Tag Archives: spirituality

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 14–Wine Down Wednesday

Every Wednesday for a year, I have celebrated Hump Day over a bottle of Malbec with the girls that I work with. It is our sacred ritual. Today I am grateful for our Wine Down Wednesday tradition, because it allows us to catch up on each other’s lives and laugh about anything ridiculous that has happened that week. It’s good for the heart and even better for the soul.

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 10– #ThinkingThoughts

Last weekend a friend of mine explained how much he relished long car rides because they give him so much time to think about things. He explained he likes to pick a subject and take it as far as he can go by asking questions, hypothesizing answers, and usually generating some more questions.

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And so I tried it and I learned something really interesting about myself.

I learned that I always think about the same few things. Notably spirituality, travel and work or some variant of the three. It was actually hard for me to come up with a topic that I wouldn’t try to relate back to one of those three subjects and I was a little disappointed when I realized that my life could be summed up in three hashtags. But it was a cool exercise for my brain to see how far I could expand my perception of the world around me, and it furthered my belief that I am the sum of all of my experiences. I will naturally continue to view life through a series of a few different lenses, and project them outwardly onto the people and places I come into contact with… because that is comfortable.

But it also raises the question, what happens when I try to think about things I can’t relate to? Video games for example.  I can’t relate to them in the slightest. So if I can’t relate to something, how am I supposed to perceive it? If I can’t force one of my lenses to comprehend video games and what they mean to me, does that make video games bad or void of meaning? I would probably cast a negative judgement on video games, but is it because I am trying to understand something that to me is incomprehensible? So this brings me to judgment, a  negatively charged thought resulting from the discomfort of the unknown, different, or confusing.

[Insert thought about applying this theory to identity, race, religion, sexuality, politics etc. here].

So anyway, you get it. This is how the game goes–you take a topic and run with it and see where it brings you. This one brought me to judgment, which I could have taken in many different directions, but I would at some point inevitably try to relate back to one of my favorite topics. However, I’m going to stop there and just say thanks for the good think.

I am grateful to this new practice. I think it will be highly beneficial for me to break down and analyze some of my patterns, try something a little uncomfortable and see how long it takes me to eventually come back around to what is familiar. Hopefully when I do come full circle I’ll have some fresh perspective or at least a few new unanswered questions to ponder for the next think session.

Happy Friday, friends!

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The sacred company of books

Upon stepping through my front door a visitor will discover that I am a hoarder of the sacred. Over the years I have taken great comfort in things that recall my memory to moments of growth and connection with spirit–to places I have lived, and to people and experiences that have touched my heart.

I build alters from stones and feathers found on nature walks. I collect maps from cities I’ve travelled to and postcards written to me from loved ones in far off distant places. I have prayer beads, glass angels, hand carved statues of the Buddha, hamsas to ward of the evil eye, pictures of friends and family, inspirational quotes and journals.

And I have books.

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All kinds of books. Novels and non-fiction, young adult books (yep.), history books, language acquisition books, spiritual self-help books, books on how to be financially conservative, books on how to have difficult conversations, books about war, books about peace, books about love, books about travel, books about yoga, books in French. I have second-hand bookstore books, books from Amazon.com, books I’ve read eight times and books I’ve never read at all.

All of my books are sacred. Each one of them containing a small and profound universe.

My bookshelf represents spiritual potential. As if in a trance or deep meditation–here, physically on my couch or in my bed or on the train–I achieve what the gurus call awakening when I open a book. I am fully engulfed in the present moment, devoured by a black-hole I soar through time and space. I inhale the scent of the pages and I am reborn with each new plot as I dance with both primary and supporting characters alike. I experience the ascent to the climax and come back to this earthly plane only upon pressing a bookmark safely between the book’s pages.

As I near the end of a book, I usally slow down. My curiosity for the summation is over-taken by a feeling of impending nostalgia. Like the feathers and statues and candles and rocks on my alter, I both mourn and celebrate their memory in these words,

The end.

The last page of a book is the sweetest kind of meloncholy. It’s a journey travelled from beginning to end, experienced through my lens and knowledge of self. The experience is highly spiritual and, most importantly, it is mine alone, no matter how many book clubs have read the same work.

Not all stories have happy endings, and I would venture to say that I’ve rarely come across a spectacular book wtih a happy ending. For me, the best books evoke an emotion, which I seek to savour, as if it were a beautifully aged bottle of wine. The conclusion of the best books leaves the reader reflecting on the lessons learned and the growth they have gained as if they lived through the eyes of the characters.

Reading is an act of spirit. It infuses Self into pages filled with words written by another. In that connection between the reader and the author’s text, the walls of illusion fall down and unity is achieved.

As a church is to a Christian, a mosque to a Muslim, a synogogue to a Jew, a temple to a Hindu or Buddhist or the forest to an outdoorsman, so is a library is to me.

Within the walls of a library I am surrounded by a community of seekers–those who crave the unity of written word and spirit. A cohort who worship authors and their works of creative genius and who come back time and again for that unique and individual connection to the divine universe of a good book.

 

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Managing changing relationships. A yogi toolkit!

Dear readers, I’m pleased to announce that all of this writing I’ve been doing lately has paid off! I’ve been published in the Elephant Journal! Please click the following link and give a read! Thank you all for you inspiration and support! Lots and lots of love!

Lizzie

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/05/managing-change-in-relationships-a-yogi-toolkit-lizzie-guerra/

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