“You do not think yourself into a new way of living,
you live yourself into a new way of thinking.”
Adolf Hull as quoted by Fr. Richard Rohr
“Fake it till you make it.”
“Practice saying thank you until you become grateful.”
“Practice cleaning the house until it is an act of love.”
There are many ways to get this point across.
In his description of the theology of Francis of Assisi, Fr. Richard Rohr emphasizes the challenge to change our way of thinking. In fact, he challenges us to turn our way of thinking upside down. Change our paradigm of life.
Many of us are on a search for something new, something that offers a greater sense of peace and stability. We ask, we read, we study, we try yoga, meditation, past life regression, sweat lodge, retreats, pilgrimages and any variety of methods to give us a sense of peace and stability. Personally, I have tried them all. In my experience, each has pointed to one place: within. Each has asked one practice: silence.
Silence asks that I stop thinking. What?
Silence, stillness – these are practices to quiet the mind so I can hear. It’s more than hearing. It’s more than seeing. It is the opportunity to simply BE.
The Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga offer us a way to BE: non harming, content. These are ways to be. Each offers a gift to someone other than myself.
The Christian definition of love is a way to be: kind, patient, centered on others. Here it is again – focus on others.
The Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Ojibwe are gifts of being: humble, courageous. These are inside-out aspects of being.
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are steps of a transformation of ego to community.
Each of these spiritual practices is an inside out practice. I commit to learn a new way of being. I learn to practice coming inside to learn what needs to be changed. I practice the change. I evolve in to a new life, a new way of being.
I also come to recognize that there is no end to the practice. There is no goal to be met. There is no destination to reach. There is an ongoing transformation.
There is an ongoing transformation.
Each little revelation is a preparation for the one ahead. Each is an experience of life, death and resurrection – to be celebrated in the moment. Some celebrations include fireworks, some sparklers, some candles. Each is a celebration.
I love my celebrations. They always include you. They always bring me to a place of rest.