And so we begin…

“Help me cross into the present moment — into wonder, into Your grace, that “now-place,” where we all are, unfolding as Your life, moment by moment. Let me live on the threshold as threshold.” (Gunilla Norris)

As we begin our “Sacred Rhythms” journey, let’s imagine that we are beginning a day together, with an intention to be present to the unfolding of each moment…

In her book, “The Artist’s Rule,” Christine Valters Paintner writes, “Spring, summer, autumn, and winter each have particular gifts and invitations. Paying attention to the rhythms of the natural world helps us to recognize the place within us that calls for blossoming, fruitfulness, releasing, and resting.”

“What is the season of your life right now? Is it one of planting, blossoming, fruitfulness, releasing, or resting? What are the gifts of this season for you? What are the challenges?

Our theme for September is “thresholds.”* Each of us stands on several thresholds. Thresholds are the in-between spaces — when we are moving from one way of being into another. One way is ending, and another about to begin.

There are thresholds in nature, in the unfolding of each day and each season. And there are thresholds in our life: times when life shifts…. perhaps from a choice we have willingly made, but often from circumstances beyond our control.

For a time, it may feel like we have lost our footing. Christine Valters Paintner writes, “We step into this in-between place of letting go of what has been, while awaiting what still is to come. When we are able to release our need to control the outcome, thresholds can become rich and graced places of transformation. We cannot become something new unless we have released the old faces we have been wearing, even if it means not knowing quite who we are in the space between.”*

Now we stand in the threshold between summer and autumn. We are turning from summer’s long and languid pause towards autumn’s brisk, reviving energy. Perhaps you already sense a subtle shift in the air, and notice tinges of color on certain trees. Fall decorations (and pumpkin-flavored goodies) dominate store shelves. School has begun again. It is time for beginning new projects, and returning to ones laid down for the summer.

The start of our “Sacred Rhythms” online community creates another threshold for us. We do not know how we might be changed by this new undertaking, but we can trust God who has brought us here. My hope is that, in this space, you will find some small gifts for your journey.

To begin our “day” together, I invite you to watch the following brief video by Brother David Stendl-Rast. Find a quiet space of time (10-15 minutes) to watch the 5-minute video a couple times. As you watch the video, pay attention to the words and images that most grab your attention. Then, in the “comments” below, I invite you to share your first name, and what resonates, or draws you most, in the video. This could be a simple word, phrase, image, or idea.

(to comment go to the bottom of the post – and click on “comments” – there you can add your comment and read others. I will try to make this more apparent in future posts.)

This simple sharing begins our getting to know one another — sharing how are hearts are drawn this day. In this way we begin the journey of this “day”  together — at the threshold!

 

I would like to end with a blessing from Jan Richardson. May it bless the threshold places of your life. And may it bless this beginning of our journey together this year!

 

On each threshold, Wisdom;

At every doorway, Love;

Through every entry, Grace;

With each beginning, Peace.

 


*Note: Our themes for each month (and some of the content I will share) will be taken from the latest book by Christine Valters Paintner, “The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred” which is now available on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “And so we begin…

  1. ghlstn

    Hi~ this is Donna. I am drawn to Br. David’s words, “Look! really look…” and “open your heart” and my heart is full. I am blessed by each of you!

    Reply
  2. vr4onda

    Hi all, l’m Vera. Glad to start this new day with you! “Let the gratefulness surround you, and then it will be a very good day”, or something like that, caught my attention.

    Reply
  3. bsmiskoaolcom

    I am still trying to figure out how to use this site, but will stay with it.
    I am responding to the 9/10 post. Christine Valters Paintner writes, “We step into this in-between place of letting go of what has gone, while awaiting what still is to come. When we are able to release our need to control the outcome, thresholds can become rich and graced places of transformation. We cannot become something new unless we have released the old faces we have been wearing, even if it means not knowing quite who we are in the space between.” Her words prompt my response: “the blessing of becoming” and the thought is exciting to me! Bobbi

    Reply
  4. lukdotjunocom

    I’m Dorothy. My sister is in Charleston, so I keep picking her up and releasing her along with countless others in the path of danger today. This is in one hand as I hold gratitude and expectancy for this day in the other hand. Both hands meet in the love, paradox and mystery of God Within.

    Reply
  5. ghlstn

    We will hold your sister, and so many others, in our heart’s prayer today, Dorothy.
    “Both hands meet in the love, paradox, and mystery of God Within.” Yes! This is a beautiful description of how, in this day, we are invited to hold both, trusting the Great Holder.

    Reply
  6. jedwar02

    Hello, this is John. I’m struck by the sentence, “Today is the only gift that you gave right now”. And I see the image of the sun rising against the trunks of the pine forest.
    May we each live this day with gratefulness no matter what we are facing.
    I’m grateful to share this community with each of you.

    Reply
    1. ghlstn

      I loved that image too, John. The graceful and gentle silent spread of light through the trees touched my spirit.
      Welcome to the Sacred Rhythms community! It is good to have you with us.

      Reply
  7. hnshaub

    Hi, this is Holly. I’m a “latecomer” to the group but already feel like I’ve landed at the right place. The word response caught my attention. I’m currently in the midst of some situations I can’t control or change. I can only choose the way I respond.

    Reply
    1. ghlstn

      Welcome Holly! We are so glad to have you join us.

      Yes, choosing the way we respond (one that feels true and life-giving) is sometimes the only thing we can do — but that choice is really quite powerful and transforming.

      Blessings be with you on the journey!
      ~Donna

      Reply

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