I’m writing this a day after receiving word that I’ve won the Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for the best non-fiction book about religion for 2013. As you can imagine, I’m over the moon, bursting with joy, gratitude, love for everyone and everything, well-being, affirmation, and an extraordinarily comforting feeling of closure on a project I worked on for 19 years without knowing if anyone else would ever read or benefit from it!
Since today is the only time I have to write the next post if it is to be published at its usual time, and since I tend to be a stickler about meeting deadlines, I’ve struggled all morning to write. My intention was to wrap up my series about gender wounds, but I just couldn’t do it. I reviewed the last several posts and went through my notes in search of ideas, but my heart wasn’t in it and nothing came.
Recognizing the symptoms of an ego determined to ignore a blocked stream of energy because it believes it knows a better way, I lit the candle on my desk, rested my hands on my lap, closed my eyes, focused on my breathing, and waited for guidance. Instantly, a technique recommended by Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way In a Wild New World, came to mind. Beck explains how focusing on your body drops you into a state of heightened receptivity she calls Wordlessness. So I lifted my hands in front of me, palms outward, and concentrated on feeling the life in them. As soon as I felt the tingling, a familiar shivery wave started at the back of my neck and spasmed down my back.
I’ve felt this same shivery spasm since the early 70’s. I tell this story in my book so won’t repeat it here, but what happened is that after weeks of seeking help for a troubling period of religious doubt, I experienced a mind-blowing spiritual awakening that convinced me of the physical reality and presence of the Divine. After that I often felt the shiver in church and associated it with the supernatural God of my religion. Now I know that what we often think of as supernatural is as natural as heartbeat and breath.
Fast-forward forty years. Symbol Alert! According to The Herder Dictionary of Symbols forty is the number for “expectation, preparation, penitence, fasting, and punishment.” The flood flowed for forty days and forty nights, Jesus was tempted for forty days in the wilderness, the Jews wandered for forty years in the desert, and I discover to my amazement and delight that it took forty years of preparation before I was ready to produce the book I consider my magnum opus!
Today I’m filled with the joy of having this work recognized. This is what wants to come out, what I want to celebrate with every breath, beat of my heart, and cell in my body. This morning my ego was saying: Stick to the topic at hand. If you write about the award it might sound like bragging! And so I experienced a writer’s block, which is simply a resistance to expressing the soul’s truth. The moment I returned to the present by focusing on the life in my body, the block dissolved and the energy came through with a physical rush that felt like a tidal wave surging down my spine.
Here’s the song I want to sing: God isn’t only to be found in a church, synagogue or mosque. Sacred life-giving energy indwells our bodies and every atom of the physical universe. And all we need to do to connect with it is get out of our heads and return to our bodies where the Divine is incarnated in us.
You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at this Amazon link or at Larson Publications, Inc.
Ego and God-Image: Part VI
[T]he most important relationship of childhood, the relation to the mother, will be compensated by the mother archetype as soon as detachment from the childhood
Congratulations, Dear Friend!! This award is richly deserved. I’m not surprised that such a fine interfaith organization would want to recognize you and your contributions. So proud of you!!
Hi Jeanne! I feel your sweet and generous spirit shining through these words. Thank you.
Congratulations on the award! I look forward to reading this book in the future 🙂
Thank you! When you’re finished, I hope you’ll let me know if anything spoke to you.
Congratulations Jeanie!! Your writing comes from a place of such profound authenticity and soul that this announcement is not at all surprising. I am very happy for you.
Richard, these words from you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
Congratulations! Wonderful to produce a cohesive body of work like that, and have it recognised.
Thanks, Pippa. It certainly is! Feels good!
Awesome! This is so well deserved! Reading your book was a highlight of my life, as I’m sure it will be for many others!
Best regards, Skip
Skip, you honor me deeply with this comment. Thank you.
Congratulations! And may I also say a huge thank you… I am turning 40 this year and feeling my own words are nearly ready to be heard. Such synchronous moments are gathering, and motivating me on. I am humbled and inspired by your success.
Congratulations, Amy. Your ego’s careful listening to your soul’s words will midwife them into the world. Thank you.
SO very thrilled for you! How dazzling to have your work acknowledged and honored with this award. I hope you are tingling not just in the hands but from the tip of the head to the tip of your toes….for days! Bravo, Pat
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 05:12:40 +0000 To: email@example.com
Pat, I am still tingling….and warmed with pleasure too because of the sincere warmth and pleasure I hear in your voice. Thank you.
Jeanne Congratulations and love and blessings for the life and wisdom you share. Thank you! Tallulah
Tallulah, I feel your love and blessings and thank you for them.
Jeanie, I am so happy for you to have this recognition for your very healing, grace-filled work! Congratulations on the long, slow process of wrestling with your own demons and truth to produce such a work and a life of sharing such Light.
Thanks for the tip about writers’ block with the hands. Yes, I’ve returned to my body for guidance as well, from many years of sorting out and trying to understand my own human realities and journey to truth. The process is emerging more clearly in my writing as my mind, body, soul and Spirit dance more freely together.
Your gift of teaching is through writing, and speaking, which has blessed me and many others. I have come to see and accept that mine is through offering a safe, creative context in nature’s wholeness and inviting others who seek it, as I have, to learn to allow enchantment and reason to dance together in Holy Harmony.
Hi Julie. You always see into the dark places that lie beneath whatever light each of us has to share. Such wisdom bears witness to your own difficult and light-bringing work. Thank you, my sister.
YEA, JEANIE, CONGRATULATIONS, for your beautiful and well deserved. You make all who follow your writing very, very proud.
Hi Sally. Your genuine enthusiasm about this is bringing me a fresh wave of excitement! Thank you.
I’d been holding off until I’d finished the book, Jeanie… But I’m enjoying it too much and taking my time with each chapter, so the comment could have been ages away. So far it reads like a whisper in my ear from a friend, reminding me of something important that I’d forgotten. It’s better than sense (which is there a-plenty), it just feels so right. Mighty big congratulations on the award, and for your soul on every page, a deep, deep thanks. 🙂
Thank you for writing this today, Brian. I’m so pleased to know you’re reading and enjoying HSD. Although I’m pretty good with delayed gratification, instant gratification is more fun! I just love knowing you’re hearing whispers from a friend and seeing my soul on every page. I feel exactly the same about every poem of yours I’ve read.
Dear Jeanie, Yes, I can see the hard work you have endured in dark places that lie beneath the light you share. Indeed, your vulnerability in sharing your gifts has helped me value and see my own authentic gifts and delivery with more clarity. I admire your courage and skill in bringing your revelations to light. They give me courage to allow my own vulnerable wisdom to flow forth. Thank you for that my sister!
You are so welcome. I think what you and I have in common is that we’re trying to become more human and have simply discovered that our humanity lies in our vulnerability.
This is true, Jeanie. And at the same time living with a less defended, open heart is not an easy thing to do as my heart is moved by all I cannot save, and with so much being destroyed everywhere. Yet, I believe it is an invitation for more hearts to be broken open for the new age of compassion and wholeness to arise.
No, it’s not easy. And yes, brokenness is the way to compassion and wholeness. Wounded Warriors and all that. Well, we didn’t choose this path, but I’ll never be sorry it’s the one I was given.