Looking at July, I found four major reflections in my soul. All four lit up my soul with a major fireworks display. I spent about 30 minutes writing this newsletter and about 2-3 hours of reflecting on how the four reflections provide self-awareness in my soul.
What separates us human beings from the animal kingdom, are metaphors and the search for personal meaning. I urge you to devote a couple of hours this month to working with the July reflections, metaphors, and meaning. If you have a journaling practice, spend the first ten days of the month journaling on liberty, independence and freedom. The second ten days look at your inner prisons and the reason you have locked up parts of yourself. Then the last ten days of the month, spend some time writing about your inner sisters.
Remember the four essential activities/sacraments to self-imagining as you work with your journal: questions only, poetic imagery, biographical reflections, and courageous self-expression. These four sacraments create miraculous results. I promise. The Four Sacraments Guide is attached at the bottom.
July’s Mirrors for Your Soul’s Reflections
Your Soul’s Day at the Beach
What does July offer our souls for reflection? It’s not a day at the beach, although maybe we should ask ourselves what a day at the beach is for our soul life.
Sun, sand, sea, surf, swim. Your July soul reflections can take these “beach” elements and see how they live as qualities of your thoughts, your feelings and your deeds. This exercise is not about memories, it’s about metaphor.
I grew up in South Florida on the Gold Coast so these beach images are easy for me. When I ask a wisdom-seeking question, I am seeking an inner sun. When I feel anxious, I am looking for the easing feeling of floating on calm seas. When I want to accomplish a deed, I sometimes need to swim against the strong tides of my habits.
Spend some time with beach metaphors and see what insights of self-awareness they bring. Just writing this made me feel good about being a strong swimmer and knowing how to ride a wave. This metaphor will support me in keeping my will afloat and moving forward as I move into new projects in the work of Imagine Self.
Freedom and Fireworks:
Daily Needs and Daily Celebrations
How do you choose liberty, independence and freedom everyday? Here’s a link to a blog I wrote in 2003 on the distinctions between liberty, independence, and freedom. I love this blog for two reasons: 1. the distinctions are VERY significant for awakening to our individuality; and 2. Making the distinctions woke me up to a new commitment to diving deep into the meaning of words as a path to the meaning of self. . I hope you will take the time to read it and look at where in your inner life you experience liberty, independence and freedom, especially in this 2020 world of quarantine, masks, racism and protests.
Fireworks are celebrations, spectacular celebrations, but I want to look at the little fireworks we can hold in our hands, sparklers. I like to reflect on my day with three inner activities. I like to celebrate what I accomplished and what I am grateful for. I choose to grieve what was lost or ended. I forgive myself for what was regretful, selfish or harmful. I can now imagine my nightly celebration as lighting a soul sparkler, actually three — one for the thoughts that brought new clarity and direction, one for the feelings of wonder and love, and one for the actions and behaviors of goodwill. I also love the slow burn and quiet sizzle of sparklers.
Revolution and Rights:
Storming Your Inner Prisons
July 14th is Bastille Day brings to our souls the imagination of storming our inner prisons and looking at the parts of ourselves that we treat as criminals, captives, slaves and exiles. How can we give those inner shadow selves the rights of individuality, equality, and integrity. How would this inner work shape our outer world and support the possibility of freedom in our cultural life, equality in our political rights, and mutual devotion in our economic efforts to provide for each other? It also makes me think of revolutions and the fall of the elite. If we take these social values arising out of the French Revolution and look into our inner life, what can we imagine?
I find myself thinking of the guillotine and cutting off my head. My head being filled with fixed and false thoughts that keep me stuck and unfree. What do you think of? What inner prisons do you want to storm this July?
The Inner Sisters and their Differences:
Lastly, I want to look at the roles we play. July 29th is the Feast Day of Mary and Martha, the two sisters that Jesus loved. Martha was the housekeeper, who made sure that the home was harmonious and nurturing. Mary was the feminine intelligence who conversed and engaged with the Christ. Martha brought warmth to the material life. Mary brought warmth to the spiritual life. Both are essential. Each of us must warm up spirit and matter with equal devotion and enthusiasm. When there is conflict when the soul struggles between the weight of our earthly duties and the light of our spiritual longings, it is the Ego dwelling in our heart that says with gratitude to the burdens of life that conversations with the Spirit are essential.
Celebrate your inner Martha. Do the dishes, make your bed, sweep the floor even when you are suffering loneliness, so that your inner Mary can converse with the gods and shine in the light. And if you are more like Mary, remember to ground yourself in matter and be joyful while you do the dishes.