feeling stay with me, until at last it passed. I felt the last of it leave when my grandaugher giggled while we were playing a game.
    I hope that this helps someone else….Always remember to have compassion for yourself…this is a process!!! Blessings….

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