After birthing the chapters of Sprouting Spiritual Growth in January 2017, I was still in the zone, journaling every morning and continuing to create a poem from each gratitude list. From there, I created poems from the journal entries about my overnight dreams. In these cases, I spent time scouring old journals.
When I wasn’t compelled to look back in old journals any longer, I was moved to simply write and sometimes that included writing poems of what’s on my heart at the moment including current events. For example, when I travel, my muse rewards me for taking her by inspiring me to pen poetry about my new surroundings.
The interesting things, then, about the last few years are twofold:
- 1. I haven’t been “looking back” as much. I simply continue my practice of writing in a journal about what’s presently on my mind and heart, and before I leave the page, I ask God* this question: God, what else should I know? Then I sit quietly or I’m directed to a “tool”. Tools include things like the Bible, picking from a stack of meditation cards or a book that’s near me. One day this past week I was moved to “go to page x” in one of the many books on my shelves. What I can say is that, whatever the tool, it ALWAYS addresses something I’ve been wondering about.
- 2. I don’t write first thing in the morning anymore and generally not everyday. I do miss the daily practice, but it’s explainable because my life took two turns. First, my business doubled AND we got an extremely active dog. Instead of journaling in the early morning hours before the rest of the house stirs, the dog stirs me to do really, really looooong walks. When I return, I must start my day. So now, for these reasons, I write in different spaces such as during work breaks or weekend afternoons.
During the pandemic, however, my business has been temporarily closed, so I have returned to a mostly daily practice.
It’s a pleasure to get back to it because journaling is magical to me. It's a special time because just one little creation... me, has QT with the Great Creator. When it includes creation of a poem, I feel especially blessed to have made something original (which your every journal entry is too, poem or not). Once all my thoughts (and poems) are on the page, I wrap up as usual by asking the question, “God, what else should I know?” and then I use a tool.
I encourage you to do this now by following these three steps in order:
1. journal what’s on your heart
2. write out this question: God/Spirit/Self (you choose who you’re asking), what else should I know?
3. Use one of the poems below as a tool by simply deciding on number 1, number 2 or number 3. Don’t read any of the poems until Spirit moves you to select number 1, 2 or 3. Then read the numbered poem below which matches your choice. From it, choose the word, phrase, idea or mood as your answer and journal about your it.
About the poems:
Each one highlights my experience of writing from the now (one while traveling, one from my life with a dog, and one after attending a virtual event discussing life during the pandemic).
1: THE STILL LIFE Circa April 2020
It’s a vibrant painting
in a still life.
Dog walker outside
doesn’t look in my direction;
birds at the feeder
are busier than I can be.
My image in the mirror
assures me of the container
holding the switch, vacillating
between helpless and calm.
When I breathe,
the verdant scenery
reminds me to store the energy.
A big wave of concern
pushes against the windows,
but is it what’s outside or inside
that is gaining strength?
My faith is in a maze.
Should I stay in or go out?
The crows in my dreams
were in sync.
Now they fly haphazardly...
the information hasn’t caught up
to the future.
What if I’m not strong?
In the clear, a red balloon
floating away from picnics,
leaves the skies.
Did it burst or
did it dream to step into
the now clear starlit stairway?
My nightmare might be
someone else’s shining light.
Change as scary or exhilarating ,
like a beautifully choreographed
wall of family photos to be folded
into boxes soon.
The tangled power cord
rests in a deep sack.
Who will sort it out?
The inchworm might be
the best solution
if everything is to be all right.
Come back, my Dear.
Don’t leave me, Peace.
Coach me, Sacred Space.
Teach me to dog walk and
look in the masked windows,
to exit the painting.
2: DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
In summer I like to walk my dog,
Down a country road.
On an early day, with rains just done,
We happily spy a toad.
Intently we watch which way it hops,
And follow it along,
To wetlands or the creek bed,
while howling our own song.
I never know which way I’ll go,
Because you’re here with me...
Your nose might spy some flowers,
Where I’ll notice some honeybees.
Sometimes it’s in to brush you go,
to flush a singing bird,
Or a hidden woodland meadow,
To rush a deer-filled herd.
One time I let you dig a little
By a maple tree.
Unfortunately, you disturbed a nest,
Where yellow wasps set free.
It’s good we learned the terrain so well,
For we knew just where to hide.
Not far away a large pond pooled
From rains that poured inside.
Instinctively, we jumped in, to splash,
‘Til all the stinging was done.
We swam to shore to rest and bask,
In summer’s unending sun.
I hate to see this season go,
Because it’s the best of all.
That is, until the landscape changes,
And you walk me into fall!
3: BEAUTIFUL SCARE
I want to believe in ghosts
AND not be afraid of them.
Strange sounds outside my bungalow
Make the first part easy.
I slide in and out of sleep.
Out, due to starts and robust startles.
I’m convinced something jumped into
My realm from the bathroom mirror.
Maybe it’s a collective of the spirited ants
I milked down the drain today.
Or the fluffy, part-kitty, part-cat voyeur
Which seemed to want something to offer, but merely watched the make-up show.
Drifting off early, dusk shadow-danced in the curtained windows,
Making the mysterious midnight bumps into them ominous.
May, perhaps, reincarnation be buoyed by the Buddhist souls in the bathroom mirror?
The spied, but unmoving, finger-long lizards
Are now active in my thoughts.
A few mosquitos merely outlined my silhouette,
Maybe because direct contact isn’t allowed?
I’m intrigued by these thoughts,
And what animal I may become or have been.
Beautiful Bali, answer my questions,
Reveal your Spirits to me gently.
Author bio: Marie Higgins In 2009 I left corporate America after over 15 years in Human Resources Management to pursue my life. In a short amount of time I found massage therapy and became a nationally certified, state-licensed massage therapist.
Having only one experience with receiving massage during the time I was exploring other career options, I began school with no real understanding of the body, mind spirit connection. With massage I came to quickly believe in the healing power of touch. At the same time I felt a partial hardening of the heart (figuratively and spiritually) and I found a coach to give me spiritual direction.
During this time I learned different spiritual disciplines (ways to pray) which helped me develop a more personal relationship with God*. It is at this time, during 2009, that I became an active journaling person. This activity has grown and changed over the years, but the most constant thing I put into practice is that after I journal what’s on my heart I ask God* what I should know and I include that in my journaling.
_\* I use the term God as a universal term. You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today. It is not for me to decide_
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