Wow, the final day of the Shannon Plummer and Bob Sima “Music as Spiritual Practice” Journey was really powerful! The theme was Self Love, so that’s a big quality. I had not heard the song they used for this practice, but it was so beautiful and touching that it made me cry.
The essence of the song is how hard it is for us to accept our own perfection, and how we allow our inner critic to block our creation of our dreams and our most magnificent life. And I must admit that I am guilty of doing exactly that, despite all the positive affirmation I’ve received in my life.
The lines that particularly struck me were:
If all your soldiers died
One by one surrendered to your good side
Finally some peace of mind in your battered mind
I found that to be a very apt metaphor for my own personal struggles with embracing my divine nature.
I wanted that message to soak in, so I engaged in what has been my most powerful spiritual practice in the past few years. As much as I’ve appreciated the resources I’ve recommended in this series of blog posts, the one I’ve gotten the most from is a walking meditation practice. Almost every morning, I walk the same path for a number of loops measuring 1-2 miles (depending on my time availability and weather conditions). I try to keep my mind clear and ask Spirit was message or insight it has for me today. Then I notice what animals, plants, rocks, insects, or other items catch my attention that morning and contemplate on what significance or wisdom that thing has to impart to me today. This practice has been really powerful for my spiritual development, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
It was a beautiful, sunny, warm winter morning, and I was alone in nature. I wasn’t getting any big “ah-HAs!,” but I was feeling very peaceful and serene. Maybe, I thought, maybe that is enough…
I believe I was on my third loop when I started picking up some natural items to use with my Sunday School class this coming Sunday. I am working on an animal-based spiritual curriculum that associates 56 different spiritual qualities with specific animals, organized via a Native American medicine wheel. I had decided to do a craft using natural materials, and so I took the opportunity to pick up some rocks that spoke to me along my walk for my students to use in that craft.
I was coming to the conclusion of my walk and turned towards home, when suddenly I froze, having seen some movement. At first I thought it was a large brown dog. But then I realized, no, it was a young deer. Actually, it turned out to be a mother and two young deer heading out of the public area in which I was walking and entering the woods by my house.
While I don’t see deer at my house regularly, it also isn’t a shocking thing to see. However, this time it really sent my heart racing. Yesterday, I talked about Synchronicity, and I know this was a divinely-inspired instance of that related to my Musical Practice.
Because, you see, my spirit animal for this coming Sunday is…a deer.
And the spiritual quality we will be discussing? It is…Peacefulness. I hadn’t even been consciously thinking about what the lesson was about as I was picking up the stones, but suddenly I realized the perfect connection between the song and this experience.
You may just think it is a coincidence. For me, though, it was a divine message that maybe, just maybe…maybe just for today, maybe just for now….but maybe my soldiers were surrendering so that I could experience the utter peace of self love.
That’s my story, at least, and I’m sticking to it.
Thanks so much to Shannon and Bob for giving me such a great way for kick-starting the beginning of 2020.